Annual Leave, St Patty's, Finger Lakes Wines

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March 20th 2013
Published: March 20th 2013
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I flew late (midnight) the night of 8th March. I first flew into Amsterdam, where we landed at about 5am. I had more than 4 hours until my next flight, so I decided to explore a little bit. I had checked both my bags, so all I had were my kindle, laptop and purse with me. I actually managed to sleep pretty well on the flight, but I was feeling gross because I had worked right up to the last minute before leaving on my flight, having had no time to shower and change. When (YAY!) I see signs for a shower. And look - it was at the Mercure as well! I walked in, not sure what to expect and a nice lady was working the desk. She set me up for my 15 euro shower and I came back to buy all the necessary supplies: toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shampoo... I had checked all my toilettries but these I'll keep in my handy-dandy Qatar Airways overnight bag from now on. I took my sweet time in the shower, which turned off like every 3 minutes, but it was almost a rain shower and was super relaxing. Once I blow-dryed my
Amsterdam AirportAmsterdam AirportAmsterdam Airport

nice relaxing shower!
hair, I left.

I was extremely impressed with the airport. There were kiosks all over the place, so I figured what the heck, I'll check out my seat for the next flight. Sure enough, a middle seat. Unbelieveable. I specifically had asked for a window seat and we booked the flight two months ago, so there was no excuse why I didn't have one. It probably saved my company ten bucks or something. Seething and in pain from the previous flight where my knee had swelled up to the size of a softball, I decided to pay extra for a good seat for the 11 hour flight. 160 euros. You know what? It was worth every single penny. I was seated in the economy comfort section in the very first seat on the inside part of the plane, which meant there was kind of a big area where the flight attendent traffic went through from the kitchen. It was not often, but it meant there was no one in front of me and I could stretch my (short) legs out. I even got up and just stood for a few minutes every couple of hours. Perfect. The crew was also very friendly. Aside from the typical extremely uncomfortable seats, KLM did pretty well.

We landed in LA on time, and through a bit of turbulence, but it took me all of 15 minutes to get through customs and grab my luggage. So I waited on Lauren at our agreed meeting spot. We had a nice drive back to Ventura, stopping for lunch at my favorite: Coogies in Malibu. The waiter recognised me. Haha! Once I got to Ron and Tiffani's house though, probably the second thing I said was "Where's your extra bed?" I was out for the next hour and a half before Ron and people started waking me up for poker. After that I was fine. I went home with Loree for the weekend and had no real signs of jet lag, other than just want to sleep right away when I finally felt tired. We had wine night at Gwosh and Amber's the next night, then played volleyball in cold, windy conditions, and I finally went home to hang with Loree for the rest of the time. We saw the Great and Powerful Oz (ugh!) before Amber came to take me to the airport for
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I love tulips!
my flight to see my family in NY.

I had a couple of days of rest and shopping before family from Jersey started to arrive for the party weekend. It was soo good to see everyone! I love these guys! We played Florida Rummy the first night (my first time and I won!). The next day was the party - I'd made some cupcakes and buffalo dip - yum. We had all kinds of amazing food: beef on weck, buffalo wings, buffalo dip, buffalo shrimp, bacon wrapped scallops and chestnuts, brownies, salads, pretzels, shrimp, and of course, beer. (My "B"s: Buffalo Wings, Beef-on-Weck, Bacon, Bagels, and Beer were definitely taken care of this weekend). We had a St Patty's Day theme and lots of pictures, courtesy of my little cousin who loved my camera.

The next day was wine tasting in the snow for all who remained! We LOVED it! White Springs was our first stop - not the greatest wines, but friendly atmosphere. Last time I went, I loved their wines, but this time they were only so so - must be the season.

Then we went to Fox Run, which immediately caused me to grimace. Sure enough, we get there with two other people tasting in their huge empty room. There were ten of us (including my non-drinking pregnant sister) and the very first thing the girl said to us was "next time you need to make reservations!" I am not entirely opposed to that request but a) those rules are made for bus tours, not a family who decides "hey, let's go wine tasting!", b) there was no one there!, and c) her attitude was just down right nasty. I wanted to leave right away, but my cousins had already paid for it - oh, they had raised their prices as well. Their wines are not good and their attitude is always like this - my sister and I swore last time we wouldn't come back when it was just us and our dad and they behaved the same way - this time we will not forget. FOX RUN WINERY SUCKS!

Rant done

Next we went to Anthony Road, which is always pleasant. We had to pick our wineries with care as the Jersey cousins like their wines sweet, though my sis and I are more of dry wines so we had skipped two of our favorites on this side of Seneca Lake (Billsboro and Red Tail). Prejean is actually another of my favorites and we went there. The tasting staff are always fun and we told her about the B**** at Fox Run and she sympathised, while making our stay enjoyable. And hey - we bought like 15 bottles of wine there!

Finally, we ended at Miles Winery, which is somewhat off the path a bit, but absolutely gorgeous in an old house on the lake. And, as always, extremely pleasant staff. The guy was very fun. Here you can choose a wine tasting and a beer tasting. Either is worth it, but the first beer we tried was just delicious so we got a couple of growlers (taking notes Fox Run?).

Anyway, despite the flat tire at Whites Springs and despite the poor treatment and Fox Run, we had a great time and the weekend was a success! Thanks so much to my amazing family for coming up to see me....

Additional photos below
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My CupcakesMy Cupcakes
My Cupcakes

devils food with raspberry filling, carrot cake cupcakes
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Flat Tire

After our first stop...

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