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Sunday, August 31, 2003

The Mount Pleasant Winery

The Fermentation Building LW at the entrance

Well, it's been quite the weekend. Yesterday was a cool, cloudy day. We have begun the long, slow slide into winter. The days are noticeably shorter; the kids are back in school; the monarchs are heading south. Lovely Wife and I decided to ditch the kids and go to the Mount Pleasant Winery. Turns out, we're only about 40 minutes from the rolling wooded hills of Missouri Wine Country--the first designated "Wine District" in the U.S. (yeah, we took the tour).

Looking over the Missouri River floodplain.  When the winery was built, the river was here. The Wine Garden

Mount Pleasant (since renamed to Augusta, MO) was settled by German wine makers in the mid 1800's. They were actually looking for Herman, MO (also settled by German wine makers) but hey, close enough. Like all of the wineries in MO, they were devastated by Prohibition. All the crops and equipment destroyed. Most of these wineries still haven't matched their pre-prohibition production. Pretty amazing considering we were standing in one room in the cellar and there were the equivalent of 60,000 bottles of wine in 60 gallon barrels.

Mural of the Grounds Barrels and Barrels of wine

Neither L.W. nor I had ever been to a winery before and were unsure what to expect. First we went into the wine tasting section. We went down the list from the dry whites, to the merlots and dry reds. We skipped the sweet whites and tried a couple different ports. The merlot was my favorite (reminded me of Ribeye). The port was also very satisfying. Actually, their ports are award-winning. After the tasting, we went into the wine garden. There was ample seating on terraced patios overlooking the Missouri River flood plain. There were cool breezes and a pretty good blues band (Pennsylvania Slim, I think). We bought a bottle (settled for the Norton, cause we were too cheap to hand over $32 for the merlot) and some food and enjoyed the day.

The Port Cellar Our Tour Guide The Brandy Still

Sunday, August 24, 2003

We spent the weekend on the Meramec River. Here are the pictures.

Friday, August 22, 2003

LD the Muli-tasker Lovely Daughter has become quite the multi-tasker. Here she is with six AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) windows up and engaging in six simultaneous conversations with her friends. She would talk to more, but can't fit them on the monitor. AIM has also done wonders for her typing skills.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

The First Day of School

Ah, yes...that brings back memories of childhood. I can remember laying out the clothes for the first day on my bed. I can remember the smell of the new clothes--they had some special smell that I still associate with the first day. Of course you can't sleep that night and are up two hours before necessary. I also remember the anxiety of not knowing where my classes were or how to get to them.

Lovely Daughter with Neighbor Friend BoyHead would NOT look at the camera!

Kids today...sheesh! I suggested that I go in to work late on Wednesday so I could make everyone a Dad-worthy breakfast before the first day of school. The kids were like, "No way! We're not getting up any earlier than we have to for some silly breakfast." Yeah, I guess 6:00 a.m. is a big shock when you're used to sleeping til 11:00 a.m. all summer. At least Lovely Daughter tried to ease into it slowly--she got up at 9:00 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Oh yeah, about the proposed breakfast. Lovely Wife was against it also. See, she gets together with all her "Hen Friends" on the first day of school to have a party. I guess I'm the odd man out. So much for the "magic" of the first day of school.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Yesterday was "Locker Day" at Lovely Daughter's middle school. I had been planning to get off work early so I could go. I had this fantasy of walking hand-in-hand with Lovely Daughter, getting her locker assignment and helping her get the thing opened. Then I would help her load all her "stuff" into the locker. It would be a cherished memory. We would recall it in 30 years and get warm fuzzies. But......I forgot.

Forgot all about it actually until I came home from work and Lovely Wife told me they had already done it. Eyes drooped, frown formed. L.W. could clearly see my disappointment. To lift my spirits she related the entire event to me: "Well, we walked into the school and L.D. said, 'you are not going to my locker with me!'. 'You go to the office to get my schedule, I'll meet you there when I'm done'". Lovely Wife did not even get close to her locker. She did not help her open it. She did not help her put her stuff in it. L.W. was just L.Daughter's ride. Apparently, L.D. doesn't want anyone to know that she actually has parents.

I didn't really want to go anyway. I was just going to do it for Lovely Daughter (aka "The UnGrateful One"). Alas, they are growing up so quickly...

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

The Lovely Family enjoyed a much-deserved and long-overdue vacation. To see all the details visit our Family Vacation Page.