Masters 2014

Stardate 91872.03   aka   8 April 2014

(photos to come when WordPress is working correctly)

My friend, Nikki and I went to the Masters today. First time for me and first time for her to actually take it all in. We started our day off extra early meeting at Kroger to carpool over to the free parking near the gates. I had picked up juice the night before and then picked up some HOT NOW Krispy Kream doughnuts for breakfast. We drove over and end up in the 3rd row in B-13 and just hung out – talked and ate – til it was time for the gate to start opening. Purchased a lanyard for $5 that goes to Lydia’s Project to hold our passes on our way to the gate.

First place we hit was the bathroom which was very nice. Great people greeting you everywhere you walk. Decided to go ahead into the Golf Shop to get that out of the way. I originally went in planning on just a key chain but wanted to see what else they had. I ended up walking out with: a glass with the winners from the beginning to 2013, key chain, set of magnets, tshirt, Golf bear, and a beautiful 1933 golf course plate for my parents. Nikki had a hard time deciding on a hat: white or gray or white or blue?! LoL She ended up on the white. LoL Before checking out we decided to check out this upper section of the store which I’m going to call the “high dollar” area. Beautiful tops and purses but WAY out of my price range. We were stuck going around at one time and for some reason I started to talk about Captain America. This security guard in front of us turned around and was like, “did you call my name?” I about died laughing when I saw his security guard shield.

We headed out to the golf course to start enjoying the landscape. Took photos in front of the big leader board. Then headed out to one of the holes. Don’t remember which golfers walked by as we kept having to try to see names on the back of the caddy’s uniform to know who was who.

We made our way to Founder’s Circle to get our free photo taken. I really liked the card system they have so hopefully some time in the next few days I’ll have my photo to download. Afterwards we headed over to the picturistic lake you always see. Unfortunately, we could walk on the putting green to get a good photo with the flag and the lake in the background but did the best we could. *SMILE* LoL

On our way back to the golf course we went down a road that apparently we weren’t suppose to be on but did anyone tell us we shouldn’t? Nope they just great us until we look “lost”. LoL So we headed back and Nikki ended up seeing Condoleezza Rice on a golf cart. Followed the course around down the 10th hole. Til we finally found our way to one of the consession stands.

I have to say I was very happy to see that the prices on food are amazingly cheap. I decided to try the Master’s Pimento cheese sandwich and the Master’s Egg Salad sandwich with some BBQ chips and a sweet tea. I was very happy to see I wouldn’t need to purchase beer to get the cool souviner cups. LoL Between the two sandwiches I very much enjoyed the Pimento cheese – turns out they use extra sharp cheddar and monterey jack cheeses. YUMMY!!!

When we finished our lunch we decided to hit the bathroom again and had to laugh as for once the line to the men’s bathroom was WAY longer than the nonexistant one for the ladies. I have to say it was pretty amazing. I saw the free phones that Justin mentioned to me so told Nikki let’s call some people and see what shows up on their phones. Tried calling mom’s cell first and accidentally dialed the last four wrong and got a wrong number. Then dialed her right number and got voicemail – later I found out it shows “free phone do not call back”. Called my parent’s house phone and my brother answered. I was like what did caller ID say? He told me it said, “Augusta Natl Go”.

Nikki and I walked around a bit more trying to see the whole golf course and boy were some of those hills rough. At one poing waiting for the crossing to open this golfer kept hitting it outside the zone. His second ball bounced off the chest of this guy. I was like, “Nikki, see all those yellow hats? Wonder if they are going to tell him you have lay down for him to hit the ball off your chest.” Thinking about it now though he would need to hit it from where it landed which wouldn’t be on the guy’s chest but at the time it sounded funny.

Before finishing our last leg of our journey to go out Gate 9 we hit up the concession stand again. I got three more pimento cheese sandwiches of which I only have 1 left now. Another sweet tea so I have a matching set up cups and some caramel covered popcorn for dad. The walk to the gate was a very steep hill. Holy cow! Really glad I skipped Zumba the night before.

