|New London Ledge Lighthouse|
Kudos to Monique for all her hours of research related to the itinerary for the trip. From gardens to restaurants, wineries and nurseries-we couldn't have done it without her and her trusty iPhone.
Monique's choice for lunch was the Soundview Restaurant in Greenport, NY. On weekends I suspect snagging one of these covered deck tables is no easy task. Fresh, well prepared food ranks at the top of my list when it comes to restaurant dining. Atmosphere trumps all though and for a location like this I might have been happy with fluffernutters on Wonder bread. Instead I opted for the lobster quesadillas and was not disappointed.
Smile-you're on vacation!
After lunch the plan was to meander over to our hotel in Farmingdale through way of Long Island wine country. Little did I know but Long Island is home to almost 50 wineries. Clearly I need to get away more often.
Our first stop was Bedell Cellars, chosen because Monique's research indicated that we might be able to view some gardens while sipping our wine. Although there were relatively more garden areas at Bedell than other wineries, they were far from extensive (well, by our standards and if you're reading garden blogs probably by your standards too). Gardens aside, I really enjoyed the tasting experience and the wines at Bedell so much so that I came home with a few bottles for my private stash.
Strolling through a garden with a glass of wine is one of my favorite summer afternoon/evening activities with friends. Get on board, wineries!
|Entrance to tasting room at Bedell Cellars|
|Wine being aged at Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue, NY|
Our second stop, Pellegrini Vineyards was one of the wineries recommended by the tasting room staff at Bedell. Although I enjoyed the wine and purchased a bottle to take home I neglected to take any pictures and did not see much in the way of gardens that piqued my interest.
Our third and final stop was Paumanok Vineyards where after tasting, we decided to buy glasses of wine to enjoy on the deck overlooking the vineyard.
|Entrance to the tasting room at Paumanok Vineyards|
|Once that Madevilla gets going it should be spectacular|
Soon after arriving and checking into the hotel, we began reuniting with the rest of our group who had traveled from other locations. Even though it had been a few years since we'd seen some of them, texts and phone calls were flying and before long a party was in full swing in my room. I had packed the leftover food and wine from my previous night shindig into a cooler. Someone else brought cheese and crackers. Naturally there was wine and as a bonus we didn't get slapped by hotel security for being too loud.
Twelve attendees took a chance this year, approximately half of the still active group members but twice as many as last year. Canada was represented as well as the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana and California. Ten get togethers since 2004 and I am the only one who has been lucky enough to be able to attend every one of them.
Just four more days of this frivolity to go. Let the games begin!