Missouri has incredibly fertile farmland, making it the perfect home for vintners (winemakers), viticulturists (scientists of grapes), and vignerons (cultivator of a vineyard) alike. In fact, Missouri is the first state in the country to establish a regional wine identity, with Augusta being named as the first viniculture area in the U.S.
French settlers first began to cultivate grapes in Missouri in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. German settlers greatly increased the production of grapes after establishing in the “Little Rhine” region of Missouri. By the 1900s Missouri was a leading producer of wine grapes and award-winning wines.
Currently, there are approximately 118 operating wineries and 393 vineyards in Missouri, producing more than 4,400 tons annually on 1,600 acres. Overall, Missouri’s wine and grape industry is valued over $1.6 billion, with more than 490,000 cases of wine produced.
Here in New Haven, Robller Vineyard and Winery has been growing grapes for wine since 1988 with the intent to create soft, young wines, rich with fruit qualities. Their fermentation style earned them the Missouri State Wine competition’s Best of Show honor in 1993 with their 1991 Norton Reserve, an impressive feat considering it was Robller’s second vintage. Numerous state and national awards have been awarded since 1993, but their fermentation process has remained the same.
At the present, Robller Vineyard and Winery cultivates 9 grape varieties on 16 acres of land, with each acre producing 3-6 tons of grapes annually depending on the variety, which includes:
- Chambourcin: (sham-bor-san) produces a medium-bodied red wine with a fruity aroma and cherry and earthy/spicy complexities, much like a Pinot Noir.
- Norton: (sometimes called Cynthiana) is a native Missouri grape that produces a rich, full-bodied red wine that improves with age. Nortons typically have a dry character, similar in style to Cabernet Sauvignon, yet with the spiciness of a Zinfandel.
- Seyval: (say-vahl) makes a dry, clean, crisp medium-bodied wine with an herbal, fresh flavor, similar to Sauvignon Blanc.
St. Vincent: a hybrid that makes reds of delicacy and elegance. Often used for Nouveau-style wines, it also can have a Burgundian character and is occasionally slightly sweet.
- Steuben: Steuben wines are popular as single-variety reds but more often appear as rosé or blush wines. The variety is particularly suited to the production of sweeter wines, as it retains high levels of sugar and is not very aromatic. Steuben wines are most often light, sweet and grapey, with a spicy tang. Rosé wines exhibit strawberry and raspberry notes with hints of tea leaves and cinnamon. Red wines are made in a drier style with cranberry notes and a certain tartness.
- Traminette: A Gewurztraminer hybrid that produces excellent wines similar to Gewurztraminer with much more winter hardiness than its parent. The vines are productive and moderately resistant to powdery mildew. Typically, wines made with some skin contact have strong spice and floral aromas, a full structure, and long aftertaste. Wine can be made dry or sweet, but is usually finished with some residual sugar. Varietal descriptors include floral, spicy, perfume and lavender.
- Vidal: (vee-dahl) is a white hybrid used to make a dry to semi-dry, full-bodied wine with fruity characteristics, similar to Italian dry whites. Vidal’s clean citrus flavors of lemon and grapefruit create a nicely balanced wine.
- Vignoles: (veen-yole) is a versatile grape that makes wines ranging from dry to a late-harvest dessert wine. Luscious floral aroma and fruity flavors of pineapple and apricot are somewhat similar to a German Riesling.
- Villard Noir: A French-American hybrid variety with one of its parents being Pinot Noir. The wine is similar to Pinot Noir in character but has more rustic quality in depth and complexity. Cherry is evident from aroma to finish.
Just like all Missouri wines, Robller Vineyard and Winery’s wines are most notably known for their consistent scores in wine evaluation. This includes:
- Appearance, including the color of the wine, reflectance, clarity, body, and, if a sparkling wine, the size and quantity of the bubbles and mousse. (known as the “See” and “Swirl” steps in wine judging)
- Aroma, which is defined as the odors of wine that originate in the grape while bouquet odors originate in fermentation, processing, or aging (particularly after bottling). (known as the “Sniff” and “Savor” steps in wine judging)
- Bouquet, Bouquet odors are a result of yeast selection; the type of fermentation (e.g., cool fermentation, carbonic maceration, extended maceration, malo-lactic fermentation); wood exposure; and the aging process in the bottle. (known as the “Sniff” and “Savor” steps in wine judging)
- Taste/Texture, sensations are recorded during and after a small portion of wine is sipped, “breathed over” and spit. (The term “breathed over” refers to the technique of drawing air through slightly opened lips as a small amount of wine rests on the tongue.) The use of descriptors is important to detail the features of the wine. The taste of wine also includes sweet, sour, bitter and salt. (known as the “Sip” and “Savor” steps in wine judging)
However, we don’t want you to just take our word for it, which is why we are giving you three simple steps to help choose the perfect wine for your palette moving forward:
1) See the wine.
