Monday, November 10, 2008

Wine Weekend 2008

I left on Friday morning to meet up with my daughter, her husband, my friend Kathryne, and her mom and dad for Wine Weekend 2008. When I arrived (after getting lost and adding another hour to my trip), Kathryne handed me a bag full of goodies, including truffles and a music CD that she had put together just for the occasion. I also got a chance to meet her new kittens, Number One and Number Two (they haven't told her what their names are yet), who are totally adorable as all kittens are. We had a wonderful lunch at Michie Tavern where I ate way too much. The food is served buffet style on metal plates by people dressed in period costume. The drinks are served in small metal cups, and you can eat as much as you wish. The fried chicken was delicious and the peach cobbler are two that I would recommend.

After Michie Tavern, we headed out to Oakencroft winery. Oakencroft is closing permanently in December. I'll miss their wonderful wines and sitting next to the pond, which is right outside their tasting room. This picture was taken at sunset at last year's wine weekend.

This year we sat and watched flocks of Canadian geese fly in at sunset and land in the pond for a drink and a swim before walking over to the pasture across the road. I felt like I could have stayed here forever. It was so peaceful that I was completely zoned out in a zen-like state -- oblivious to everything except the geese, the ripples on the water, and the beautiful surroundings. After Oakencroft, we went to our rooms to rest for a couple of hours before going to a terrific Italian restaurant named Vivaci. The food was soooo good. I had the onion and mushroom soup and then the potato gnocchi, which was delicious.

On Saturday, my sister and her husband, son, and his girlfriend joined us. We started out at a new winery called Delfosse where I bought a bottle of dessert wine, maybe I bought two. I honestly can't remember. Here is a view of the land surrounding Delfosse.

And another picture of my daughter and Kathryne just outside of the tasting room.

From there, we headed to Wintergreen winery. They have the best raspberry dessert wine, which they were out of when we visited. But I did buy some homemade sourdough bread and pesto. Then on to Hilltop Berry where they make the best fruit wines and meades. I bought a delightfully different meade to drink at home.

Veritas winery was the last stop that day. We always end there with a picnic lunch accompanied by a few bottles of one of their wines. They have a gorgeous tasting room that has leather couches and seats, a fireplace that's burning when the weather is cold, and a huge deck supplied with picnic tables and benches. The view at Veritas is breathtaking, as you can see for yourself. I love it there. The barn in the background with horses in the pasture and a view of the mountains makes me want to stay there always.

Here is another view of the same scene from a distance. I was trying to capture the sun shining on the mountain where the beautiful fall foliage was highlighted in the setting sun.

I love the mountains in Virginia. Whenever I'm there, I feel like that's the place I want to live and never leave.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Curveballs of Life

I don't think anyone ever expects their life to turn out the way it does -- "The best laid plans of mice and men. . . ." and all of that. I expected to share my life with one person, to grow old with that person, and to become even closer when our kids were raised and gone. Instead, my life has moved in a completely opposite direction, one that I least expected or prepared for. I'm not complaining because the road that I'm on has had its own lessons and adventures that I would not have known otherwise. I don't know what tomorrow has planned for me at all, but I think the unexpected has made me a little more resilient and a little more willing to entertain experiences outside the norm of what I had planned.

I always wanted to grow old with someone that I had a long history with so that I would have the comfort of a loving and compatible companion in my dotage. That is not to be, at least as my life path seems at this moment. I don't feel sad about it. Instead I feel anticipation and comfort in the reliable routines I have made my own, on my own.