Not long after 1p we made it back to my car. I started getting annoyed because my car isn’t unlocking. Then try to start my car and it won’t turn over at all. I’m like seriously?! Jiffy Lube said my battery was fine. Ended up having a guy in a small Kendrick’s truck come to jump start my car. Upside the doughnuts we left on the dash were still delitefully warm from basking in the sun for 5 hours. LoL

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2014 Spring Wine Highway – Day 3

Stardate 91845.24    aka    29 March 2014

IMG_2563Sarah and I started off our 3rd and final day of the Wine Growers Association’s “Spring Wine Highway Event” early yet again. We decided to try the Beringer’s 2012 White Merlot with our breakfast of danishes. We almost made it there when we stopped for some Starbucks for bathroom breaks and coffee for Sarah.

IMG_2565We arrived to Montaluce Winery & Estate 30 minutes late. But boy what a beautiful drive in. I imagine it can be quite impressive with the vines ripe with grapes. I loved the Italian looking villas that I’d assume maybe the workers for the vineyard live? I certainly would want to. If I was do an upscale wedding this would be the place to go. Gorgeous building that houses the tasting bar and restaurant. For that day they had free valet parking but we decided to park around back. They told us the gravel lot but we ended up parking right at the back and tried to go in these tall doors but they were locked so had to make our way around to the front. The inside is just as beautiful as the outside. Wall holding wine down the line of the bar. The wall breaking up the bar from the restaurant area had glass breaks with wine all hanging in them. This  stop they already had five wines for us to try decided: Mead 2011, 2012 Dolce, 2010 Risata, 2009 Baleno, NV Dolce Rosso. My favorite of course was the last one that was just for the Wine Highway event only, NV Dolce Rosso.IMG_4767 Since they accidentally labeled quite a few bottles wrong they weren’t selling it as they already sold the ones with the right labels. I was a bit upset about that but saved my wallet a little. We both hit the bathroom to see what it looked like. Then headed down the stairs to see what the rest of the place looked like. Saw a room that Sarah was like, “this is probably where you would get ready.” LoL Then she was like, “Look! Let’s see if we can go out those back doors that we tried coming in earlier.” I told her we probably shouldn’t but I followed quickly behind her anyways saying, “Stay in the yellow lines! Stay in the yellow lines!” LoL Once we made it out the doors giggling we got to our car and realized one of the valets was a few cars down. Oops, yeah they won’t know we didn’t make it to the gravel lot! LoL (more images)

IMG_2567Our next stop was Cavender Creek Vineyards & Winery which was has a very small rustic home feel out on a farm between other small farm houses. We saw someone’s truck stuck in the mud and they had a tractor pulling it out. The tasting room was like a beautiful log cabin. We had a very friendly girl at the counter that served us and had some fun conversations. Between Sarah and I we tried eight wines:  2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Norton, 2011 Homestead Red, 2011 Dulcinea White, Farmhouse White, Farmhouse Peach, Farmhouse Blackberry, Farmhouse Red. I have to say I really enjoyed the Norton, Farmhouse Blackberry (bought) and the Farmhouse Red. We tried a few snacks after we finished as well as the bathroom. Once we purchased our wine we had to run to the car because it started raining again. Ended up putting together our sandwiches in the car the best we could so we stayed dry.

IMG_2569We had a hard time trying to find our next stop, The Cottage Vineyards & Winery. The GPS took us in the opposite direction. Then when they gave us directions we had to call back a few more times before we actually found it. You don’t even see the tasting room until after you make it over the hill past the flags as the driveway was very steep. The tasting room had windows on all sides to over look the beautiful mountains and valley. One of the customers there told us they didn’t even know they had such a beautiful view until the owners removed the trees. The bathroom was downstairs and very rustic looking. There was a very young crowd at this one and one very drunk guy that was a “wine diva” wearing the hat and shirt. LoL The band playing was great and enjoyed singing along with several of the songs. Here they let us try four different wines but on the last table we could choose one of two. Of course with us we try them all. LOL We tried the 2013 Seyval Blanc, 2012 American Chardonnay, 2011 American Pinot Noir, 2010 GA Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Creek Big Red. I ended up liking the Pinot Noir best.

IMG_2573We almost missed turning into Yonah Mountain Vineyards but I saw the bears that are part of their logo on the fence. From the road Sarah thought the tasting room was in the small red barn. The long driveway takes you to an almost church-like building with high ceilings and a beautiful patio with a great view of the foggy mountains. Nice octagon like bar in the center. On the way in your can see what some of the vines are by the signs they have posted at the ends. I enjoyed the seeing the details on the sides of the bar are slats from wine barrels. They let us try four wines: Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Genesis 4, La Fin. I really enjoyed the Genesis 4 but not enough to pay $43 for. They even had a $100 bottle of wine that the owner of the next winery states wasn’t as good as how much it costs.

