Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wines, Antiques and Covered Bridges

We awoke to fine breakfast delivered to our room.

Nothing fancy. A cream cheese filled pastry, a fruit cup, orange juice and coffee.
A very nice breakfast!

After we ate, we talked to Joanna about a few ideas for antiquing and dinner. Since it was Sunday, and most stores didn't open until noon-ish, we relaxed with the coffee. We were offered some wine samples, but since we wanted to visit other wineries, we chose to wait. (Wine with breakfast? What, are we back in Wisconsin?)

And now we take a break from our usual topic (food, wine and sometimes even weight management) and delve into a couple other topics. Don't worry. Food and wine returns later in this post.

We programmed a series of antique shops into Samantha, our GPS. She brought us to the first two addresses. Unfortunately, there were no stores at those addresses. At the third address, the store existed, but it was out of business. The fourth store ... well, we walked in and immediately walked out. It wasn't a store so much as it was an indoor garbage dump. And it smelled like it.

We gave up on the idea of antiquing. I decided it was time to start drinking ... er, sampling wine. As we drove out of town headed to the first winery, we drove past an old home (a old 40-room mansion) that had a small sign out front saying "Antiques." I drove past it and Tammy pointed it out. "Do you want me to turn around?"

Her response, "It's up to you."

We had been to five addresses, and all five were strike outs. Well, let's go for six strike outs. I turned around, found parking and we went inside.

No strike out here. A home run! The owner walked us around and we found a number of nice milk glass pieces. The prices were reasonable, and in some cases, very good. We ended up filling a moderate sized packing box with beautiful pieces to add to Tammy's collection. While she was paying, I noticed a small flier on the counter that advertised another shop, just four blocks away. We got in the car (which we realized was getting rather full) and I said, "Let's give this shop a try." Between the 40-room mansion and the second shop, we drove past two other antiques dealers (both closed.) We got out at the shop and entered. It was the smallest of the antiques stores that we perused on this vacation, but immediately Tammy found a Westmoreland footed candy dish. (Another score!)

I kept wandering the store. I was beginning to enjoy spotting the antiques for Tammy, but I was also on the lookout for books. I love books! I always have, and always will. And whenever I go to a used bookstore or an antique shop I look at the "classic" books. I sometimes find unique books related to nursing, or cookbooks from the 1800's, or history books. It is always a surprise what I find.

But I am also on the hunt for a few specific books. When I was about eight years old, my dad gave me a box of books that a coworker gave him for me. They included three books from the 40's, published in three different series. They were designed for teen boys, glamorizing the war and essentially serving as enlistment material. But they were fun to read. At some point over the years, my parents got rid of them (probably at a rummage sale.) I had found a couple titles on Amazon, but the tightwad in me didn't want to spend the $40+ so I never bought them.

Oh my God!!!!

Tammy said I did a goofy little "happy dance" when I saw those books on the shelf. (I am soooo glad she didn't have a digital recorder with her!) Twelve books, published from 1941-1944, for a total of $32.00! Of the Dave Dawsons, those are eight titles that I did not read. My dad gave me "Dave Dawson and the Pacific Fleet." But "Yankee Flier in Italy" was one of the books that I received. In fact, I still remember one of the characters, because he loved blueberry pie (which is also my favorite) and the book starts with:

Anyway, as you can tell, I am seriously geeked that I found those books. And for a great price! Now I am only looking for the missing Dave Dawson (noted earlier) and a book that I cannot even find referenced anywhere. It is a hard cover book, and "Don Winslow of the US Navy" is the main character. I primarily only find references to the comic books of the same name and the movies from 1942 and 1943, but a deeper look shows that Gaylord DuBois ghost wrote some novels with that character. I have no dates or title names. If anyone knows of a copy, I'd appreciate if you would let me know.

Back to food and wine.

We headed to the first winery, The Lakehouse Inn and Winery. Tammy and I each chose five different wines, and shared so that we could taste them all. None were worth buying, and to be honest, we left most samples unfinished. Oh well. (That is ten wines so far.) From there, we went down the road to the Old Firehouse Winery. Here we each chose a ten-wine sample, and most of these were very good. We bought a bottle of their Lighthouse Niagara, a semi-sweet white table wine. It was the best of the 20 we sampled. (We are now up to a total of 30 wines sampled.)

We needed food, so we went a few miles further to the Old Mill Winery, and a ten-wine sample platter. (Forty wines now.) We also ordered dinner. Tammy had a delicious burger, and I had BBQ pork ribs to die for.

(There should be a picture of the meal here, but at this point my brain
was not at peak operating level and I forgot to take one.)

I also had a locally produced Dortmunder Gold Lager from the Great Lakes Brewing Company, a crisp and hoppy German-style beer, with enough body to stand up to the ribs. (I simply needed a change from wine.) The meal was excellent, one of the best of the vacation (excluding the lobster roll in Maine, of course) and we enjoyed the meal on their open patio. It was very relaxing.

We decided to find one more winery, Laurello Vineyards. We tried two more wines, but seriously, by the time anyone tries a total of 42 wines, their taste buds are gone. However, we still thought Connie's Blush (a semi-sweet blush table wine) was very tasty, so after buying a bottle we headed back to the B&B.

But I heard so much about the many wooden covered bridges in the area that I needed to see them for myself. The way residents talk about them, I thought they must be something special. We drove through a few. They are wooden. And covered. And are bridges. Truth in advertising. (I guess I can cross that off my bucket list.)

Back to the B&B, we relaxed on the patio, and strolled the vineyard.

The perfect place to relax.

Tomorrow, we drive home. It will be about a ten hour drive. And we are ready to go home. It has been a long time away from our sons, our dog, our bed and our pillows. And I cannot wait to cook for us. As much fun as it sounds, eating in restaurants all the time gets old. But I have new ideas for future meals!

No comments:

Post a Comment