This weekend, I spent a much needed few days away from the hustle and bustle of life in the city of Geneva. I cannot tell you how much fun my girlfriends and I had. There isn't anything better than a beautiful mild Fall day, wine, and good friends laughing, talking, reminiscing, joking, discussing--catching up.
Life is fast. If I've learned anything it's that these weekends, removed from the drones of every day life with your friends, are what it's all about. They are totally necessary to slow down, catch up and reconnect with the people that mean so much to you.
So, my three girlfriends and I headed up North for the weekend to stay at The Lodge.
We arrived, late as usual, and ran to the bus which was supposed to take us on a tour of the wineries. Unfortunately, or fortunately, they had confused our reservation and did not have room for all of us.
Here comes the fortunately part. The confusion meant we had a private chauffeur for the day. The four of us loaded into our private van with our driver. Dan, or Don, or Jason? Regardless, he had some pretty amazing shades on, giving him my nickname "Shades", and his iPod had a fierce playlist including Katy Perry, so obviously--we were fast friends.
At the first vineyard, South River, we talked about our weeks and enjoyed the most beautiful view in all of Geneva. One bottle, and a tasting later, we were ready for the next move.
Shades picked us up and we were off.
I don't know if you know this but, apparently, covered bridges are quite a big deal in Ohio. When booking our lodge, I discovered that you can even take a four hour covered bridge tour. To which I immediately stated, "That sounds like the worst four hours of my life." But, Shades insisted that we go over at least one bridge on the trek to winery number two. We did.
It was a bridge.
After the bridge experience I needed another glass, or bottle of vino. We pulled up to a quaint little vineyard with a beautiful courtyard. The best part? The dogs. Two adorable vineyard puppies running around greeting the patrons, and enjoying the sunshine. Perfection.
After another bottle, tasting and a few appetizers to soak up the booze, we were off to the party.
Debonne Vineyard was definitely the spot to party. The live band was cranking out the classics like "You look Wonderful Tonight" and "Brown Eyed Girl" left and right. The patio was filled to the brim with people enjoying the day. In my opinion, the very best part of this vineyard is that it is also a brewery.
I am a beer girl. I love a good, dark, hearty beer. So, of course I had to try it! A bottle of wine, a tasting with delicious Goldfish cracker to cleanse the pallet, a beer tasting and a 16 oz. InFESTation (their version of Oktoberfest) later, I was feeling pretttttyy good. Our next stop was Ferrante. Also a beautiful setting, a nice band and lots and lots of Bacheloerette parties complete with penis balloons and light up pins galore!
We had a wonderful dinner...I think.
This was definitely the part of the tour the four of us struggled with the most. We were drunk. Drunk enough that one of us may, or may not have taken a nap right at the table. We like to exude class everywhere we go.
After the food soaked in, we went back to the hotel for a quick phone charge and decided to take the walk that Shades suggested all the way to the Firehouse. The Firehouse Winery was awesome, complete with a great one-man-band and ah-mazing warm spiced-apple wine. It was the perfect winery to end our night.
But it didn't.
As we walked out we heard the vague rumblings of an awful, pitchy, screamy song. "KARAOKE!"
Before I could even fathom the situation Mary Kate had already made it all the way across the street and was standing in the door way of a little bar I like to call "hell."
The people in this bar were like nothing I have ever seen. It was like the entire season one of Intervention decided to have a party and left their teeth and dignity at home.
So, one might assume that we turned around and left immediately. But, no. That would be the sensible thing to do. Instead, it was like a car crash we could not look away from. In complete awe, we people-watched for a good hour before we decided that we were going to sing.
My suggestion? "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." But, after reading the audience we decided it was necessary to go with a crowd-pleaser "Friends in Low Places."
Clearly, we misread the situation. I will never forget those three minutes. I'm not sure if they wanted to skin us and wear us home, or if they were just in complete awe that they could count, on more than their fingers and toes, the amount of teeth we had. Regardless, we bombed.
All the way back to The Lodge.
After a wonderful breakfast, and a nice little scolding of Shades because he failed to warm us about the townie bar, we were on the road back to CLE.
The weekend was fabulous, and hilarious, and exactly what I needed. I can't wait to go back up and enjoy the beautiful scenery, and of course the ah-mazing wine, with my ladies for a very special Bachelorette party in October!
Until next time, Geneva...