Grapehounds Day 3

This year we decided to stay until Monday morning instead of leaving on Sunday. The event organizer also decided to offer more to keep people here.

Fulkerson Winery played host to The Grapehounds participants as well as offering tours of the Vineyard. The owners son, who is the 7th generation in the family to run the winery, was the one who gave us the tour as well as history of the area and his family.

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It was interesting to hear what goes into the growing of the grapes in order to get the delicious delicious wines. Fulkerson grows about 28 different varieties of grape from Riesling to Concord. They still supply a small amount of grapes to Welchs.

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After the vineyard tour we dropped the puppies off at the Hotel and headed over the Corning Museum of Glass. We found out on our cruise back in April that we could get free admission using our cruise sea pass card. Celebrity still has on some of their ships a Hot Glass Show provided by The Corning Museum.

There were quite a few interesting pieces and quite a few boring ones. We enjoyed walking around and looking at everything and snapping a few pictures. We didn’t sit in on any of the glass blowing shows but we did see 2 of the glass artists who did the shows in the cruise ship.

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Once again it was time to get our wine on. We had 2 tasting tickets left so we stopped at one of our favorite wineries on the west side of Seneca Lake, Lakewood Vineyards. We don’t just like this place for the delicious wines but also for the funny guys who conduct the tastings. I believe that are the sons of the winery owners but I don’t remember.

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The last stop of the day/weekend was at a winery that wasn’t participating in the Grapehounds weekend but since we didn’t have the dogs we decided to squeeze in 2 more tastings. Torrey Ridge Winery and Earle Estates Meadery are sister wineries that share property and have connected buildings. The signature wines from Torrey Ridge have a Redneck theme to them. They were pretty good too. The Meads we tasted had a nice honey fruity flavor and were a good way to end the weekend.

After a brief respite back in the motel room with a cheese plate and some more wine we decided it was time to head out for some dinner.

20120730-135053.jpg the cheeses were bought at the Cheese Festival on Saturday, locally made, and absolutely delicious.

Our last meal of the weekend was at The Wildflower Cafe which is part of the Roosterfish Brewing company. I had researched places to eat and this was high on the list of places I found on Yelp! I had a wonderful glass of Lakewood Niagara wine and the Catfish Tacos. Of course no meal is complete so we stopped for ice cream before heading back to the motel.

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That concludes Grapehounds 2012. We are in the car driving home as I type this . We stopped in Owego, NY for lunch at this delicious taqueria. Las Chicas Taqueria is located in what I believe is downtown Owego. The good here was fabulous. There was a small outdoor patio area just outside the restaurant where we sat with the dogs and enjoyed the view and our lunch.

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We are about halfway home. So I will bid you adieu for now. If anything exciting happens I’ll let ya know.

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Grapehounds Day 2

Day 2 started off the same as yesterday, rainy and overcast but still rather warm. There one common theme around this area I’ve noticed and it’s a lack of good breakfast. We tried the another of the “family restaurants” I found on Yelp! and was not overwhelmed. Breakfast is the most simple of meals but I’ve found them to be boring.

Our first stop of the day was back to The host winery to visit the vendors and do our non-wine shopping. The hubby picked up a couple decals for the car and a t-shirt. I had my eye on some stained glass pieces to go with the 2 we have at home. Below is one of the items I got. I didn’t get a pic of the other outside piece yet.
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From the host winery we drove north to one of the wineries we’ve visited and like in previous years. Standing Stone Vineyards has a large tasting room and some nice ladies that do the tastings. We went there specifically for their ice wines.
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Next up was a new winery to us Hector Wine Company. As we were chatting with the woman pouring our tasting we found out she lived a few years ago 2 towns over from where we live. Small world. This was the second winery that was offering a bottle with a label specific to the Grapehounds Weekend. Another couple bottles found their way into the car and then off we went.

The final winery for the day was one of our favorites from last year and my how they’ve grown. J.R. Dill first participated in the weekend last year since then they’ve added a beautiful deck and started offering a small lunch menu out of trailer in the parking lot. Aside from the awesome lady who poured for us, who also remembered us from last year, and the cute guy serving the food, I met the owner. Jeff was out on the floor pouring tastings along side everyone else.
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After the tasting we went out and ordered some lunch and sat out on the deck of the winery and enjoyed the view. We were joined by some locals that had a Rhodesian Ridgeback that may or not have been pregnant. They were nice enough but I knew way too much about them than I cared too. We also were serenaded by some guy singing Car-e-okie.