Note the color of the wine. The darker shade of a white wine indicates maturity, which impacts the richness and complexity of the wine. The brighter shade of red, the younger the wine. Red wine lightens with age and maturity, which can be noted on the circumference of the outer edges of the wine in the glass.
Note the opacity of the wine. The wine color’s depth or opacity is a measure of how dark it is. How easily can you see through the wine? Descriptors you can use to describe the depth of color include watery, pale, medium, deep, dark, or opaque.
Note the viscosity of the wine. Viscosity, aka “the legs”, are the stripes of wine that slowly roll down the sides of your glass after swirling the wine. Several factors can influence the viscosity, including sugar, alcohol content, and concentration of solutes. The more of each you have, the more viscosity you will see.
2) Smell the wine.
Primary aromas come from the grapes, and are described as various fruit, herbs and flowers.
Secondary aromas come from the yeast and fermentation process.
Tertiary Bouquets come from the aging, oxidation, and oak used, and are described as various spices and nuts.
3) Taste the wine.
What flavors are present?
What is the structure of the wine? (Sweetness, acidity, tannin, body, and alcohol)
What is the profile? Was the taste strongest at the front, middle, or end?
Robller Vineyard and Winery offers more than 10 varieties of wine, catering to the novice and connoisseur alike. Tastings are offered daily, Monday through Saturday 10:00AM to 5:30PM, and Sunday 12:00/noon to 5:30PM. During Oktoberfest Robller will be offering live music and more.
As always, if you making a weekend getaway out of your visit to New Haven, Cedar Creek offers a variety of lodging options for groups large and small. Stay in our cozy rooms in Cedar Lodge, or rent a cottage house for the entire group. For more information, please contact us.
Gone are the days of lavish corporate retreats to faraway cities via private jet – and we don’t blame you. Who ever said you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars just to show your employees some appreciation?
The good news for management in 2014 and beyond: there are plenty of other ways to say “thank you” and “we appreciate your hard work” to your employees without throwing a boat load of cash at the wall. Turns out, it’s more than just corporate figureheads that learned their lesson; the American people had to make cuts too. We’ll even bet that your employees are proud to work for a more money-conscience company. It’s the smarter thing to do.
Join us as we uncover some tips to planning corporate retreats on a budget.
Tip 1 – Your Group Size Impacts Your Cost
A common misconception with corporate retreats: “the more the merrier!” This isn’t always the case with team building in mind, especially if you’re trying to save dollars on your bottom line.
With a niche group of people, perhaps those that you work with on a day-to-day basis, you can achieve a more productive task-focused retreat. Large groups are often unmanageable for several reasons:
- Work and family constraints limit scheduling flexibility
- Large groups equate to more costs, including travel, food, lodging and facility costs
- The larger the group, the less relevant that group of people will be. Define the roles that are essential to success and invite employees accordingly
Tip 2 – Choose A Destination Not Far From Home
There are plenty of great corporate retreat locations right in your backyard. Ok, maybe not literally, but several that are just a couple hours away. For you, that translates to lower costs and more convenience.
Operating in the St. Louis area? Consider taking your team to a nearby lake, state park, small town or winery. You could rent a bus that would accommodate your entire team for much less that packing up the bags and flying out of town. Plus, remote locations and retreats are usually a better fit for small/mid-sized businesses looking to get the biggest bang for their buck.
PS. Sometimes these local destinations throw in bonus items like free wine, upgraded rooms and discounted day excursions.
Tip 3 – Negotiate Price & Get The Deal You Desire
The dramatic shift from big to small corporate retreat budgets means that more and more facilities have increased inventory. You may want to consider throwing in a barter deal depending on the facility in your crosshairs. Offer to include the retreat information in your company’s newsletter or pass the word on to clients. Facility owners understand the power of word-of-mouth. Think of ways on how you can increase the facility’s awareness using your connections, and then offer it up for exchange.
