Ah.  Bloody Marys and AAA maps.  Preparing for the 2014  No-Plan-Plan Roadtrip NPPR.  North and west are a bit chilly… looks like southeast may be the best route.  A chilly 47 degrees will greet us in the morning… may wait until later to begin our trek… Memphis is the most likely candidate… who knows.

Just finished the less than 10 minutes for guy to pack… now I have a better idea of how much beauty care and technology I can cram into the trunk bag… along with the camping gear, rain gear, and Guy’s BIG sandals….

Said goodbye to work and family, and will leave in the morning after a hearty bacon and egg breakfast fixed lovingly by Yours Truly.  Guy is a lucky…. well…. GUY.

Heading to the hot tub to celebrate vacations and our official 2014 NPPR launch.

Oops…. I think Guy’s swim trunks are already packed.  (I hope the neighbors have their blinds closed.)

Spear Fish Canyon provides an exquisite drive from Rapid City, ND to the town of Spear Fish.  A babbling, lazy creek running along the road adds to the ambiance, and offered us a brief respite from the heat.  Guy and I took off our shoes and socks, rock-hopped to a boulder in the water, and sat there sunning ourselves like a couple of … well, animals that sun themselves on boulders.  Our feet dangled in the crisp, cool, clear water.

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Guy:  Good thing I didn’t grow up around here.  I would have been sitting right here with a bottle of Jack in the stream, hoping to wake up before the sun came up… because that is when mom would come looking for me.

Clear skies, 95 degrees, we headed west to avoid Isaac.  We had intended to head  south through Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Floriday, and tthen up the Atlantic coast…. enjoying the ocean and friends along the day.   Apparently, Isaac liked that route as well.  

The ride to Lee Summit, MO was largely uneventful, though we noticed the over 100 degree heat and Guy mentioned the heat was getting to him.  By the time we stopped at the Stonehause Winery,it was clear that Guy had picked up the flu bug daughter had earlier in the week

The Stonehause Winery is a lovely location for weddings, and the wine is good, with the varieties you would expect to find in missouri wineries. I found the Topaz, a desert wine created in the Port method to beoutstanding. A white, with vanilla bean and citrus tones, it was a deliciously unique experience.

Guy was determined to go to the Belvoir Winery (the wine passport, you know), and by the time we arrived there, he could go no further.  But that was ok, because the history and ambiance of this beautiful place is not to be missed.

Quick end to the post.  Guy spent a miserable night, but is feeling better. We are heading out early to miss the rain heading this way from Isaac.

Hurricane Isaac changed our proposed destination. As accustomed as we have become to rain on our trip, we prefer the drier weather for a change. Current direction – WEST.

Not likely to return.

Located in the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, the Shawnee Bluff Winery offered us an opportunity to take a break from the near 100 degree heat.  We had planned to stop for lunch, enticed by the web site that offered oven brick pizzas, but changed our mind when we saw the cluttered dining area and no evidence of a brick oven.  The swimming pool  out front looked dirty and green (though there is a panoramic view of the lake), creating further concern for the overall quality of the food.

Guy liked the sign on the gate to the pool “Swimsuits Optional Past This Point”.  Lucky for all of us, he did not take advantage of that particular opportunity to cool down.

The young woman who helped us with the wine tasting was friendly, and these were our favorites:

Babe:  The Pinot Grigio

Guy:  The red Barbero

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In our quest to visit every Missouri winery, we headed for Summit Lake Winery in Holts Summit, MO.

Biker Alert:  Very short gravel drive off the paved road up to the winery. 

We were greeted by the adorable Kayla, who said that she was “delighted to be number 42” on our passport list.  And we believed her!   She knowledgeably guided us through the wine tasting, taking her time with us while keeping her eye on her lunch customers.  While we met many kind, friendly, and informed people at the wineries we visited this weekend, Kayla was our favorite by far.

Shout out to Kayla! Out of our 10 or so winery visits this weekend, she was our favorite and a real jewel!

The winery has a comfortable view from the porch, and boasts a varied menu.  We are told that sometimes Missouri  elected officials take a quick respite from their grueling schedule to take the 10 minute trip from Jefferson City to the Summit Lake Winery.

Wine Favorites:

Babe:  Callaway Bluff.  A semi-sweet white.  Though typically a dry white drinker, Babe enjoyed this sweet refreshing wine on a 100 degree day!  (Guy liked it to… a sit-on-your-back-porch-and-drink-a-wine- cooler type wine.)

Guy:  Ideal With Friends.  A drier red wine, and a real competitor to their St. Martin (Merlot style).


Guy sat comfortably across the picnic table from me.  Behind him the moon was large and shone like a spotlight in my face.

Babe:  I don’t think I’ve ever seen the moon so bright.

Guy:  Yeah, I was just thinking how nice your hair looks with the light shining on it.

Babe:  You must be kidding.  My hair has been stuffed into a helmet all day.

Guy chuckled.   No.  Really.  It does look nice.  And your face is really pretty in the moonlight, too.

Babe:  No way.

And with that, Guy grabbed the flashlight off the table and shined it in my face.

Guy:  Oh.  I see what you mean.

Ladies… we do it to ourselves. 

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