Since it was still early enough in the afternoon we were able to stop over to the Cheese Festival at Shtayburne Farm. There was quite the crowd when we arrived which was surprising. From what I was over hearing the Festival was a bigger success than anyone had anticipated. A few of the cheese vendors had even run out of cheese to sample and sell.

We walked around and saw the sights. Spent a little time talking to the Alpaca owners and admired the handcrafted alpaca wool blankets and such. There were 3 Alpacas in the tent one of which was a rare Giraffe colored one, spots and all. We walked away with 3 different cheeses, Olive oil and herb curds, bacon cheddar, and a third one I cant recall the type of.

Back to the hotel for a quick rest and a couple glasses of wine and then it was off to dinner. We had a wonderful meal with some of the other people from our Greyhound adoption group at Seneca Harbor Station. It was nice to regroup with them and enjoy a meal and compare some notes about the weekend. The other 3 families pack up and head home tomorrow, while we have another full day here planned before we head home Monday.

I leave you with a couple pictures of the view we had at dinner out on the restaurants patio.

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Grapehounds Day 1

Friday is the day when all of the fun begins for Grapehounds Weekend. The host Winery is where all the vendors are and where the guests can gather and hang out and shop. This year the host Winery is Atwater Estate Vineyards. We did some browsing in the vendor tent ad saw a few things we will go back for on Saturday. We both also enjoyed our first wine tasting of the weekend.

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These 2 were my favorites. A bubbly Riesling and a Vignoles Ice Wine.

With our trusty map in hand we set out to explore a few more of the wineries on the list of those participating in the weekend. All that really means is they will accept the “tasting tickets” instead of cash for tastings, and they will allow the greyhounds in the tasting room. For most of the wineries the tasting room is pretty much the entire building on the property.

Our second stop of the day was Kings Garden Vineyard. They have a medieval theme to their wines, Wicked Wench, Sinister Sister, Red Knight, Royal Pain. A few bottles may have found there way into the car.

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Emerita Winery was our 3rd choice for the day. This is a new winery both in being around and as part of the Grapehounds Weekend, and is Housed inside a former church. A couple more bottles and a Chili pepper hand towel mysteriously wound up in the backseat.

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We had decided to drive as far north as we could go and work our way around Seneca Lake just to say we did it. By this time (3 tastings in) we were ready for some lunch. Ventosa Vineyards was on the list of dog friendly eating establishments. They were kind enough to allow the dogs out on their back deck which overlooked the grape vines and the lake. We sat and enjoyed a sandwich and the view before heading around rest of the lake.

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Another new winery to us this year was our 4th stop of the day. Red Tail Ridge Vineyard participated last year but we never made it up that far. Then had some nice wines and the ladies there doing the tastings were very friendly. They have a white wine called Good Karma I will have to see if it is available locally once we get home.

The last stop of the day was Seneca Shores. This is another winery with a medieval theme to it. They offered a great sangria as well as a really good and very different Blueberry Wine. Another few bottles were added to the box in the car.

After a quick respite in the room and then we were ready to head out to dinner with a local podcasting celebrity ToppieSmellie of The Smellcast. He was kind enough to drive all the way over from Pickle Hollow (a bedroom community of Ithaca) to meet us for dinner. We had a fabulous time talking and laughing at the little diner I found. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it screamed small town life.

After dinner we grabbed some ice cream and chatted some more before heading back to the hotel and parting ways. I will say the day was a great start to our weekend of winery hopping. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Grapehounds Night 1

Well really it’s day 1 and 1/2 since yesterday was our travel day.

The drive up was pretty uneventful. Not a lot of traffic, though there were quite a few cops out on the highway. We arrived mid afternoon and had a couple hours to kill before the welcome reception started at the Thursday night host winery. About an hour or so before the reception started this crazy storm blew into town.

Just south of us they even had tornado warnings. So being unsure of what the weather and crowd would be like at the winery we left the puppies in the hotel and headed over to meet the others from our adoption group who were in town for the event and get check in and pick up our welcome packet and wine glasses. After a couple glasses of wine and some visiting with the others we headed on out to get some dinner.