Sometimes you’re not going to get the best deal for what you need. You’re going to need meeting rooms, audio/video equipment, wifi access and probably somewhere to rest your head. All of these factor in to what you’re willing to cut and expand on. Be prepared for what facilities might not offer.
Tip 4 – Consider Hobby Sports For The Masses
One thing’s for sure – your team doesn’t want to sit in a stuffy meeting room all day. You need to have some activities lined up, but not the type of activities that involve 143 hours of training. That means no 5 hour rounds of golf on private courses, no serious tennis matches and especially no quidditch matches.
Consider some hobby sports for your team. These might include things like flag football, fishing, biking, canoeing, hiking or even Frisbee. These sports don’t make less athletic types nervous about their performance, simply because they can choose what they want to do.
Want something truly unique and close to St. Louis? Cedar Creek offers professional team building program coordinators who can help strengthen your team through a series on on-site activities, including our low ropes confidence course. Our program coordinators will work with you in advance to discuss your group’s goals and objectives, your current group dynamic, and your group’s fitness levels to tailor a plan specifically for your team. Each experience is unique, but all are designed to encourage teamwork, taking overall performance to a new level.
Lastly, check out our corporate retreat checklist. It was designed to provide you clarity in your planning efforts, from determining success criteria to identifying speakers to arranging outdoor activities. Not only will it help you plan, it will keep you focused as your corporate retreat is happening.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard some of golf’s misconceptions: it’s boring, it’s hard to play, and it’s for snobby businessmen. Golfers constantly have to deal with these false and widespread beliefs, and it’s Cedar Creek’s job to stand up for those that take pride in the sport.
Golf is actually one of the best sports for many reasons: it’s a game for all ages, it can be competitive for all skill levels, and it’s great for team building and building business relationships. And at Cedar Creek’s 9-hole golf course, you can experience just as much charm and challenge as many 18-hole courses.
So, sit back and take in a short, 500-word lesson that will have you shaving strokes off your scorecard in no time.
Choose a Decent Golf Ball
Perhaps the only sport where you get to choose your own ball and most amateurs don’t take advantage of this. If you can learn one thing from the pros, know that they choose a ball that helps them with certain aspects of the game, such as achieving more spin, lower drives, or shorter wedge shots.
Amateurs, especially mid- to high-handicap ones, should consider a ball that is built for distance and minimizing spin. The result is longer and straighter shots. Also, distance balls don’t feel like a heavy weight when you hit them because they’re made extra soft for added feel and performance.
Some balls to consider:
- TaylorMade SuperDeep, $20
- Srixon Q-Star, $25
- Bridgestone e6, $27
Put Down the 3-Wood, Pick Up the Driver
We’ve seen so many amateurs get up to the tee box, and with lack of confidence, choose the 3-wood as their go-to driver. Sure, fairway woods have come a long way, but sometimes you just have to choose the bigger stick. Drivers are both longer and bigger which means a more forgiving stroke.
The driver is more versatile, meaning that you can choke down on the grip, swing with less force and make a three-quarter swing. So the next time you approach the tee box with doubt, remember that the driver really is your best option. Swing easy and let the ball release.
Grab Your Driver for Bunker Shots
Running with the same theme, your driver can also be used for more than just the tee box. The next time you’re in a bunker with a firm, clean and slightly uphill lie, grab your driver and give it a shot. Oh yeah, just make sure that you don’t have a big lip in front of you – this is usually the area where the sand meets the grass.
With the above guidelines taken into consideration, play the ball as you normally would, with the ball in front of your stance. Obviously, your swing shouldn’t be 100 percent, but you should swing as hard as you can without your feet sliding around. It’s okay to hang back on your swing while letting the club do the work.
Putt from Above the Hole
Is your ball fairly close to the green and higher than the hole? If so, try using a putter to knock it in. This works especially well for downhill lies. The longer grass will slow the ball down just before entering the green, and you won’t have to be afraid of the ball taking flight well over the hole. Just give it a few practice trials before you start your round and you’ll wonder why you ever tried to chip similar shots in the past.
