Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wine, Cheese and Aah!

I left on Saturday (6/21) to head for Oregon.  My only real plans are to go to Nexus to fix the damage I did to my craft cabinet, meet up with another Nexus owner, Abby as well as Nick and Terry from the Gypsy Journal. Terry is a weaver and spinner so I know we will have a lot to talk about.

My daughter, TeAntae, and son-in-law, Bryan, are traveling with me to Oregon and will fly back.  We are allowing two weeks for a trip that usually takes four days.

The first overnight stop was at a Harvest Hosts location called Trax Farms in Finleyville, PA.

Be aware of the 9% grade dropping you down 3+ miles into Uniontown Pa just before Finleyville. After that... What a great destination! They had a wine shop with wine tasting, a nursery/garden center, a farm market, a gourmet food store and a deli with delicious sandwiches, cold salads, and other goodies (I resisted the peanut butter cookie but only barely). They also had an antique shop upstairs but we'd arrived too late to visit it.

When we arrived, we met Kathy and Vicky who showed us where to park and then chatted for a little bit before having to go back inside to take care of other customers. We pulled Miss Kitty into her spot then walked back to wander through all the shops and pick up food for our dinner. I have been collecting little signs with great quotes on them to hang in my bedroom. I found two that I just had to have!

After a restful night, we packed up and headed for Grand Rapids, OH. We had wanted to wait for the market to open to get breakfast but we needed to get down the road because the winery we were going to had a live musician and I've not stayed at a winery where they had entertainment going on at the same time.

Next we arrived at Majestic Oak Winery just as the musician had started but it was such a casual affair it was not a problem getting to our spot through the festivities. I love fruit wines and I was delighted that they had a cranberry wine which I'd never had before. One word: DELICIOUS! Not too sweet and with a little bit of true cranberry tartness at the end. So good that I had two glasses and then bought a bottle! The kids got glasses of wine too and a cheese and cracker plate to share.

As I was walking back outside to find a table with an umbrella, a couple called me over and asked me to join them. The Miracles (yes, that really is there last name) were celebrating their 40th anniversary.

 The five of us laughed and talked and had a great time. We got so caught up in our conversation that we really weren't paying attention to Gene Zenz, our talented performer, as much as we should have. He was great background music though.

Once all was said and done, the owners of the winery, Doug and Laura, came by to introduce themselves. They showed us their wine making process where I got to see a batch of strawberry wine in its early stage.

Doug let Bryan taste a beer he was having made for the winery. Bryan gave it 2 thumbs up!
We talked for quite a while before finally calling it a night. I made pasta for dinner with my favorite puttanesca sauce and we dined in the little pavilion next to the grape vines. Afterward, I sat on a bench someone had positioned next to a row of vines and read a book. At some point the kids went back inside and had to call me in at around 9:30pm or I would have probably fallen asleep out there, it was that peaceful.

The next morning as we were getting ready to leave, Doug stopped by to see us off. We thanked him again for a great stay and delicious wine. He recommended to us a restaurant for breakfast at a truck stop (Winchesters Restaurant and Saloon) right before we got back on the Ohio turnpike. The food was inexpensive, hearty, and would make you think your mom was in the kitchen doing the cooking. Our server, Karen, was so funny and understood my coffee plight. My refrigerator isn't staying as cold as it should so my milk spoiled quickly. She understood so much so that she gave me a baggie full of coffee creamers to use until I got the problem worked out. I had to hug her!

So now we're 2 hours away from Nexus and hoping these rain clouds will fade away.

Monday, June 02, 2014

My First Year on the Road or Happy Anniversary to Me

Regrets... None
New Friends... Lots
Great Memories... A Life Time's Worth
What I have learned... Your black tank can hold a lot

Getting an RV and hitting the road has been my dream since I was 16. Life, family, and work kept everything on the back burner but the dream never left. Now, I am Living My Dream in full color!

From the moment I made the decision to be a full-time, solo RVer, I never looked back. I had the support of my children and son-in-law as well as my A list friends (that is a long story that I will tell you later).  All I can say is I felt that I could not fail.  I found an RV manufacturer, Nexus RV, that would work with me to build my dream RV, a women's forum, Women RV forum, that gave advice on what I needed to do this successfully.  Also, the on person whose advice and guidance made my transition to RV life almost flawless was RV Painter. With all of them behind me, I hit the road with the confidence that I could do this.

My daughter was so afraid that though I'd had this dream for so long, I'd get out there and hate it. I think my first phone call put those fears to rest when I yelled though the phone, "I Love My Life!"

I plan on making a picture book of my first year but in the meantime, my daughter suggested I make a post with my favorite memories so far.  So I am laying in bed as I write this; sipping a glass of wine and remembering all the wonderful people I have met, the places I have been, the ups and down, the joys and mishaps but never defeats in my first year. So grab your favorite beverage, go to your favorite reading place and join me on my short journey down memory lane...

Once I decided on the RV I wanted, I contacted Nexus and we agreed that I would go to Elkhart, IN on my birthday to start designing my dream. Coincidentally, I'd later pick up "Miss Kitty" on my daughter's birthday.

Photos are in no particular order... just random happy thoughts.






There were mishaps and laughs, tears and cries of joy.  However, at no time was there any thought of defeat.

I am so looking forward to year two. My next big adventure will be my trip to Oregon to meet up with other RVing singles.  

Things can only get better.