Friends, Nature, Wineries, Breweries, & Food all in one day!

The Yard Bird and the Most AMAZING Pretzel Fries with Beer Cheese!

Friends, Nature, Wineries, Breweries, & Food all in one day!

Wow, that sounds like a lot to do in one day? Friends, Nature, Wineries, Breweries, & Food all in one day! But have no fear Loli and Pop got it done! But Geeze we were tired on Sunday!

Too Busy

It may seem hard to believe (lol not really) but Pop and I have been so busy lately with life, in general, we haven’t had a lot of time with just the two of us. With new Grandbabies (this may be the best part of being busy), my Mom’s health (the worst part for sure), Pop’s side gig (Running Angler’s Choice Fishing Tournaments (21 a year)). It just seems like we haven’t had a day to play and really connect in a while.

So Friday night after I  had been at the Hospital all day for one of my Mom’s procedures, cleaned the cabin, fixed the duplex air condition (Pop not me!), took super quick showers, grab some food at Route 51 (will be reviewing them for you soon). I went to a Bridal Shower and Pop went to the American Legion for the Queen of Hearts Drawing (no we did not win or this post would be being written on a beach somewhere!) Geez, I’m tired and it is like 9:45 pm. Did we really do that all in one day

FRIENDS

We end up at our friend’s house D and C for a drink on the patio. It was a beautiful night out. They ask what are we doing the next day and we realize we have an entire day with no plans (shsssss don’t tell anyone they may plan something…lol). Oh, this is exciting! So some tentative plans are made to go to a new Brewery in Missouri that D had just heard about.

New Brewery in Altenburg, MO

New Brewery in Altenburg, MO

Saturday Morning

As in every day, I arrive at my Parents for coffee around  7:15 am (they do live next door). Dad has our two cups ready each morning. His with honey already in it waiting. So I don’t miss this very often. I really enjoy this one on one time I get with my parents. If you grew up in a large family like I did you understand spending time alone with your parents just doesn’t happen very often. So I do take advantage of them living next door. I learn so much about them.

During the course of coffee, I tell them we may take an afternoon Jeep ride. That we are just waiting to hear from the N’s what time we might be able to go. After coffee, I stroll home and Jay is making breakfast. Pop is an amazing cook by the way. Well anyway, the N’s call right after breakfast and plans are made. We are going to meet at their house around 10:30 and head out for the day.

We are off 

D and C in their cute little convertible (Black Beauty) and us in the Jeep (Eileen). We head towards Missouri, via Route 3 towards Chester, IL. This is one of my favorite drives it is so diverse in terrain and really shows you why we are so lucky in Southern Illinois.

Jeepin with my Love

Jeepin with my Love

Now Pop doesn’t quite love this road as much. He drove it 5 days a week twice a day for 25 years. We make a quick detour in Chester to drive by the Prison as we have seen a few pictures of them tearing down the Old Amin building.

Admissions Building Demo - Supposedly a Ghost Lives on the 3rd Floor.

Admissions Building Demo – Supposedly a Ghost Lives on the 3rd Floor.

It was kinda sad to see it this way. Pop spent half of his life walking up those steps.

Nature

After our detour, we followed the “N” mobile down C Road right after we crossed the Mississippi River bridge.

Mississippi River Bridge - Chester IL

Mississippi River Bridge – Chester IL

This is where nature came into our day. C Road is a pretty curvy road in the middle of some beautiful farms, and it just happens to be the day most of them were harvesting their winter wheat.

Winter Wheat in the Midwest

Winter Wheat in the Midwest

This might sound small town but I absolutely love to see wheat fields blowing in the wind. Then of course because they are harvesting it we saw quite a bit of wildlife activity along our route.

The Hills along the way

The Hills along the way

Wineries

Brazeu, Mo Blacksmith Shop

Brazeu, Mo Blacksmith Shop

Our beautiful curvy drive through Mother Natures Gift to all brings us to our first stop in Brazeau, MO

The Hemman Winer!

Hemman Winery

Hemman Winery

Please don’t blink or you may miss the cutest little winery I think I have ever seen. They have a cute little gift shop, they sell a few local beers along with their wines.