IMG_2576On our way to Serenity Cellars was beautiful farm land and hills which kept making me think of Virginia. Nice rock work outside for the sign, the patio and the tasting room itself. They had a tent outside to battle the rain and let us try two of four wines outside. Once you walked inside the tasting room was small but nice open spaces. There was a great musician, Jeremiah Osterman, playing awesome music getting us to dance and sing along. Two wines rated five from aroma alone they smelled that good! We tried their 2012 Traminette, 2011 Harmony, Majestic, Dolce Bello. The two I rated so high are the Harmony which I bought and the Dolce Bello which has Ghiradelli extracts. I would have bought a bottle of it except for the fact that it’s a small bottle. They had crazy fun wine glasses, tees, bibs, and onesies. When we were leaving this lady was on the stairs trying to grab something between the stairs. I asked Sarah what was going on and she’s like, “You aint been to a wine tasting until you see someone (in a leopard dress) on their knees looking for their gold tooth.” LoL Of course she wouldn’t tell me this until we were in the car.

IMG_2580We took the backroads again on the way home and saw a gorgeous, bright huge rainbow about the time we were making our way into Thomson. Altough on the way to and from the our awesome day we designed a great tee. Just hoping to get my friend Erica to draw up our graphic for it. The Wineosaurus. I’d tell more but don’t want someone else to create it. Just keep an eye out for a TeeSpring event. LoL

When we finished we did try the other wine Sarah brought with her to choose at breakfast, Beringer’s 2012 White Zinfandel Moscato and it was pretty good! Seriously can’t wait til our next wine adventure!

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2014 Spring Wine Highway – Day 2

Stardate 91827.62 aka 23 Mar 2014

IMG_4676IMG_4683As in the other post we had to “birth” ourselves out of the side doors of the car. At least that’s how I was seeing it. LoL We repacked the car and then headed up to the bath house to shower and get ready for the day. Since there are about 4 waterfalls in the campgrounds I wanted to check them out. Didn’t see the waterfall I heard all night until we were driving out. LoL We parked closer to the 200 foot waterfall and walked the short distance to the observation point. Really wanted to get closer but decided not to go to the other walk to it. We did do a little crazy hiking to try to get to the 400 foot waterfall but then we really did run into some slipper leaves and rocks. I almost wanted to try to find the other route to the top of the 400 foot waterfall as it’s part of the Appalachian trail but didn’t want to wear myself out too much before we really started the day tasting wines.
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 We decided to go check out the lodge at Enota Mountain Retreat and see what it looked like inside. They had some interesting jams, jellys, relishes, soap, lotion, etc for sale. I told Sarah we could have started a fire and did s’mores! I would take a soap and have Sarah smell it before she could see the name of it. She ended up purchasing a “Monkey Farts” soap. LOL Actually wasn’t too bad of a smell! Then there’s the “Naked Butt in Bed” had a berry smell to it. I bought a Vidalia Onion Jelly and a Smoky Mountain Surprise jam (strawberries, cherries, and raspberries) which I ended up giving to my mom as part of her Mother’s Day gift. After we bought our purchases… checked in as we were checking out we went to get our breakfast together to eat. Created a feast on our plates: cheese, crackers, bananas, danishes, etc. We were going to eat in a swing on the lodge but I was freezing from putting our breakfast plates together. 
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On our way round the mountain we came across an Ingles that had the fabulous Starbucks in the store! We saw this amazing olive, salad, wings bar in the store and thought this would be the place to sniff everything to expand our smell palate. Checked out the cheese in the cheese section and what a section they have! Almost made me hungry again.
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Our Starbucks baristas were very friendly. One girl is Italian and said she drinks wine with everything like it’s water as that’s her family way. Unfortunately not old enough to actual have fun with the Wine weekend. She asked me which kind I liked and when I told her reds like Cabernets and Merlots she nodded her head and said “I liked you!”  Then we started talking how the Starbucks plastic glasses could hold a whole bottle of wine and she was like “I really like you guys! You need to come back.” *SMILE* LoL

