Friday, September 5, 2014

my week in pictures 67
labor day weekend

monday 8/25 - monday 9/1

Last week was crazy busy, but thankfully most of that business was play, not work. Hooray for three day weekends!

On Tuesday we met some friends in Old Mill for dinner and then headed to a little park by the river to listen to Dave Matthew's Band, who was playing a sold out show at the amphitheater. There were a ton of people floating/anchoring in the water to listen as well. The sound carried nicely and we got to take in a few songs before being overrun by mosquitos and deciding to vacate the area.

We spent most the weekend hanging out with our friends who moved away on Monday. Friday night we all went out and got a bit carried away, which resulted in a fairly lazy Saturday (aside from me getting a wild hair and deciding to chalk paint the door to the garage). On Sunday we met up with them again to hike along the Metolius River to Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery, which was really relaxing and beautiful. My family had decided last minute to rent a place in Sunriver for the weekend, so we met up with them Saturday evening for dinner before going out with our friends one last time.

Monday we spent the day with my family at the Sunriver pool, which I had never been to. They had a tiny lazy river and some pretty sweet water slides that the littles made us go down several times. Eventually we said our goodbyes and stopped by Pats dads place for dinner before heading home.

All in all it was a pretty good Labor Day weekend. Especially since we really hadn't planned anything at all ahead of time.

[[ listening to dave matthew's band in old mill. pictures from the most ridiculous group text with my family. creeping in the creepy rock garden with the dinans. baking bacon in the super bacon apron. chalk painting the door on a whim. pretty hike along the metolius river. wizard fish hatchery. hiking back. sunday night goodbyes with the dinans. spending the day with my family at sharc. ]]

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

walla walla :: part 3

monday (6/30) :: day 4
Me and Pat got up relatively early, packed up, said our goodbyes, and headed for home. We had decided to go a different route this time which would allow us to make a pit stop in Hood River, Oregon, which is one of our new favorite places. We were definitely wined out by now, so beer was a welcomed change as well! We went to Full Sail Brewery for some lunch when we first got there, and then headed to Double Mountain for some tastes, and finally Pfriem which is hands down our favorite in the area. Just like last time we tasted everything and shared the Belgian style mussels and frites before taking off for home with full bellies and beautiful views of Mt. Hood out our windows.

[[ leaving washington. driving through the columbia river gorge. wind turbines. BOOM mt. hood in your face. lunch and tastes at full sail. double mountain. river views from our table at pfriem. flights, mussels, and frites. ]]

Walla Walla was a really fun experience, and I am glad that we had Pat's family there to navigate us through what would have otherwise been an overwhelming web of wineries. The best part is that we brought so much home from that trip that we will be enjoying its souvenirs for years. I am also glad that we made another quick stop in Hood River on the way home, I still really want to spend an entire weekend there one of these days.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

walla walla :: part 2

saturday (6/28) :: day 2
Day 2 begin with brief trips back to Dunham and K to pick up some bottles we had purchased the day before. (Yes, me and Pat bought a lot of wine on this trip). Pat's dad even ended up giving us one of the amazingly labeled Malbecs from K, Score! After our pickups we drove up in to the hills to visit Pepper Bridge Winery. We sat out on their lovely deck for quite a while listening to live music and sampling wine and frites from their on-site food cart, which was actually run by culinary students as a class project. (Walla Walla, previously unknown to me, is actually a large college town as well). Once we finished up there we went to the nearby Va Piano Vineyards to see what they had to offer. This little chateau was the perfect and quiet (aside from us) place to spend the rest of the afternoon. They even had a toy box with hula hoops, which were probably intended to entertain children, but I wanted to test out my mad skills and see if I could multitask with a glass of wine. It was tough, but I was successful, much to the entrainment of those around me. I have no shame.

[[ the beautiful grounds of pepperbridge. live music. exploring the area. wheat fields at va piano. my mad hula hooping skills. i spy a family of deer. ]]

Again we went back to the house when we were finished to rest up and change for dinner, which was at a cute little Mediterranean restaurant downtown called Saffron. This was definitely my favorite meal. We had the octopus to begin with and then me and Pat tried the ling cod with mussels and the lamb tagine for dinner, and of course some more wine. Everything was amazing!! We got back to the house much earlier Saturday night and hung out by the fire pit on the property watching the sunset until we decided it was time for bed.

[[ amazing dinner at saffron. more wine. pat's lamb tagine. my ling cod with mussels. leaving downtown. the grape vines at our vacation rental. sunset. fire pit. bedtime. ]]

sunday (6/29) :: day 3
On Sunday we started out at Three Rivers which had a giant tasting room and beautiful grounds where you could even play a little golf. I loved their steel chardonnay and Pat loved the oak, so we ended up buying a few bottles of each. After our first stop we went to Woodward Canyon, which is where we planned to spend most of our day. We sat outside of the little restaurant first and enjoyed some lunch and their red table wine. We all shared a flatbread and me and Pat had the pulled pork sandwich and hen. When we finished eating we all made our way to the tasting room to try some flights and then ended up sitting outside and enjoying a bottle of chardonnay in their garden.

