Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Page From My Brain: Drivers

Drew and I went to Myrtle Beach a couple weeks ago with his family. We had a FANTASTIC time! It was so nice to travel with people I didn't want to kill. (I'm a loud introvert. I like my solitude and I'm quite vocal about it.)

Someday I might write about that trip, but while traveling back home with the hubby and my wonderfully patient mother-in-law, I was engulfed with an overwhelming urge to write a post about other drivers on the road. Probably because we were traveling at 65+ MPH and I couldn't get out of the car and physically strangle them. I'm hampered by the laws of physics, gravity, and my own fat arse.

I made a list of my observations from each State that I've spent enough time in to formulate an opinion of their drivers.

New York – Each NY driver is under the impression that they’re the only good driver in NY and everyone else is an idiot. The only exception is when a NY driver finds themselves out-of-state and happens across another NY driver. They instantly bond over the home state license plate and will say, “Hey! Can you believe how people drive around here? Idiots.” There is one exception…

New Jersey – The only state that scares a NY driver. Crazy as hell, and with good reason. You ever driven on the Garden State Parkway? I have. It’s an amusement park for the NJ driver. I have great respect for NJ drivers and yield the road to them every time. Especially if it’s a big yellow Caddy. You know that car has had a body or two in the trunk at some point in time. I smile, nod, and stay the hell out of their way. Incidentally, this applies to any big yellow Caddy with a Florida plate on it as well. That’s a NJ driver going South for the winter. Get behind them because they will carve a path for you to follow.

Massachusetts – People in MA drive like they’re all transporting pregnant women in labor to the hospital. In the land of the Rotary (aka traffic circle), MA drivers are the closest thing to an F1 driver you will find on the open roads. They stop for nothing and any space is available to them, even if that space is a mere seven foot opening in front of your vehicle. They will cut you off with no notice or remorse. The upside is that you can, and are expected to, do the same thing. It’s encouraged and they hold no ill-will against anyone who does it. It’s a way of life. Horn blowing is an official state language.
     Beep = Cut in front of me, bud. Plenty of room. Go on ahead.
     Beep-beep = Not gonna fit in front of me. Try behind me. I'll squeeze up to make more room.
     Beeeeep = Hello.
    BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP = Welcome to Massachusetts. You should park your car and utilize public transport, such as a taxi or the T. That’s the train, you know. You’ll enjoy your visit more if you do. Have a nice day!

Pennsylvania – I’ve noticed that the skills of PA drivers have improved over the years. They’re kind of slow still, but rarely stay in my way for too long. Unfortunately, it’s still the land of orange cones and construction, so I hate you.


West Virginia – Lock the doors. Make eye-contact with no one.

North Carolina – I have no complaints about NC drivers. However, whoever is in charge of the highway signs for the State of NC needs to be publicly flogged. We were on an interstate that just up and ended without warning. Apparently we needed to exit somewhere along the way, but there was no sign whatsoever about this. This happened three times. Thankfully, I am the Chekov of our vehicle and I can work Google Maps on my phone better than any five-year-old, or we'd probably still be stuck in NC.

South Carolina – No hurries. No worries. Some of the most polite drivers on the road. Massachusetts on Ritalin.

I realize there are exceptions to every rule. Not everyone in Virginia is a left-lane hogging, slow-arsed, son of a HONNNNNNK. But why take the chance that I might be behind you, flipping you off with my mind so hard I'm about to have a stroke. Just move over. Move the eff over.

Above all, drive safe and enjoy the journey.
~ Steph

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day 2013 on the Niagara Wine Trail

Every Holiday we have off from work during good weather seasons, we like to go to the wineries. This year we traveled around the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail on Saturday with Stacey and her sister Shelly. I have no pictures from that trip. Just a hilarious memory of an 80+ year old woman in the bathroom at Americana saying very loudly to her friend, "My fingers smell like a Cuban!" Thankfully I was already in the stall and on the toilet or I would have peed my pants. 

{{{Incidently, a Cuban is a sandwich on the Americana Cafe menu. I know because I ate a Cuban for lunch too. Tee hee hee hee hee. Still funny.}}}

Instead, I've decided to post about the trip we took last year on Labor Day. Apparently I never did. It was the first time we'd been on this trail, so I took lots of pictures.