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IMG_2539After leaving Ingles we were close to the 12 Spies Vineyard which took us on some backroads. Reminded me of going to visit the Boutier Winery in Douglasville. When we came across the vineyard it is beautiful! Definitely another “wedding” vineyard. Gorgeous area. They had a bunch of cute signs, a wine glass holder I wanted because it said “I like to talk with my hands” which is so true!! There was even the “redneck’s flashlight” which consists of a piece of wood with two matches sticking out of it. LoL We ran into the other couple again and found out they called ahead and were IMG_4710open at 12:30 instead of 1p. They had some cheese and veal bites. One of the wines actually has a photo of their dog on it which it was named after. Samson is a very sweet dog with soft ears. Thought it was funny that the lady who was giving us our tasting asked if we were friends with the other couple since we acted like we were and nope just meeting at each winery. Said maybe we should exchange numbers so we can meet up next weekend. We ended up getting to try 4 of the 7 wines which actually meant we didn’t have to share one of the wines. LoL We tried their Temptation Traminette, Red Barn Cabernet, Revelation Red (bought), Samson’s Signature Rose, Lord Sweet Mercy, Bless Your Heart Georgia Muscadine, and Holy Moses Sweet Red. One of the guy’s there pouring, we think is the son of the owner, was pretty cute! *SMILE* LOL We also spread the word about Vivino and Winery Passport! They were very intersted.

 

IMG_4713On our way to the next winery we were a bit confused because Google was so totally wrong saying we were there and have to say this isn’t a winery…. 

 

IMG_2540As soon as we got out of the car at Tiger Mountain Vineyards and did our pictures or selfies with the signs we heard “there they are!” LoL Of course they were making their way out of the winery and onto the next as we were coming in to try the wines. One of the owners of the winery is very sweet and went to school down at MCG and was the first graduating class (50 years ago). He talked of how at the reunion that they talked about how awful the new name is for the school. That they would never say they graduated from Georgia Regents University. The lady who poured our wines was great! We chatted and had fun. Out of the 10 wines they had they only let us try 4 and  I do mean four. Sarah and I didn’t get to pick four each then try each others. They had already chosen the four we would get to try and by the end we both had about 2 glasses of wine as they were generous portions. We tried their Burton Blanc Viognier, Malbec, Raben Red, and Mountain Cyn (bought!). They had some fabulous cheeses and a fig spread. Sarah was very right in the fact that some of the blue veined cheese with the fig spread is amazing! Can’t wait til she actually has her restaurant at some point, hopefully, in the near future. IMG_4715After we finished our wines we went around back to check out the Red Barn Cafe, although we will have to come back when it’s warmer to actually try the Cafe. I have to say after seeing the barn and vineyards that if I ever get married I want to have my wedding here! Absolutely breathtaking and the vines haven’t started growing for the new season, yet! Seriously beautiful! Besides I’d love to have it at a vineyard that has the most wines I liked which this one did. Out of the four we tried I rated the three reds with 5′s! Although would have to make sure they have something my mom would drink but I’ll worry about that when I ever find the guy.

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I have to say that after all that wine we really didn’t hydrate or eat as much as we did the day before. So when Sarah really started taking those curves to get us to the next winery… whew! I was feeling it for sure. I had to stop playing on my phone, stop looking sideways at the scenery so I would NOT throw up. Seemed to have helped but dang. LoL
IMG_2541Next winery up is the Sautee Nacoochee Vineyard and guess who was leaving as we were coming… you guessed it! We finally introduced ourselves and talked for a little bit before they haded on their way to the next one and we headed in to try the wines. Joy actually added me a few days ago on Facebook!
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Hope we run into them next weekend. This vineyard is on a hill and has a cute tasting room with also a deck and sitting areas. At this vineyard we got to try a total of 8 wines (4 each) out of 10. They are: Sautee White, Nacoochee Red, Celebration (bought), Sangiovese, Luscious Red, Red Headed Stepchild, Sweet & Sassy, and Valley Mist. They also had slushies like at Hightower Creek which means a Peach (blah) and a Raspberry flavored one that had a strong lime taste to it.
IMG_2543Not too far down the road was our last winery of the day, the Habersham Winery. They have an amazing selection of wine items from glasses to trinkets. They also let us go back into where the tanks are for a special four wine with food pairing tasting. We got to try the GA Creekstone Cabernet Sauvignon with some cheese, the Cherokee Rose with small ham sandwiches, and the GA Chambourcin with dark chocolate. This was after we already tried 6 of the 8 wines we planned for. They even told us the tricks to the barrels which had me making notes for my future Vineyard some day… when I win the lotto! The MT on the barrel for the Cabernet stands for Medium Toast of the inside of the barrel. The TH stands for Toast Head as in the tops of the barrels. 2yr is how old the wood of the barrel is. Canton makes great barrels. When not filled with wine you fill them with water and acid to keep it sanatized. The three types of oak barrels from least expensive to expensive are American, Hungarian, and French. After we finished we came back out and had the last two wines. These are the others we tried: GA Habersham Cabernet Sauvignon, Scarlett (bought), Signet, Chalet White, GA Creekstone Merlot, GA Sangiovese, Heritage Red, and Granny’s Arbor.
IMG_2547Once we finished up and got in the car we headed into Helen for dinner before heading back home. I have to say I was a little disappointed in what it actually looked like. The photos people posted made it look so much cooler I’d rather go to Germany instead. We did go to dinner at The Troll Tavern. We ended up sharing a bottle of the Vista Point Cabernet Sauvignon. I chose to have some German fare and ate two different brats which were amazing with the bread and spicy mustard. Then decided  I should have some dessert and picked out the pecan pie. Afterwards I was regretting it up at the time it was delicious! 