Want a great golf experience for your next team building, corporate retreat or weekend getaway outing? Cedar Creek’s 9-hole par three golf course is great for just that! Enjoy scenic countryside views as you better your game with the above tips.
Many of you might already know that the largemouth bass is one of the most popular freshwater game fish in North America, but do you know how to catch one every cast?
The largemouth bass is part of the sunfish family, a species that is native to North America and has many regional names: brown bass, widemouth bass, bigmouth bass and more. You can tell a largemouth by its olive green color, dark, sometimes black markings and upper jaw that extends beyond the rear margin of the eye socket.
In Missouri, it’s pretty hard to find a body of water without at least a few bass. The ideal location in which the state is located, not to mention long growing seasons, make Missouri a leading state for bass population. Most Missouri rivers, ponds and lakes contain bass; specifically, Bull Shoals Lake, Harry S. Truman Reservoir, Lake of The Ozarks, Mark Twain Lake and Missouri fishing resorts like Cedar Creek.
Timing is Everything, Well Almost
Late spring is one of the best times to catch a largemouth bass due to their migration to warmer water for spawning. Keep an eye on the weather, watching for warm rain and air moving through the region. Concentrate your efforts outside structures off spawning flats such as points, logs, humps and rocks.
When the water temperature reaches 55 to 65 F, bass will seek out a shallow, protected place for spawning. Bigger lakes don’t warm up uniformly. In this case, bass will not all spawn at the same time. To be certain, in the later spring months, try the Northwestern most part of the lake and test the water temperature with a thermometer. Typically, this area of the lake will be the warmest.
During the spawn, topwater baits work best on the outside edges of reedbeds, secondary points, over cover, and over beds. If a cold front moves in, fish the more covered parts of the water, flipping the cover with jigs and worms.
Habitat & Shelter
Largemouth bass have a large temperature range in which they can live, which extends to waters above 90 F down through the mid-30s F. The ideal temperature for largemouth bass is between 65 and 85 F – perfect for many Missouri fishing resorts.
Ideal water conditions range from murky to stained to clear, but they prefer non-flowing waters with plenty vegetation or flooded timber. They like cover too – lily pads, weeds, bushes, docks, stumps, rocks, or stonewalls, but can survive without cover.
Generally, largemouth bass are found in shallow water. However, if waters lack the cover necessary, then they can be found in water near drop-offs, channels, and rocky bluffs. Largemouth bass are not migratory by nature, preferring to stay in holding positions within a given area for extended periods of time.
Top Seasonal Baits for Missouri
Like catching most fish, seasonality plays a big role in what type of bait to use. The largemouth bass has a mouth wide enough to objects the size of its own head. It will attempt to eat virtually anything it can catch and swallow, which is why these fish commonly grow well over 20 pounds – much bigger than its smallmouth cousin.
- Spring – Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Fish shallow to moderate depths as they move to shallows for warmer water to spawn and feed. You may consider trying shallow-water flipping on cloudy days or in murky water.
- Summer – Crankbaits, jigs and plastic worms. Fish shallow in the mornings and evenings – move deeper as the sun rises. ”Deep” depends on the lake you’re fishing, as some lakes you’ll need to venture as far as 60ft., whereas others won’t have much action deeper than 35ft.
- Fall – Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and spoons. Fish shallow to moderate depths in the morning and evenings. As the day progresses, move to outside deep structure and use spoons or jigs.
- Winter – Jigs, pork baits and plastic worms. Try shallow in the mornings then move deeper as the sun rises. Bass are seldom active in cooler water, so move your bait in a slow, easy to catch manner. Also, move to deep cover and structure.
Great Missouri Bass Lakes by Game & Fish Magazine
- Shawnee Trail CA
- Mozingo Lake
- Harry S. Truman Lake
- August A. Busch Memorial CA
- Table Rock Lake
- Stockton Lake
- Lake of the Ozarks
- Montrose Lake
- Bilby Ranch Lake
- Pomme De Terre
Cedar Creek’s 7 acre fishing lake is a great place to start or practice until you are ready for one of the big 10!
Valentine’s day and chocolate have coincided for dozens of years. But how did chocolate make the journey to how we know it today? The sweet treat is said to have originated somewhere in the Amazon at least 4,000 years ago, when the cultivation, use, and cultural embrace of cocoa started in Mesoamerica. From there it moved north to both Mayan and Aztec cultures where many historians have determined that cocoa was used primarily in drinks.
