B&B (& B… & B)

Saturday, 17 ladies climbed into a bus to celebrate the bachelorette AND birthday of the loverly Miss Anne P. B & B. Get it? (The second and third “B”s come into play later in the story…)

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The bride to be!

My older sister, Jenny, is Anne’s maid (matron?) of honor, and so is the one who organized the whole thing. The plan was to take in a couple of wineries as a group o’ ladies, and then head back to the house we met up at for a birthday barbecue that Anne’s fiance Matt was hosting!

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And SPEAKING OF MY SISTER… guess what?

Preggo Jenny!

I’m going to be an aunt!!! I shot this pic of her this weekend (after crying — er, twice — upon seeing her newly popped li’l baby bump) and then our brother worked some of his Photoshop magic to edit the sign. Her husband Dan wasn’t able to make the trip back to DC with her this time (they recently moved to Houston), so mentally I just superimpose him somewhere in the frame, hahaha. Little Baby Robinson (or, as Jenny so dotingly refers to him/her, “Blob”) is coming to the world in March!! Eeeeeep!!!!! πŸ˜€ So there you have it: the 2nd “B” stands for… BABY!

Oh, and remember this post about the birthday wine tour that we all went on for Jenny’s own 30th birthday? Well, as it turned out, the little minx tricked us all. She had JUST found out she was pregnant and didn’t want to tell anyone yet… so she FAKED all her wine tastings! None of us suspected a thing — we even caught her “drinking” on video! Tricksy, tricksy hobbitses sister. Deception must run in the Powell blood. Haha!

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Nope, I’m not excited to be an aunt. Not at all. I’m not going to spoil that baby rotten or anything. πŸ˜‰

Okay, okay, back to the post at hand (I say as I wipe yet another round of happiness tears from my cheeks, keke). Unfortunately, we got off to a little bit of a late start, as the bus that was coming to pick us up broke down on the way to us (womp womp) and they had to send another one. So, the 1 PM kickoff got pushed to 2 PM, but eventually we were off!

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There was wine drinkage on the way to the wineries, obvi.

The first winery we hit up was called La Grange, in Haymarket, VA.

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The wines were good but the experience was kind of blah. There was a wedding going on at the same time, so the group-organizer-lady-person didn’t have a lot of time to pay attention to our group (which is understandable!). The wine was delicious though, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous.

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The woman of the hour(s) and me

After La Grange, we piled back into the bus and headed over to Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run, VA. Now, here we definitely got our money’s worth!

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They gave us a private group tasting back in the fermenting room. Our tasting guide was super friendly and really knowledgeable AND we got to try unfiltered wines straight from the steel vats! They tasted like grape juice. Delicious, slightly fizzy, cloudy, amazing-tasting grape juice. Mmmmm.

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Several bottles of wine were purchased post-tasting, and eventually it was time to head home. We had a party to get back to, after all! Unfortunately, however, that’s when the night hit a bit of a snag…

Believe it or not, the bus that we had been riding on (the SECOND bus that the transportation company — Access Limousine, I do NOT recommend — had sent, let me remind you) BROKE DOWN. Right on the road outside the winery. We had to wait over 90 minutes for them to send another bus out to us (since we were almost an hour outside of DC) and take us back. It was definitely a huge bummer and a big break in the momentum of the day. Of course, we all tried to make the best of it!

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At least the scenery was beautiful!

So the third and final “B” stands for “bus”. Or “breakdown”. Or “bus breakdown”. The Pearmund Cellars people were SO nice and sympathetic to our plight. They gave use free crudite platters and let us chill on their porch until the rescue bus came. Sadly, we weren’t allowed to drink any of the wine we had just purchased due to county laws, but they were still very hospitable. The poor employees stayed until we left, sacrificing part of their own Saturday night so that we could have bathroom access!

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Finally, around 8 PM, the third (oy!) bus came to get us, and we arrived back at the BBQ just before 9. Granted, it was about 3 hours later than we had originalyl planned but all’s well that ends well! Hopefully Anne still had an amazing time — I know I was certainly thrilled to have been able to celebrate with her! We will all be reuniting at the wedding in less than 3 weeks, too. SO MANY THINGS HAPPENING!

Jenny’s 30th Birthday Wine Tour

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had fun and/or relaxing weekends. Mine definitely fell squarely in the former category! It started out Friday night with a late showing of The Dark Knight Rises on IMAX. The Air & Space Museum out in Chantilly has a real IMAX screen (in actual IMAX dimensions, as opposed to the IMAX screens that are usually installed in regular movie theatres, which is just bigger) and they show some of the big blockbusters there sometimes. Unfortunately there was a bit of a fiasco with the seating and even though Sean & I got there an hour and a half before the movie started, we still ended up in the 2nd row! Oof. We also had met up with a whole bunch of my friends, but we all ended up separated and spread out through the entire theatre. My neck wasn’t thanking me much afterward, but the movie was awesome so it ended up being okay.

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My opinion of the movie is that it was really great, although slightly less great than The Dark Knight. Definitely go see it! Also, I am generally flabbergasted as to how they made gorgeous, beautiful, hunkalicious Tom Hardy look so repulsive as Bane. Movie magic, I tell ya!

