Sunday, September 19, 2010

Our Anniversary Trip

Hello, yes, I realize it is now mid-late September, and our 2nd anniversary was in June, but I never shared our trip with y’all. Joe gets all the glory on this one since he did the planning, and I just went along for the ride. What made getting away a little more complicated than normal was that I was taking a class that went from 9 am – 2:30 pm on Saturdays, and Joe had to work on Monday. So we needed a quick getaway.

Fortunately, we heard about a few wineries down off the Natchez Trace and decided to give them a whirl. Amber Falls Winery is the only one open later on weekends, had live music, and encouraged you to bring a picnic, so that was our Saturday night destination. When I got home from class, Joe had picked up cheese, bread, hummus, and other delicious stuff to munch on from Costco, threw our suitcase in the car, and we were on our way down the Natchez Trace.


After a relatively lengthy drive down the Trace, we arrived at our charming accommodations at Ridgetop Bed & Breakfast in Hampshire, TN. Now, being from Texas, I am accustomed to scenic names that have absolutely nothing to do with their surroundings. For example, Hillcrest Rd has nothing to do with a hill or a crest of a hill. But Ridgetop B&B was, shockingly, located on the top of a ridge. In fact, we wound up a single-lane dirt road through a forest for quite a ways before arriving at the top of said ridge. To say that it was isolated would be an understatement. Above, you can see me standing in front of our one-room cabin. The bed was so tall that I had to use a step stool to get on it.

We freshened up a bit, unloaded our luggage, and headed out to Amber Falls. Going to Amber Falls Winery is pretty much the only thing to do in Hampshire, TN on a Saturday night, so we saw the other guests from the B&B there as well. We went down the stairs to the tasting room, which was very relaxed. They basically let us try whatever we wanted to. Since Tennesseans are partial to their sweet beverages, a lot of the wines were a bit sweet for our taste, but we bought a few bottles and headed out to one of the many gazebos scattered around and unpacked our picnic. The live music was a duo of guys who sang a lot of songs about Louisiana, which was fine by us. The sun set, and we headed back to our little cabin on the ridge.

Apparently, people wake up early in Hampshire, TN, so by about 8, we had a knock on our door asking when we might want our breakfast. We quickly dressed and went to the main house for breakfast. We were hoping to visit Keg Springs Winery, which didn’t open until noon. So after breakfast, we went on a hike around the property of the B&B in search of an alleged waterfall. We walked down into this creek bed…


And then around, but I’m not sure we ever found the waterfall. It was quite pretty though! By the time that adventure was finished, we were ready for some more wine.


Ahhh, that’s more like it. Keg Springs had the best wine of the three wineries we visited. They also had a very nice patio that we had all to ourselves. Unfortunately, it started raining, which we thought had scuttled our plans for a hike on our way back on the Trace, so we decided to hit the winery trifecta and make our way to Grinder’s Switch. On the way, we stopped by Fall Hollow because we hadn’t gotten our waterfall fix earlier.


Now THAT’S a waterfall. Due to the May flooding, getting to Grinder’s Switch turned out to be quite the adventure. Let’s just say that, for this city girl and her city husband driving around in a two-door Honda Civic, rural Tennessee can be a somewhat strange and frightening place.


Finally we arrived, did some tastings, and settled in with our bottle of their Sangiovese in some rocking chairs on the front porch. Though the original plan was to head back to Nashville via the Trace, there was no way that was going to happen, so we drove back by way of I-40, which was not nearly as pretty but was slightly faster. And there concluded our 2nd anniversary weekend of doing the Natchez Trace Wine Trail! Now, if only I could write about trips promptly…

Where is your favorite local or nearby getaway?