Tuesday, July 29, 2008

vacation = SO much fun!

Nick and I had a wonderful time on vacation! It was just what we needed!

Nick and I left Lawrence at 8:15am. Once we reached our terminal in KC, we had a little trouble checking in. The "departures screen" showed that our flight was delayed and a lady told us we would have to rebook our flights because we were going to miss our connecting flight. After worrying for a while as we waited in line, it turned out that our flight was only delayed 20 minutes or so, so we'd be in Chicago in plenty of time for our connection to Knoxville. Our flights went well, and we didn't have too much trouble renting a car. We left Knoxville about 5:30. As we began to drive, Nick asked me what was all over the trees - and I explained...KUDZU! : )

Our directions were good...but the mileage was wrong, so our drive took much longer than we had hoped! It didn't help that the bridge near Grandmom and Granddad's was out, and Grandmom had to meet us in Tryon! We met at the IGA, and we saw one of the kudzu-eating goats!

We were relieved to finally reach G and G's house, and we visited with them for a few minutes before dinner. Grandmom made homemade chicken noodle soup, and she had some fruit, cheese and crackers ready for us. Yum!

Grandmom sent us on our way with a basket of fruit, and we headed for Green River Vineyards and Bed & Breakfast around 10pm. We had no problems with our directions - thanks to Grandmom's flashlight (which I accidentally brought back to KS!). We saw a fox and some deer on the way. When we arrived, we could NOT wait to see the B&B in the morning. It was too dark to see much, but our headlights gave us a glimpse at the vineyards and mountains!

Bailey, Peggy and Claude's lab mix, was the first one out to greet us, and Peggy and Claude soon followed. They showed us around "our floor" and upgraded us to the bigger room because we were the only guests for the weekend! They were SO nice, and we knew instantly that we had made the right decision as to where to stay during our trip! They left us with a bottle of Stone Cellars by Berringer shiraz.

We were SOOOOOOO excited! We quickly changed into our swimsuits and had our wine in the hot tub. We could just barely see the outline of the mountains! We knew then that our trip would be just what we needed!

I woke up about 6am and took a peak at the mountains - AWESOME! The pictures below don't do it justice! We really were right in the middle of the vineyards with a spectacular mountain view! I went back to sleep...and didn't wake up until 9am - when we were supposed to be eating breakfast! I had messed up when I set the alarm, but I ran upstairs while Nick took a quick shower. For breakfast, we had strawberries, blueberries from their garden, quiche lorraine, tomato medley, banana bread, oj, and coffee - SOOOO good!

Nick and I took a walk on their trails down by the water (creek? river?). There was a steep hill on the way back, and Nick had to take a break!

We walked through the vineyard, and we spent some time talking to Claude about the grapes. He was busy netting the grapes to try to protect them from deer.
Bailey and Trouble were there helping: )



(We found out this week that Peggy and Claude had to put Trouble to sleep the day we left - so sad!!)

We reached Grandmom and Granddad's house around 1pm. We made sandwiches and spent several hours trading stories. Around 4pm, Nick and I went to Landrum. I bought a cute bird candle holder and two bunches of grapes. We stopped at FENCE for a few minutes on our way back to G&G's. I helped Grandmom prepare dinner while Granddad and Nick chatted. We had filets, salad, twice-baked potatoes, and green beans for dinner - YUMMY! For dessert, we had peaches and blueberries over peach bread from Cooley's.

It was SO good to see Grandmom and Granddad! We were all in good spirits, and Nick and I enjoyed hearing stories and telling them about our lives and plans. We made our way back to the B&B around 8pm or so. We took a few pictures when we reached the vineyards...

We quickly changed into our swimsuits and jumped in the hot tub to watch the sunset. It was quite relaxing, and the dogs were nearby to keep us company! I took a shower, and then we relaxed in our robes and watched tru tv (our new favorite!) while sharing a bottle of Stone Cellars by Berringer chardonnay.

We woke up a in time to take quick showers and head up to breakfast. We had cantelope and grapes, french toast with caramel sauce, meatball, cheesy eggs, oj, and coffee. The french toast was AMAZING - Peggy said she dipped the Texas toast in egg and cornflakes!! SOOOOOO good! We chatted with Peggy and Claude for a while, and we felt right at home!

We made our way to Chimney Rock Park with little trouble - but it did take us almost an hour to drive all the way up to the park! It was BEAUTIFUL - and we had perfect weather!

Some of the trails were closed, and we didn't have much time, so we decided not to walk to the waterfall this trip. Instead, we took Peggy's suggestion and ate at Larkin's on the Lake. We shared some nachos, and then we both had french dip sandwiches - yummy! The view was beautiful, and we enjoyed our time together!

We drove back to Peggy and Claude's and quickly changed for our afternoon of tasting wine! Peggy offered to meet us at Rockhouse Vineyards, and she beat us there because we made a bit of a wrong turn: ( Even if it did take us a few more minutes, it was definitely worth it! Lee Griffin, the winemaker, took all of us down below, and we were able to taste some of the wine straight from the barrel! It was an awesome experience - and I learned a lot! If only I could get the hang of sticking my nose into my glass! Nick is SO good at it! Lee uses some of Peggy and Claude's grapes to make some of the wine we tasted - definitely a unique experience!

After buying a couple of bottles, Nick and I went to Green Creek Winery. As we walked up to the front door, I thought I could see a note on the door welcoming us. I was right! The winery's cofounder, Alvin Pack, found my blog and prepared to welcome us! He had a sign on the door, a personalized tasting ticket, and even a picture of Callie in the tasting room - talk about Southern hospitality! Callie, the woman who conducted our tasting, called Alvin, and he came over to give us a tour of the back rooms. He lived in CA for many years and constructed the winery from what he learned there. He showed us the special equipment made in Italy and a new kind of cork! We were happy he came over, and we told him we may have to give him a call before our honeymoon in CA! We bought 3 bottles - including the Chardonnay Rosso - the world's first red chardonnay!

We made our way over to G&G's around 4pm and spent the evening with them.

Breakfast - peaches and blueberries, poached eggs on English muffins, sausage, mango salsa, roasted potatoes, apple juice, and coffee


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