Sunday, September 30, 2012

Norton Grapes and a Whirlwind Trip

I'm behind on a few big blog posts, and this is one of them. Two weekends ago, Ross and I made a quick trip to Omaha with our friends Rachel and Marcus to help my family harvest grapes. Yep, my dad's "hobby" is a full-blown vineyard! He planted it the year I left for college, so I haven't been able to help a lot. But my dad, mom, and brothers have put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into that land.

Harvest if obviously the most fun part, and the part I've been able to help with before. I feel a little guilty enjoying the fruits of someone else's labor, but it's just so nice to be outside doing something physical. And grape harvest is hardly back-breaking compared to other farm chores! Unfortunately, this year's harvest was especially easy because the birds had feasted on the ripe fruit in the week leading up to harvest.

Anyway, we decided to be crazy and drive to Nebraska when Rachel and I got off of work at 7:30pm on Friday. We set up camp in the dark and it was a colder night than we anticipated,

but it was worth it to wake up to this:


Fog, sunrise, crisp air... heavenly. We left the farm really quick to have breakfast at my maternal grandma's house-- yum! We were definitely fueled for the day when we left, and my family and a few friends had already started picking grapes when we got back.

We jumped right in.

grapes and some sad, empty stems

Ross was color-coordinated

Once we'd collected what we could, we took a quick detour to the Union Orchard nearby and I got my first apple butter of the season. I'm officially okay with it being fall now!

After that, we went back to Omaha for a quiet afternoon and then had dinner at Upstream before heading back to KC. Ross and I hadn't been there since our rehearsal dinner almost 4 years ago to the date, so that was really fun. What an exhausting trip. But so worth it!

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