1 My short day trip to Ohio started aboard a beautiful VistaJet Challenger 350 business jet. The flight was only an hour and five minutes, but what a wonderful ride - the aircraft was luxurious, and the crew was excellent. https://www.vistajet.com/
2 Once we arrived in Ohio, we were greeted by our driver for the day, Dale Ruggles.
3 And about 40-minutes after we landed, we arrived at the breeder's home in Portsmouth.
4 The name of the kennel is Fabelhaft. "Dante" is one of the breeder's Frenchies, Robobull Fabelhaft Inferno - he was the number-one French Bulldog in the USA in 2005 and the great grandfather to my puppies. http://fabelhaftfrenchbulldogs.com
5 And, here I am with champion French Bulldog co-breeder, James Dalton. James co-bred my puppies' litter with Jean Pierce.
6 When I saw two sphinxes outside James's home, I remembered my two Emile Muller sphinxes watching over the terrace at Skylands, my home in Maine. I actually got them from Portsmouth, Ohio!
7 The home was filled with beautiful dog collectibles. This porcelain collection includes Meissen, Nymphenburg, Rosenthal and English staffordshire pieces.
8 James also shows Japanese Chins. I admired this original painting by English artist, Lynn Brown, of James's champion, "Mimi".
9 Here are more porcelain and Black forest pottery pieces from Germany, Paris and England.
10 This is one of a series of original French Bulldog etchings by Kurt Meyer-Eberhardt (1895-1977). James has collected many beautiful items.
11 I was so eager to see the dogs. One of the first to greet us was "Ixora" - a beautiful show dog champion.
12 These two are "Treasure" and "Catabella".
13 And here are my puppies, "Creme Brûlée" on the left, and "Bete Noir" up top, with their cousin, creme colored Frenchie, "Summer" on the right.
14 This is another snapshot of "Bete Noir" - a brindle French Bulldog. Her name means black beast. Look at those bat ears!
15 These two brindle Frenchies are "Treasure" and "Sadie".
16 "Ixora" is waiting patiently for a cookie!
17 And, here is my puppy "Creme Brûlée" trying to join in on all the excitement.
18 This quick snapshot was taken just after we met for the first time. "Bete Noir" and her sister are just 14-weeks old.
19 Here I am with "Creme Brûlée".
20 The two puppies were very curious and very attentive.
21 I watched the puppies play for quite some time. "Creme Brûlée" wanted desperately to climb over this boxwood hedge.
22 Here are the baby girls having one last romp in the garden before heading to their new home in Bedford, New York.
23 Outside, I stopped for a quick photo with some of James's neighbors and friends. The street reminded me of Nutley, New Jersey, where I grew up.
24 Here's our driver, Dale, and his daughter, Monica Glockner, from Glockner Auto, which provided our transportation during our visit. http://www.glockner.com
25 There are several streets in Portsmouth, which retain the original brick paving from the turn of the century. Most of the homes in this area were built between 1910 and 1930.
26 Before getting back on our plane for the flight home, I wanted to see some of Portsmouth and learn what I could of the town. The day was sunny, warm and many of the trees were blooming.
27 The Ohio River flood of 1937 damaged towns from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Cairo, Illinois. Here is the flood mark on one of the buildings - it is at 14-feet two inches.
28 I wanted to stop at a few of the local businesses - the first was this nursery.
29 There were some lovely plants for sale.
30 Angie was thrilled that I stopped by to say hello.
31 I also stopped at the Wright Farm Center on 2nd Street - one of Portsmouth's animal feed stores.
32 They had these large, old-fashioned bins filled with seeds.
33 Above was an old tin ceiling.
34 They had natural one-bushel and half bushel baskets - I bought several for my farm.
35 Nearby was the Market Street Hardware store. I love visiting old hardware stores - they always have so many interesting items.
36 The shop was also an antiques store. This is an old store register with a drawer base - it was for sale for one-thousand dollars.
37 Many pieces hung from the ceiling.
38 They had all kinds of ropes in different thicknesses and weave patterns.
39 There was even a section of trains. My grandson, Truman, would love these trains.
40 Across the street was the popular Market Street Cafe.
41 There was a vast menu of sandwiches, salads and paninis.
42 I ordered a refreshing iced-coffee and then posed for a photo with some of the lovely staff members and James.
43 Some of the older sidewalks were also lined with brick.
44 Old storefronts are so pretty - the town retained a lot of the old charm.
45 Look at the large round top windows in this building - so exquisite.
46 Portsmouth is very close to Kentucky. In fact, the hill ahead is on the other side of the river in South Shore, Kentucky.
47 We were told a visit to Portsmouth wouldn't be complete without a drive past the Flood Wall murals by internationally acclaimed muralist, Robert Dafford. They portray the history of Portsmouth from the Indians to the present day.
48 The 20-foot high, 2000-foot long wall of murals are painted on the town's flood wall, which was built following the disastrous Ohio flood of 1937. Here is a mural of some early settlers.
49 Some of the early transportation included riverboats along the Ohio Canal.
50 This is a mural of Market Street, the street we walked on earlier in the day.
51 This mural shows a view from the Kentucky side - on the other side of the wall across the Ohio river.
52 Roy Rogers was an American singer and cowboy actor, who was one of the most popular Western stars of his era. He grew up in Portsmouth.
53 This is a mural of the great flood of 1937 - the major reason for the construction of this flood wall.
54 Here is a mural of the Portsmouth Railroad yard.
55 Portsmouth has long been a center for medical care. On the bottom left - nurses who worked at the Portsmouth General Hospital in 1937.
56 Branch Rickey, influential baseball coach, and inventor of the farm team system, signed Jackie Robinson to Major League Baseball in Portsmouth.
57 Steel-making and processing was a big industry in Portsmouth. This mural shows molten iron being poured into an open hearth furnace.
58 And, here is a memorial to Portsmouth area armed forces veterans. The original mural project was finished in 2003. Since then several additional panels have been added. It was a very interesting timeline of paintings.
59 This is the current U.S. Grant Bridge, which carries traffic on U.S. Route 23 between Portsmouth, Ohio and South Shore, Kentucky across the Ohio River. The original bridge was closed and demolished in 2001.
60 By late afternoon, it was time to head back to the airport, where we were once again greeted by the crew of our VistaJet Challenger 350. Here are flight hostess, Krystle Gomez, and Captain Philip Kalowski.
61 The puppies were a little unsure of the loud noises of the plane's engines.
62 Here's a final photo with our breeder, James. It was a fun day in Portsmouth, Ohio. The puppies slept the entire flight home.