We planned out dinner based on the fact we were going to be on the same side of the lake and about 10 minutes driving distance from one of our favorite finds from last year. Dano’s on Seneca is a fabulous Alsatian restaurant. We had been there for lunch but wanted to definitely get back there this year so figured dinner Thursday night would be the perfect opportunity. We both ordered the special of the night the Viennese Bento Box.

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The food was fabulous. Since we had both ordered the same thing a woman I think is one of the owners came and asked if we would like them to make the 2 slightly different with the sides. We of course said yes! After dinner we decided to stop on our way through town for ice cream. All in all it was a good travel day and a great first night.

I blame the cosmos

No not the drink, the other Cosmos.

It’s been a hectic week here. What looked to be a normal run of the mill week very quickly went into a downward spiral on Wednesday. There we were minding our own business working away, when a thunderstorm blew into town. Normally this wouldn’t be too bad, I don’t mind a little rain while I am sitting at the office. But Noooooo, this storm had to go and knock the power out at home at around 3pm.

I can say the best part of it was that I didn’t have to cook dinner, the worst part was that the storm did little to cool things down, and no power meant no Central Air, or even a Fan to circulate the air. So up went all the windows, then the Hubby and I headed off to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. This time we honestly didn’t mind the almost hour wait since we had nowhere to be. After our lovely dinner Margarita included, we headed home to the dark house and the puppies. To be sure we would awaken if/when the power came back in during the night we turned on the overhead light. Around 11pm the lights came on and we sprung out of bed to close all the windows and be sure the AC was running.

For some reason I think Thursday was just a quiet night at home. Can’t recall anything special about it.

Friday Night was Date Night, and one of our local favorite places was having Lobster Fest again. We missed it the weekend before, and were happy to see they were once again having the special. It was even better since we are on the email list we were offered a discount on the meal. We both ordered the 2 Lobsters special and I washed mine down with a couple margaritas.

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Saturday was my youngest brothers and sister-in-law’s Housewarming party. The Hubby volunteered to bring some smoked pulled pork, and I felt the urge to do some baking and bring a dessert. My sister-in-law is gluten free, and the Hubby and I have been off wheat for a few months as well, so I found this fabulous gluten free recipe that includes one of my favorite things Nutella! 1 Bowl + 5 ingredients + 12 minutes bake time = 100% deliciousness.

 

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They were a Huge Hit and when we went to pack up our stuff there were only 3 left, though I am quite sure someone snatched them up. These will definitely be made again. My SIL knows the important parts of a party, Jello Shots!

 

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As a gift to them we bought a Cocktail Shaker and a set of 4 Martini Glasses. Which I put to very good use at the party.

Now we get to the “fun” part of the weekend. Emptying things from the house so we can the hard wood floors refinished. We managed to get 1 complete room emptied, 2 other rooms mostly emptied. Some things can’t be moved since we still need to “live” there until they start working Thursday. It was tiring work but will be well worth it in the end to see the floors shining. After we reached a point where we were ready to call it quits on emptying the house, we went out into the sunshine and mowed the lawn.

Naturally we had to balance the work with some fun. Sunday night we headed out to meet our friends to see their new abode and go out for a night on the town. Robert and Daniel moved to the state back in December, and invited us to beautiful downtown New Haven for dinner, we were joined by another friend Steven as well. Since this is their turf I left it up to them to decide where we were going to go. They are located within walking distance to what seemed like a ton of restaurants.

The first place we were going to go, which had fabulous outdoor seating, ended up having a private party on the patio. Well then let’s go to option #2 a few doors down. Wrong! The place was packed and the noise level a bit overwhelming, which seriously makes for a bad experience in my book.

That left us with option #3 which turned out to be absolutely wonderful. We ended up at Pacifico Restaurants. The restaurant was very cute inside, and though not busy at all. We ended having a nice table in the corner of the upstairs, it seemed more like we had the entire upstairs to ourselves since we were the only ones sitting up there.

Pacifico is described as serving extraordinary Nuevo-Latino Seafood cuisine, and they would be right. 3 of us ordered the same meal Pacifico Grilled Parillada which we agreed is Mexican for Big Plate o’Meat.
It came with Nuevo latino grilled skirt steak , jumbo shrimp, chicken and colombian chorizo served with yucca fries ,mushroom chimchurri and saffron mojito sauce. I didn’t leave a single morsel on my plate the flavors were that good.

