There's nothing better than celebrating a birthday with family and friends. For those from Italy or of Italian descent, who remembers being given a little wine on Sundays and holidays at your grandparents' house? When my parents were kids and we were kids, the kids always got a little bit of wine, mostly homemade!
Turning 30 is a milestone, well it is when you are 29! I remember my goal was to have all my children before I was 30. I did. I had my daughter at 29. She came after my son who was born when I was 24.
What an awesome surprise last Sunday. A party bus pulled up to my parents' house where we all met. My sister had bagels and coffee awaiting everyone.
I enjoyed a slice of my gluten free banana bread that I added some chocolate chips to as an extra treat. I couldn't eat the bagels. For amazing gluten free baked goods, click green link.
After everyone boarded the bus, it then arrived in front of my niece's house and to her surprise, we had a large group ready for fun out East on the Northshore of Long Island at two wineries!
Our first stop was about 40 minutes East of us at Baiting Hallow Winery. We had our own private tent where there was wine tasting, and pickies, such as pizza, huge pretzels with dips and live music. It was a lot of fun. We spent about two hours there.
Silliness was the order of the day. That's me, being the good sport. It looks like the pretzel is much closer than it actually is. My daughter strategically staged this picture. She thinks she's funny!
Of course, I had to bring all my own food to both wineries. But that was fine. They gave me a little bit of a hard time at the first winery, but I held my ground and refused to not take in my own food. I explained my allergies and that I couldn't eat anything they would offer. See my post Bringing My Own Food Outside My Home.
For this simple and delicious gluten free pasta pomodoro recipe, click green link. Along with the pasta, which I kept warm in a soft, insulated bag, I brought some diced peaches, a banana, rice chex cereal and another slice of banana bread. I didn't eat it all, but I always pack extra in case we get stuck unexpectedly for any reason. It's happened and I starved because I couldn't eat anything anywhere. I learned from my mom's motto - "Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it." Pack extra. If you bring it home, so be it. It won't go to waste, you'll eventually eat it.
The bus pulled up to take everyone to the next location about 20 minutes further out East.
Our next stop was Jason's Vineyards. Their website still says no groups over 10 people, but apparently, that's changed as we were a lot more than 10 and we made the reservation way in advance.
Everyone enjoyed some wine and cheese on various crackers. They also had cold cut packages of salami with cheese rolls.
We sat in a room where they process the wine. Very rustic and interesting. There were picnic benches available and some folding chairs for those who had trouble sitting at the benches.
Some of the group headed outdoors to see some of the farm animals and take a walk through the vineyards. It was a cool, brisk day requiring a Fall jacket or sweatshirt, but the sun was shining and the cool air was welcoming.
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Sometimes it's nice to go to the farms or wineries out East in a small group, like the Mother Daughter Day Out East on the Farms and the Harbes Farm Out East North Shore Long Island. Last Spring we enjoyed a visit to a winery for my daughter's birthday - Long Island, New York Northshore Winery. Last year my sister and I had a great time at the farms and even stopped at a Garlic Fest - Long Island North Fork Farms, Food and Fun.
It's also fun to go in a large group like we did for my niece's surprise birthday. No one has to drive, everyone has a ride home and the bus just parks and waits for you to finish. The second winery allotted us four hours.
It did start to get very cold once the sun went down. Everyone decided to leave about 45 minutes early as it was about 41 degrees by then and dark. Not much to see and do, although they did do some dancing to the live band playing.
The party continued on the bus ride home!
After that we had a pizza party (5 pizzas and a vegan pie) and then we sang happy birthday!
Happy 30th Birthday! We had a blast.
If you are ever on Long Island, I highly recommend visiting our North Shore farms and wineries on the East End. Of course, if you are spending a nice amount of time, don't forget a visit to The Hamptons on the South Shore. Check out my post Long Island - South Shore On The Coldest Day of the Year.