I {heart} Red Beard

This weekend was simply fabulous. Friday night after checking into our B&B, we went to a local eatery for sandwiches. Then we got naked and shared a bottle of champagne in a way-too-hot bubble bath, which made us partially delirious. Still in the tub and swooning slightly, we had Reasonably Little Hassle Sex in the Jacuzzi tub – it wasn’t No Hassle because the tub was a bit shorter in length than anticipated, but we did just fine on our hands and knees.

Saturday we had delicious pumpkin pancakes with big bricks of sausage for breakfast, and then we toured the local caverns. Following that, we drove a little ways and had some fun at a couple wineries. We did two tastings in rapid succession and were really enjoying ourselves. We were on a roll and ready for more, so we asked how to get to a supposedly nearby, recommended winery. The guidance we received sounded clear enough, so we got on our way.

Then we got completely lost on a remote dirt road. We either received poor directions, or (my guess is) there was no sign for the winery and we drove right past it. After floundering back and forth on the highway briefly, we became oriented once again. After our unexpected detour, we were running out of time for our day’s activities, so we attempted one more winery.

After another one-lane rocky dirt road, we were relieved to park the car and enter the tasting room – only to find the winery was going out of business and wasn’t offering tastings. So Saturday didn’t quite shape up as planned. But despite our annoyance at driving all over carnation for little reward, we stayed in good spirits.

We stopped for a snack and a beer before heading back to our room and hopping in the tub again. We, ehem, finished up in bed rather than attempting tub sex again. Then we got ourselves ready for a nice dinner at a fine restaurant.

The hostess at the restaurant was flustered and the waitresses cranky as we checked in and waited for them to choose a table for us. Disappointment had a rapid and hard descent upon us when we realized we were seated next to a squealing, cackling, shouting and wasted bachelorette party of about 15 women. The volume was turned up so loud on these drunk bitches that we quite literally couldn’t hear each other over our own intimate table.

And bitches they were – they yelled at the waiter, “Why is our food taking so long?? We’ve been here over an hour!!” The waiter tried to explain that since they were so late for their reservation, other parties were seated ahead of them, and now the kitchen was backed up. Another shouted at him, “So now we’re bumped to the bottom of the totem pole??!!” Then she became distracted while the waiter tried to stammer out a defense. When he realized she wasn’t even paying attention to him, he stormed off without answering.

After all the noisy carrying on within close proximity over dinner, our ears were actually ringing by the time we were through eating. We didn’t even want to look at the dessert menu. We paid and got the hell outta there. Red Beard said, “I do believe the Shenandoah Valley is conspiring against us." Aside from the first two wineries of the day, I don’t think anything had gone according to plan.

Sunday was brighter, although we paid $15 for entrance to Shenandoah National Park, only to realize that the closest place to hike was 20 miles away. We gave up on that aspect, and headed closer to home with the plan of hitting a couple more wineries on the way.

We found one that we were quite pleased with, so we each got a glass of red and traipsed around the garden out by the vineyard. It was sunny and fun and we decided to fantasize about what kind of winery we would open. As we talked about our plans for naming the pretend winery and creating our fake marketing plan, Red Beard suggested a tagline of, “It’ll get you drunk!” We giggled and took a few photos before hopping into the car and heading to the next one.

We learned a lot about starting our own winery, and that it’s not all fun and games. We realized we are far more suited to visiting wineries than running one, and so it was nice to think about for five minutes before we were hit with the harsh realities that the equipment is enormously expensive and the work is back breaking.

We went to one winery where I was keenly aware of the vested interest of the wine pourer. She was staring intently at us as we tasted each wine, hoping we would love it. The next winery, which was right across the street, had just opened that week. The wines there were excellent, and we had the feeling that the type-A woman who ran it would plow her neighbors right out of business with her brand new, yet keenly superior wines.

When Red Beard and I returned home Sunday night, I half expected him to withdraw into his man cave and surf the web and watch football while I would slink off to unpack and read a book. I’ve suffered that experience a few times in the past with exes – having a wonderful time together and feeling like I’ve become closer to him, only to have the occasion cremated at the end when the guy immediately holes up and clams up afterward.

Instead of withdrawing, Red Beard wanted me to come sit with him on the couch. What a fun Sunday night we had: we donned bathrobes, grabbed a box of crackers and popped in The Big Lebowski. While the trip was fantastic, it was made ten times better by the finale.

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