Category: Review

A Review of Pet-Friendly Lodging

Getting back to the Road Trip; here is the review of our lodging. Lou did a fantastic job finding pet-friendly places to stay. There aren’t as many as you might think, and as it turns out, website info is often out of date. So best to confirm before booking.

There were very few options for the first night, after we left Kathy and Steve’s. We wanted a place near the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Ramada Inn was it. This was our first hotel with the dog. It wasn’t very pet-friendly, having to walk through the lobby to get outside and search for grass. Natasha did enjoy jumping from bed to bed. She could also hear everyone outside the room and thought she should warn us. Fortunately, we nipped that in the bark. Hmnnn – what were the next 5 nights going to be like?




Our options for the next night were even fewer. There’s not much commercial activity along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and we were stopping half way through. We were booked into the Country View Inn at Fancy Gap, VA.


This stop is worthy of a few more photos:


It was classic 60’s decor – took us back to visits to Springville. Except for the Chuckie dolls all over the room:


I was okay with the angels, but the one hiding behind the TV creeped me out a bit:


This was a great bargain at $40, and the people were friendly. Also a great place for the dog to run a bit. Dinner options were few. We opted for Pre-packaged ham & cheese sandwiches from the nearby gas station. Expiration date was July 17th. Pretty sure it was 2012. Todd says never to eat these, but we didn’t have a lot of choice. We survived. This was my favorite motel – it’s nice when your door opens directly to the outside when you need to take the dog out. Not positive Lou would agree with my assessment, but I think he got a kick out of the place.



Next up – Waynesboro, NC at the entrance to Skyline Drive. Our first stay at a Best Western Plus, and this turned out well. A nice room, lots of grassy area, and right next to a Cracker Barrel.




After Skyline Drive, we headed to Chambersburg, PA. The Sleep Inn was our destination. This was okay, relatively new, but crowded with lots of folks taking their kids on outings for the weekend. We should have tried Vince’s Pizza in Scotland (the town next to the hotel), but opted for a quick meal from McDonald’s.





Moving on to Saratoga Springs, NY. Another Best Western, and it was nice too. Right across the street was a popular bar-b-que joint with a live band and even an area where you could sit outside with your dog. The people running the hotel were a little weird, but still a good stop. Hotels are getting more expensive, since we are close to resort areas now.





We headed out for the White Mountains, but couldn’t stay at the Mountain View Resort this time. Can you believe they don’t allow dogs in their beautiful historic hotel? Lou had found another Best Western in Franconia, NH. It is in a beautiful setting, but the hotel is in the midst of renovations, so it might be better next trip. The town is pretty, and we found a very good pizza place. We drove around town and took some photos while waiting for the pizza. The town is very busy in the winter, since it’s next to the ski resorts.




This concludes our review – we really didn’t have it too bad. Things improved after the first night. The pup was well-behaved in all the hotels after the little barking spree the first night, and we batted 100% with respect to the whole potty issue (and yes, I’m talking about the dog).  Finding dinner was sometimes a challenge, but we don’t usually go out for a big meal when traveling, unless there is a nice restaurant in the hotel.

Atlantica – 10/10

Click to show full sized images

After surviving the stress of Irene, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner. We’d heard good things about Atlantica – a restaurant on the wharf, but had never been there. We actually eat on the boat most nights, and seem to only go out once every week or two. The title of this post probably gives our review away – the food was outstanding.

The weather turned out to be gorgeous all day, and we luckily snagged a nice table on the deck, in time to catch the setting sun. It made for a relaxing and enjoyable evening.


I chose the local pan-seared halibut, with a lemon taragon sauce, accompanied by crab risotto with fresh peach. Absolutely the best meal I’ve had in ages. I’ll have to get the recipes – for when I learn to cook.

Lou picked the lazyman’s lobster, which was filled with … lobster. He said it was delicious. I might try that next time. (note to self – learn how to take better photographs of food)

And a nice California Fume Blanc to go with our dinner.

Lou said he was having dessert if they had some- thing with fresh peaches – he loves ’em. Sure enough, he chose the fresh peach cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The friendly waitress brought an extra spoon so I could have a taste.

I reached for my spoon, turning my head briefly to check out one of the schooners arriving back to the dock. When I turned back, this is what I found – I think he liked it!

Consoled myself with a tasty Irish Coffee. All in all, a wonderful dinner. One more night at the Lord Camden Inn, and we head home to the boat. Looking forward to getting back to our normal routine.

Blue Sky Cantina

First, a Great Big Birthday Wish for Sammy – hope you have a great day. We miss you and are thinking of you (hope the prison transfer works out okay for you).

Time for another update on our exciting adventures. Last night we decided to test out our second Mexican Restaurant within easy driving distance. I forgot to take a photo of the sign, so stole this one of the Blue Sky Cantina from their website.

We’ve always been a bit suspect of the ginormous sunflower theme (what’s the name of that movie with the giant man-eating plants?), but we decided to give it a try. Beats having to cook and do the dishes.

There was only one other table occupied,but the menu promised AUTHENTIC Mexican food (again), and the owner had traveled extensively in Mexico – sampling and bringing back only the most exquisite and tempting cuisine. Uh Oh, we were actually looking for someone whose background included a few years at a road side taco stand in Pomona.

The food wasn’t too bad, actually – better than it probably looks in this photo. I’d skip the overdone Flauta (flower tortilla with beef) shown on the left, but my pork taco was very good, and Lou said his Carnitas dinner was good. At least they used refried beans. Probably give it a 6 out of 10, but definitely worth another visit when the craving for Mexican food hits.

There is another unique feature to this restaurant besides the man-eating sunflowers. They also have a mini-golf course – we’ll have to give that a try next time. That blue water looks yummy.



That’s it! Lil’ Shop of Horrors. There is an advantage to waiting eons for very sloooowwwww internet service to upload photos – it gives this old mind time to crank through the memory banks.

(And, just in case anyone’s worried about Sister Sammy – she’s a nurse, not a prisoner!)