After dinner we decided to head on over to one of the local gay bars for a drink and to see what was going on. The place seemed kinda empty inside, we ordered our drinks, and decided to see what was happening out on the patio. This seemed to be where everyone was hanging out. Can’t blame them as it was a beautiful night out. Aside from the company, the 2nd best part of the night happened while we were wandering out to the patio. We had to walk through the bar area to the back to get out and as we were walking out the door to the patio I see a cute guy look at me and just say Hubba, I was completely caught off guard and smiled at him, I know I should have said Hi or at least Thank you.

Consider this your warning, I have a parade Weds night then Thursday we leave for our fabulous wine tour weekend in upstate new york. I am going to do my best to post every night of the days activities.

Happy Monday!

 

 

Winning isn’t everything

But it sure does feel nice when we do.

It’s been quiet week around these parts. Nothing much to report about.

We had an enjoyable post Fourth of July weekend lounging in the pool, we also spent that Saturday with our friend shopping and a nice lunch. We brought them to one of our favorite places (which I am sure you have heard me mention MANY times) the Eveready Diner in Hyde Park, NY. These friends happen to live very close to the 2nd location that the owners opened but they agree that the original is still the best.

We went to the monthly Social night last week, the attendance was a little less this month but there were a couple other things going on that night. The restaurant in which we have the social has recently come under new management. This could either go well or not. Based on what we saw and ate I am pretty sure things will go well. They were super excited to continue hosting the social. They also have a new menu, and from what I saw and ate, this is a great change.

Tuesday was a fun day at work as I was invited to sit in on a customer visit for one of the accounts that I manage. It was nice to get away from my desk for a couple hours and even better was I was asked to also join them for lunch!

Weds evening since we hadn’t had a parade in about 2 weeks it was decided there would be a night for the Drum Corps to get together and play a few songs in preparation for the 2 parades we had later that week and the upcoming Concert we will be doing in August. I am not sure of the logistics of it but we will be performing on the town green.

Thursday evening I had the pleasure of meeting one of my twitter followers. TruckerAlex is just that, a Trucker from South Carolina, and he happened to be making a delivery in our fair state and would be driving through our town to get to his final destination. He tweeted me and said, I’m going here, is that near you? I told him it was on his way there, so we made plans to meet for dinner. It really was a pleasure to meet him, we visited for what seemed like days, but was really only about 2 hours or so. I would definitely meet up with him again if he travels through.

Friday night was the first of our 2 parades this weekend. This one isn’t usually too bad but it was humid, and for some reason didn’t move at the pace it should have. The post parade beer garden (or bull pen as we call it) is in the parking lot a church. Before the parade The Hubby and I had dinner with my Mom, Sister (who is also in the Corps) and My ALA (Alternative Lifestyle Assistant). The ALA is a great cheerleader for the Corps and attends as many parades as she can. I was a tired hot mess post parade, the black uniform doesn’t really help much either. On our way home from the parade I convinced the hubby to go for some Frozen Yogurt, it was Yummy!

Saturday was our usual day of shopping, was a short one, just Costco and Shoprite for groceries, with a couple stops to price out some new basement windows. After a quick lunch and a little relaxing, I packed up my stuff and headed out for the 2nd parade of the weekend. The Hubby stayed home and went to Gayme Night at our friends, which I joined him at after. The parade was 70 miles away, about an hour and half drive through NY to the PA border. It was a lonely drive but I had my iPhone on shuffle to keep me company. It was another hot and humid afternoon and not a lot of shade. Although we were missing a few members due to vacations and other obligations and being in the 3rd division, we managed to WIN Best Overall. I am excited to see what the Trophy looks like, they were on the back of a pickup truck in the parade but I not sure which one is ours.

Once we finished marching, I did a quick change in the field where I parked and headed out to meet up with everyone at Gayme night. It was fun as always and was nice to see everyone and meet some of the new faces that showed up. I’m not sure if it was due to being hungry, the 2 drinks I downed or the fact I arrived late but the night flew by and next thing I know it’s time to go home. I didn’t sleep very well as the dog we are housesitting was up and down all night.