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Once we finished up our food we headed on home to end a fantastic girl’s wine weekend! Totally looking forward to Saturday to visit the last 5 wineries. 
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2014 Spring Wine Highway – Day 1

Stardate 91824.96 aka 22 Mar 2014

winegrowers

The 2014 Spring Wine Highway event features 14 of the wineries in the Georgia Wine Growers Association. For $30 you can get a passport to all fourteen wineries for tastings, food, and a special GA Wine Growers wine glass. Sarah and I planned out our route and decided to start on the upper loop.

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Sarah came by to pick me up and we started off our weekend of fun in style with Caramel Nut Danish, Cherry Danish and 365 Blackberry Wine! *SMILE*  The wine was fantastic just wish Vivino would allow me to have it in there as a wine to rate. Afterwards we packed the car with my stuff and headed on out. We did a quick stop at my parents so I could drop off Mom’s iPad Mini to her.

 

IMG_2509On our way into Jasper to find Sharp Mountain Vineyards we come across a shiny Knight… on a short bus. Almost looked like a converted school bus. Two seater front with the longer opened up end hitched to it to carry the Knight. No clue where it was headed but very strange to come across on the highway.

 

IMG_2512Sharp Mountain Winery is in a quaint little house with a beautiful view of the mountains overlooking the vines. When you walk in there’s a nice bar with wonderful gifts to purchase. The lady who served us the wines we chose lives in the big house up the hill. She joked about how she was hoping for a shower before starting but there were too many tasters for the one woman down at the house. We received a list of the wines available to taste with them being out of two of the wines. She said we could try four wines. Sarah picked the bottom four sweet wines: Trebonnay, Carrera, Pickens Pink, and Etowah. I chose Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Collage. She would taste her’s at the time and I would taste mine then we would switch so in the end we tried a total of 8 wines. I ended up purchasing the Carrera for mom as I know she would probably like it due to the sweet flavor. I also picked her up a Peaches & Mascato jam. I got myself two magnets: “Screw It” and a “I decided to go on a liquid diet and lost 3 weeks.”

 

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Our next winery stop is Cartecay Vineyards. This location is absolutely gorgeous! I know Sarah was like really?! When throughout the weekend I’d say “oooh this would be a beautiful wedding location.” I have to have some kind of idea if I ever find the perfect guy to get married again. I want it at a winery. *SMILE* LoL The barn where the tastings are is very rustic and beautiful wood. They have an upstairs room that they served soup, cheese, cookies, and fruit for those of us on the Wine Highway could try. The outdoor area has a nice patio away from the barn but where you can have a great view of the vines and the mountains. They had an artist playing and a bar for you to do your tasting outdoors. At this winery we could try 5 wines each but of course we ended up trying 10 since we shared. Sarah picked out the Blackstock Viognier Reserve, Traminette, Chimney Blush, Peach Treat, and Chambourcin Dessert Wine. I picked out GA Creekstone Chardonnay, Heritage Red, Chimney Red, Blackstock A.C.E. Family Reserve, Chimney Noel. I ended up getting the Peach Treat even though I don’t like peach but bought it for mom.

