vino. vino. and more vino.

I’m back from a whirlwind weekend trip to western New York.  I brought a dear friend of mine with me to enjoy the finer things of my homeland.  We meandered our way north, enjoying the beautiful sunshine and glorious temperatures on Friday.  We stopped at Johnson Estate Winery and Noble Winery on the way to my parents’ house.  Noble was a new adventure for me – and is now on my list of favorites.  The Old Italian Red is fantastic – and has a little secret.  Yes, wine that has a secret.  You’ll just have to try it and find out for yourself what it is.  As the sunlight began fading, we arrived at the Ortendahl lakeside resort and indulged in Daddy O’s wondrous cuisine.  We enjoyed an evening in, full of Ortendahl trademark activities: “snack time” (Ben’s favorite – known as cocktail hour to the rest of the world), good conversation, and lots of laughter.

Saturday was a busy day.  The house chef was at it again – Dad filled us up with his delicious pancakes.  Christy and I departed for more wineries – don’t judge.  You would too.  We stopped at my favorite – Liberty Vineyards – a business owned and operated by long-time family friends.  Christy and I agree – their wine is the best.  And they have a ridiculous amount of medals to prove it.  Our wine-tasting finished at Merritt Estate Winery, where the specialty wines are delightful.  The Sangria de Marguerite is fantastic – especially this time of year.  Mmm.  Bliss in a glass.

The day was passing quickly – and we still plenty on our agenda.  We drove to Niagara Falls – Christy had never seen this wonder before (nor had she been to New York – or Canada!  Done and done.).  We walked across the Rainbow Bridge to Canada and strolled to the Horseshoe Falls.  This would be a great place to insert a photo or two to share with you – but alas, my rechargeable batteries have revolted against me and no longer hold a charge – meaning I have no photos of our adventures.  Sad.  Upon our successful return into the country, we had dinner at a lovely little Thai place in Williamsville before dropping by to see one of my oldest, dearest friends.  All was well with the world – I shared the day with wonderful company, had a case of wine in my trunk and Duke is going to play in the national championship.

Today was another beautiful day – the sun seemed to shine a bit brighter, reminding me of the great hope that is given when considering the significance of Easter Sunday.  Our adventure ended with a traditional Easter feast around a table with family and friends.  The drive back was a bit tiring, but I was glad to be welcomed back to my apartment by the beautiful flowering trees outside.  They came into bloom over the weekend and now are a glorious shade of pink.  I love it.

But I’m forgetting a major highlight of the weekend…perhaps the highlight.  Oh yes.  I received a phone call from my dearest Benjamin.  Scratch that.  I received TWO phone calls from Benjamin.  He’s doing well – he passed some crucial tests and inspections this week.  We were both so encouraged by the opportunity to communicate with each other via the telephone.  Day by day, week by week, we’re making it through.

And so begins another week.  Oi.  I need a weekend from my weekend.

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