Long Island Wine Country

October 27, 2015

I’m not really big on my birthdays. I enjoy them. I’m grateful every time another year comes to a close. I like imagining what a new year might bring. But I’m definitely not one of those people who has a birthday month, week, or daily countdown (if that’s you, rock on).

This year, I did think about having a party, because my birthday — October 21, 2015 — was Back to the Future day! So the idea was to have a themed party that could fuse the 80’s and 2015, as depicted by Back to the Future II. But Jordan and I quickly realized we didn’t have the time, energy, or funds to plan something as elaborate as we’d like, so he planned a surprise getaway for us instead. Not a bad Plan B.

Jordan reserved a Mini Cooper zipcar, which we were both excited to drive. The funny thing was, it was incredibly hard to fit all of Jameson’s stuff in that cute little car to drop him off at Jordan’s parents’ house (imagine a rocker awkwardly taking up the entire front passenger seat and Jordan leaning over the steering wheel, ha!). The light packer in me is still trying to get used to the amount of stuff needed when getting around with a baby.

At any rate, we dropped Jameson off and were on our way. I knew we were heading out to Long Island, but I knew nothing about our final destination. I was pretty excited when we pulled up to Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse. We learned from the woman who checked us in that the bed & breakfast is owned by a couple who lives on site and who uses holistic farming techniques to grow and produce their wines.

DSC_5481The grounds were beautiful, and the guest house was outfitted with big, comfy arm chairs, four-post beds (perfect, given this was the first night since Jameson was born that both Jordan and I had spent a night away from him) and a bright kitchen for breakfast. DSC_5383
Behind the guest house is a beautiful patio where we hung out and soaked up the sun.DSC_5387DSC_5407DSC_5406 DSC_5400DSC_5410DSC_5408 DSC_5394
Once the hunger set in, we made our way to a cute cafe called Love Lane Kitchen for a late lunch.DSC_5415DSC_5494 DSC_5446
And then we headed back to Shinn Estates to spend some time exploring the vineyards. What is it that’s so beautiful about rows and rows of vines? DSC_5488DSC_5491
I really love the photo above of Jordan. I’ve got a crush on that guy.DSC_5546I’ve also got a crush on all things plaid for the fall season.

Such a fantastic way to spend my birthday — soaking up the best of fall with my favorite person. And such a great way to cap a year that has been truly amazing.

Birthdays often leave me reflecting on whether or not my life looks the way I expected it to by “X age.” If you asked 25-year-old me what I imagined life would be at 33, so many things would be off. I’m married to someone different (a pastor, at that!). I’m living in a different city. I’m in a different space professionally. I’ve just had my first child, instead of working on my third. I’ve experienced love and loss in ways I couldn’t imagine.

No, things aren’t as I expected. But boy, are they beautiful. Meaningful. Special. Mine. And perhaps even more appreciated for the way they all snuck up on me and have created this crazy story I couldn’t have written for myself.

As this next year starts, I’m welcoming it with open arms — without expectations — and I’m eager to squeeze all the life out of it that I can get. Cheers to that!

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  • Reply
    January 26, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Awww I surprised my hunny with this trip for his bday. I told him we were going to church lol. We love that little cafe as well. Great pics!! I want to see yall all piled up in that mini cooper. lol

    • Reply
      Jessica Rice
      January 26, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Ha, thanks! Great minds think alike. It was such a nice trip. And yeah, us in that mini cooper was a sight to be seen for sure. :)

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