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Best laid plans

March 28, 2010
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I’ve been out of commission the past week, suffering from the worst cold I’ve had in years. When Saturday rolled around, I was also suffering from a severe case of cabin fever. It was a sunny day yesterday, and my husband, who has also been down much of the week with a cold, suggested we jump in the convertible and drive north to the Georgia Outlet stores and walk around. He was probably trying to determine whether or not my limbs still worked, since I’ve been sprawled out on the family room sofa with a box of Kleenex for days, moving only to reach the remote or place my cup of tea back on the coffee table.

The Outlet Mall is a mere 40 – 45 minutes distance from our home. I had the music blaring and we drove. Up the highway, and we drove, and we drove, and we drove. And an hour and a half later, I realized something was terribly wrong.

“Are we going to be there soon?” I ask my husband, in a tone that does NOT in any way say “Are you lost?”…Not wanting to spoil my day out, I kept it cool.

“Yep. Should be getting there soon,” he says. But I see him eyeing Ellie, the  British woman who sits on our dash and says “recalculating” when we’re traveling to a new place and have missed our turn.  We love Ellie, but she is quiet during this trip as my husband already knows exactly where he’s going, so he didn’t alert her to our destination.

Fifteen minutes later, my husband glides into a turning lane on the highway and points the car back to where we’ve come from.

“I thought it was just past the Helen exit,” he says. Oh, maybe he’s …dare I say it…maybe he’s LOST?

I am still calm and patient. The good passenger. “Hmm. I thought it was on Hwy 400. The 400 Outlet Malls?”

“Yeah, there’s that one. But isn’t there another mall?” Clearly we had a communication breakdown, so I won’t go any further with THAT conversation. But all was well. Now that he knew where we were going, Ellie could get us there. …Yep. Or maybe not.

We drove around–and I did truly have all the confidence in the world that eventually we would get there. And even if we didn’t, I wasn’t stuck on any plan. It was a sunny Saturday, and I was out of the house. I didn’t have kids to tend to or a deadline to meet. I was just enjoying the open road.

Two hours later, with a LOT of open road ahead of us (okay, was this the 3-hour tour?)…we turned around again. He looked at the map, again. It was almost 6 and I was getting hungry. Just as I was about to be the “less patient passenger,” a sign on the road caught my attention “Frogtown Winery,” with a finger pointing up the road.

“TURN!” I say loudly. “Wine!”  (for those of you who know me…you know that if there is wine anywhere within a 50-mile radius, I will find it).

What we happened upon was a wonderful group of wineries in the Georgia Mountains. When we turned I saw another sign for Three Sisters Vineyards, with another finger pointing up the hill. We passed Frogtown, with intention of circling back, and followed the dusty road, and acres of vineyards to our right, to Three Sisters Vineyards .

When we arrived, the winery was closed, but a group of wine lovers were enjoying a bottle of Three Sisters Wine and told us that there was yet another winery just up the road that stayed open later. Maybe we should try there, they said.  So we continued on our journey, dead end road after dead end road until we found Blackstock Vineyards and Winery. And what a find!

Blackstock Winery

The winery was beautiful, with its wraparound porch and incredible  mountain views. Inside the formal wine tasting was closing down, but we were greeted by a smiling face behind the bar who offered us small tastes (complimentary) of two wines and of course we could buy a glass and / or a bottle. I settled on a glass of their Merlot, which was really, really good. Having had Georgia wines in the past, I was pleasantly surprised. The Cabernet was also very good. And they served something called ACE, which is a family reserve named after their three children: Austin, Chandler, and Eliza. Very good!

After taking some photos, and downing some of their port wine served in a dark chocolate “shooter” cup (heavenly), we got very specific directions from the bartender and finally found the Outlet Malls.

Still excited from our winery find, we found ourselves less interested in shopping by the time we arrived. We spent 30 minutes at the mall, and then ate dinner at a nearby Mexican joint (fasted service I’ve ever had in my life), and then headed home.

Morale of the story is easy to determine: Be open for anything. You never know what gem you will find along your journey, if you keep your eyes open.

This week, I had a PLAN thwarted. A journey I was on took an unexpected turn. And yesterday was proof to me that just when you think you know where you’re going, even with the best laid plans in mind, the road not taken can be even more exciting. Go with it.  Even when the destination isn’t what I’ve planned, maybe it’s because it’s not the journey I’m supposed to be taking.

It was a wonderful day. I was able to see beautiful countrysides, taste some new wines, enjoyed great conversation with the love of my life. I’m glad that I just let the day unfold, living in the moment — changed course.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2010 4:36 pm

    maybe I was “lost” or maybe not … hhhhmmm maybe I just didn’t want to go “shopping”

  2. March 28, 2010 9:45 pm

    Glad you discovered our neighborhood- the “Heart of Georgia Wine County!” Please come back and see Three Sisters. We’re open Thursday-Friday-Saturday 11-5 and Sundays 1-5. Cheers!

  3. March 29, 2010 1:01 am

    Thanks Doug! Yes, we’re definitely planning a trip back so we can visit Three Sisters and all the other beautiful wineries we happened to find on our journey. See you in a few weeks!

  4. April 7, 2010 10:55 am

    Lovely piece Gwen. I especially found these words hit a nerve with me:

    Go with it. Even when the destination isn’t what I’ve planned, maybe it’s because it’s not the journey I’m supposed to be taking.

    Love your blog…oh, and I love wine too!


  5. April 7, 2010 11:22 am

    Thanks Kimberly! It’s all a matter of how you look at things, sometimes, isn’t it?

  6. April 8, 2010 1:24 pm

    Actually…you may have inspired a story for my blog! Keep writing.

  7. April 8, 2010 11:54 pm

    Look forward to reading it!

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