 

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When we left the winery we made ourselves some fantastic turkey sandwiches to eat on the way to the next winery with veggie chips. On the way to Serenberry Vineyards the GPS started to take us through some interesting roads. There was one that we never beat the whole trip called Tabor Road. This was a very windy, gravel, one car road. Made for a very interesting adventure in the middle of going between wineries.

 

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Serenberry Vineyards is in a little white house that one of the wines is named after. Screened in back porch. Sitting areas outside to enjoy the great weather. We ended up sitting outside at one of the tables and the lady would bring us our next wines after we were done since we were sitting right beside the screened porch for her to ask before bringing it out. At this winery we were able to try 5 wines and with there only being 7 to try then three wines we didn’t have to share. Sarah picked out the Cooper’s Creek  Peach, Tipton’s Treasure White, and can’t remember the rest. I picked out Swan White, Little House White, Morganton Rose, Railroad Red, and Blue Ridge Red. I ended up purchasing the Railroad Red wine as well as a Cabernet Grape Jelly. 

 

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IMG_2525Our fourth winery was a Crane Creek Vineyards. Gorgeous area! Another wedding spot. Fabulous porches. Beautiful house. Lake with a gazebo. Views of the vines and mountains. We ended up doing our tastings outside this time for the most part. While we were there we came across a few couples that we saw at the other wineries. Turns out the one we kept running into all weekend took the same Tabor Rd that we did. LOL Even told us they called ahead to see if any of the wineries were staying open later than the time on the website and they were. At this location the outdoor area we were able to try all six wines they had out there: Traminette, Vidal Blanc, Mountain Harvest White, Hellbender Red, Brasstown Red, and Sweet Sally. Then we had over heard him tell a couple to check out a few extra wines inside the house so we decided to go in as well. The list of wines for inside had five different than the outside tasting area. The girl helping us told us we could pick one each but in the end we got to try them all: Seyval Blanc, Enotah White, Villard Noir, and Brasstown Mountain Claret (I ended up buying this one). LoL This was also the first winery that we really promoted the two apps we were using: Vivino and Winery Passport. They decided they were going to look into those to help promote the winery. Plus, loved them asking if this was our job since we were taking wine label photos and writing down notes. Told them I wish it was but right now it’s just a hobby.

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We ran into the couple again when we made if after 6p to the Hightower Creek Vineyards. They were just finishing up but we still had to start. Of course since it was the end of the day the food was gone, the musicians were packing it up, and thankfully they still served us! They normally have 9 wines but one of them they said wasn’t available. Turns out a few of the wines they bottled just that morning. Sarah and I ended up just going down the line (4 each) and sharing. We tried the Trillium, Epiphany, Chatuga White (2 different years), Red Clay Rose, Deliverance, Chatuga Red, Dueling Banjos White, and Dueling Banjos Peach. Then they had two slushies. One was a raspberry slushie with the mix they had to go along with the Chatuga Red wine. Then a peach slushie that was a peach mix with Chatuga White. I ended up purchasing Chatuga Red and one of those wine glass necklaces to be hands free. I was so hands free that I kept sliding the cord up so all I had to do was bend my head to get the straw to drink more of the slushie. LOL Sarah was like, “I don’t know you.” LoL 

 

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IMG_2533After we finished that last winery we went on to find our campground for the night at Enota Mountain Retreat. We got our envelope since they already closed so we knew where to sleep and shower at. Once we figured that out we headed back into town to find some warm food. Ended up at Daniel’s Steak House because Sarah saw steak. Of course by the time we got there it was 30 mins to close but the lady at the desk said we had plenty of time. We realized after we started stuffing our faces that of course we did because there wasn’t much there to eat. I ended up doing more of a pasta salad adding cheese and bacos, country fried steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, and rolls. Dessert wasn’t great at all. The only one that showed promise was the sugar free. Once we finished we headed on back to our campground and ended up going a different way than we originally arrived. We picked our camping spot and laid out our bedding in the back of Sarah’s car. Have to say that was very interesting. All through the night we both kept tossing and turning. I’d wake up and she’s sound asleep. She would wake up and I was sound asleep. Both of us waking thinking is it morning yet and nope still dark! LoL Finally around 7:30a I couldn’t go back to sleep so chilled for an hour or so before Sarah finally woke up for us to “birth” ourselves out of her car. LoL There wasn’t a way to pop the hatch in the back so we had to go out the side doors. Of course that’s when it started to rain and I had to use the bathroom with hearing a waterfall nearby all night…. (see Day 2).

