Getting Ready for the Fall

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the beautiful colors of the changing leaves. The crisp air. Apple picking. And, this year, a relief from the hot weather we've been having!

We have been on a home improvement hiatus lately and I am ready to get back into some projects. First on our list is the backyard. When we bought the house a year ago, it came equipped with a huge playground. Since we don't have kids and my rearend can't fit in the swing (trust me, I've tried), we decided it was time to get rid of it and turn it into an area we will use more. (Editor's note: To clear up any confusion, we got rid of the swingset)

This is what it looks like today. As you can see it is turning into the perfect place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine and read the current issue of Coastal Living. Maybe toast a marshmallow or two. And, most importantly, my bum has no problem sliding into these chairs.


This weekend we will be busy making a walkway between the concrete slab near the house and our new relaxation area. I do have a highly technicall illustration of the plans I could show you, but I don't want to ruin the surprise.


Anniversary Trip Part III: The Final Chapter

We've got a couple more places to check-in on the anniverary trip. A recap wouldn't be complete without mentioning La Dee Marie Bed and Breakfast and LuLu's Antiques. A walking tour is in store again...with a few surprises (like how we nearly escaped death and/or getting an eye poked out at La Dee Marie). Below are some of the sights around the B and B.

Isn't that porch awesome? There was plenty of room to grab a chair, a glass of wine and just relax.

I have to step in here to mention how we escaped an early grave. Or, in the very least, an eye patch. While the room we stayed in was very quaint, there was one glaring threat: the faux crystals dangling precariously around the bed.  (See highly technical illustration below)

Feel free to insert variations of overplayed references here. Such as "If these crystals are a swingin', don't come a ringin'." It's a pickle just waiting to happen. I'm just sayin'.

Before we wrap thing up, let's stop in at LuLu's Antiques. This store had tons of great finds at even better prices. Here are a few of my faves:


Anniversary Trip Part II: Walking Tour of Ste. Genevieve

With all of the wine, cheese, crackers and chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds (now a winery must-have) we consumed at Cave Winery, we knew some exercise would be in order. For you out-of-towners, Ste. Genevieve is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River approximately sixty miles south of St. Louis and is about 250 years old. Today the town has the greatest concentration of original French Colonial buildings in North America and is still the only surviving French Colonial Village in the United States. Cool.

And, according to these signs, it has spent alot of those years under water. Check out this sign that marked the historic flood levels:


So, grab a glass of wine and join me as we take a tour of this quaint little town.

Next stop, LuLu's Antiques and La Dee Marie Bed and Breakfast!


Anniversary Trip Part I: Cave Vineyard

It's hard to believe that Mr. VB and I have already been married for four years! It seems like it was just yesterday that we were wrapping up our wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii and frantically getting our first house ready for our open house/reception. I remember within an hour of closing on that house, we were ripping up the carpet to reveal hardwood floors drilled w/ hundreds of nails. So, needless to say, we had a ton of work to do before we had people over. I won't even mention the pink bathroom and the lace curtains. But, I digress.

Both of us are in major need of a vacation right now, so we took a quick trip down to Ste. Genevieve, Mo to  Cave Vineyard. (I'll tell you more about the cute B&B and antique stores in Part II).

 Cave Vineyard was our first (and last) winery stop of the day, which had to do with the fact it was 95+ degrees outside and a cool 70 degrees in the cave. That's right. We sat in a cave all day. Drinking wine. There was even a bat flying around. I hate bats. It was awesome.

We started the day off with a wine tasting in the tasting room. The vineyard boasts 4 varieties of grapes: Chardonel, Traminette, Chambourcin and Cynthiana/Norton.

Then we grabbed a bottle of the White Chambourcin and headed down to the natural cave! It is a short 200-yard walk and a shuttle was also running throughout the day. This helps on the way back up the hill to the tasting room, if you needed more wine. Which we did. Twice.

It looks a little like the tunnel Jacob brought Jack to in Lost...but, it wasn't nearly as scary. Except for that bat flying around.

They also have live music on the weekends -- another reason why we didn't want to leave. We had a front-row seat to all of our favorite songs, including tunes from Jack Johnson, the Beatles, Neil Young and Jason Mraz.

You might be asking yourself "Why is that guy playing under an umbrella while standing in a cave?" As we were underground, in a living cave, the ceiling of the cave continuously dripped water. Not so much that we were drenched. More like a drip here and there. Here I am wondering about that:

While we had planned to visit two more wineries that day, we just couldn't leave the cave! Stay tuned for Part II!