Thanks to all of you for your sympathy, advice, and kind words on that last entry. Believe me, my resume is in tip-top shape and I am actively getting it out there. I also told the Almost Underlord that yes,I made the deadline; but no, the work is not nearly as good as I would like it to be. You know the old saying: good, fast, or cheap -- pick two.
Today was about as perfect a day as you can get in these parts, so we hopped in the car and headed for the Sugarloaf Mountain Winery, one of the stops along the Maryland Wine Trail. We took the long way, winding along the back roads out into the countryside, through the little towns and the woods, windows open and classic rock playing on the radio.
We didn't know what a popular destination this winery is! There was a nice crowd there, tasting wines, drinking wines, having picnics, and just throwing off winter and welcoming summertime.
It's a really pretty place, with a big red barn and silo, vineyards beginning to green up, and a great variety of wines. Tables were set up out back on the lawn and on the lower patio just outside the tasting room. We passed on the $10-for-tastes-of-11-wines deal and opted instead for a glass of wine each and a mixed cheese plate.
We sat out on the shady patio, where we sipped out wines and nibbled our cheeses while a nice man played guitar and sang folky rock oldies. I had a glass of Anticipation, a delicious dessert wine, sweet and icy cold and perfect with our cheese and grapes. Joe had their award-winning EVOE!, which he says is possibly the best red wine he's ever tasted.
We nibbled and sipped and listened, petted the winery cat and admired the many dogs that folks had brought, and just enjoyed the cool breeze and tranquil scenery.
From there, it was less than a mile to Sugarload Mountain -- so how could we not go?
Sugarloaf Mountain is a monadnock -- how about that? It's the only "mountain" in Montgomery County, Maryland, and it has an elevation of about 1,200 feet. When I was a kid, my Pop used to drive us out to Sugarloaf Mountain on a Sunday afternoon. We'd climb up and down the rock staircase built up the side of the mountain, scramble over the rocks and trails, and have a Coke or an ice cream cone at the little rest area. I went as a teenager on Teen Club trips, as a hippie to commune with nature and partake of a little... well, 'nuff said , and as a mom with my own family for hikes and picnics. We hadn't been in probably 20 years, we were right there, so it was a no brainer.
We parked at the less crowded West picnic area. I'm not quite the hiker that I used to be, so we didn't try the trail to the summit. Instead, we headed to this overlook and gazed west toward Appalachia.
The only noise was the wind, high in the trees, and the footsteps of the various folks who joined us to look at the valley and watch the bird soar and swoop on the wind.
It was just what I needed.
PS - More pictures here, including a really cute one of Joe!