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Fun Nights

I started remembering some fun nights I’ve had at my house which are coming back to me as I start getting excited about truly getting my house clean again… My name is Charlotte and I’m a pack rat.  I want to get it pretty again so I can do more parties it’s been a few years.

I really want to do a wine tasting and fondue party as I want to rate more wines and would love to try wines of what friend’s like that may be different than my own.

I actually got to do a night like that recently with my mom and friend, Sarah. It was a chocolate wine night  that was planned in just a few hours and at the end we ended up mixing together a chocolate wine with a blueberry wine to make a Chocolate Covered Blueberry tasting wine. Delicious! Even better that it was on National Wine Day that we tried about 8 different types of Chocolate wines then the one we made.

One of my friend wine and fondue nights at the new place was an absolute blast! Borrowed two of dad’s new presents which are these stands that with a blanket on it became benches. Everyone brought their favorite wine and I made wine charms in everyone’s favorite color with their first name initial. There ended up being a bit of wine spilled but thankfully it was white wine only. We played Apples to Apples and laughed our asses off. Especially when mom and Aunt Linda started talking about the bumps on the bottom of the wine glasses wondering if that was for the blind. Then Aunt Linda started feeling the bottle in quite a suggestive manner which made us all laugh in an uproar as she said this is how she would decide on a bottle if that’s the only way she could tell. *wink* LOL

Another great night which didn’t work out as well as I wanted was a Martini Night that included mom and my friend, Courtney. I had recently bought a Cocktail shaker and from my house warming party I had received Martini glasses and wanted to try out some Martinis. I was hoping for more people but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. We each brought ingredients for a different flavor Martini to try. Can’t remember Courtney or I’s flavors but mom’s was a Cheesecake Martini. Mom doesn’t like the flavor of Vodka so next time will probably bring Gin but she kept adding more and more cranberry juice to it so she didn’t have the Vodka taste. LoL Thinking about it now it ended up being more of a Cranberry Martini with a splash of Vodka. LoL

So I definitely would like to do another Wine Tasting and fondue party. Maybe get my friend from school who does the Wine Tastings in your home business to come besides guests bringing their favorites for everyone to try. It’ll be one of those BYOWAWG – Bring Your Own Wine and Wine Glass nights. Maybe I’ll do more wine charms for their glasses. I have a few left over (after cleaning my cabinet) from the other wine night who never showed. We shall see. First step is making the locations that I can not just close a door on look good. *wink* LOL

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My 2013 Moments

  • Telly Award for Grits N Glory
  • 2nd Shockey family Reunion: Chattahooga, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, Fort Smith, Oklahoma City, Route 66, Vicksburg, Birmingham.
  • Met new cousins in person that I friended online
  • Worked on some amazing projects and met some great friends and networking
    • Honky Tonkin USA
    • Kingz of Swing
  • Quickly was able to get a new job after losing one thanks yet again to another friend.
  • Finally got cowboy boots thanks to one of my favorite dances for recital.
  • Thankful for another friend, one of my new ones, for hooking me up with side jobs on graphics and web sites like the Heart Songs for Veterans logo.
  • Getting a lot done on my genealogy by finding new cousins and going a little further back on my ancestors.
  • Learned how to somewhat use InDesign CS6 to design books and need to finish redoing the Shockey Newsletters for the back issues to be on PDF for cousins.
  • Thanks to my friend, Sally, I was able to find an ale I liked… Strongbow and thankfully they sell it at Publix. LoL
  • Enjoyed doing yet another fun maternity shoot with my good friend Amanda and family. Can’t wait to meet her little girl! :)
  • Hooking a friend up for distribution of his music.
  • Starting to enjoy country music thanks to a couple of friends: Ray Fulcher, Jason Miller Band, and Lauren Elise.
  • Spilt wine on my laptop. :(
  • Had seven colors of hair at one time: red, hot pink, purple, blue, yellow, green, red-violet.
  • Went to the Maxim-IZOD party and spoke a few words with Troy Aikman even if it was to ask him to take photos with the owner of the house.
  • Got a chance to do 2 DNA tests: mtDNA and Family Finder as well as getting my brother to do the Y-DNA.
  • Hung out with a few “Playboy Bunnies” at a Lifestyle club.
  • Hit the GYM hard for a couple of months and have certainly been doing Zumba as much as I can.
  • Received a wine fridge for my Birthday!!
  • Did a red carpet photo at the Maxim-IZOD party and the Shamrocks for Warriors.
  • Got a juicer to help with smoothies.
  • Enjoyed meeting Corbin and Stevie while filming some of the Freedom Experience.
  • Ran/walked my first 5k.

