Dinner Cruise


The only thing better than a boat ride

and the wind blowing in our ears

 is when we boat with food!


So we were pretty dog gone

excited to head out

for a dinner cruise. . .


A little lighter fare than what is

offered on The Catawba Queen~



But something for every dog~


And people too~ a quick and easy orzo salad

and perfectly portable in a jar!


This orzo salad is my ‘go-to’ what’s-for-dinner solution that you can throw together in 9 minutes~

the time it takes for the orzo to cook!


Add chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store), chopped baby spinach, pine nuts, black olives, capers, sundried tomatoes and shredded Parmesan cheese~ mix it together and add Newman’s Own Parmesan & Roasted Garlic Dressing!

 Great served warm or cold and especially handy to pack in jars and throw in a cooler for a fishing trip. It will keep several days made ahead in the fridge.


And since it’s not a dinner cruise without a cocktail

we broke out the good stuff~

the Weekend Waterford!



It was our first official boating trip

this season besides our Love Boat Cruise.


We took in lots of sights and

checked on the nesting Ospreys~


Boating with Dogs-001

Created in 1963 by Duke Energy,

Lake Norman is 34 miles long

with 520 miles of shoreline.


Evening or early morning is our preferred

time to boat and to take in the sights

when it’s not super crowded~


And admire some

beautiful homes~



Gracie is our scent hound~



And Chloe is our food hound~


Always hounding us for food :)








The only photo you’re likely to see of me taken

unintentionally with my ball cap

on and camera in hand :)


Boating with Dogs1-001

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  57 comments for “Dinner Cruise

  1. Deb
    June 5, 2013 at 6:06 am

    Beautiful post… Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. June 5, 2013 at 6:17 am

    The Weekend Waterford cups are a hoot! I definitely have to make that salad for our lazy weekends at the lake. Love the pups ;o)

  3. Sandi Lee
    June 5, 2013 at 6:56 am

    The dogs are definitely having a wonderful time. Big Lots has some great treats for $2 a box that have a cat shape and a mailman shape treat in the box. I will send you the name as soon as I can remember it-sorry Senior moment.

  4. June 5, 2013 at 7:26 am

    I love when you do picnics and dinner cruises, Mary. J and I both thoroughly enjoyed this post. A great way to begin our day.

  5. June 5, 2013 at 7:30 am

    How you get those doggie photos is beyond me. My pooch generally has no interest in being photographed. It looks like Chloe and Gracie are ready for summer with their shorter cuts.

  6. celeste meehan
    June 5, 2013 at 7:53 am

    mary – you exist! we’ve seen your shadow – lol.

  7. Kathi
    June 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I just want to shower those pooches with smooches!!! So adorable. Your cruise around the lake looks so relaxing and refreshing. Thanks for sharing!
    xoxo Kathi

  8. Cheryl
    June 5, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Your boat posts are always wonderful, and this one does not fail. It’s an added bonus when doggies are included. They are beautiful girls!

  9. Carol
    June 5, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Hey Mary! Love the pictures!! I am jealous that you made our favorite orzo salad and forgot to invite us along on the voyage!! KB loves the jars!

  10. Paula
    June 5, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Your puppies are a hoot, made me giggle !! TOOO cute !! they stole the show!!
    A dinner cruise would be so nice! Thanks for the info on the lake, I didn’t ever think it was that big, wow!
    Have a super day!

  11. June 5, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Morning Mary – what a wonderful post! The pups are adorable and certainly have their sea legs! Love the orzo salad. Just in time for our travel food as we motor to meet up with my sis and brother in law for a camping trip. Now to hunt for the Weekend Waterford glasses – how fun!

  12. June 5, 2013 at 8:57 am

    How much fun, your dogs are too adorable! You have captured their little personalities so well in your photos I feel I can almost reach out and pet them! I can’t wait to try that salad dressing, I love to have a good one on hand~love the weekend Waterford too, hilarious! Happy boating, tis the season!