Which brings us back around to the weekend ending. We did some work in the yard yesterday morning rebuilding the rose arbor. The Hubby needed to pull up the cement supports he poured 2 weeks ago and redo them as his original plan for the posts wasn’t going to work. We really worked up a sweat but the new supports are in and the cement is curing. I think this will work but then I am not very handy when it comes to stuff like this so we will see.

Although it was hot and humid out since we have our new HVAC system I wasn’t the least bit concerned with doing some baking. The first order of business was the Fiadone, a Corsican Dessert, this was my 2nd attempt making this. I learned some lessons from the first go round. The first revision I made was to make a double batch and bake it in a round cake pan since I do not have a square one. Maybe next time I will try the square silicone pan instead of the metal one. The best part of this dessert is the simpleness of it, but man is it delicious.

I also got a little adventurous with some pushing from The Hubby to make some homemade peanut butter cups. These were actually easier than I thought they would be, and super delicious.

We spent the rest of the evening watching the last 2 episodes of season 2  of Game of Thrones. All I can say about that series is WOW. There is so much happening and so much to keep track of but the show is great! Then we watched a couple movies, In Time (a Justin Timberlake film) and John Carter. They were just ok nothing fabulous really.

Guess that catches you up on what hasn’t been going on. I leave you with a pic I took not too long ago of the Sun Flowers we have growing in the yard, just to give you a day brightener.

The extra effort

If I put in as much effort into writing my half year work review as I do to this blog, I would be filling out that form instead of updating you all on my shenanigans.

We will get back to the fact I am in no mood to “self evaluate” at work, instead I’ll do something I enjoy. It’s been a week and a half or so since my last post. Month end at work came and went last Friday. Nothing catastrophic happened, I left on time, went home and the Hubby and I babysat our niece for the night. We went and did some shopping then dinner out. My brother picked her up the next morning and we went on our way with errands. We then spent a bit of time floating in the pool on Saturday, it was lovely. We did a little more floating in the pool on Sunday too after we did some yard stuff we have put off. The tomato’s needed caging and the hubby worked on the new Rose Arbor we need to install.

The best part about last weekend getting here was the fact that the July 4th Holiday was that much closer, and the fact that I decided to take Monday and Tuesday before the holiday off. I was originally going to plan to work from home on Monday as I had a Dr Appointment scheduled for mid morning. Then I got worried, after last years day before the 4th of July holiday where we sat at the office til 5pm, we would end up doing the same thing this year. So I took the days off and did a lot of nothing.

Monday was my appointment, I went there, brought the hubby lunch and floated in the pool, surprise surprise. We were supposed to go to the Monthly Social Night on Monday but they ended up postponing it until this coming Monday. Tuesday I got up mowed the lawn and then started to do some food prep for our mini July 4th picnic. That took up most of the morning, shredding cabbage for coleslaw and Kimchi. The hubby came home from work early, we ran out to the lumber supply store for the rest of the Rose Arbor pieces. Tuesday night my Brother came over to run some electrical and help The Hubby install a ceiling fan outside in our Breezeway. The fan works great and really does help to circulate the stuffy air.

Early Weds morning I heard and saw that there was a thunderstorm. The forecast changed it seemed like everyday on what the weather actually would be. More food prep in the morning, I made 2 different desserts for the picnic and just did the last minute stuff. Then everyone arrived and the Weather was perfect for Swimming and Drinking, and Swimming, and Drinking and Eating and Drinking. The pool temp was about 86 the entire afternoon. We had a great time hanging out, so great that it was around 10pm when everyone left. The food was fabulous as was the company.

Coming back to work yesterday was difficult. I didn’t sleep well Weds night, I think it was the combo of all the Sun, Fun, and Frivolity we had just made it difficult to fall asleep. Well that and the idiot neighbor with the damn fireworks at 11pm, keeping both me and the Dog up. The morning was busy but as I suspected the afternoon slowed and dragged. We had some last minute dinner plans last night to meet a Twitter Friend who was driving through on his way to the other side of the state. It was a pleasure to meet him and share a nice meal before sending him on his way.

It’s going to be a quiet weekend I think, usual errands, maybe some pool time, lunch with friends. Maybe I can convince the hubby to go see Magic Mike tonight or tomorrow.

Well since I’m done here writing the fun stuff, I should probably attempt my Self evaluation since it’s due by EOD Monday…..