We wasted no time getting out as a family after our Suburban arrived last week! Saturday morning we piled into the truck and headed south to meet up with Nello, an Italian who works for Navy housing and owns a vineyard nearby. Our friends Hannah and Tuba (her husband plays tuba in the Navy band--and yes, that's his nickname!) told us about a grape picking and stomping event, and it sounded like fun!
There were maybe 30 people altogether, including children. We arrived at the property around 9:45 or so and hiked into the vineyard itself, where we had a snack of some sweet bread and juice before being handed the clippers and given instructions as to how and where to pick. Then they turned us loose to fill up crates! We picked for almost 2 hours, and everyone had something to do: the older ones clipped, the younger ones threw the bunches into the crates, and Zaden kept Daddy company in the baby backpack. :-)
Just at the point we were deciding that the fun was wearing off, it was time to clean up for lunch. They had set up tables in the vineyard under a beautiful walkway, with bunches of grapes woven through the trellis. Musicians serenaded us as we ate some delicious Italian food (well, the grown-ups got Italian food--the kids had hot dogs and British-style "chips") and sampled wine. The kids weren't impressed with the wine, LOL. I'm not a fan either, I have to admit. It sounds so romantic to drink wine, but I just have never found any that I can stomach! Still, Ted and I shared a glass, so I can say I've had Italian wine in an Italian vineyard where I've picked Italian grapes!
After we were stuffed, it was time to stomp! They had two big wooden buckets set up for the stomping. Mostly the kids were the ones who wanted to try it, but a few adults did as well. Ted and I did not--more because it looked like a pain to get our feet washed before and after and then squeeze back into our dirty, dusty socks and shoes!
All in all, it was a very fun way to spend a Saturday morning and afternoon! We came home and crashed for the afternoon, and then Hannah and Tuba came over for pizza and a game of Settlers of Catan. Woohoo for new Catan friends!