July 3, 2016 (By Angela)
As stated at the end of the post of our July 1st travels, Jim and I were well rested when we woke, so we got an early start and watched the sun rise as we drove.
Since we did get going early, Chewie talked us into a spontaneous adventure that he tells you about here.
Well rested, early morning, comfortable temperatures, and mild traffic – all of this made for a good traveling day. We were past Louisville, Kentucky, (as in took the bypass) and through Cincinnati, Ohio, before we knew it. Jim and I did stop at a Walmart to get our lunch from the camper kitchen (yes, this is becoming routine – but it works) just off I-275, the bypass around Louisville. We’re lucky Chewie got worn out on his morning adventure, or he would have been fussing because he didn’t get to get out at either of the big cities.
This was our longest planned one-day driving route for our month-long trip, so we were happy to make it to our destination between 3 and 4 local time (actually closer to 3). Ohio has some beautiful country as we were beginning to learn.
Our stop for the night was our second Harvest Hosts visit, staying at another winery, this time in Ohio. We parked in what we believed to be the “back” of the parking lot as instructed; I went inside to “check in” and make sure we were parked correctly. Upon my return, I saw Jim talking with a man who was petting Chewie. It seems that Chewie located Kenny Joe, one of owners of the winery, asked for a pet, and help introduce him to Jim. Later, we had a chance to chat with his wife, Dodie, when she came down to meet the “beautiful dog” her husband had met earlier. (Don’t tell Chewie about that; he’ll get a big head.) They were a lovely couple with whom we had some things in common, so we enjoyed our chats with each of them. Unfortunately, we did not get pictures of these hospitable folks.
Our experience at Valley Vineyards was wonderful. We felt truly welcomed by the owners, and they said a couple of times to let them know if anything was needed. Our overnight here was more typical in that we needed to be self-contained, but unlike overnights in other parking lots, we could once again put out our bedroom slide. Temps had dropped enough in our movement north, that with some windows open and a battery operated fan, we were comfy all night and slept well. (Don’t forget, if you decide to follow our link to Harvest Hosts on the side bar and join, please mention us. I think it adds a month to our membership.)
Valley Vineyards is owned by the Schuchter family, and three generations run this family business that has expanded from wine to include a micro brewery and big-scale food service on weekends. The owner said that most weekend nights he can have as many was 400 reservations for the cookout dinner they offer. I guess we were lucky that it was a holiday weekend. Many folks go out of town on holiday weekends, so he only had 250 reservations for the night we were there, leaving space for us to park. You need to go to the winery’s web site to read about the cookouts and other special events.
Jim did enjoy his steak, veggies, wine, and dessert, but what blew us away was the sample trays. These are available for wine or beer, and if you choose wine, you get to request dry and semi-dry or sweet and semi-sweet or just a random mixture. We got the sweet/semi-sweet since that suits our palates best. Both beer or wine trays are only $10 each! Yep, everything pictured below for one low price of $10.
It was another successful traveling day, but it was much more relaxed than the day before. Once again, we drank probably too much wine for us, but we slept really well again. Thank you owners and staff at this winery. We enjoyed your food, your wine, and your hospitality very much.