Explorer Hernan Cortes brought cocoa beans back to the old world where he presented them to Spanish King Charles V. Chocolate then traveled from Spain to France, England, Germany, Italy, before appearing in the United States sometime around 1755. Through these travels, the word “chocolate” has influenced language across the globe, perhaps impacting the English language the most.
Ten Facts About the Word “Chocolate”
- The Nahuatl people of Mexico and Central America are ultimately responsible for the word “chocolate” as we know it today. They called it chocolatl, the edible substance made from the seeds of the cacao tree. When Spanish explorers encountered chocolatl, they mixed it up with the name of the drink made from cacao, cacahuatl.
- The current earliest sense of the word, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), refers to “a beverage made from the seeds of the cacao tree, thanks to Spanish explorers that denoted the word incorrectly.
- When speaking about a particularly toned man in France, one might refer to his six pack as his tablettes de chocolat, literally his chocolate bars.
- A “Chocoholic” is someone who can’t get enough chocolate. The term was first used in 1961 when one journalist in California asked, “Would you call a person who is over fond of chocolates a chocoholic?” Regardless of whether his question was a joke or not, the term caught on and is still used today.
- Chocolate-houses came into fashion in the late 17th century as a place for people to buy chocolate beverages. Although this term is no longer common, it lets us know of the cultural and social importance of chocolate in the 1800s. You might compare this to the coffee houses of today.
- British Rhyming Slang also included references to chocolate in the early 1900s. For example, “I should cocoa” was slang for “I should say so.” Also, the phrase “chocolate frog” was rhyming slang for “dog,” meaning informer.
- Chocolate related compounds have also come into use, like “chocolate-boxy” used to describe the stereotypical romantic pictures found on chocolate boxes of the Victorian era.
- The OED also records chocolate as a verb, although it is rarely used. For instance, a quotation from an 1850 work called Eldorado reads “We across the moonlight, chocolated the comedor, or dining-hall.”
- The Oxford English Corpus tells us that the top four words used with “chocolate” are “cake”, “bar”, “chip”, and “cookie”, while the most frequent modifying adjectives are “hot”, “dark”, “white”, “milk”, “rich”, and “delicious”.
- Production of Hershey’s chocolate bars started the same year he opened his new factory, and in 1937, he and his product were referenced in George Gershwin’s They All Laughed.
We’d love to hear your interesting facts, history, or figures about the language of chocolate. Please, feel free to drop us a line in the comments below. In the mood for a weekend retreat or romantic getaway? Be sure to check out Cedar Creek for all of getaways year round. Make your reservation today! We’ll be sure to keep a slice of one of our decadent chocolate desserts warm for you.
The love of your life just proposed, and while it is hard to take your eyes away from that beautiful ring, people are now beginning to ask you about your wedding plans. Unfortunately, many newly engaged couples like yourself are busy working or in school and cannot find the time to plan a dream wedding.
Because of this, hiring a wedding planner has become a popular wedding trend to ensure that the details (big and small) are properly taken care of in a timely manner, thus relieving many angst-filled brides of their stress. However, choosing a wedding planner is not an easy decision, and several should be interviewed before a decision is made.
To ensure that you choose a wedding planner that is right for you, Cedar Creek offers the following questions to help aid in the interview process:
- How long have you been in business & how many weddings have you done?
- How many weddings do you average a year?
- Is this your full-time or part-time job? Do you foresee any conflicts in this situation?
- What services do you offer?
- Do you double book weddings? Will there be any conflicts on the day or weekend of my wedding?
- What is your preferred form of communication?
- Have you coordinated weddings based on the style of interest I have expressed?
- How much of my time do you expect planning my wedding will take?
- Can you work within my budget?
- Do you charge for the initial meeting?
- Do you provide a contract?
- How often will I be billed?
- Do you require a deposit to get started?
- When is the final payment due?
- Do you charge for travel or is it included in your fee?
- Are there any additional expenses outside of the package/hourly fee I might incur?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Do you have a preferred vendors list?
- Are you available for all meetings with the caterer, location and other vendors?
- Do we pay you one fee and then you pay the vendors, or do we pay the vendors individually?
- How many people from your staff will be on hand during the wedding?
