Archive for October 2013

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

If you're looking for a wonderful story that will make you laugh and cry, but is also a quick read you could knock out in a weekend, this is your book. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a story about coming of age, first loves, coping with loss, and how to do it all with grace.

Narrated by 16 year old cancer patient, Hazel, you learn she's a bright young woman that has thought of herself as nothing more than a terminal cancer patient. After giving in to her mother's prodding, she joins a support group where she meets August and her life takes on a new meaning.

Have a box of tissues nearby, but don't worry it won't be all sadness. If you're anything like me, you'll be wiping tears away and laughing only moments later. This is a book deserving of the accolades. But don't take my word for it, go read it for yourself. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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Saturday exploring more of Virginia wine country

Like I mentioned yesterday, my plans for an afternoon spent apple picking was a bit of a bust. Thankfully, Keith wanted to make the most of the hour and half drive out of the city deeper in to Virginia. The majority of Saturday afternoon was spent sampling more wines of Virginia.

Our little adventure took us to four wineries and vineyards - Philip Carter Winery,  Winding Road Cellars, Hume Vineyards, and Rappahannock Cellars.

After completing the tasting the best thing at Philip Carter Winery, the best glass we tasted was the sangria. The space was beautiful and if the wine was better I would have been interested in drinking a bottle and playing some lawn games.

Winding Road Cellars is a small operation with a charming wine maker. I find I like the white wines coming out of Virginia much more than the reds as was the case at Winding Road Cellars. We left with a bottle of Chardonnay. Their Chardonnay was nicely balanced and I could see it being a lovely table white should it ever become more readily available. I wanted to like the reds, but found them all to taste a  bit like musty mushrooms. Way too earthy for my likes.

Further down the road, we ended up at Hume Vineyards where I again struggled to find a wine I really enjoyed. That is until the final one we tasted - their 2011 Vendange Tardive. Unlike most desert wines, this one had a light mouth feel, which makes me think we'll serve it as an aperitif with some good sharp cheeses.

The final stop of the afternoon was Rappanahannock Cellars and by far the best of the four. We left with not only two bottles of wine - the 2012 Viognier and the 2011 Meritage. The Viognier is crisp with a wonderful apricot finish. The Meritage is well-rounded with a soft earthy finish. In addition to wines, they offer Greek olive oils. Had we not ordered their sampler of warm bread and olive oil we would have missed out on the heavenly truffle-infused oil.

P.S. This is our third adventure exploring Virginia wine country. You can find one here and two here. I'm thinking my favorite vineyards are located closer to Charlottesville.

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Saturday afternoon at the apple orchard

I never imagined writing these words, but sometime the inevitable happens and they must be said. Keith was right.

We spent Saturday afternoon at Stribling Orchard in Virginia for what I thought would be an adventure filled afternoon spent picking beautiful, red and golden apples. I wanted to be taken back to those childhood memories of picking apples with my sister and grandpa. The sweet crisp taste filled my mouth as we pulled up to the orchard.

I'm not sure if we missed the window or we didn't walk deep enough into the orchard, but we managed to pick a peck in less than half an hour. And who knew a peck or a small bag would cost $15? The really good looking apples had already been picked and were available in the bins at the general store. Regardless, it was a lesson learned every now and then Keith knows what he's talking about. And that didn't mean we did't enjoy picking our small bag's worth of apples. 

Have you been apple picking? If so, should we have went our earlier in the season? Would you do it again? I'm still in the love with the idea.

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Book Review: The Husband's Secret

Secrets are often held close and never make their way out to be shared with a spouse. Imagine your secret is so dark that is could damage your marriage, your family, and everything you hold dear should it be known.

That's the kind of secret that Cecilia Fitzpatrick stumbles upon when she finds an old yellowed envelope addressed 'To be opened only in the event of my death' from her husband. He is still very much alive and out of town on business. Does she open the letter?

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty is a captivating story weaving together the lives of a group of people that barely know each other but will are all impacted by the secret included in that letter. This book left me speechless and provided the right twists and turns at just the right moments to keep you reading.

You should definitely add this one to your list or just download it to your e-reader now. I want someone to chat with about this book and everyone I've recommended it to have finished it yet.

Any recommendations as to what I should start next?

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