Happy Birthday Cassie Gene!!
With that being said...
Cassie's birthday this year happened to fall on a Tuesday and not a weekend..boo for that! With her not living here and being able to be home-home on her special day, we decided to celebrate a little bit early this year and have it this past Saturday instead.
So, early last week we gathered up a few of the girls and began making plans for her special day. When we finally came up with something, we decided we should have a girls day and go on a wine tasting tour during the afternoon, and then to dinner that evening. This would make it fun for all of us to do together, something we hadn't done, and something out of the norm--perfect!
Ryan worked on the pool all morning/early afternoon and PB and I got ready while waiting on Rach to come meet us. Finally Rach got to town and and we all waited on the birthday girl and her grandma--who would be the one driving us! (We were responsible
When we first got there, we were a little surprised to learn that the tour we had wanted to take, was leaving in just 10 short minutes! We had originally planned to wine taste for awhile, then enjoy the tour, then drink some more wine outside, but as it turned out--not everything goes as planned! We immediately started scurrying around trying to figure out what wines to take with us (it is a long tour) and what else we needed. We got everything bought and headed onto the Grape Mobile (I actually don't remember the name of the trolley type thing!)
There were several other people on the tour with us; actually, it was packed; but we had a great time.
As we sipped on our wine, the "tour guide" drove us through the vineyard and stopped (a lot) and rambled off random facts and information about the vineyard and the wine making process...
~it takes 3 years for grapevines to produce grapes that can actually be harvested
~the "combining" machine (not sure what this was actually called) simply just shakes the vines to get the grapes off in harvest season
~there is an irrigation system in place but it hasn't been used yet--it was set up because of the drought in the 70's
~they are trying a new process of graphing grapes to shorten the 3 years/usable time span
~the posts the vines are on were pounded, not dug, into the ground, and the area around the vineyard felt earthquake like movement until they were all done
After we got back to the winery, we all headed to the bathroom to get the sticky mess of wine and humidity off our hands and then headed to the wine tasting area. We were given sheets that looked like place mats and pens and some information on dry/sweet, light/full, dessert, etc. types of wine. We then had to highlight the wines we wanted to try and so began the process.
We all basically picked different wines, (not knowingly) so it worked out really well. We all tried several types and flavors on our own and shared one another's, usually agreeing on which ones we liked and which we didn't. Overall, I think we were all in agreeance that we liked the sweet wines and the ones that tasted more "champagney" versus the dry/light ones. Also, we were NOT fans of the dessert wines--we tried several of them and they were all TERRIBLE!! I don't know if it was their alcohol content, which was 17%, or what, but they were not good--we couldn't even stomach the samples and ended up dumping them out.
After the wine tasting, we walked around the winery and looked at various things and ended up falling in love with their dipping oils. They make different dipping oils (for bread or whatever) there and one was an Italian flavor that we all loved. After walking around and snacking on the bread and oil (and probably clogging an artery) we decided to have one more glass while sitting at a table chatting. We finished that and decided we should move on to our next stop--we had been there a LONG time at this point!
We hung around outside awhile while waiting on our ride and then headed to the Country Club. Here we decided to eat inside in the bar area as opposed to outdoors, and we all enjoyed a delish dinner--Cassie and I ordered fish while the other girls ordered Club sandwiches of somesort. Of course, we also indulged in some adult beverages. :)
After finishing dinner, we were pleased to hear there would be a band playing outside on the patio shortly! It was the PERFECT weather outside by evening and we grabbed a seat on the deck, high up, where we could watch everyone and the band from the perfect seats. We all sat around the table, soaking up the perfect summer/Saturday night. We drank, chatted, and laughed for hours!
Eventually we decided we should call my wonderful fiance (who agreed to come get us) and head back towards home--it had been a long day! Once in the car though, the girls decided we should go out when we got back home...why call it a night so soon?! So that is exactly what we did. We had Ryan drop us off uptown once we got back and picked up where we left off at the Country Club. This part of the evening was short lived for this girl (I went home early), but the other girls stayed out the rest of the night.
I got back home that night (thanks to everyone who drove us everywhere!) and was giggling telling Ryan all of the funny stories and laughs we shared--mainly about our choice of cabbie!
I had a WONDERFUL afternoon/evening with some pretty special people in my life, and more importantly than that, I hope Cass enjoyed her special day with all of us!! It sure was fun!!
And, as always, the funny story of the day...
Cassie was chatting up a storm with our cabbie (we made her sit up front, hahah) and somehow it got brought up that he had been happily married 38 years. "That's pretty good," I thought, so I instictively asked him what the secret was. I was expecting something sweet, maybe a "never fall out of love at the same time," or a "we spend every Saturday evening going on a date," but instead he said...
"She's put up with a lot of bullshit."
We all laughed and thought it was so funny and so brutally honest at the same time! Who woulda known I'd get marriage's greatest piece of advice from a cabbie?! :)