Saturday was the really big day of the weekend. My older sister is turning 30 on Thursday, but as some of you already know, she recently moved to Houston with her husband. Well lucky for us (but not so much for her), she’s still coming back to Baltimore occasionally for work, so we took advantage of her being nearby and celebrated her birthday a little early. How? Why, with a limo-chauffeured winery tour, of course!

I have a recently discovered appreciation for wineries and wine tastings, and it was a total blast to get chauffeured from one to the next. There were 10 of us total: Jenny, her husband Dan, our brother Ben, his fiancee Taylor, Jenny’s BFFs Anne and Lara, her friends Scott and Amy, and Sean & yours truly. We hit up three separate wineries out near Middleburg/Charlottesville area: Chrysalis, Piedmont, and Quattro Goomba (best winery name ever, btw).


Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great (drizzly and misting all day long), but it could have been way, way worse. I took about a zillion pictures and got fairly drunk, so I’d say it was a success overall! πŸ˜‰ Brace yourself for photo overload!


Jenny made sure the limo was stocked with snacks aplenty from our beloved Trader Joe’s, so we had all sorts of fun things to munch on during the car ride. Then before we knew it, we were at Chrysalis!







Taylor and I were the only ones stupid enough not to wear flats, haha. Our platform wedges looked pretty sweet, if I do say so myself, but they did not FEEL sweet on the rocky gravel that is apparently a requisite for all winery paths. Taylor ended up switching shoes with Anne about halfway through, the lucky duck. Unfortunately, nobody else in the van shared my sasquatch-sized 9.5s, hahaha. Oh well, at least I looked cute?


I also didn’t feel so bad being the photo-nut, since fellow blogger Anne was right there with me! She and my sister are besties from high school, and now she and I are friends in our own right through blogging. Just another reason why this li’l ol’ blogosphere rocks so much.




Siblings ahoy!

Yeah, that 2nd picture right there is why you don’t often find me in heels/platforms (though I’m getting better about embracing my Amazonianness!). Can’t you tell who the big sister and who the little sister is? Hahahahaha. Jenny’s also usually wearing much, much higher heels, to be fair. πŸ˜›


Piedmont was probably my least favorite of the three. They’re in the process of being sold to new owners right now, so they don’t have much Piedmont wine available. We only got to try two from Piedmont — the rest were all from other wineries. Hopefully they’ll still be open for wine tasting once the property changes hands though. Piedmont is apparently one of (if not the?) oldest vineyard in Virginia!




Quattro Goomba was probably my favorite. Chrysalis was very pretty (and the wine was very nice, especially their whites!), but Goomba was just so much FUN. They had live music, homemade pizza, and tons of people just hanging around, eating, drinking, and having fun. It was like a big party! I really dug the vibe.

And there you have it! One very fun, awesome, pretty unique way to celebrate my “big” sister turning the big 3-0. And for me to continue my wine education too, of course! I’m still working on softening myself to the reds (the only red I really like is pinot noir, hehe), but I’d say that I am officially a full white wine convert — even Chardonnay has grown on my palette.

Are you a white wine or a red wine drinker?

Unicorns & Grey Ghosts

I had my very first winery experiences this weekend! I had never been to a vineyard, gone to a real wine tasting, nada. Luckily, Jenny and the bro-in-law had a Living Social deal to use up and let me tag along. I should warn you: in case you weren’t aware, wineries are very picturesque. Prepare for photo explosion!

Awning Mawwiage

First stop:

Unicorn

Unicorn Winery in Amissville, VA! Naturally with a fluffy, pink, magical name like that, I was bound to enjoy these wines right from the get-go. And for only $5 to taste 10 different wines, I was right!

Taste
Slightly Embarrassed
Red

Oh yeah, and as you can see, I dyed my hair again… er, again. Forgot to mention that last week amidst all my wallowing and rage, hahaha. It’s a dark burgundy/auburn color. It can look brown/red/purple depending on the lights, which is kind of fun. I really like it!

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Peekaboo!Lakeside

I ended up picking up a bottle of the winery’s blush to bring to the wine party I’d be attending later than day, fittingly titled:

Blush
Slightly Embarassed

The unicorn’s even blushing! Hilarious.

Fall
BroLo
Bright!
Landscape

After having driven for an hour to get to the winery, we weren’t willing to throw in the towel quite yet. So we hopped on down the road to another vineyard:

Grey Ghost

Gray Ghost Vineyards! While Unicorn Winery was incredibly crowded due to a soon-to-expire Living Social deal, this one was much more open and relaxed. The tasting for 10 wines here was only $3!

Grapes of Rap

They also had lots of funny wine paraphernalia to look at:

Classy

Cheap Date

It was also just incredibly beautiful there. We really lucked out on the weather — I think it was the last nice weekend we’ll have until Spring! Sad.

Gazebo Vines

We decided we couldn’t leave without jumpshots in the actual vineyard area.

Wheee!
Whee!

Of course, armed with heeled boots and a purse, mine was, er, not so graceful.

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Fail.

Oh well. No judgement, right Kerms?

Kermit

Hope everyone had a great weekend!