I’m sure there’s more but I can’t think of them right now. :) Starting a jar to for 2014 to keep track of my happy memories and moments. In the meantime, Happy New Year! Here’s to 2014.

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Washita Battlefield NHS

The Washita Battlefield National Historic Site protects the place where Lt. Col. George A Custer led the 7th U.S. Cavalry on a surprise attack on the Southern Cheyenne village back on 27 Nov 1868.

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My mom, Aunt Bonnie and I walked through the welcome center to learn a little more. Then we walked along this area that showed more about the local grasses in the area that the Indians lived and worked with.

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Despite it being the middle of summer the sky is cloudy and block ing the sun, the wind is blowing and a rain storm coming in which made for a cool day. We ran back to the van to get in before we got wet from the rain. And made our way out to the battlefield.

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Once we got out there we took a nice stroll along the trail. We ended up laughing quite a bit due to the grasshoppers jumping around. When I was out front they never touched me but when I was behind mom and Aunt Bonnie I got beaned a lot! *SMILE* LoL

I have to say the area is beautiful and to me it was really sad seeing the location of where they ended up killing all of the horses from the  Indians. *sad face*

http://www.nps.gov/waba/index.htm

 

 

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Oklahoma City NM

My mom, Aunt Bonnie and I drove out to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Mom had been back in 2004 with Aunt Linda, Aunt Mozelle and Nana Bessie but Aunt Bonnie and I have never been.

We walked around the outside of the memorial first taking in the walls that allow you to enter the actual site. The chain link fences with the mementos to the fallen. Then the actual still standing portion of the building’s plaza area.

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The site really makes you think and feel. Especially when you see the outside area for the day care. Then you walk into the rest of the memorial and see all the chairs even the smaller chairs for the children. I thought it was amazing how they put the chairs in an order of where in the building they were by floors.

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The National Park Service did a wonderful job on dedicating such a beautiful memorial to the fallen of the Oklahoma City bombing and to the survivors.

Here’s a link to more information about the memorial: http://www.nps.gov/okci/index.htm

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Fort Smith NHS

Fort Smith National Historic Site was a stop along our route to Oklahoma City for the 2013 Shockey Family Reunion which sits close to the state line of Oklahoma along the Arkansas River.

If you want to read about the history of the Fort you can check out the website: http://www.nps.gov/fosm/index.htm

My mom, Aunt Bonnie and I enjoyed walking around and absorbing the history. The fort walls are long gone except for a few feet above ground. The court house / jail is still standing. We actually got to go down into the jail area and see how they lived and how they spoke to their attorney’s through a cage like door in a tiny room with the door to the room coming straight from the outside.

I even joked around and made the Park Ranger pause in his speech when I pretended that I was using the “bathroom” area (pants were still on.. just squatted). LoL He said that was the first time he ever saw anyone do a photo like that. LoL Glad I could give him a good story. :-)

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We then made our way upstairs and checked out the history they had and what the jail cells then looked like. Also, what the court room set up was like. After that we made our way back outside and saw the gallows where they hung outlaws.

I even got a photo of myself straddling the Arkansas State line and the Indian Territory line that was several hundred feet from the current Arkansas/Oklahoma state line which actually runs through the Arkansas River.

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We walked around the park near the river and there was the First Fort located at Belle Point on the Arkansas River of Fort Smith in that park but we never did come across it. It may have been located up a hill we didn’t venture up.

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Middle Sister Wines

Mischief Maker

You’re a Mischief Maker. You like to stir the pot. And because it’s usually filled with one of your fabulous culinary creations, you have lots of friends. Maybe sometimes your schemes go a bit awry, like the time you tried to fix up your brother with Cameron Diaz. But whereas the rest of the world is gray, you are a brilliant, shining rainbow of bodaciousness. We toast your unquenchable spirit with Middle Sister Mischief Maker Cabernet Sauvignon.

I thought the above was absolutely awesome considering  I LOVE Cabernet Sauvignon’s. :) Worked perfectly!

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