  13. Jeannie
    June 5, 2013 at 9:11 am

    It looks like a perfect ending to your day and a wonderful way to start ours. What wonderful boating companions Gracie and Chloe make! Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. June 5, 2013 at 9:16 am

    What fun! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  15. June 5, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I can feel the wind on your faces and the excitement of one of the first excursions of a new summer. The beautiful homes and sights of birds and the pleasure of each others company comes through the pages. Thank you for taking us along. Mary, I would love to see you too. I remember when Jacqueline came out from under her mixer and how fun it was to see her. I had her pictured as a brunette. I always want to see the setting where my kids are when they move to a new place so I can visualize their lives. We would receive a gift if you would allow us to see you. I know I am in trouble now.

  16. June 5, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Oh my! One more thing we have in common! My sweet lil white SophieJane would be besties with your Gracie and Chloe!! Awesome shots you got there….perfect soft light, perfect time of day. And hey! A ball app is a photographers uniform!!! Thanks for the smile this am!!

  17. June 5, 2013 at 9:34 am

    so the photo of you with the ball cap and camera has got to be my favorite.. what great light.. Well then of course the two sweet pooches steal the show. I love how cuddly they are. The weekend waterford is wonderful! must find some of those. Looks like a fun trip. xo marlis

  18. June 5, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I would love to know where you got those cute doggie treats. We have a Goldendoodles named Sophie and she loves treats. We have not ventured out on our boat with her though. Salad looks yummy!

  19. June 5, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Fun pictures! I especially love the one with the one licking her/his mouth- as to say “yum”! Beautiful homes and great photography. I have no idea why you wouldn’t want your picture taken. With your handsome husband, cutest dogs and the talent you exude, there is no way you are some unattractive person! Give in!! :-) Liz

  20. June 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Thanks for the orzo recipe…I just made orzo for the first time the other night and the husband flipped over it…said it’s better then rissotto…so I will try this version….also love the red polka dot silverware of ofcourse your adorable dogs!

  21. June 5, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I love to start my day with your posts, Mary! As you know, pontoon boats are my favorite and yours is fabulous. The dogs are the pertfect “cruising companions”!!! The salad sounds wonderful, could be dinner soon. Too bad we can’t take it on a cruise:) The homes along the lake are amazing!!!! Have a great day. LOVED seeing the shot of you, you are the mystery woman in blogland:):) XO, Pinky

  22. June 5, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I would love a boat ride with good food and delish treats. I am imagining me out on the boat and looking at beautiful houses and enjoying the water. We haven’t had our boat out yet.

  23. June 5, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I love your posts and also get inspired every morning when I read them! Your photos are always amazing and your girls are so much like our Hunter and his cousin Lily. I’m going to make that salad in a couple of days.
    Have a delightful day!

  24. Skip Weathers
    June 5, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I really enjoyed your photos today, Mary. Your dogs are darling!

  25. June 5, 2013 at 11:56 am

    The Girls crack me up Mary! Looks like you all had a blast and you can pour me a drink in the Weekend Waterford any time:@)

  26. June 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Those darling pups look like they are salty dogs, indeed! They seem to love being on the water. BTW… I don’t have that Waterford pattern, but now I’m looking for it! So cute, Mary!

  27. Jeannie Steen
    June 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Love your posts …the photos are wonderful : )

  28. June 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Oh Mary, what a beautiful dinner cruise. I just LOVE your daring dogs! They look like they are always ready to go on a cruise. Great pictures also.
    Glad that you had a wonderful cruise.

  29. Bonbongirl
    June 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Your posts are my absolute fave- the pictures, ideas, recipes, tablescapes, etc. never cease to disappoint. Keep up the good work and enjoy life at the lake!

  30. June 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    So much fun….and the girls as usual, so adorable…love the photos of Gracie ‘scenting’ and Chloe looking for food…

  31. linda kemp
    June 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Love, love, love these precious dogs and the orzo salad!

  32. June 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Love the red checks but here your babies stole the post as it were. I made some orzo salad last week too.

  33. June 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Gracie and Chloe are the perfect companions for your boating trip!! Your salad sounds perfect and I love the “Waterford” cups!!!

  34. June 5, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I always love seeing your adorable dogs perched on their hind legs in your boat :) What a wonderful idea for orzo salad with the rotisserie chicken and Newman’s dressing. I must try it!