- Will you attend the rehearsal?
- Will you personally attend my wedding?
After each interview is complete, take a moment to ask yourself:
- Did you feel heard?
- Does the planner understand your vision?
- Did we get a strong sense she will work with your budget?
- Was there a good connection and did your personalities mesh well?
Trust your instincts. If an interview doesn’t feel right, then maybe that person just isn’t a good fit for you, and that is okay. It is very important to take the time you need to find a wedding planner who is compatible with you and your fiancé.
We hope this helps, and remember that Cedar Creek provides a romantic setting for a truly unforgettable destination wedding. We are a picturesque option for celebrating everything from the rehearsal dinner to the ceremony and reception, as well as delicious on-site catering, wedding cake bakery, and overnight accommodations. We enjoy working with wedding planners and are ready to assist in creating a magical experience for you, your family and your guests. For more information about the wedding options available for you, please click here.
Most of us have already chosen our New Year’s resolutions, whether it’s eating healthier, becoming fit, or saving more money for your retirement. But for those in the world of business, resolutions are more like goals. Has your company set strategic goals for your company in 2014?
From setting goals and providing clear directions for achievement, Cedar Creek would like to offer four strategies to help make 2014 the best year for your business.
Strategy 1: Select Impactful Goals for Overall Business Focus
A lot of us get stuck in the same trap year after year – we make personal resolutions that we have trouble fulfilling. If you’re not careful, the same can happen for owners and managers trying to set goals for their business.
Take time to select goals for your business that really matter, and more importantly, make sure they can be accomplished. Often times, company leaders set goals that are either shallow or won’t have any real effect on your long-term vision. You can avoid these problems by identifying your company’s challenges. If you’re trying to increase sales, set smaller goals that will directly impact growth to the bottom line. If you’re struggling to retain employees, you may want to set smaller goals that will make them stick around longer.
Goals shouldn’t just be meaningful. They should align with other parts of your business, like your vision, mission, and values. Goals that don’t align with these principals will most likely fall by the wayside or distract you from other opportunities. Corporate retreats and business meetings can help you get away from everyday distractions and keep your team focused. Feel free to give Cedar Creek a call to see how our meeting rooms can provide you with the flexibility needed for meetings of any kind.
Strategy #2: Create Daily Processes to Help Reach Fulfillment
Process is something that makes a lot of businesses flourish, whether it’s workflow, employee onboarding, or billing. Stay simple in your goal setting by ensuring that they’re easy to memorize and integrate into processes. The best goals are memorable and measurable.
Broad goals are the worst goals. Think about the goals we’ve made in our pasts, like “graduate college” or “make the varsity team.” The problem with these is that the bar is set too low. What kind of college are we talking about? Is it a community, private, or state college? And do you want to graduate with a 3.5 or 4.0 GPA?
A better goal format would be something like: “grow our client list by 50” or “build team morale to retain 85% of our current employees.” These are simple goals that use numbers, helping you remember and measure outcomes.
Strategy #3: Be Transparent with Your Employees
Speaking of increasing your employee-retention rate, you might want to consider sharing your goals with your team. Even better, ask them for some constructive criticism to help you decide on your goals. This gives employees a clear understanding of what you’re seeking to accomplish and how they can help you along the way. Plus, employees like to have a say in where they think their leaders should aim. It’s been found that transparency correlates with employee happiness.
Sharing your goals gives employees accountability and added support. Also, once you let everyone in on your goal, then you are committed to that goal and are more likely to remain consistent with that commitment. There’s no better way to get employees in on the conversation than to schedule some time for group activity planning. Cedar Creek offers a wide variety of recreational activities, whether it’s our low ropes confidence or the 9-hole golf course.
Strategy #4: Identify Distractions Before They Cost You
We briefly mentioned how distractions can derail you from the task at hand, but we didn’t bring up how powerful it can be to say “no” to something that will get in the way. This is most important for new entrepreneurs that are often easily pulled from their mission and vision. Even the most positive of distractions can make you stray from your primary goals; it’s important to recognize these before it’s too late.
So, what’s the bottom line?
The best goals are specific, measurable, and attainable. With these three attributes, you’re just that much closer to achieving what you decide to set for 2014. If you determine that you need to take your meeting out of the office, give us a call. For over 10 years she has been assisting Cedar Creek clients put together successful meetings to help them achieve their goals!
