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Girls Weekend in Wine Country: The Planning Phase

For my birthday my sister gave me a mini break this summer. We chose Virginia Wine Country for a fitting girls weekend. One of my goals for this new rendition of my blog is to give you a little insight on how I plan a trip from start to finish and this will be our first opportunity since this adventure just began. Of course a secondary goal is to inspire you to want to take one of my trips and use me as your travel agent to plan your perfect getaway. Here are the steps I have taken so far.

Step 1

VA has a lot of wine regions. My first step was to find a good map that laid out the regions or a scatter plot that would help me pick a good spot. I was able to find this Google Map. I chose an area of the Shenandoah Valley with 6-8 vineyards.

Step 2

I headed to Airbnb. This will be my first time staying in one but the region isn’t full of hotels so this is going to be the most efficient. Using my original map I found the nearest “city” and put that into the search bar. I really only had one result that was in the right location. It has more space than we need and not luxurious, but definitely a beautiful frontier home with an amazing view.

Step 3

Now that I have a location I went back to my Google Map and honed in on the closest three vineyards/wineries. The smartest plan for this quick trip is two on Saturday and one on Sunday. I looked at what made sense directionally and distance wise to choose an order for visitation. I also chose a nearby restaurant with great reviews. We're going to stop at one more vineyard on the way down, but only to pick up wine for dinner.

Step 4

It’s spreadsheet time! I started a new Google Sheet and entered the basic data into my first tab. Where we are staying, when and for how much. Then I added info about the wineries I picked. I’ll perused their websites to see what kind of grapes they grow or make wine with and put it all into an information tab.

Step 5

Often the little details make a trip and thinking through things that add just a little bit of magic along the way can make a vacation an adventure. Being a wine connoisseur and knowing my companions will want to learn from me I dove in pretty deep into the wine we will be drinking. Having already chosen vineyards and familiarizing myself with their wines I started looking at the perfect pairings. This of course led to another spreadsheet tab.

Step 6

Packing lists. My sister insists this isn’t necessary. Especially a month out. But personally I like to get started with my outfit planning quite early and build on that. Of course my fashion choices change here and there but I love putting together great outfits for all occasions and if there is a gap then I need to know what to buy before I run out of time. But it goes beyond fashion. My charcuterie choices didn’t just need to be planned, they need to be packed. I want to create bento boxes that pair with each wine we’ll be drinking and I’ll need to do it in advance and not hope a local store has the havarti I am looking for. All of this contributes to what size luggage I need, etc etc etc. Yes it’s a bit extra but like I said, the little details make the trip magical.

Step 7

I Shared the spreadsheet when the trip was about a month away. Google makes it so easy to have a living document that can be shared among the 4 girls going on this getaway.

Our trip starts this Friday and I am so excited. I will start packing tonight and shopping for cheese and charcuterie tomorrow. Stay tuned for next week's trip review!

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