Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fun In Southern Illinois!

I always LOVE going down to the Southern Illinois area! There is SO much to do there!

I had the chance to go on a quick trip, and thoroughly enjoyed myself!

The day we went out to play was very cloudy, and eventually it started raining. Of course, it kept it up the whole afternoon and evening. But, that didn't stop us! First up, was blueberry picking!

I had never been blueberry picking before. It was fun! I only ended up with about a pint though! LOL!

Moving on! Southern Illinois is known for many things, but it is the destination place for wine drinkers, because the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail is located there. There are twelve wineries on the trail! We decided to stop at Rustle Hill Winery and take a look around, since it was new to the trail. They are actually still working on this winery. They were building the amphitheater while we were there.

While, I DO NOT like that huge tree stump in the front of the building, I can definitely see the potential of this place. (You can see the winery with the tree still in front of it, on their website. Personally, I think the tree should have stayed. I sure hope they cut the stump out, it really detracts from the atmosphere they are trying to create.)

The inside is beautiful!

Back outside to check out the rest of the place.

They have a nice little lake.

Some cool art! Kind of reminds me of a bottle tree.

AND, two cabins you can stay in! I've already told Mr. Mister that we need to go back and spend a day or two! LOL!

I cannot wait to see Rustle Hill Winery in a couple of years! I'm sure it's only going to get better over time!

Back on the road again, we wandered upon a little "tourist" shopping strip. We hopped out of the car to take a look around. This is where we found the COOLEST store! It's called Rainmaker Art.

The owner is Dave Dardis.

He makes jewelry, fountains, and sculptures out of bronze and copper.

The store is very old, and quaint. When we walked in, Dave was behind the counter welding one of his art pieces. We looked around in amazement. Every corner of the store had something to catch our eye. It reminded me of something you would see in a movie. Very Pirates of the Caribbean! LOL! Then Dave said to us, "if you want to see something really cool, walk down that hallway and go out back to the sculpture garden."

So, we headed for the hallway!

I even looked to see if Will Turner was hiding somewhere in those nooks and crannies!

Unfortunately, he wasn't!

But, we found a secret garden at the end of that hall!

***To be continued....***


~~Rhonda said...

Kathy, it looks like a fun day! Where did you pick blueberries? I'd love to freeze a bunch of those. There certainly is a lot to see and do in S. IL. Eager to see more pictures! ~~Rhonda

Melinda said...

That guy is talented!!! He looks so happy, and I would assume it is because he is doing exactly everything he wants to do!

Lovely place..

Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

I've always wondered about the winery they provide a driver or what? I know I'd be sloshed before I left the first winery. I'd NEED a driver to get me to the next. (and the next. and the next.)lol

Love those copper/bronze pieces. How were his prices? (Is it a case of "If you have to ask, you can't afford it?" lol) They look amazing, though. I'd be great to have something like that in your own home to gaze at. (sigh)

Can't wait to see more pictures!


Carla said...

Its about time you updated your blog, girlie!! LOL
Love the post and the pics, I will have to plan a day trip down the wine trail and check it out myself. I absolutely LOVE quaint little country stores and that one looks like an excellent find!! Can't wait to see the rest of the pics!

Cheryl Wray said...

Looks like a wonderful little trip...and your photos are AMAZING!!!!

mosaicqueen said...

I was wondering where the heck you were! ;-)
Anyway, that art store is freakin' COOL!!!! I need to visit and I can't wait until the next post!