About two weeks ago, Tim called me as I was walking to my hair appointment in Downtown Americus to inform me that we would be taking a spontaneous overnight trip on Saturday. Of course, as a proud member of the under-utilized Wanderlust club, I was completely over the moon. I asked him where we were going, and he informed me it was a surprise. I asked why? He said, “We have had so many things going on the past three months; I think we just need to get away.”
Now THAT I understood. Our dog had died, I had moved in with him, the girls had started school, I had started a new job – and to be perfectly honest, we have not slowed down. Though the entire trip was going to be a surprise, he did give me one little piece of intel – We were heading north.
I knew that could only mean one of potentially four places: Atlanta (3 hours away,) North Georgia Mountains (3 1/2 hours away,) Gatlinburg (5 hours or more away,) and Chattanooga (probably 5 or so.) I packed accordingly.
We set the alarm for 5am. THAT was tough. But we managed it well enough and hit the road all ready to go!
So this man gets me. We drive up to Helen, Georgia and pull into the Habersham Winery. He had booked a 5-Hour Wine Tour of the North Georgia Mountains with VIP Southern Tours. We started out at the Habersham Winery.
This one turned out to be my favorite in regards to taste and friendliness of our presenter. Probably because it was the only tasting that allowed us to actually pick what we wanted to try. I tend to lean toward the white wines and even sweeter wines. Tim was more of the dry red. We were with a few other couples, which made it very intimate. (Side note – drinking 5 heavy-handed poured 1/2 glasses of wine in the am before lunch was a little hard to do.) Needless to say, my cheeks were pink and my head a little sloshy by the time we got in the chartered bus.
The next winery we visited was Serenity Cellars.
The next winery was very, very beautiful. You could tell that they put a lot of effort into the design and atmosphere. We tried about 6 different wines (much smaller portions) and then walked back to their wine cellar. After the tasting, we gathered on their front patio and had a delicious lunch. (I opted to try a red wine slushy with my lunch.)
After Serenity Cellars, we drove a little further and ended up at CeNita Winery & Vineyard.
This vineyard had the most educational presentation! Our guy kept us laughing with stories of how to be a wine snob and showcased the proper way to smell, taste, and enjoy red and white wines. The top picture of the this blog is me standing at that vineyard – the view was hands down the best one yet! After 6 glasses of wine there, we headed to Kaya Vineyards & Winery. Amazing views!
We enjoyed the fact that this tour was in the actual wine cellar. I believe the entire group was hot, a little wine-logged, and having the coolness of the underground cellar made a ton of difference. As far as the wine went, it was a little acidic for my taste, but they were a very new winery, and honestly, wine needs to age before it is truly ready for consumption.
Five hours later, we end up back at our car. Tipsy-ish and tickled to have spent an entire day touring the wine country in North Georgia. THIS is what makes my guy so special. He gets me.
At this point, I have no idea where we are staying. We start heading into Alpine Helen and we end up at the Black Forest Bed & Breakfast.
Helen is this quaint North Georgia mountain town that celebrates German culture. The architecture and ambiance is supposed to be reminiscent of Bavaria.
The B&B we stayed at was cozy and clean! The proprietor was something out of a TV show. He had a strong Dakota accent and had a dry sense of humor. We made it upstairs to our little room, and lo and behold.. lol.. it had a heart shaped tub.
(I did not take a pic of the room – this is from the website.) After we sat our bags down I burst into laughter and fell on the bed. We both were joking around about how we had secretly always wanted to stay in one of these silly mountain rooms with the heart shaped tub… and yes, we get the cheesy aspect of it. (But if you knew our sense of humor – you would totally understand!)
At this point, we realized we had two choices: we could rest in the room (aka sleeping) or we could go soak up the wine with a nice German dinner. We opted for the dinner. We headed to Hofbrauhaus Restaurant & German GI Pub.
And man did we eat!
Tim is the real trooper here – he went for craft beer. I was sucking down sodas like there was no tomorrow. We were beginning to feel the effects of drinking wine for many hours and I was super dehydrated. (Not to mention, it was in the upper 90s with high humidity.)
Our appetizer was a soft baked pretzel with beer cheese dip.
Then we went for the big daddy meal. We went for the Schlachthaus Platte Fur Zwei. (Butcher Plate for two.) Lots of German meats, kraut, cabbage and German potato salad.
Alright… at this point… I’m stuffed, I’m hot, I’m sleepy, and I’m dehydrated. But he was in SUCH a good mood. I couldn’t possibly suggest we go back and sleep, so we decided to walk through town. We stopped in various shops and what not.. and finally, I just looked at him and pleaded with him for us to get something to drink. We stopped at this little shop and I slurped down two big gulps of diet coke. The sun was beginning to set and he asked me about any waterfalls nearby. The only one I remember was Anna Ruby Fall and man-oh-man, I remember the hike up hill to get to it. I told him that yes, there were falls, but I was in no mood or shape to get to them. He seemed a little disappointed. But we kept walking…
Finally, I asked could we just go back to the room. I wanted to take a bath and just go to bed. He started to look a little disappointed and said..”Umm.. what about that Western Photo Booth?” I looked at him like he was crazy. “Sure, Tim. If you want to.” So we went in to look. He asked would I be willing to do it, and I laughed and said, “Well, after 5 hours of wine, a stuffed belly, and a heart shaped tub – Why not?” We had a good laugh and proceeded to change into our costumes.
I’m not a slender girl, and yes, God blessed me with many.. um.. curves (aka known as Big Boobs,) and I walked out in a bustier, with a feather boa and fish net stockings. He comes out looking.. very hot.
Seriously. The cowboy thing works for him. (He’s VERY tall with broad shoulders.. just go with it.) We are laughing and getting out pics taken. The feathers from the boa are sticking to my sweaty skin, my makeup has melted off, and I am not feeling very photogenic. But we go with it. Finally, the girl finishes and Tim says, I want to take one more pic. He grabs a stool..
And it hit me.
He reaches in his shirt and pulls out a ring. I stood there in shock. He starts to put it on my right finger and I whisper, “other hand.” We laugh and he asks, “Would you marry me?”
I say.. “Well yes. Of course I will.” We kiss and the photographer is snapping away. I looked at her and him and then said, “What took you so long?” And everyone just erupted in laughter.
I headed back to the changing room and sort of got my bearings. Did that just happened? In a Western Vintage Photo booth? With my makeup melted and the feather boa stuck to my face? lol Yes, yes it did. But it was perfect. Silly. Just like us.
And the ring…
He gave me exactly what I have wanted. My favorite stone is the aquamarine. He thought it was odd that I wanted a blue stone for an engagement ring, but he knew I had pinned dozens of aquamarine engagement rings on Pinterest. He went through and had my ring specially designed just for me. He bought the highest caliber of aquamarine (over 2 carats) and added 18 diamonds to go around it (he ordered the highest clarity) and set it in an antique scroll design in 18K white gold. He did very well!!!
Needless to say, it was a memorable trip. I highly recommend VIP Southern Tours for your North Georgia Wine Country experience. Helen is magical in its own right, and my guy.. well.. that man and that experience is all mine. 😉