Thursday, February 28, 2013

The West Coast Greyhound Gathering

As promised, here is a post full of photos that I took during the West Coast Greyhound Gathering last weekend in Solvang, California.  Two friends and I flew out there to have fun and to do what we could to help with the event.  We had SO much fun!

Solvang is a little slice of Denmark near the California coast, about 45 minutes north of Santa Barbara.


Thursday was a travel day. Friday morning, bright and early, we met friends for breakfast.
Paula's is so good, we ate here twice.
Then we went to Lemo's (a pet supply store) to hand out goodie bags to the attendees.







After we finished at Lemo's, we walked to the other end of town to see what the vendors had to offer.



There were also tables full of donated Silent Auction items.


The weekend's weather was fantastic!
Friday concluded with the Pizza Party, with raffle drawings and a live auction.




This lucky hound got a 'pizza bone'.
After breakfast on Saturday (Eggs Benedict with a chunk of avocado) ...
... we drove to a park outside of town to set up for The Solvang Streak.  It's a straight line course to run the hounds and clock how fast they go.

This bunny was the bait to get the dogs to run to the other end of the course.





The mayor's dogs had the ceremonial first run ... a blistering 5 mph.

Officer Charlie was responsible for measuring each hound's speed.
Reporters from two local newspapers were there to cover the Streak.  This photo of me, furiously scribbling each hound's name, age, and time, was published in the online edition of the Santa Maria Times.
We spent Saturday afternoon in town, having lunch and shopping the local merchants.  (I just realized that the only photo I have is my lunch ... no photos of where we went or the few things I bought.)
Caprese sandwich, with olive tapenade ... yum!
Saturday night was all about the buffet banquet.
Say "Cheese".


Saturday night's speaker, Dr. Guillermo Couto (director of the Greyhound Health and Wellness Program at Ohio State University ... the program that our 'Take a Bite Out of Canine Cancer' event supports.)
Sunday morning, the Gathering concluded at the park in the center of town with a short address by the mayor, a recognition of the senior dogs in attendance (each received applause and a goodie bag), and a ceremonial Final Roo.








Look at this hound howl!
After the Roo, it was time for us to pack up, check out of our hotel, and head for the airport to fly home.
We stopped to get a photo of this beautiful view of the coast just north of Santa Barbara.
I thought it was really cool how my iPad processed the blades of our plane's propeller.

Look closely and you may be able to tell that the white thing on the hill is the Hollywood sign.
Sitting at the bar, waiting for our lunch, watching the conclusion of the Daytona 500 before it was time to board our plane.
We had such a wonderful time, getting to meet greyhound folks on the west coast and helping with their event.  It gets us all energized to ramp up this year's work for our own greyhound event in November.  We are working on a putting together a really great time for our attendees and their hounds.  Stay tuned.
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