All those nitpicky internet guidelines regarding what to wear when visiting a winery? LIES.
Okay, not entirely lies. But there was certainly some disconnect between my Google search results for "winery wear" and reality, at least for the southeastern Connecticut vineyard excursion I attended over the weekend in celebration of my mother's birthday.
"You mean you actually traveled farther than 45 minutes from home for once, Meesh?" Oh, shut up. You know it's a pain to drive east of the river (even if I wasn't actually the one driving, just the carsick front passenger. Ayup, I'm that person.)
Since my mom hates anyone driving at night, the plan was to stop by a few different vineyards for wine tastings/tours during the day and then hit Foxwoods casino later on for dinner and bed. Turned out to be an excellent schedule, although I'd recommend actually sleeping the night before, eating lunch at some point and taking a break before dinner, all of which we did NOT do. I may have died at the end of the night.
Regarding the particular wineries we visited, I liked Jonathan Edwards in North Stonington best (my mother preferred Maugle Sierra in Ledyard). The grounds were beautiful, the staff super friendly and the atmosphere relaxed, even though they were hosting a wedding that evening. JE offered a choice between 3 and 7 tastings, which, for someone who may or may not be cheating on an acid reflux-induced diet (ahem), was really convenient. (The tasting portions were kind of enormous though, omg.)
As for fashion, I was glad to have ignored the internet's advice. Layers? Pfft. Sturdy shoes? Everyone but me (well, and the men) was in sandals or wedges. It was a sea of long hair, oversized bags, big sunglasses and trendy sundresses, both maxi and knee-length. A few hipsters in printed skirts, too. From the photos, you can see that I, on the other hand, went for my usual "cute, but a little weird; seriously-what-are-those-socks" look.
My guidelines for summer wine tasting clothing? Comfortable shoes (no heels; there's a lot of standing around in the grass), a good sundress, shorts or capris, and sunscreen. Hat optional, although I don't know how you all avoid sunburn without one. Not even my scalp goes unscathed.
No pictures from the casino or the very cozy Two Trees hotel, mostly because I forgot, so you can be spared the many Rosie Larson jokes made that day about the far-from-everyone-else dodgy stairwell-side room I shared with my sister. However, I do wish I'd photographed the food at David Burke Prime, because it looked as fantastic as it tasted. (Also, complimentary cotton candy at the end!)
Unfortunately had to cut the night short due to extreme fatigue catching up with me (sorry, Brother and SIL), but was kind of glad to get away from the unfamiliar aggressive rudeness of the obvious out-of-staters. (I like Connecticut rude behavior, where you mostly pretend other people don't exist--or shouldn't--and are a master of bitchface.) It was the longest shuttle ride ever back to the hotel, though. I couldn't wait to fall into what were, honestly, the comfiest beds ever.
And then I still couldn't sleep. Fffff--
Happy Birthday, Mom. Let's do this again...maybe sometime after I catch up on Z's.