    Your lake reminds me of Lake Oconee in Georgia and the boat cruises we go on when we visit our friends there. A wonderful way to spend an early evening with cocktails :)

  35. June 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    so so sooooooo much to love! first, the girls are priceless, sniffing, snorkling and scoping out the food, they are just in the peak of photogenic antics for you this trip! and then second, third, fourth, etc,, the bird shots, and the gorgeous homes and the food and the boats, and of course the gorgoeus photography and even the self portrait, all very fun, very summer, very jealous~

  36. June 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    The girls look so happy on their cruise. Summer is here! I’m going to try your orzo salad — sounds wonderful and perfect for the hot days of summer. xx

  37. Carolyn
    June 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    I know that shadow anywhere! As elusive as a unicorn.

  38. June 5, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Always great seeing the antics of Chloe and Gracie…love those two!…Wow..loved seeing those gorgeous homes on the lake…We just purchased another “boat tour” of Jordan Lake…but no houses on the lake to swoon over, just beautiful shorelines and wildlife…Love your “weekend Waterford”…Glad you are starting to enjoy your summer on the lake…!

  39. June 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    “Weekend Waterford” is so much better than a red solo cup! Loved seeing the photos of the girls enjoying their cruise! Happy times!

  40. June 6, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Gracie and Chloe are so cute. I am going to steal your idea for using jars for picnics. We love to eat on the boat! But we also love Nibblers (float through restaurant) and Chuck’s Pizza.

    I’ll try your orzo salad recipe soon! Thanks for posting it! It does sound very simple, and simple’s best during the weekends!


  41. Rattlebridge Farm
    June 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    An absolutely delightful trip, filled with glimpses of your world. We will enjoy this recipe many times over. My scent-hounds say hello to yours. ;-)

  42. June 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Altho, your post is beautiful, your puppies are the scene stealers. I can’t find anywhere on your blog what breed they are.

    • June 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      Thank you, they’re Bichons, there is a tag at the bottom of the post but it’s small :)

  43. June 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I came over because Michael of Rattlebridge pinned this. I thought I was coming for the orzo, but the dogs are a bonus.

  44. June 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    You know how to boat in style! Love the Weekend Waterford cups.and I can’t wait to make the orzo salad. It sounds and looks delicious. I always get a giggle at Chloe and Gracie looking out over the water. So cute! Have a great weekend.

  45. Sandi Lee
    June 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    The cat and mailman treats are made by blue Dog Bakery and Big Lots has them for the best price although I see them at TJMaxx and Marshall’s too. There are low fat ones as well. Sorry it took me a while to remember the name. My dogs love them.

  46. June 7, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    What an entertaining post!!! The dogs are sooo cute – my dog hates getting her picture taken. I love the Weekend Waterford! You have such a talent for making absolutely everything look so wonderful – that photo of the basket with the different red checked items along with the polka dot flatware is the cutest!! Have to pin it to my Picnic board!

  47. Ann
    June 8, 2013 at 12:08 am

    That’s the nicest picnic I believe I’ve ever seen. In style with those cups!!! The jars with the salad looks luscious and the dinnerware so pretty. The homes look gorgeous along the shore–what a perfect place to be.

  48. June 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    What a nice dinner cruise. Your orzo salad sounds yummy, I will have to try this at home. And I love your cute puppy dogs. Beautiful water scenes and lovely photos. Thanks for sharing your day. Have a happy week!

  49. June 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    LOL I laughed at the first picture and for most of the way through. LOVED this cute post ! :)

  50. June 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Beautiful! Wonderful photos and your sweet puppies are so adorable! Have a great week. Pamela

  51. A Garden of Threads
    June 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Looks like a wonderful time was had by all:) The salad looks yummy.

  52. Lavender Cottage
    June 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I enjoyed your post, from the furbabies and their boat behaviour to the sights along the way. My dog would have his head in the picnic basket too.

  53. June 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I don’t know what had me laughing more, the Weekend Waterford or your sweet baby with its little nose stuck way in the air. Fabulous pics and post. Wish I was there! And thanks for sharing that Orzo Salad recipe. Love.

    I would love for you to post this at my Linky Party Home{work} Wednesday.Home{work}

    Thanks for sharing, Barb

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