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Weekly Paintings By National Award Winning Artist Terry d. Chacon

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On the Road Again! AHCA National Specialty 2008

My best friend Abbe and I started driving to Frankenmuth, Michigan on Tuesday Sept. 16, 2008 and we returned home Monday Sept. 29, 2008. We usually try to drive to this event as we usually have an Afghan Hound or two and my artwork to sell at the event. We prefer driving to taking a plane flight with the dogs and our trips are much more memorable when we drive.

We didn't plan the first part of our trip as well as we should have and had a very hard time finding a motel room the first night. Beware of trying to stay in Richfield or Salina, Utah if you have a dog with you, actually I wouldn't recommend any of the hotels if you don't have dogs. The first place was a Best Western, when Abbe told the lady at the front desk we had a dog, she said "Oh, you will have to stay in a smoking room!", Abbe quickly replied, "Why, he doesn't smoke!". She said the lady was not amused by her remark. As luck would have it she didn't have a smoking room and then asked how much the dog weighed. Abbe said oh 50 pounds or so. She said well, you will have to be very careful, Abbe explained that he had traveled the world and stayed at some of the best hotels, that she was sure he would be fine. So we pull the van around to the side door, unloaded our bags for the night and took them upstairs to our room. As we are leaving the room the phone was ringing, since we didn't know anyone in the area and it was after midnight we figured it was a wrong number. As we proceeded to feed the dogs in the van (Apache going to the Nationals, 2 youngsters going to stay at Shylo) and do some rearranging the lady comes out saying she wanted to see the dog that would be in the room. When she saw him lying on the back seat she said "Oh no! My manager would kill me if I let you stay here." So we went back to the room got our luggage reloaded the van and proceeded to the only other hotel in this tiny place. A Super 8. Abbe didn't like to stay in Super 8's as she said they usually smell of smoke, even in the nonsmoking rooms and they have tiny bath towels that are usually ready for Good Will! So, the only room they had left was a smoking room. By this time it was really getting late and I said I could probably deal with it for one night. She gets the room key we open the door and oh my word! It was like walking into a casino in the 80's. I said, I just can't stay here. We laughed as we proceeded to the front, woke up the front desk manager again and told him the room was worse than we had expected. He actually was nice about it and said, "I told you it was a smoking room"........ On to the next town which was Salina, by this time it was after 1 a.m. We pull into a Rodeway Inn, Abbe walks in a huge sign by the front desk NO PETS! By this time I was wide awake and said, "lets just drive to Denver". So we took turns driving while the other slept, when 5 a.m. came around we started looking for Starbucks. Those GPS guides are really great for road trips. After a latte and oatmeal we were good to go for a few more hours! We arrived at Shylo around 9 a.m. They were so surprised to see us drive in, they expected us late afternoon. Our bedroom was made up and we went to bed, slept a few hours. We lounged around all day, Stephen fixed us a wonderful dinner and we were in bed early so we could get on the road the next morning. At Shylo we also got to see a new litter of puppies out of Apache and Solitaire. They were so cute and such a joy to play with while we were there.

We started out the next day early and drove to Des Moines, Iowa. By this time we figured out that we should call La Quinta ahead of time and get reservations for the night, rather than trying to find a motel when it got late. We wanted to find a steak place in Omaha as the best beef in America is in this area. We stopped for dinner and then drove on to our destination for the night. La Quinta always takes dogs. Imagine that, it is a very nice motel, have never stayed in a bad one and they take dogs. These motels that would not take dogs were very run down and in the middle of no where. Go figure that one!

To pass the time during the days driving we stopped at Outlet Malls and some historical sites. Some were quite aways off the path we were going and much to our surprise, not at all what they were advertised. But they did pass the time, the outlet malls were all great! We can always find something you need at them.

On Friday night we stayed in Lansing, Michigan. It was a newly renovated Holiday Inn and they took dogs. We got up the next morning and leisurely made our way to Frankenmuth. There was a great Outlet Mall as you got off at the Frankemuth exit so we stopped there and shopped for a few hours. Two pairs of shoes, pants, t-shirts and some necessities, oh they even had a doggie shop so Apache got to go in a pick out some toys and some doggie biscuits for his stay.

We arrived in Frankenmuth at the Bavarian Inn Resort hotel. They were having Octoberfest and boy was this little town crowded. Loud music and people everywhere. We checked in and walked downtown for something to eat. After a couple shots of tequila we were liking this little town a lot more!

This is the Bavarian Inn Resort Hotel. This is actually only half of the place, it goes on forever. It is like a little city, once there, you really don't need to leave. I had to laugh as these people are quite the party people, even in the Fun Game Room area for kids, they have a full bar. We never went to these kind of places when I was raising Matthew and he had to go with me to dog shows. He would have loved this place, I think they had every game imaginable and several swimming pools. On Sunday we could set up our little boutiques for the dog show. All the artists were under the blue and white tent adjacent to the dog show ring so we could sell and watch the dog show at the same time. On Monday night we had an artist party which always brings everyone in for the night. Lots of wine and cheese for the buyers.

Artwork by Terry d. Chacon, photos by Wynne Kalish

Sunday night was the Invitational so I groomed Apache and showed him in this event. Unfortunately Wynne didn't arrive in time to get photos, if someone else took some, I can post one later. It was a nice event under the stars, but it did get very cold for the spectators. As an exhibitor we got to run around the ring several times so we stayed pretty warm. They had a nice barbecue and a bar for the spectators and exhibitors. Quite a fun event and a good way to start the week.
The week went by very quickly. I actually had one morning off and didn't have to open my boutique until noon so I got up early and went out to paint the beautiful river that butted up against the hotel. The reflections were so beautiful once the sun came through the fog and I was so happy that I had one morning to paint. I wished I could have painted everyday but that was not possible with everything that goes on during the week.

Plein Air painting by Terry d. Chacon

Photos again, taken by Wynne Kalish. I think when I started painting Wynne and I were the only people to be found outside, everyone was taking advantage of the morning off.

On Thursday night we packed up and started out driving back home on Friday morning. Stephen Fisher drove back to Denver with us so we were able to drive straight through by changing drivers through the day and night. We got back to Denver and Shylo Kennels on Sat. and they had a very nice dinner prepared for us by Bobby Ungar. If you ever get a chance to have dinner prepared by this great chef, I highly recommend him. He is the chef for Abbe's Santa Barbara party every year, just fabulous! They invited some of our other friends from the Denver area and we all had a great time. Abbe and I left Denver on Sunday morning and drove to one of our favorite spa's in Glenwood Springs. After having a relaxing lunch with margaritas at our favorite Mexican restaurant, we spent the afternoon at the spa. The natural caves are always so refreshing (after you cool down), and I had a mud wrap and Abbe had a massage. We then drove to La Quinta in Fruita spent the night and got up very early Monday morning and drove home. This was another great trip across America. The sites are beautiful. It is always amazing to me how quickly the trees start changing colors. On our way out, the trees were still green, on our way back they were yellow, orange, red even a beautiful peach color. If you have never driven across America, I would highly suggest it and Sept./Oct. is the best time to do it. Until next time, ENJOY THE ART! Terry d. Chacon
For those of you who do not know Abbe or Apache, here is the recent cover of the Afghan Hound Review. Apache was bred by Terry, Abbe and Pam and Lonnie Patterson, owned by Terry & Abbe.

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