DISCLAIMER: Stacey gave me permission to do this. Drew doesn't really have a choice. 

The Niagara Wine Trail
Labor Day 2013

The Winery at Marjim Manor is apparently haunted and was featured on the TV show "Ghost Hunters."

 We didn't see any ghosts, but we did see lots of wine!!!!

Stacey and I insist that Drew make these!!

Haven't tasted a thing yet and already Stacey's smiling. It's going to be a good day!!

The gift shop area had some really REALLY neat items. I wish I'd taken closer pictures. They had stemless wine glasses and a decanter with a Black Widow Spider painted on them. I don't like spiders AT ALL, but it was really cool!

We did the wine & chocolate pairing, which was really neat. Loved this winery and will go back again.

The wines here were fantastic, which I hate to admit because the chick pouring the wine was a BLEEP! Completely miserable. Lucky for the winery, the older woman who checked us out was super nice. We talked with her for a while. Her and the excellent wines made up for the cranky witch doing the servings. We would go here again, but would NOT do a tasting with her.

Chateau Niagara Winery
I have no picture of the sign or building because both looked kind of...rednecky. We almost passed on going into the metal barn for a wine tasting. I'm soooooo glad we didn't, because this was one of our favorite stops. This gentlemen (forgot his name!) was hilarious! He gave us the history of the Niagara Wine Trail. We loved the Ala Mode wine and left with a few bottles each! A fantastic place! A definite "must go-to" on future trips.

A very nice winery with lots to look at! I would compare them to Swedish Hill. Or Knapp. Lots of fun wines!!

This was the one we were all waiting for!!!!

Don't be fooled. She loves the paparazzi!

Gust of Sun has a second floor for reading and lounging. We'd read about this on their website and we decided if we lived in the area, we'd probably spend a lot of time up here. There's books to borrow. We could have writer's meetings up here! I think it's a fantastic place!!

This is one of the owner's dogs. They live next door and you can play with them through the fence. Funny little creatures.

Gust of Sun had a huge tent and tables/chairs setup behind the winery. They were planning for a wedding the next day. We asked if we could eat the picnic lunch we've packed back there. They told us definitely. We bought a couple bottles of wine from them and enjoyed a charming lunch. 
And then it rained. 
Nay, it stormed. Bad! Horizontal rain was coming into the tent forcing us to run around looking for dry spots. The owners laughed at us from the safety and dryness of the winery while we huddled in the middle of the tent, laughing our own fool drunk asses off. (Truth be told, Drew was sober. But still laughing.) The storm only lasted a few minutes and created a hilarious fond memory of an awesome winery.

I don't remember this fair lass's name either, but she told us stories about dressing up as a pirate for a winery event. Turns out she was the only adult that dressed up. We promised to return for the event in our pirate regalia too. None of us remembered. Poopy.

Lots and lots of wines!!! All very good. Similar to Americana.

This me check the website...Freedom Run?  Drew?! Is this Freedom Run?! Yes, he says it is.

Pretty glass! Very Chihuly-esque.

A sitting area with tables. Drew says I really liked the wines here too. I have to take his word for it.
  Dog!!  I think this was at Arrowhead Spring Vineyards. But I'm not sure. I just remember it was a winery with a bunch of weird hippies. Not the staff. Other wine tasters. It was bizarre. Will go there again...because I don't remember anything but the dog. We played frisbee with this dog for about a half hour. I have over fifty pictures of him. Seriously. We loved this dog.

And the last winery (that I have any recollection of) is Leonard Oakes. Here's what I know about it...

Stacey and I were obsessed with his metal decoration over the doorway. We stared at it for a long time. I took three pictures of it. I'm still kind of obsessed with it.

And the other thing...I really really really really liked their wines. I found a Case Club Member card in my purse the next day. To my credit, every single bottle from that case has been amazing. My taste when I'm inebriated is apparently phenomenal.

So, in closing, the Niagara Lake Wine Trail was a blast!!!! We were shocked at the number of wineries they have. Good wineries. There were only a couple that I would never go back to. I haven't mentioned them here because I really don't like to spread negativity on my blog. (Except that little snot at Schulze's. I only mentioned her as a public service announcement to warn other tasters.) But a lot of wine tasting comes down to your own personal taste. What I might not like, you might. I would rather inform, than review.

~ Steph