Today is the 18th celebration of my 35th Birthday! For this year, I chose to celebrate my August birthday in Augusta MO and explore the wineries in the area. After googling the town, I put together my itinerary for the day.
I’ve read that cyclists enjoy riding to this destination via the Katy Trail. So I thought of renting a bike in Defiance, which is the town next to Augusta and bike around Klondike Park and part of Katy Trail. But my sister gave me one of her family’s bikes as my birthday gift, so I didn’t have to rent and test my own bike instead.
I picked up my new bike the eve of my birthday and got my stuff ready for my birthday adventure retreat. The following morning, I woke up later than expected. Instead of a light breakfast, I ordered the “Damn Delicious” breakfast from Kingside Diner in Clayton MO. Around 10:30 a.m. I enjoyed this meal inside Chapman Plaza pavilion with the view of the fountain and falls in my Clayton neighborhood.
Once I packed my stuff into my Kia, I was on the road to Augusta, Missouri. The drive to my first stop, Klondike Park, was under an hour. En route, I drove through rolling hills, valleys, winding roads, and passed Defiance MO, Stone Creek Vineyards and Winery, Sunflower Hill Farm and saw parts of Katy trail along the road.
Finally reached Klondike Park and drove around the Lake Loop to find a nice spot to sit awhile for quiet reflection. The park was not busy at all on this Thursday afternoon. There’s so much to explore and I only had about an hour to get the most of my visit.
After about 45 mins. I was ready for my next stop on Highway 94 aka “Scenic Road Through Missouri Wine Country.” In less than 5 minutes my GPS directed me to turn right and up the corkscrew hill onto the parking lot of Montelle Wineries – America’s first AVA. Inside the building is the wine tasting room and Klondike Café. Perched on top of the hill is a veranda where your eyes will love the wonderful view of the Missouri Valley. Of course, I walked to the end of the veranda that circled around the building to see other vistas. What a gem! The atmosphere was relaxing. Anyone coming here will enjoy savoring a glass of wine overlooking the lush green valley on a summer afternoon. A few visitors were there for a late lunch while others like me just enjoyed my glass of Himmelseine wine and a blueberry cookie. I’d love to come back another weekday and linger the entire afternoon.
After sipping the last drop from my souvenir wine glass, I was off to my next stop, Gallery Augusta. I arrived in downtown Augusta in less than 5 minutes. To my disappointment, the sign at the door said Gallery Augusta was “temporarily closed.” Well that confirms that I must come back another day.
Next on my afternoon itinerary was Mt. Pleasant Estates, founded in 1850s and walking distance from Gallery Augusta. But on this summer afternoon, I drove in the comfort of my car with AC on. I only sampled the Hauseweine in the tasting room and thought it was refreshing and perfect for this hot and humid day. The Applelation Café was closed and only open on the weekends at this time. Wine tours only happened on the weekend as well. But still, I explored what was around me. Another beautiful scenery to linger in and relax. Imagine a wedding ceremony “with views of the sweeping vistas.” No wonder it’s also a popular wedding venue.
My birthday afternoon adventure was completed with hanging with the locals at the Augusta Tailgate Thursdays at Harmonie Verein. They had a band playing and also wine, beer, and food for sale at the venue. The community was warm and friendly. One of the hosts even took the time to say hello to me. I left after the first set and headed to my solo birthday dinner at Oishi Sushi in Chesterfield.
Dinner fit for a Filipina American who lived in Boston, MA. Appetizers: Scallop Hand Roll and Seaweed Salad. Main Dish: Mini Lobster Roll. Lychee Martini for my 3rd Birthday beverage! Cheers!!