Thursday, March 15, 2012

Maple Fest 2012 Recap

 As always the 3rd Annual Maple Fest Trip started with a bang...literally. All of us girls met at Beth's house at 7:30pm (Al, Em, and I were running a tad bit late) and started loading up our stuff into cars. However, while we were doing this we noticed all of this commotion on Pennsylvania Ave. Cops were blocking off the street with caution tape and redirecting traffic. We tried our best to figure out what was going on, but I am still in the if you know please contact me...I am nosey like that.

We split up into groups of 5 and squeezed our way into two cars. After about an hour of driving, sing a longs, and chatting we stopped at The Cracker Barrel for dinner. I already ate at home (I was trying to be good on my lenten resolution), but I still ordered a side of fried okra and a biscuit. Nom Nom Nom!

While we waited for our food, we decided it would be good idea to call ahead to the restaurant we were going to the next day to make sure our FAVORITE waiter still worked their. His name is Luke, and by favorite waiter I mean he might have been one of the worst ones ever...but he was funny, had a tiny braided pony tail, and wore a pooka shell necklace. He had been a topic of conversation for the past year when we reminisced about Maple we knew we had to have him as our waiter again.

It was decided that I made the call so I looked up the number and dialed. The manager answered and assured me that Luke still worked at the pizza place. Hallelujah!!!! I promptly asked if we could request him as our server as this was our "annual trip and we always eat at Shenandoah pizza." He said of course and also made us a 7:30pm reservation for the next day...even though they do not take reservations! Double Score=Luke+Reservation!

After dinner and shopping (you can't help but shop at CB), we stuffed ourselves back in the cars and made it to Beth's at about 11pm. We all got ready for bed because we had an early wake up call the next day.

At 6:20am the next morning we all woke up, got dressed, and rendezvoused in Beth's parent's kitchen for "First Breakfast." This is the smorgasbord of baked goods Beth's mom bakes for us to take on the drive up the mountains on our way to "Second Breakfast" which is the actual Pancake Breakfast. After packing up baggies of treats we all piled back in cars again, picked up Beth's HS friend Grace, and made our way to Maple Fest.

After about an hour of driving, we made it to our destination and quickly got in line. The line for the pancake breakfast is out the it is imperative to get there early. 
The Maple Group

After about an hour long wait (which is actually short), we finally made it to the entrance of the breakfast!
For only 9 bucks you get all of the above...AMAZING! I was excited!

The friendliest people are back their flipping pancakes, grilling sausage, and filling up your coffee cup. Loves it. 
My new friend

What we had been waiting for!!!!!

Happy as a bunch of maple donuts!

After stuffing ourselves silly, JBT grabbed her trusty Coke, we went back outside and shopped. A lot of vendors come out for Maple Fest so there is plenty to see and buy. We made one more shopping stop in another town, and then went over to a Sugaring Plant where they actually tap the trees for the Maple Syrup. It was the same one we went to the year before so we knew the drill....get a tour, buy some syrup, and eat some lunch.
Awesome group!

After lunch we thought it was time for some Vino, so we hopped back in the cars and made our way over to Barren Ridge Vineyards, but first I had to say hey to Spiderman!
"Hey Spiderman! Just wanted to say heeeeeey!"

We all decided to do the Wine Tasting at the vineyard which was a steal....14 wines for 5 bucks! Sold. 


After a few glasses we decided it was time to get ready for our date with Luke...I mean dinner. These guys were playing the "Ricoloa" instrument when we were leaving...

And we got to give it a try!
I was really bad at it. Meagan on the other hand could become a professional.

When we made it back to Beth's house a few girls jumped in the shower while some of us just lounged.    Then Beth's parent's (they are the greatest) drove us to Shenandoah Pizza, our dinner destination. We promptly got escorted to the Mezzanine where our "VIP Table" was waiting for us. 

Luke looked VERY excited to see us. He no longer wore pooka shells or had his braid, but his hair was long and shaggy and his personality was just like we remembered. We ordered beers, wine, appetizers and pizza and got the party started!
Party Starting 
Party=in full force. Beth's face is my favorite. 

We demolished some pizza, cheesy bread, and salad. I demolished the chicken wings...they are up there with Bacon for me in top foods ever invented. Luke brought us our to go box, but the evening was far from over. 
Oh Luke...there are no words for this.

Luke had mentioned to us the previous year that he was starting a water business. Well this year he wasn't just telling us...he was SHOWING US. We got a full water demonstration from him! Apparently his water is not only the cure for cancer, but it is also has smaller molecules. It is miracle water. 
Luke and his pH tester
Me with Luke's miracle water...pH 9.5...the only way to go. 

We all got to taste his water, which was very refreshing, and then it was time to part ways. 
Note from Luke to us! 
Luke with the group.

Who knew we would have dinner and a show! We decided we wanted one more drink so we made our way over to a local hangout for some beers and shots. Oh my! We soon realized it was time to head home and our trusty designated drivers, Beth's parent's, came to our rescue and put us quickly to bed. 

The next morning we had a scrumptious breakfast made by the Breedings which included biscuits, bacon (HALLELUJAH), cinnamon rolls, muffins, and several homemade jams. Beth's mom makes the best I was in Heaven. After breakfast, we gathered up our belongings, packed the cars, and filled up our zip locks with more goodies courtesy of Beth's Momma. We then hit the open road.
Group shot in front BB's house with her dog Jasper!

As we drove we decided to stop at another Winery because we had yet to have our fill of alcohol and calories. Our first stop was Aspen Dale which serves their tasting with food. Their tasting room is in an old barn and it is so charming and historic. Plus the landscape outside is fabulous.

They also have some miniature horses. I tried to feed didn't workout. He just ignored me. JBT named him Tiddlywinks or something along those lines.
Yo...Tiddlywinks...come over here!

After the tasting, some food, and a glass of wine, we decided we wanted to try one more before we drove back to DC. Some of the girls got on their smart phones (unfortunately my Kin doesn't work like that) and found one that had a great rating. We hopped back in the cars and made our way to Cobbler Mountain Cellars. This was my favorite of the three wineries we went to. They were a newer operation, family run, and the tasting room was in the basement of their house, but everything was gorgeous and the wines were incredible. I loved it there!
Purple Teeth!!!!

We hung out at CMC for a little over an hour, but by then we were all plum tuckered out. Some of said our good-byes and then we got back in the cars for the rest of the trip. Beth dropped me off at Josh's and by 8pm I was passed out. I was so tired. However, that is the clear proof that the trip was a huge success, and I am already looking forward to Maple Fest 2013!

Happy Thursday Love Bugs!

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