Wine a little…it makes everything better

After 12 hours of traveling with friends, seeing beautiful views, getting a wonderful surprise, witnessing 50 middle-aged tipsy women hitting on our husbands, lots of mental math, a few (haha) wine samples and a baker’s dozen of bottles packed into the trunk…. we made it home!

We traveled with our friends Cole and Steph to the Seven Springs Resort for their annual Food & Wine Festival to work with the Laurel Mountain Winery.

Our road trip companions were excellent, and I wish we had a video of our jokes and conversations (and of the lady with the house-arrest ankle bracelet at the Stop-and-Go/ Subway combo…but that’s another story). We also loved them for their Costco Pub Mix.

Girls got the back seat…

A running theme of conversation throughout our drive was the quality of our hotel. The girls were prepared to stick it out no matter what – we’re pretty tough (we even completed the Warrior Dash this summer together!) – but the boy’s comments about the probable state of the hot tub and lack of breakfast options started to wear on us. Just as the trip was ending and we were starting to wonder if we should just camp in the car, we saw the hotel sign out the window….. and then we saw it pass us by. The boys shouted “Surprise!” in unison!

They worked some last-minute magic and got us an amazing room at Seven Springs – right at the location of the festival! We could have cried for joy – they had known for days and kept it a secret…and played up the ‘bad’ hotel on purpose! Sneaky…

We had two busy days of pouring, selling and manning the cash register (I was there with two ‘enginerds‘ and a math teacher, and guess who had to make change? Me.). Luckily, we had enough hands that we could take shifts walking around the festival to taste and see the sights.

Cole and his “Papa John”- He owns the winery, and even hosted a seminar comparing wines for CA and PA.

The Husband and Cole poured samples, and poured on the charm – they made splash with the ladies – They LOVED their dreamy blue eyes…and the fact that they were 25.  And Steph and I got our workouts in with bagging and boxing bottles for customers.

Matching “Screw it” shirts – We fit right in!

Though most of the wines at the festival were “traditional” Pennsylvania wines and therefore on the sweeter side, the Hubby and I were able to pick out two juicy Cabernets and two Pinot Grigios that were just right. We also got “The Fainting Goat” (loved the name…and couldn’t pass it up with my 4-H goat-showing past) a black cherry wine, and a bright orange mango that was bright, light and not too sweet.

“Groundhog Grog” was Laurel Mountain’s spiced apple wine that was a huge hit – perfect served warm or used as a marinade

Both couples ended up with a ton of great memories, more than enough wine to last us a while : ) Special thanks to Papa John and his wife Barbara for their generosity (dinner was amazing!) and to Cole & Steph for inviting us to tag along!

The Hubby even found some goldfish!

WINEding road trip

My husband hears a lot about my healthy cooking and new recipes. Hence, this gem of a facebook post from last night *Note: I was out late on a bike trip and just saw it this morning:

Goldfish, Cashews, Pecans, and a Coke…I’m practically a vegan.

Dinner of champions. At least his heart is in the right place.

Anyway, I’m pretty excited because after work today, we head out with our good friends Cole & Steph on a roadtrip….and it involves WINE. No, not while driving. Our destination for the weekend is the Seven Springs Wine & Food Festival in PA.

This is “The Gang” – Three of the husbands best friends from school. They came up from Columbus to hang out a few times this summer and are a blast!

Cole’s grandfather owns  Laurel Mountain Winery, and invited us to help him out at the festival! We love our vino, and can’t wait to jump in. The hubby is particular exited about sharing his thoughts with attendees on the subtle flavors he detects in each variety….but, in light of the state his palate (think the comment above), I don’t know if hints of “Welch’s fruit snacks” and “Mt. Dew” will fly with the customers : )

We’ll see how this goes….

Quarter Century….

I’m turning 25 next month and it scares me a little…

I keep thinking, “What did I want to accomplish by the time I was 30?”. I can check marriage and a house and a real job off the list (some undeserved good fortune there for sure), but what about kids, world travel, uncover hidden athletic abilities, develop a keen sense of style, local fame (hey, this is reasonable, right?) and my first million several hundreds of thousands in the bank?

There are so many inspiring young people around me, I feel like I need to truly jump in and make some things happen. Some things I think just weren’t meant to be, but a few of those I’m making a concerted effort to achieve. The “athletic abilities” category seemed to be the most easily attainable at the moment, so my latest goal is: A 100 mile bike race.

After my first Tri this summer

I’m new at the bike thing – I’m a runner that is branching out. But, when this opportunity came along and happened to be right after my birthday, it just seemed too appropriate to pass up: Quarter of a century, riding a “century”. My butt may never be the same…. but hey – I gotta check those “Before 30 bucket list” items off when I get the opportunity :)

*sigh* life was just waaaay less complicated in 1996…