As always, feel free to share your goals with us in the below comments. Oh, and good luck in the New Year!
You’ve been put on the spot, with no way to back out, and now the responsibility of planning this year’s annual family reunion lays heavily on your shoulders. What do you do? Where do you begin? More importantly, how on earth are you going to find the time and money to plan such a large event?!
First, take a deep breath. You have been paid a high compliment by your family who has acknowledged your abilities as a leader, capable of making considerate decisions and the ability to follow through with concrete plans and strong organization. Now take another deep breath and realize that your family has not asked you to do this alone, but to spearhead the event with the autonomy to delegate responsibilities as you see fit. This is your time to shine and with our simple steps you are sure to be a success!
- The First Step: Make an invitation list to ensure that no family member is left out of the festivities.
- The Second Step: Gather communication preferences for families. Some members prefer phone calls or texts, others email, with the more traditional members preferring mail.
- The Third Step: Determine a date. Family reunions typically are held during the warm summer months when school is out of session and companies are more accepting of employees taking time off for vacations. More importantly, outdoor weather allows the younger generations the space to burn off the extra energy they have in abundance.
- The Forth Step: Determine a budget. By determining a budget FIRST you are then able to determine location and activities.
A growing trend among families is having the annual reunion at an all-inclusive property. From meals and lodging to activities, all-inclusive properties typically takes the stress of the planning off the family’s checklist and divides the cost equally among all the participants.
- The Fifth Step: Determine a location. Another benefit of all-inclusive property is the ability to cater to a wide range of group sizes. “We have organized reunions for groups of 20 all the way up to 450,” said Jennifer Buwalda, Manager of Meetings & Events at Cedar Creek. “The biggest request from families is the ability to spread out and give each other the chance for a little privacy every now and then. Family time doesn’t mean ‘together all the time.’ It is important to have personal time as well.”
- The Sixth Step: Determine meals. With food allergies, preferences, and beliefs, planning and cooking meals can be exhausting. At Cedar Creek, all meals and snacks are homemade and made according to your specifications. If 3 of 400 cannot have nuts, then a meal will be prepared for them. If 20 out of 50 are vegetarians, then a meal will be prepared for them. In addition, all meals can be served buffet, boxed, or plated based on your itinerary.
- The Seventh Step: Determine activities. This is the final, and probably one of the most important steps in planning a family reunion because of the age and ability difference. All inclusive properties are an excellent choice because of the breadth of activities found onsite for families. At Cedar Creek, families can enjoy golf, fishing, hiking, biking, swimming, an outdoor movie theater (we will play your requests!), bonfires, lawn games like badminton or croquet, brewery tours, and more. Cedar Creek can also coordinate several offsite activities including winery tours (we are 10 minutes away from some of the best wineries in Missouri’s robust wine country!), shopping excursions, and sightseeing.
Family reunions are an invaluable way to reconnect with distanced loved ones, rekindle relationships, and share a common heritage. They are meant to be enjoyed and to create new memories. We hope these simple steps help during your planning process, and should you need more advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.
It seems like the holidays come sooner and faster every year. From the minute the pools close on Labor Day, stores begin pushing out Halloween candy, Thanksgiving and Christmas décor, and in some extreme cases, Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs. Truly, the stress of the holiday rush, coupled with your numerous holiday responsibilities, can make the season less than merry and bright.
Taking time for yourself is important. Everyone acknowledges this, but far too few actually take a moment to breathe and reflect on what’s most important, enjoying time with friends and family.
To relieve the stress and anxiety this holiday season, Cedar Creek offers some helpful tips.
Take A Moment in the Sun
Sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin, and can help relieve season affective disorder (SAD). Break away from holiday tradition by having Cedar
Creek set up a day bonfire for you and your guests on one of our patios and include 2nd Shift beer, coffee, cocoa, s’mores, and more!
Walk Away Stress
Walking releases endorphins to the body. Endorphins not only block pain, they’re also responsible for our feelings of pleasure. Cedar Creek’s 9-hole golf course and nature trails are the perfect outdoor activities to chase away stress while bonding with friends and family.
You’ll wind up tired and maybe even broke if you say “yes” to every holiday request that comes your way. Be realistic with yourself about what you can do and what you want to do.
