November, to me, is prime girlfriend getaway time for a few different reasons:
- It’s hunting season, and you know what they say about the cat being away.
- November is kind of a blah month, at least in terms of scenic beauty (brown, barren), sunshine (waning), and rapidly declining temps (self-explanatory). What better way to boost your spirits than a road trip with the girls? It might be ugly and cold outside, but I’ll bet you’ll hardly notice as you laugh and reminisce (that one story is still hilarious no matter how many times you tell it) with close friends.
- Girlfriend getaway + road trip + small town shops = unique Christmas gifts, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
And when you add wine to the mix, well, it’s just about perfect.
For awhile now, I’ve wanted to sip my way along a wine trail—like the Great River Road Wine Trail—with my closest friends.
This weekend (Nov. 10-11) presents a golden opportunity with the Holiday Harvest Wine & Food Festival from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The $30 ticket is good for a wine glass, wine tote, free wine, and food samples—a steal of a good deal. (I also like that the event coordinators encourage responsible driving with reduced designated driver tickets, available for only $10/person.)
The wineries participating in the festival are Valley Vineyard (Prescott, Wis.), Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery (Stockholm, Wis.), Seven Hawks Vineyards (Fountain City, Wis.), and Eagles Landing Vineyard and Winery (Marquette, Iowa).
Spend a day driving down Highway 35 to the various wineries, rent a cottage, condo, or house, then hit charming rivertown boutiques the next day on your way up the Mississippi back to the Twin Cities metro. I love going shopping in small towns. Some of the best gifts I’ve received have been from quaint Mom and Pop shops. Anyone can buy a gift at a department store. It takes special thought, though, to buy a one-of-a-kind gift from a shop like A Sense of Place or Bnox. And independent shop owners are always so helpful and kind and appreciative of your business. It feels good to help the local economy.
It also feels good to escape the regular chaos of day-to-day life for a little R&R with the girls. It doesn’t happen often enough, but when it does, watch out. Side ache-inducing laughter will ensue.