Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ironstone Winery

Another Sunday and not much to do but we knew we once again needed to get out of the house. So we got in the car and drove without at first knowing where we were going. The kids kept asking though and we kept saying, "We don't know." Then like magic my husband and I came up with a great plan. Let's go for a drive to a place we have been talking about visiting for ages - Ironstone Winery in Murphys. We knew it was about an hour and a half drive so we quick pulled over at Walmart, I can't believe I actually talked my husband into stepping foot in Walmart, ran in bought a new DVD for the girls, water bottles and cheese and crackers for a quick snack. We were all set. We punched in the address on the GPS, plugged the girls in, handed them some food and we were on our way!

What a beautiful drive!!!! Each new small town we drove through had a little charm all it's own. The pastures, fields, vineyards, horses and cows all were quite pleasing to observe as we set out to our destination. Angels Camp was a darling town we drove through which I had always heard about. It had a cute old downtown area with shops and restaurants. We stopped briefly to ask about a road closure that our GPS was not picking up on and enjoyed the scenic old town atmosphere. Then back in the car for another short 10 minute drive to Murphys. Once again we found ourselves in another charming town that seemed to be thriving. Plenty of places to eat, many winery tasting rooms and some fun shops - who knew?

At last we found our way through a few back streets to Ironstone Winery just outside of town. The girls were anxious to get out and run around and we were anxious to explore. It turned out to be quite a beautiful place with plenty of open area for the girls to get their energy out. First stop the tasting room and deli. We got a nice sandwich and a glass of wine for us and a few snacks for the girls and headed out to the large deck to relax and eat. The view from the deck looked out over the property which included a stream, lake, amphitheater and small walking paths. The girls enthusiastically planned out where we would go first while we finished up our food. Once done we took the remainder of our wine and headed out on a nice walk.

The Cat
It didn't take long for the girls to find a napping cat hanging out on the grounds of the winery. They kept themselves occupied loving on the kitty while dad was inside buying a few bottles of wine to take home.

The stream
The girls really enjoyed playing in and around the stream that wound through the winery. It was great for us because we were able to find a nice picnic table, sit back enjoy our wine and watch them have fun.

The Amphitheater
What a great venue for outdoor concerts. We are already planning our next trip back to enjoy some music and food in the amazing setting.

The Fig Tree
This is where we spent the majority of our time here at Ironstone. The girls loved climbing and playing around the twisty branches of the fig tree located just below the windmill. Once again my husband and I enjoyed laying out in the shade and just relaxing!

The Museum
Lastly we stopped by the shop and Museum. Many artifacts from the gold rush days were located here as well as a huge piece of gold that was found in the area. Our girls were quite interested in all of this and asked many questions.

After the winery we drove through Murphys one more time just to get some ideas of places to stay for our next trip back. Then it was time to head home. So we pulled out another movie, turned it on for the girls, plugged in Pandora for our listening pleasure and had a lovely ride home. All in all it was a great day.

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