Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bed and Breakfast Weekend #2 and Giveaway Winner

Hello again! We're home now from our weekend excursion, so it's time to announce the winner of my Dots on Dots Giveaway. Drum roll please...

I had 144 comments that counted, and the winner is #26! Which was Beaquilter who said "cool blocks and you had a lot of dotted fabric! I don't- so I'd love to win some :-)"

Well - you've got your wish! I'll be contacting you by email to get your address and send off your winnings. :)

Now, to get to the rest of this posting - which I will warn you will be picture heavy...

We did some nice things on our weekend away for my husband's birthday, so I wanted to share them with you. We did everything pretty much in one day, so Saturday was a very long but happy day.

In the morning we went out to the Shihata Orchard just outside of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. They have one of the only pick your own orchards in the area where we were, so we picked some apples.

They had a bunch of different types, but we went for the Honey Crisp apples. They always taste the best! (We were almost swayed by some Galas, but stayed true to our first instincts.)

There were quite a few to choose from on the trees, so we had to inspect them first before picking.

Some were picked and taken home. Others fell to the ground as we searched for good apples (no, we didn't pick apples and then toss them on the ground, some just fell off while we were grabbing different apples...).

We ended up with about 10 pounds of apples, or a 1/4 bushel, which is plenty of apples for us. We ate some that same day, and I have plenty to eat over the next few weeks, or maybe make into a pie! I love that it's cooler outside now so I can have my oven going for an hour without roasting in my apartment! Plus, who doesn't love the smell of a freshly baked apple pie?

We could have taken home more, but a lot of the apples that looked good were too high up for us to pick.

So, in lieu of taking home some of those, we bought apples in different forms and other goodies from the store.

We bought a gallon of apple cider (yum!), 2 honey sticks, garlic/dill cheese curds and a very sticky, very delicious caramel apple. I was happy to find out that they used a Honey Crisp apple for the caramel apple instead of a Granny Smith. I liked that it wasn't so tart. Most of those things were very easy to eat in the car - cheese curds, honey sticks - but the caramel apple was probably something we should have saved until after we were to our next destination.

Speaking of our next destination... We drove from the orchard over to Iowa's Pike's Peak State Park. I had planned for us to have a picnic lunch there. I used the picnic basket we got for our wedding almost 3 years ago for the first time and it was super handy. It came with dishes, napkins, silverware and glasses inside all ready to go, so all I had to do was add the food and bring the blanket.

We got a trail map from the park and headed off on our way! The park was gorgeous. There were some gravel paths, some wooden plank paths and some wood chip paths, all very well marked and kept up.

There were a few places where you could look out over the Mississippi River. The view was gorgeous - something we definitely don't get to see in Madison every day. We couldn't have asked for better weather either.

Once we walked for a little while we found a flat clearing a little bit off the trail to have our picnic.

I packed way too much food - something I inherited from my mom. We never run out of food at family gatherings, and I guess I planned for a week-long excursion with this picnic.

I had 2 different types of crackers, jalapeno-cheddar snack sticks, beef summer sausage, garlic cheese spread and jalapeno cheese spread, Ritz crackers, flat-bread crackers, apples, pretzels, honey roasted peanuts and sparkling apple juice. I guess I just wanted to make sure we had a variety of snacks! :) At least my picnic basket was a little lighter after our picnic... We didn't even open 1/2 of the things I brought along, but we're enjoying them at home.

After our snacking was complete, we just laid back and relaxed on the blanket. It was so nice not to have to rush off to be somewhere else and to just enjoy being outside in a beautiful place.

When we got sick of brushing off little bugs that kept coming by, we got up and made our way back to our car. From the park we went to Eagle's Landing Winery in Marquette, Iowa. That town is about 1 minute from McGregor where we were staying. Literally they run into each other, so it took no time to get there. We thought the winery would be farther out in the country, but it was right in the middle of town. So, we did some wine tasting and ended up buying 4 bottles - 1 regular white wine and 3 more fruity wines made out of strawberries, cherries and raspberries. Our wine rack at home is now full again! :)

For dinner we checked out the buffet at the riverboat casino in town. It wasn't that great, but we had to check out the boat, just to say we'd been on it. When we got back to the B&B we had a relaxing evening of reading (me) and watching college football (husband/me). Our team - the Wisconsin Badgers - barely pulled off a win, so it was a good night.

We snuggled off to sleep under that beautiful quilt I posted about earlier. I found out from the B&B owner that she does indeed quilt, and our quilt was the first bed-sized quilt she ever made (and she does hand stitch them all!). I'll post the rest of our experience at the B&B in a future post. This one is long enough, and if you've made it this far you're a real trooper! So, I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the things we did this weekend. If you're ever in the area, McGregor, Iowa and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin have a lot of things to offer - and plenty of things we didn't get to. So, check it out sometime! :)

1 comment:

  1. So much fun doing u-pick apples...we have a small orchard now but barely had enough this year to make a batch of chunky applesauce...had to mix in the pears, at that! We went to an apple festival this weekend and a gallon of cider was going for 12 dollars...hard year for apples around here. Glad you have it better in your area!


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