Friday, we dropped the kiddo off at her grandparent's, hit the road by 3:30 PM and made it into Hermann right at 7:00. After checking into our room at Harbor Haus Inn, a nautical themed B&B, we walked around town, settling on dinner at a place called The Concert Hall and Barrel Bar. I had a great steak sandwich and a dopplebock beer from the local brewery, Tin Mill Brewing Company.
Then, we walked out over the bridge over the Missouri. We stood and listened to the surging water below and had the chance to stand over a train passing a few dozen feet below us. You could feel the wind off of it and the rattle of the tracks.
After that we hit up a bar called The Bank Bar at Schiller. Housed in an old bank building. It was nice and low-keyed. I was drinking a glass of Norton by the Adam Puchta Winery, with an owner of the winery sitting about ten feet behind me. The owner of the bar was a nice guy. We talked to him quite a bit that evening.
Saturday, up about 7:30 AM. Down to the inn's dining hall for a communal breakfast. The dining hall was completely decked out in nautical pieces. Three boats along the ceiling, a Meramec johnboat, a rowboat and what appeared to be an old Rob Roy-like canvas canoe. We also stopped for a doughnut at a little mom and pop bake shop.
After breakfast, we drove out to Adam Puchta Winery and sampled their wines. Buying a couple bottles before heading back to town. It was the only place we drove to. Everything else being within a mile or so of our B&B and easily walkable.
Tin Mill Brewing Company was next. I got another dopplebock, Abby had a pilsner. I also picked up a tee shirt after doing the self-guided tour. We sat out in their beer garden and finished off our brews.
Then it was across the street to Hermannhof Winery. Where we picked up several bottles of wine and a summer sausage to go with the Irish cheddar and water crackers that we had brought with us. We sat under a pavilion next to the creek running through the property. It was pretty awesome, really. The weather was not hot, the rain was magically held at bay and our day couldn't get much better.
Somewhat buzzed, we trumped back to our room, dropped off the bottles and leftover food, then made the half hour walk over to Stone Hill Winery. With Wurstfest in full swing, crowds were gathering quite a bit. We didn't bother much with all the sausage eating part and stuck to the wine. Avoiding much of the lines in the process. We did take a cellar tour, which was great. It included a private tasting (A woman named Claire was our tasting host and she was very nice. We liked her a lot. We saw her again the next morning in a coffee shop). Also, with a sharp nudge from my wife and half a bottle of Vidal Blanc in me, I got to help in a very drunken bratwurst making demonstration.
While walking back to the B&B, we stopped in a little mom and pop restaurant for a late lunch. Abby had their German special and I had an open-face roast beef sandwich. It was the perfect meal to sober up to. Once we made the inn, we crashed out for an hour and a half.
Then it was up out of bed and down to sit by the inn's firepit, next to their parking lot. We hung out down there and polished off a bottle we'd been working on earlier. A dozen or so highly intoxicated locals joined us. They were hammered, but really funny. We had all the intention in the world of heading back out to the bars, but opted for a casual stroll around town and the riverfront. Then back to the room to read and crash out again.
Sunday morning, up for breakfast at the dining hall again. Checked out, then we walked around town, got a coffee at an internet cafe and then a second breakfast at the fire house. It was funny to be socializing with so many septuagenarians. But, we met a lot of nice people there and no one seemed a bit bothered by our age or my tattoos.
After the firehouse, we were off to Hermannhof again. We polished off the cheese, sausage and crackers, as well as half a bag of kettle corn and most of a bottle of chambourcin. Then walked around to some shops and back to the car.
It was a great trip. We had a lot of fun and it was nice to hang out with just the two of us for a change. Still, we missed the kiddo enough to leaver a little earlier on Sunday and head back south. Missing the wiener dog derby in the process. Oh, well. Here's a few more pics from around town.