Plans are for the Birds

Yesterday was quite the adventurous Saturday!


It started out innocently enough. I woke up and immediately headed to the farmer’s market so I could stock up on organic meat and grass fed beef, since it was the last weekend for the outdoor farmer’s market this year (tearSad smile.) Then it was a working Saturday as I headed to three different clients’ houses to train them.

It was a gorgeous Saturday, so despite working until 12:30 and then running errands (Ulta – drugstore side – and Sam’s) I wanted to get out there and enjoy the day.

So when Shane suggested we head out to a local dairy farm to pick up some yummy cheese, I was more than down. Shane and I have lived just 5 miles away from the infamous Ropp Dairy Farm for years, but this was the first time we ventured out this way!

country roooads


Five minutes later we were pulling up to Ropp Jersey Cheese Farm


Yes, I was wearing shorts in central Illinois while it was snowing in the northeast. Hard to believe. To be honest, it was only about 55 degrees out, but Shane and I had gone for a short run before leaving and didn’t want to shower and change before heading out Smile with tongue out


Do I look cold? haha

Ropp raises its own dairy cows and has its own farm, but we just visited the store up front.


They have TONS of yummy cheese flavors. We went with cheesy ranch cheese curds, cheddar with apricot, and some kind of cheese with wine in it – Our plan was to take the cheese back home and eat it while we shared a bottle of wine on the back porch.

But then we spotted this on the counter:


I immediately asked the clerk: ummm where is this winery and how did I not know of it?!?

Turns out there’s a winery – White Oak Vineyards– that just opened up a few miles from Normal!! Of course we had to check it out…




When we pulled up, there were only two other cars in the lot, so we weren’t sure what to expect! However, we were greeted right away Open-mouthed smile


The inside of the winery had such a warm, welcoming feel to it. I have a thing about wineries. There are some that I feel like I could spend the whole day at, while others feel like it’s just a business and that’s it. This one definitely fell into the former category:


The winery is run and owned by a couple who live, breathe, and eat drink wine. They took the time to explain each different wine to us (as we sampledSmile) from the sweetness to the notes to the name of the wine.



It was really nice getting to know the owners of the winery we’ll be sure to be frequenting in the future Winking smile

After sampling their wines, we each bought a glass (a semi-dry white for me and a dry red for Shane)




And some chocolates:




…and then grabbed our cheese, set up camp in a little nook in another section of the winery, and sipped our wine and chowed down:


We did feel a little out of place, but only because as more and more people filtered in, it seemed like the owners knew them all! But I think it’s just the kind of winery it is. When Shane and I walked in, we were immediately greeted and asked our names, too Smile

We eventually headed home – and managed to carry through with our original plans of sharing a bottle on the back porch, appetizers in tote.


We shared the cheeses from the farm, some chopped up PB choc cookies/bars, and some beef stick (for Shane) from the farm as well:


Niko had a taste of the beef stick and turned into a blood-thirsty savage!!


So we had to put her inside with the cat Smile with tongue out


What an FUN impromptu adventure! We both commented on how much fun we were having just totally flying by the seat of our pants! We actually sat there on the back porch until the sun set, and then ordered pizza and caught all the way up on Modern Family, passing out asleep before 10:00, haha! Open-mouthed smile

Sometimes plans are for the birds Smile

Do you like visiting wineries?

What was the last spontaneous day of fun you had? I need more of them in my life!

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  1. What an awesome surprise! I lobe snacking and sipping on wine. It sounds like you got some great, local treats!

  2. I LOVE it. What a fun day you too ended up having! I love going to wine tastings, they are SO fun and always introduces me to a new wine I never would’ve picked out on my own. I’m a big fan :)

  3. Those kinds of days are the absolute best! We’ve somehow never been to a winery, but I’m definitely gonna look for one now it looks awesome. Plus you can’t go wrong with a place that serves sweet wine AND chocolate :) Hope your Sunday is just as fun!

  4. What a fun day!! With two kids, we rarely have impromptu days, but that’s ok. Enjoy this time that you and Shane can do these things! Wine and cheese is so romantic too!

  5. Those are the best little finds. I love all the effort they put into that vineyard too. WIsh I could do that some day!

  6. This.looks.awesome! My three favorite things- wine, cheese, and chocolate….I guess that’s why I run, huh?

  7. What an awesome day! Kinda jealous that’s what you were doing as I was watching buckets of snow come down over here. I love wineries but Ulysses unfortunately hates all wine so he’s pretty much the lamest person to go with.

  8. I love going to wineries with my husband! We went to Napa for our honeymoon and love visting the Finger Lakes of New York.

  9. Sounds like such a fun day the two of you had.
    Looking at the photos, it sure does look so warm and welcome there – I too like places like those :)
    Wineries is something we do not have (in the part where I live in SA) but I will be visiting Cape Town for the first time in my life in December and this is when I too will visit a winery for the first time :)

  10. I’ve never been .. Oh, I have been to a winery. Once. for a wedding. I’ve never been to a winery to do a tasting or anything like that. The winery where I grew up always has a big festival thing every year where people can go and stomp on grapes (that is just disgusting) –

    Apparently my aunt & uncle have their own winery at their house. My cousin got married 2 weeks ago and they served wine that they made. They have a vineyard, but I had no idea they made their own wine. We had muscadine wine @ the reception – it was lovely. I should have taken a picture of the bottle.. blogger fail. (I was enjoying the wine WAY to much to be concerned about taking pictures).

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