When you think of a birthday, the words: cake, ice cream, relaxing, family, and presents might come to mind. However, if your name is Scott and you happen to be my husband, then: biking, hills, wine and fun would be your absolute definition of a good time.
Scott decided last year that he wanted to bike (as in peddling with your legs kind of bike) between some of the Southern Illinois wineries. “It will be fun!” he said. So, we planned out which of our favorite wineries would make the list, mapped the course and aptly named it: the Tour de Vino.
I was a little leery of some of the hills that we would encounter, one being classified as a “Category 5” climb. I also mapped the elevation and found that we would have an overall elevation gain of 1,600 feet. But, this is what the husband wanted to do … and I’m not one to back down from a challenge! So, I left work at lunch on Friday and we began the birthday festivities.
We decided to start at Owl Creek Vineyard, have a glass of wine, then head to the next stop. We love Owl Creek because of their really cool tiered outdoor deck. It feels like you are in a tree house. However, we were bombarded this time with some hornets. Yikes! We didn’t feel like getting stung, so we suited up in our cycling gear and headed out.
The Category 5 climb that I mentioned earlier happened to be the first “hill” that we would climb. It’s like 0.2 miles from Owl Creek. We were doing pretty well until I heard behind me, “Oh crap!” and the sound of a bike tumbling into the ditch.
Turns out when Scott was downshifting to a lower gear, his chain was tangled and locked. Since we wear bike shoes that clip into the pedals, Scott proceeded to have what we like to call a “Zero Mile per Hour Crash.” You don’t have enough time to clip out of your pedals, so all you can do is brace yourself for the fall. Thankfully, Scott only had a skinned knee and a dusty butt.
The distance between Owl Creek and Hedman Vineyards is only 11-ish miles, but it’s almost all uphill. I started to think this whole Tour de Vino thing wasn’t too much fun anymore. We took a quick break at one of the lookouts and guzzled some Gatorade.
Once we reached Hedman, I was incredibly happy to sit down … and drink some wine!
We hung out here for about an hour and decided we should head on to StarView Vineyards, which was another 10 miles away. Out of all the wineries, StarView probably has our favorite wines.
Some people have told us that there is no way they could bike and wine taste, because they thought they might get too tipsy to ride. I will be the first to say that getting tipsy is the least of your worries! We didn’t have enough time to get tipsy! Plus, while biking we were too busy chugging all the water we could get our hands on.
The hardest part of the Tour de Vino was the hour stop at each winery. Our bodies would go into a state of rest and when it was time to go again, we were tired. At StarView I was strongly considering just staying there and having Scott just come pick me back up!
But we continued on. 🙂
We looped back to Owl Creek to change, slather on the deodorant, body spray, dry shampoo and then met our families at Rustle Hill Winery for dinner.
At Rustle Hill there was live music and we camped out on their second-story outside deck. It was perfect. We were excited that our nephew was able to be in attendance. He is soooo funny! When we arrived, he ran and gave me a hug and said, “An Aahhee, where’s the cake?”
I guess his momma told him that we were celebrating Uncle Scott’s birthday and he naturally assumed that there would be cake. Thankfully, I made a cake and brought it along! We would have had a very disappointed toddler on our hands.
We were so thankful that our families were able to help us celebrate Scott’s birthday … and to help us eat the Strawberry Soda-Pop Cake. We don’t need to eat a 9×13 pan of cake by ourselves … although Scott might beg to differ.
We ended the weekend by cashing in some birthday giftcards to buy Scott his very own miter saw!
As you can see, we’ve already put it to use and have some fun wood-working plans going on right now. But that’s a post for another day.
That was our weekend. Scott successfully made another trip around the sun … and still has all his fingers. Maybe next year we’ll drive to all the wineries. Doesn’t that sound relaxing?!