Hot Spots

Visit: Hermann Hill Vineyard Inn, Cottages & Spa (+ recipe!)

Ever feel like you need to get away? Life has gotten the best of me lately, so I was well-aware I needed a break. Cue Hermann Hill Vineyard Inn, Cottages and Spa.

Hermann, MO, located about 90 minutes from Saint Louis, is famous for the Hermann Wine Trail, a stretch of highway featuring wineries, breweries and distilleries. I’ve heard great things about them all, but the gem of the city is Hermann Hill.

When you check into the Inn, you’ll find yourself with the one-on-one service you’d expect to see in a quaint town. The Inn directors make sure you’re aware of all of the amenities (you know, fresh soup in the afternoon, a Margarita bar, homemade pizza, turn down service…), along with welcoming you to your room with a tray of wine, cheese, fresh baked bread and grapes.

My room, the Port, overlooked the small vineyard, and featured a fireplace, jacuzzi tub and steam shower with a rainforest head. Can you see why I didn’t leave the room?

If the coziness of the room isn’t enough for you, maybe the hand delivered, homemade cookies, ice cream and famous raspberry port sauce will be.

Still not convinced? Wait until you wake up to breakfast in bed. Pick from six delicious, fresh options the night before to be delivered to your room between 9-10. I got the savory scrambled egg casserole with potatoes and an orange marmalade muffin, and holy cow was it delicious. PLUS – the recipe for these amazing orange marmalade muffins is below!

It wouldn’t be a true getaway without a visit to the spa. I enjoyed a 60 minute massage and 30 minute facial (a first!) after checking out. It’s a bit pricey, but sometimes you have to just treat yo’ self.

Every single person needs to take 24 hours to themselves and visit Hermann Hill. Then, come back with your man. Or your girlfriends. Or your dog, because they’re welcome, too!

Orange Marmalade Muffins (via Hermann Hill Inn & Village)

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c. (16oz) dairy sour cream
  • 1/2 c. orange marmalade
  • 2-1/2 tbsp. Butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla

Mix flour, baking powder and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Combine eggs, sour cream, orange marmalade, butter and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over flour mixture; mix until smooth. Spoon batter into well-greased 3-inch muffin cups, filling cups 2/3 full. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from pan. Yield: 2 to 2 1/2 dozen muffins.


Wedding Wednesday: Preparing For Travel

WWPinterestWhether you’re heading straight to your honeymoon or have a few more weddings to attend, traveling after marriage can be a challenge. Name changes can cause stress, and if you’re not careful, you could end up getting a pat down in the security line (not that I would know or anything…). Sometimes a simple checklist can help:


NHL 2.0 – Realignment Edition

In case you’re living under a rock, are buried in snow or are your typical, inattentive hockey “fan,” you know that that last night the NHL approved a 4-conference realignment for the 2012-2013 season (that’s next October, folks). Above states the realignment (via CBC). Let’s point some things out.

There are 4 Conferences: Clearly the most obvious change. The West has been split in to two, 8 team conferences, while the East holds two, 7 team conferences. Note that Winnepeg, currently an “Eastern” team due to Atlanta’s demise, will move to the west, leaving the old East with 14 teams instead of 15.

Holy Rivalries: The new schedule will produce home and home games with every team in the league (great for fans who want to see Pittsburgh, Boston, Detroit, ETC. more than every other year). This also will provide each team with 6 conference match-ups. That means Ovi & Crosby, 6 times a year (NBC Sports is glowing at this idea.) It also keeps strong rivalries like Detroit/Chicago and Boston/Montreal, while fanning the Canadian rivalries (aside from Winnepeg, three Canadian teams will be battling it out each season for the final four spot in their Conference). Not to mention, playoff rivalries will be reborn. Who thinks Vancouver will have a yearly riot when Boston comes into town?

Travel Convenience, unless you’re from Florida:  Sure, Detroit and Columbus will be playing away games in Central time, but think how convenient it is for Washington to play Philly and Pittsburgh. The only down fall here is the Florida teams, who are stuck in the upper Northeast conference. Why they didn’t move the Devils & Islanders up there is beyond me. Note the image below from Puck Daddy and Cassie McClellan.

Playoff Picture: Now here’s where it gets a bit tricky. The league will stick with a 16 team playoff, taking the top four teams from each conference. These teams will battle it out, leaving the “final four” if you will, who will be either re-seeded or randomly matched to create our final teams. This could be awesome, considering we can have a Bruins – Flyers final, or a Detroit – San Jose final, but it also can diminish TV ratings. With the “new” NBC Sports (Versus’s new alias as of Jan. 2), this may not be an issue since more games will be televised in prime time on national television, however, it is a concern. There is also a bit of bias when you think of it, because the east coast teams only need to beat out 3 other teams to advance, whereas the west has four. There is also the argument that the fifth place team in conference A may have more points than the third place team in conference C.

Overall, I like the idea. I was never keen on moving Detroit to the East and ruining an original six rivalry with the Blackhawks, nor did I want them out of the Blues reach. The battles in each conference are strong. Sure, they’ll be you’re typical “East is better then West” argument (the conferences are yet to be named), but the concept is strong. Now, if only the Jets could make their vintage jersey their third before they come to St. Louis…

Feel free to comment with your thoughts, concerns and questions!