Nine years ago today, Bugsy and I officially began dating, and even after all these years he somehow manages to make me feel special every day (well, almost every day). And, although I rarely give him credit (because you can’t give boys too much credit), he has always planned the most memorable anniversary celebrations. Last year was our last “dating” anniversary before making it official (yes, it took us 8 years to get married). Given it would likely be the last time we celebrated the date, Bugsy wanted the day to be extra special and he did not disappoint. For a guy who was completely averse to participating in any wedding planning related activities, to my pleasant surprise, he managed to:
- Book and organize a limo to transport a group of my favorite 10 NYC dwellers to the North Fork of Long Island.
- Keep the entire plan a secret until friends started showing up to the apartment one by one unannounced and dressed impeccably.
- Convince me before their arrival to wear a cute outfit.
- Make reservations at a few wineries and negotiate a special tasting price.
- Make dinner reservations at the famed North Fork seafood haven Claudio’s (they have live music every weekend during the warmer months).
- Transport a sleepy, over-indulgent, slightly hungover group back to NYC.
It turned out to be one of the most memorable days ever.
Whether you’re planning a day trip or spending a weekend in the North Fork of Long Island, here’s a list of my 5 favorite wineries (it’s not Napa or Sonoma, but it’s only a short two-hour ride from Manhattan):
1. Bedell Cellars: Situated in a picturesque barn with gorgeous sleek furnishings, this place is super chic. Enjoy a casual tasting or plan your next big event – the wines are delicious and the scenery is unmatched.
2. Martha Clara Vineyards: With endless rows of grape vines and their own VIP rose garden, what is there to not love? This winery is large and a bit commercial, so expect crowds on gorgeous days.
3. Pugliese Vineyards: If you’re looking for something quiet, casual and quaint, you’ll have to make a stop here. Don’t forget to grab a bottle of their glorious sparkling merlot and enjoy it by the lake out back.
4. Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard: If you’re looking for drink specials, live music and more of a party crowd (and a petting zoo), make a stop here. But, beware of the traveling bachelorette parties. This is a nice first stop on your winery tour.
5. Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse: One of the few vineyards that also has a charming inn, it’s a bit off the beaten path but idyllic and cozy.
Love – MY
Celebrating love with Bugsy, Sis, MK, EV, MM, JL, SX, JY and AM. Happy Anniversary.