Wine-ing, Dining & Unwinding: Our Staycation at Choderwood

We could have been in Bali. We could have been in Thailand. We could have been in Peru. We could have been anywhere, and that suited me just fine. However, we were in Pittsburgh, hidden from all the familiar sites, soaking up the river views like we never had before. Though we were minutes from home, everything I brought with us was inspired by a trip that existed in the Urban Farmer’s head.

Choderwood by Quelcy 15

Before visions of farming fully took over his head space, the Urban Farmer had planned to celebrate his big 3-0 jeeping, surfing and beach bumming from California to Chile. Fortunately for me and for this city, he chose Pennsylvanian soil, instead of white sand, between his toes. To celebrate the travels that will come in due time, and to celebrate our one year of shared time, we escaped to Choderwood. There, the greenery and big expanse of sky encapsulated us, and our minds were free to wander wherever they chose.

Choderwood by Quelcy 56

Themes, narratives, and stories fill my head. They guide my menus, my decor, my designs, even my outfits. I forget that not everyone thinks this way, not everyone picks a bottle of wine based on what they would pick if they were in Argentina’s wine country. If you too find yourself arranging bouquets of lavender to transport you to Provence, or hovering over a pot of paneer to try to imagine how a spice market might smell in Mumbai, then the themes guiding our staycation might seem second nature, even intuitive.

Choderwood by Quelcy 49

These menus were not my most intricate, and there were no recipes, but should you want to channel some South American dreams of your own, maybe you too will grab a bottle of Malbec and head to a scenic view. Maybe you’ll browse the wine store with confidence as you judge the bottles by their labels alone. Take these ideas as far as you want, and if you’re not the visual, imaginative, theme-driven type (and that’s ok indeed!), maybe you’ll gain a faint glimmer of understanding of what it’s like inside the theme party that is my head.

Choderwood by Quelcy 59

These concepts and narratives are jumping off points, and when it comes to unplugging, they’re not meant to be complicated. Ultimately, all the wine-ing, dining and unwinding felt (and should feel) a little like this tune

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind? 

Choderwood by Quelcy 60

Way out in the water
See it swimmin’

I was swimmin’ in the Caribbean
Animals were hiding behind the rocks
Except the little fish
But they told me, he swears
Tryin’ to talk to me, to me, to me.

Choderwood by Quelcy 48
The Urban Farmer found his spirit animal in this black cat, who kneaded his legs and nestled against him. I, however, found him mocking me sarcastically.

Choderwood Pool Antiques

Choderwood by Quelcy 46

Choderwood by Quelcy 39

Choderwood by Quelcy 17

Choderwood by Quelcy 42

Choderwood by Quelcy 14

Choderwood by Quelcy 13

Choderwood by Quelcy 41

Choderwood by Quelcy 03

Choderwood by Quelcy 33

Choderwood by Quelcy 32

Choderwood by Quelcy 31

Choderwood by Quelcy 28

Afternoon Snack Menu:

Tortilla chips, guacamole & salsa
mango lemonade
snap peas
Guajillo Chili Chocolate Mexicano by Taza

Taza Chocolate

A snack of chips and salsa is surely not the most creative menu I have put together, but I imagined how the Urban Farmer would have worked his way through Mexico, adding spice and heat to everything he ate. In between chili chocolate bites, he would have had his fill of the sweet juicy mangos. Once he ate those mangos and avocados, nothing else would ever compare.

Choderwood by Quelcy 30

Choderwood by Quelcy 62

Dinner was an equally simple interpretation- sprouted grain quesadillas with quinoa, corn, grilled chicken, salsa, avocados, a dollop of Greek yogurt and repeated glasses of Argentine wine. The theme was never meant to be an intensive culinary exploreation. With such a changing, dramatic backdrop, simplicity was key.

Choderwood Wine Dinner

Choderwood by Quelcy 65

Choderwood by Quelcy 70

Choderwood by Quelcy 61

Choderwood by Quelcy 66

Without phones, projectors or computers, we reveled in the sun vanishing behind an ominous gray sky while playing Twenty Questions. We reveled in a very drastic change of pace that gave way to a morning of peachy tones rendering a brand new scene.

Choderwood by Quelcy 72

Impressionist painters would have chased this scene with chaotic brush strokes, but we watched it slowly and blissfully, enjoying the wholesome breakfast that magically appeared at our dock in true B&B fashion.

Choderwood by Quelcy 73

Choderwood by Quelcy 74

Choderwood by Quelcy 75

Choderwood by Quelcy 22

Whether we were in Pittsburgh or pretending to be far, far away, whether we were crafting narratives or watching our mind float away with the waves, we were able to enjoy every minute. Time stood still, and we were able to disconnect all the stressful thoughts and just enjoy a river, many trees, fruity notes and spicy bites.

Single-Grain

-Quelcy

Leave a Reply