It was very hot today so we chose to sit inside. Make sure you walk around the whole inside and go to the bathroom it is just so darn cute in there. I apologize I don’t have a really good picture of the inside. So just go there and see it for yourself.

Pop and LoLi at Hemman Winery

Pop and LoLi at Hemman Winery

I tried a glass of their Chardonel very nice refreshing white wine. Jay/Pop and the rest of the gang each had a beer.

First Beer and Wine of the Day

First Beer and Wine of the Day

We were a little early as they had just opened for the day, but the also had a Lemonaid/Wine drink they were making for the day and a musician was setting up outside for live music for the afternoon.

Cute Outdoor Space at Hemman Winery

Cute Outdoor Space at Hemman Winery

I promise we will be going back there this fall.

Breweries & Food

Next stop of the day was Saxony Hills Brewery in Altenburg, Mo! This was actually the whole reason we planned the trip D had heard of a new brewery so we had to go try it. What we didn’t know was what a treat we were in for.

New Brewery in Altenburg, MO

New Brewery in Altenburg, MO

Now when we pulled in to this concrete windowless building with a fenced in parking lot. Not really any grass to speak of, in a town of probably 300ish I can honestly say I wasn’t very impressed and to be honest thought well here we go again gonna have to get lunch again after we leave here.

Saxony Hills Brewery - Looks are Deceiving

Saxony Hills Brewery – Looks are Deceiving

There were these odd looking concrete dividers with yellow poles and wires attached to them and what we finally figured out to be hops planted at the base of them growing out of the parking lot.

Hops Growing in the Parking Lot

Hops Growing in the Parking Lot

The whole thing was just odd.

I was wrong!

DON”T tell Pop I said that I will never hear the end of it. But you walk inside and there is a Baby Grand Piano on a beautiful rug. The Brewing tanks in front of you and a very classy looking bar and sitting area. Wow, the outside just didn’t do it justice. Now don’t get me wrong you can tell it was once a warehouse but they have cleaned it up very well.

Saxony Hills Brewery - YUMMY

Saxony Hills Brewery – YUMMY

We each ordered a beer that was very tasty and once again I can’t remember the name of it but it was a Coffee Stout and oh so yummy. Then we started looking at the menu. Pretzel Fries, what the heck is that? Yep, I have to try them. We each ordered something different for all to try and we were not disappointed in anything. The Bavarian Nachos sounded gross but wow is all I can say. Look at them.

Bavarian Nachos

Bavarian Nachos

I had the yard bird and the Pretzel Fries. I could have made a meal out of the fries and still dream about them. How can you go wrong with deep fried pretzels and beer cheese dipping sauce? I was in heaven.

The Yard Bird and the Most AMAZING Pretzel Fries with Beer Cheese!

The Yard Bird and the Most AMAZING Pretzel Fries with Beer Cheese!

Jay had the Rueben and D got the sliders and yes he got a Braunschweiger one. He said it was delicious, don’t think so D (YUCK!). One thing I can promise you is, we did not need to order lunch again when we left.

Menu for Saxony Hills Brewery

Menu for Saxony Hills Brewery

I have told so many people then need to try this place. They even have a small room for private parties. They have only been open a couple of months but if they keep things going how they were that day, they are gonna have no problems staying alive.

All in One Day

Now as you may have already realized we have done everything already and it is just now lunch time. Geeze now I know why I was tired on Sunday. Well, I promise the day didn’t end there it actually lasted quite a while longer so much so that we had to get a hotel room for the night. Which we hadn’t planned on. This is one of the reasons we love hanging out with D & C. They love to try new things and set off on new adventures all the time. They are each other’s best friends also and enjoy being together learning, trying, and doing new things. Which in turn always makes for a good day.

On the Way to Our Next Stop!

On the Way to Our Next Stop!

Pretty cool thing is we didn’t even know about these two places, so they weren’t on our bucket list. But we still went somewhere new which is always a good thing. Make sure and check back soon to see where our Next Stop of the day was and how our night ended (hint hint..giving marital advice to our CarGo drivers and having a drink on a Movie set is just part of our story). We had a blast and can’t wait to tell you all about it.  Until then get out a map and find Brazeau and Altenburg, Missouri and start planning your Next Stop.

 

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