Waterfalls, Wine, Bears And Beer! - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at Allrecipes.com - 188448

Put the Kettle on....

Waterfalls, Wine, Bears and Beer! 
Aug. 2, 2010 7:35 am 
Updated: Aug. 2, 2010 12:11 pm
Just got back from the most awesome vacation!  Hubby Jon and I took our young dog Suzy and went camping in Virginia.  We spent the entire week hiking trails in the Shenandoah National Park, visiting wineries and breweries, and Jon did a little flyfishing.  The Park is awesome!  We spotted at least one bear a day, some of them popped out on the trails in front of us not 40 yds. away.  Those were pretty close encounters, but lucky for us those guys are about as afraid of us as we were of them!  One big guy stared at us about 3 seconds, long enough for us to start thinking "Oh no!" and then he just turned and walked away.  Must have been Suzy that scared him off!  LOL.

Besides the bears we saw many deer, including fawns.  We saw skunks, baby raccoons, an eagle, just about everything there is to see except a fox, coyote or bobcat.  The trails we took ranged from super easy and short to very strenuous and up to 4-1/2 miles long.  Saw several waterfalls which were very pretty and worth the effort of the hike.

After we spent mornings hiking we would then head to the wineries.  We visited 14 wineries in all and didn't even hit half of the ones in the area!  Some of them we spent a few hours sitting outside, with a great bottle of wine, enjoying the views of the vineyards and mountains.  I could have spent all day at some of them it was so beautiful!  At one of the wineries we were allowed to pick a handful of their pinot gris grapes and taste them with our pinot gris wine.  We had never tasted the grapes the wine had been made from before so that was a nice experience. 

One afternoon we stopped at a Brewery.  Tasted all 10 of their beers, then had a pint with our lunch - which was fish tacos.  And they were great fish tacos served with fruit salsa that was really, really tasty.  It was nice to enjoy a beer after all the wine we had been drinking!

We got home last evening.  Our son, Steve, had been home caring for the rest of our animals (Missy the 12 year old chocolate lab included).  He opened the door and Missy ran out - straight for Suzy!  I think they missed each other, it was quite a reunion!  They have been inseparable since we got home.  I had no idea they loved each other so much! 

Now, today, it's time to get things unpacked and cleaned up and return to the normal life with chores and such.  All good things must come to an end!
On one of the trails
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A bear
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Inside the brewery
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A small waterfall
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One of the "fancier" wineries
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Aug. 2, 2010 7:49 am
Wonderful vacation and thanks for sharing it with us! My wife and I have been thinking of a wine country tour in the Leelenau Penonsula probably this fall when the color is on.
Aug. 2, 2010 7:51 am
My step mom and dad and brother and me went to Highlands, NC to camp once. Out of no where my step mom in her heavey Columbian accent said "Oh no..." with tears in her eyes. My father who was facing her said "Oh no what Bea?" looking confused. She said "The bear!" My father turned around and seriously not four feet from him stood a bear on hind legs looking at us. My dad said "oh." and stood still not knowing what to do. Beatrice said "Oh no...the bear is gonna to eat a me!" Well the bear didn't seem to really be interested in us because he left and we considered ourselves very blessed and well protected!
Aug. 2, 2010 8:02 am
de'Monfort - that is definitely a VERY scary and close encounter with a bear!! Whew! Glad all came out OK.
Aug. 2, 2010 8:04 am
Mike, we have not been to any wineries in Michigan and would love to! Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania is where we usually go. We've also been to TN, Niagara on the Lake in Canada, and a few in SD and CO.
Aug. 2, 2010 8:04 am
Sounds like you had a terrific vacation! And our dogs are the same: when one is gone, the other one is overjoyed when they reunite!
Aug. 2, 2010 8:08 am
swchef: I was so surprised for that happen, the old dog normally acts like Suzy is a bother!
Aug. 2, 2010 8:11 am
Loved the title! That sounds like a lovely trip. Thanks for sharing it! We have a little town, Hermann MO, known for it's wineries. We took the train down during the fall 20 years ago, thanks for reminding me of our trip, we loved it!
Aug. 2, 2010 8:12 am
I would love to take a train ride on a wine tour! We have a train here that actually does a tasting on the train ride, along with appetizers, etc. Some day I'll have to go on the trip!
Aug. 2, 2010 8:16 am
It's great that you had a wonderful time!
Aug. 2, 2010 8:28 am
Mother Ann, Virginia is for Lovers! Y'all come back, anytime. We're very proud of this gorgeous state from mountains to seashore. I fuss at our grocery stores for not advertising more of Virginia wines. Some of them are world class. Glad you enjoyed your time with us. Loved the pix!!
Aug. 2, 2010 8:33 am
Sounds like a fun trip, except for all that walking, LOL! When one of our labs goes somewhere without the other (usually a vet trip), the reunion is more a case of, what! Where did you get to go and I didn't!
Aug. 2, 2010 8:55 am
SouthernGma - We went to VA for our honeymoon 29 yrs ago and I think it is my favorite state! I love the shore and the mountains. And, VA wines are definitely some of my favorites! You are so lucky to live there!!
Aug. 2, 2010 10:12 am
This looks abso fab! Thanks for sharing.
Aug. 2, 2010 10:14 am
Which brewery did you go to? We did Horton and the B (long name) wine tasting and another one I can't remember. Great wines!
Aug. 2, 2010 11:29 am
We missed Horton this year. The B is probably Barboursville? Brewery was Devils Backbone - it was near Wintergreen Winery among others.
Aug. 2, 2010 12:11 pm
Must tell Hubby. Devils Backbone-the name itself sounds neat! Yep that was the B one. Interesting one place would be free but with a limited number of wines to try and then the next was $3 with all wines available plus keeping the wine glasses. I vote for Number 2! Thanks!
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Mother Ann

Home Town
Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
Living In
Ravenna, Ohio, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert

Hiking/Camping, Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Wine Tasting

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About Me
I've been married for 33 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have two black labs that get to go duck hunting with dad and two cats. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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