My sister and I spent the past two Sundays taking part in activities that involved going from place to place by bus to sample various drinks.
Last Sunday it was a winery tour. We drove to Atchison, Kansas and enjoyed an afternoon sampling various wines at Riverwood, Jowler Creek and Pirtle wineries. Due probably to the climate and soil qualities, Missouri wines are more limited in scope than, say, California wines. In general, the best wines are the dry and semi-dry whites. The dry reds are usually pretty terrible and the sweet reds are way too sweet for my taste.
I had been to two of the three wineries in the past and I was interested to see how those two had started branching out in ways that sidestepped some of the grape "problems," mainly by making wines from other fruits. Riverwood has recently started making wine from the Asian pears they grow and I bought a bottle after my sister suggested that it would make a very nice white wine spritzer.
Pirtle's apple wine has always been one of their better varieties but they also had a very nice blueberry wine. Their mead was better than I expected as well. It was a long, but fun day and we extended it with dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant on the way home.
This Sunday was Caffeine Crawl. Last year I went by myself (and happened to run into friends), but this year my sister agreed to go with me so I bought two tickets. As the weekend drew nearer, she was ready to bow out due to a cold, but when I couldn't find someone to take the ticket she decided to come anyway.
As we had the previous week, we started off with a hearty breakfast. I could tell my sister didn't feel great, but I brought her a nice megadose of Vitamin C and a packet of tissues for the road.
This year's route was Homer's Coffee House, Parisi Artisan Coffee, Revocup Coffee, Latteland (Kaldi's Coffee), The Roasterie and Black Dog Coffeehouse. As with previous events, there was a big focus on coffee education. Six stops made for a long day (and a lot of caffeine coursing through one's veins), but I enjoyed myself quite a bit.
Now I'm just crossing my fingers that I didn't catch my sister's plague. Here's hoping that ignoring the time change and going to bed early will help.