Sunday, October 2, 2011

Leaf Peeping, Wine...The Perfect Day

The perfect day began with a Groupon and e mail early this summer. The daily deal was a wine tasting, cheese and chocolate for two at the Chateau St Croix vineyard in Wisconsin. Mark and I visited last year and had a fantastic time. We knew we wanted to return with friends. I sent Jenny an e-mail shout out - "Hey.... let's buy this and go."

Late this summer Jenny proposed three October Saturday's to spend the day doing some Minnesota wine tasting. This was the Saturday. The plan - get relatives to watch our children, get a room in Stillwater, head up Highway 95 to a handful of local vineyards, and return to town for dinner.

Yesterday we started our perfect day with a quick lunch at Chipotle in Stillwater, then set off on our adventure. The sun was shining. The leaves were brilliant. The air was crisp. The company was enjoyable.

Initially, the plan was to go as far as Highway 8, then jog west to Chisago City, making our first stop the Wine Haven vineyard. After turning, we only made it a few miles down the road when we happened upon the Crossroads Bar in the tiny town of Shafer. I yelled to Jeremy, "Wait! Turn off!! RIGHT HERE!"

Jeremy hit the brakes and made a louie. The timing was perfect for Bloody Mary's and tap beer from plastic keg cups.

The men made an executive decision to skip Wine Haven, and head directly to St. Croix Falls. Soon we were at Chateau St Croix, with wine in hand.

Jenny and Jeremy Lyons.

Outstanding friends. Outstanding day.

Relax! Laugh! Smile!

Sip - Drink!

I had created a wine tasting outfit to perfectly reflect my carefree, happy mood for the day -Flirty flower dress purchased from Marshall's that morning, cashmere wrap purchased at a second hand shop in Park City, Utah years ago when I was pregnant with the twinners, tights, and my favorite brown leather boots I picked up last year for $30 on uber-clearance at DSW.

After a bottle of wine, we crossed back over the St. Croix River and headed to the Wild Mountain Vineyard outside of Taylors Falls. After a wrong turn, circling back into town, and back out, we were finally seated for tasting. We enjoyed talking with two of the three owners about their very first season as entrepreneurs in the wine industry.

We purchased a bottle, and saddled up.

We stopped at a field approach somewhere between Taylors Falls and Stillwater, trespassed onto a farmer's hay bales, sipped wine, and watched the sun go down on a glorious fall day.

Our men!

We returned to Stillwater for 8 pm dinner reservations at Reve 324, where the talk and pleasure of the carefree day continued into the night......a cocktail up the street.....a return to our room with chatter about all the moments we loved throughout our day....

We woke in the morning with memories to last until we can do it AGAIN next year!

1 comment:

Jen Lyons said...

We TOTALLY have to do this again next year! SUCH a fun time with great friends!

You forgot to mention our spur of the moment decision on the way to the hotel to try sliders at White Castle for the first time....although we all probably want to forget the way we were still tasting them the next morning! :-)

Love you!


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