Food, wine, shopping, white water rafting, friends, kids, family, and sun is what made up what will most likely be one of our last (if not the last) weekends of the summer. What I mean be "last" is that the rest of our summer weekends are jammed full of mostly indoor activities, and by the time we get those out of the way fall will be quickly upon us.
Not that fall is a bad thing since Pennsylvania has some of the prettiest falls I've seen anywhere, I just hate seeing summer fade into fall because that means winter is coming.
Ethan almost smiling
On Saturday we went to a "Cars" party at my sister Nettie's house. She invited a few parents and their children - oh and Eliza and I too but we don't have any children besides our cats who never saw Cars and don't like cake so they weren't invited.
It is definitely nice to go to a party full of kids every now and then. Being able to watch as kids make a mess of their clothes, tear lighting fixtures out of the ground, drink chlorinated water, complain that another kid "touched their hamburger", and tip over every cup that contains liquid within arms reach - and then getting in our car and driving away without one of our own is sort of liberating. Though I love kids and hope to have a few of my own one day.
Lightning McQueen cake
Tyler likes carrots
Boys watch sub
All the kids seemed to have a great time
We enjoyed their company, had a small bite to eat, and were on our way to Ivan and Andrea's for the rest of the weekend where we had a great time with Ivan, Andrea, Ava, Giana, and Chris (yes, the very same people we camped with at Keenlake).
Once we arrived Andrea prepared a really great dinner. After dinner we watched a few episodes of Lost to get in the mood for Season 3 which begins on the first Wednesday in October.
Andrea and Eliza make breakfast
Andrea and Eliza made breakfast for a pretty large crew being that some guests stopped by early to drop off Ava. My guess is that including children there was about 10 of us - so they did a great job making breakfast for everyone. I'm sure Chris will mention the scrapple.
After breakfast Ivan, Chris, Ava, and I headed for the river. We started our trip down river at Jim Thorpe and rafted down to Bowmanstown. We spent about two and a half hours on the river total hitting about a dozen or so rapids. Being only a class 2 at best, we had a good time without risking life and limb and being able to take Ava with us. Rafting really solidified to me how beautiful a state Pennsylvania is. Living here really has made me take that fact for granted. Although a shame that we don't have any photos of the event, I really didn't want to chance ruining one of our digital cameras, so you will have to live without them.
After rafting (and Chris forgetting his keys in the car about 10 miles up river and needing to call AAA to unlock the doors), we headed to Galen Glen winery for a tasting. Some of the wines were really good - though I thought they tasted a bit young. Eliza and I ended up making three selections and getting a bottle of each. I think I might end up writing up the Silver Vidal Blanc we got, as I think that it had the most potential out of any of the wines I tasted (we were allowed six).
Galen Glen panorama - [zoom in]
I managed to shoot a pretty slick panorama that I used Photoshop's photomerge to stitch together. I have to remember to do more of these when we go places, as I think it gives you a fairly good feel for the area. Beautiful rolling hills each filled with grape vines that reach about as far as the eye can see. Beyond that maple trees that extend until the curvature of the Earth takes over. Great location.
Group photo at Galen Glen winery
Eliza, Colin, Chris, Ivan, Andrea, Giana, and Ava
After downing a bottle of wine while overlooking the scenic vista, we headed to Platz's for dinner. We've gone here twice so far and I really like the feel of the place. A homemade menu with a pub feel. I had crab cakes that made me extremely full.
I really can't say enough about having great weather in the middle of September on a weekend filled with friends and being outdoors. I suppose you could say that this weekend would represent my favorite types of weekends. I'm definitely going to miss the summer, but hopefully we can figure out how to make some even better weekends in the fall and winter to come.
Update: Eliza posted a few more photos from the weekend.
[tags]weekend, vacation, summer, wine, winery, galen glen, jim thorpe, rafting, photos, kids, rosarios, chris fehnel, colin devroe, eliza devroe, kids, party, cars, platz's, vineyard, food, ivan, andrea, ava, giana, ethan[/tags]