Too Much Fun (II)

April 1, 2011 – no fooling!

First – I have to brag – sue me – my superb friend Ivory’s book “To the Rescue” by Elise Lufkin and Diana Walker is now available as an e-book! I just downloaded it from Amazon! Now I can read it on my iPad or my iPhone – or better yet, show it off – any time I want! It’s an amazing, moving story. I love to read it. If you’d like to download the e-book from Amazon, just click on the link To the Rescue (a.k.a. “Ivory’s book”). It’s also available as a Nook Book from Barnes and Noble! I’m so proud of him. For those of you who perhaps have not already picked up on that. It’s also available in hard cover. I think I have about ten copies.

"Ivorys" book - To the Rescue by Elise Lufkin and Diana Walker

Friends of mine are visiting from southern France for the Monument Avenue 10K. On Wednesday evening we met for the first time at The Tavern. I hope they enjoyed their meal as much as I did!

Dinner at The Tavern

It was drizzly and cool that night. We stopped by my house before we went back to the hotel to warm up by the fire. Of course Ivory can’t resist making our guests feel welcome. Ever the ambassador!:

Ivory the Ambassador

The next morning we met for a cool, damp hike at Pony Pasture. Preceded of course  by the obligatory cup of coffee at my favorite Starbucks, River Road II, at the north end of the Huguenot Bridge. Many of you know I spend lots of time with people with disabilities. Starbucks River Road II is the most disability-friendly establishment of any kind I have ever had the pleasure of doing business with. The location is superb but the employees, just as at any business, make the experience. Their record for outstanding employees is unblemished in my ten years of stopping there. I work with many children and adults who have a great deal of difficulty putting a sentence together. The people who work at this location always know just what my friends going to  order, and greet each one  by name each time they come in the building. It’s really, really easy to smile when you’re me.  All you have to do is watch the smiles on the faces of my friends. What a life.

Maggie is the current excellent manager. Luke, Lindsey, Merrill, Nic, there are so many great people there. I apologize for the people I’ve left off. Tyler just left for Ellwood Thompson’s and Taylor has now spread the good River Road II energy to Starbucks Stony Point.

Anyway, the three of us are hiking at Pony Pasture. They hardly speak English, and the only French I know consists of oui, bonjour, and please pass the hors d’ouevres. That is to say, our conversation was limited. Then, miraculously, we encountered my old friend Tom. He’s from Holland, worked many years for Lufthansa, and speaks fluent French! This is a picture of us at Pony Pasture:

Communication finally established! Thanks Tom!

And the three of us getting back in the car:

Back to the car

Next morning we met at 8:30 at their hotel and headed for Monticello. What a fantastic time.

My friends visit Monticello

The flowers were stunning. There can not be a more  beautiful time than April to visit that place:

The yellow flowers are most vivid in the early Spring

And ended the day at ACAC with Lewis – showing off his VCU Rams colors at the newly opened outdoor pool! I wish I’d known it was open; we’d have gone for a swim. Next week. Lewis is pretty young and I don’t put pictures of young folks on my blog. But when they’re flying their VCU colors in front of the outdoor pool you bet I do!

Go RAMS!!!

This is the final shot of the day. It’s in here because this picture could be titled “Too Much Fun”. It’s Roux and Mackey sprinting wildly out of the river Thursday morning. Can you see that smile on Roux’s face? That is what two mammals look like when they are having so much fun they can hardly contain themselves. I always want to feel that way. Only warm and dry, preferably. That is pure, undiluted joy. That is precisely what it looks like.


I hope you feel this way soon! Only warm and dry!


Jay and my four-legged pals

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Dogs, Endurance, Flowers, Fun, People, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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