Say “no” to:
- Holiday parties by thanking the host and stating that you are unable to attend due to a previous engagement or private family time.
- Expensive gift giving by setting a budget or by creating a memorable holiday experience instead.
- Unwanted houseguests by suggesting area hotels with reasonable rates. Cedar Creek offers a variety of lodging options from cozy lodge rooms to the Stately Manor House.
- Cooking by suggesting a restaurant or another family member taking their turn for this year’s festive holiday gathering.
Remember, the most valuable gift you can give your friends and family this holiday season is your time and attention.
Your friends and family like you for just being you. It does not matter if the house is a mess, the food is late, or if the holiday décor is not completely unpacked. Forget the little stuff and focus on what you want to achieve this holiday season.
Turn Up the Music
Anxious? Listen to your favorite music, whether it is holiday, country, rock, rap or jazz. Research shows that listening to music can improve the function of the body’s immune system and reduce levels of stress. On weekends, Cedar Creek proudly features lives bands as well as organic grove jam sessions for guests to come out and play some great tunes!
Hopefully, with these tips, the holiday season will be enjoyable for you and your loved ones. Cedar Creek can help by offering an excellent place to escape, relax, and rejuvenate. Give us a call and we will turn the sheets down on your bed and have Chef Marcie prepare you a warm cup of hot cocoa.
There’s con carne, steak fajita, white, Texas, green pork, five bean, turkey, and vegetarian – all of which are just a few delicious options that make up the wonderful world of chili. One thing is for certain, there’s no shortage of chili recipes across the country, with many states laying claim to the title of champion.
The Incan, Mayan, and Aztec Indians created chili thousands of years ago. They used a mixture of meat, beans, peppers, herbs, and spices long before Columbus’ arrival. But how did this ancient mixture become ever so popular? We have the cattle driver to thank.
The cattle drivers and trailheads of Texas use to roam the land in search of those that would be interested in buying their livestock. You can imagine how hungry a day on the trail could be, and in the depths of their hunger, they’d gather wild oregano, Chile peppers, wild garlic, and onions and mix it together with one of their own cattle – or jackrabbit, armadillo, or rattlesnake.
Want to brew up a batch of “original Texas chili” for your next party or event? Cedar Creek’s Chef Marcie Robinson’s chili is a family recipe that has won local chili cook-offs two years in a row.
“I have been making chili this way my entire life. I serve it for my own family and for our guests at Cedar Creek. My sister once entered the recipe in a chili cook-off and won, then modified the recipe the next year by adding jalapenos, and won again!” laughed Robinson.
Called “Chili for a Crowd” the recipe is as follows:
- 5 lbs. ground chuck
- 1 T. salt
- 1 T. pepper
- 1 med. Onion, chopped
- 1 lg. can tomato juice
- 2 cans lg. red or kidney beans (1 can of each also works!)
- 2 cans chili hot beans
- 1 can tomatoes and green chilies
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 pkg. chili seasoning
Brown ground chuck with salt, pepper and onion. Drain off fat. Add tomato juice, kidney beans, chili beans, tomatoes with green chilies, tomatoes, and seasoning. For a spicy chili add another can of tomatoes with green chilies.
Chili is one of the best dishes you can make for corporate retreats, weekend getaways, family reunions, or just about anything that involves a group of people. It’s easy to transport, gets even tastier as the hours pass, and most of all, is downright delicious. Local breweries and beer companies have also played a part in chili cook-offs and large events. Some even use beer in their recipes. Last but not least, don’t forget to offer toppings, as many people are very particular about how they “take” their chili, kind of like coffee drinkers! Some like cheese, oyster crackers or tortilla chips for crunch, sour cream or milk to make it creamier and balance the heat, and chives, onions or jalapenos for some extra zest.
Many corporate retreats at Cedar Creek enjoy the soup and sandwich bar at Cedar Creek for their lunch fare. One of the most popular recipes on cold fall and winter days happens to be a white chili that Chef Marcie has been cooking for the past 22 years at the Chalet.
The kitchen at Cedar Creek is always a bustle of activity creating savory food and sweet treats for our guests. Whether it is a corporate retreat, a family gathering, a weekend getaway, or even a day outing to our Western Town, we will greet you with an inviting smile and serve you with the best of hospitality.