[[ the garden grounds of woodward canyon. a delicious and super fresh lunch. stray kittens wandering around the property. exploring the area. me and my babe on a beautiful day. kitties! ]]

Next door there was an old school house that intrigued me, so we ended up making our way over there next to snoop around and found that another winery L'Ecole No 41 had taken over and had converted one of the rooms into a tasting area. We sampled their offerings and I took home a bottle of their semillon. Finally we went to Waterbrook, which unlike any of the other wineries was in a very modern and new building. Here we discovered a great tip... when tasting lots of wine bring sparkling water with you because it completely cleans your palette. This was especially helpful for all of us at this point. Me and Pat stood inside and went through different flights while his parents sat outside with their dogs. We ended up leaving with a few bottles of their cab franc, which we got to taste only by mistake because the bottle had been accidentally opened earlier in the day.

After Waterbrook we all went back to the house, made dinner, and just relaxed for the rest of the evening.

[[ silly and true coasters at three rivers. farm house. the old school house. waterbrook. surf and turf for dinner at the rental. ]]

Monday, September 1, 2014

walla walla :: part 1

A few months ago me and Pat met his parents in Walla Walla, Washington to explore the wine region. This is something we had been wanting to do for several years now, and since Bend is much closer to Southeastern Washington than Corvallis was, we figured we might as well seize the opportunity. It was a really fun weekend in a beautiful area, and of course, the wine was amazing.

thursday (6/26) :: night 1
We left Bend Thursday evening after work and began the 5 hour drive to the to Southeastern Washington town of Walla Walla, which is right over the border of Oregon. The drive was a bit tedious, but it was beautiful. We got to go through nearly endless farm lands, small towns that looked like they were frozen in time, and drive along the Columbia River Gorge with views of wind turbines in the distance (I love wind turbines because they remind me of California), before passing through Pendelton, and finally entering Washington around 9:00pm. Pat's dad had rented a home/small startup winery just outside of town where we stayed for the weekend. The location ended up being very private and a great central location to almost all of the wineries we wanted to explore. Once we arrived we sat on the deck while enjoying a glass of wine, and then went to bed early in preparation for a long day.

[[ driving through the oregon countryside. rainbow! small towns. nearly endless stretches of road. the gorge. the sunset. almost there. ]]

friday (6/27) :: day 1
After breakfast we gathered our things and headed out for a little drive through the beautiful countryside before going to the airport area, which interestingly enough contains several tasting rooms in a small radius. We got off to a bit of a rough start at CAVU Cellars, which was simply not good, but made up for it on our next stop at Russell Creek Winery, which was delicious. We ended up purchasing some bottles there. Next we went up the street to Dunham Cellars Winery, which ended up being one of my favorites, both in terms of their wine, and the overall experience. Though it was simply a tasting room, the outside area was lovely and they had a huge barn type of space in the back with very eclectic decorations that was perfect to hang out in while tasting. There were even some delicious sample pairings out like bread and various olive oils and balsamic vinaigrettes, as well as chocolate, so I mean, I really had everything I needed there. Because Pat's dad is a wine member we got to go in the back and pick out some reserves as well, and ended up taking home a fancy bottle that we are saving for our anniversary next year.

[[ the grounds at our vacation rental. wild bunnies everywhere! a drive through the country. endless fields of wheat. dunham cellars. ]]

After Dunham we went to K Vintners, which was hands down my favorite of the trip. K was much different than any winery I have ever experienced. Not only was the wine delicious, but the whole aesthetic was very "rock n' roll". I don't know how else to describe it. I mean... there was a vintage motorcycle in the back and drippy gothic candles on old wine bottles lit the room. (Not to mention that the owner looks a bit like the lead singer from Coheed and Cambria). I also loved the design of their labels, often centered around grungy lettering and insane illustrations incorporating owner Charles Smith. The location was excellent also, tucked back in the country on the owners family's old farmhouse estate, and tastings were offered in a white washed barn.

[[ the grounds. barn tasting room. an old portrait of the owner's parents. exploring the back room. tasting flight. fancy magnums in the back. drippy gothic candles. the best wine label ever (we went home with one of these)! overall sweet design aesthetic. motorcycle. wall of fame. reenactment picture (like the one i took in nola). crazy fruit. guard dogs. ]]

Once we had tasted everything we could get our hands on at K, and explored the back room for special bottles, the four of us headed to Walla Walla's quiet little downtown for some lunch. We went to the French themed Brasserie Four where we sat outside shared a flatbread, mussels, and prosecco. We had just finished eating the delicious food when it started pouring down rain. Pat and his dad sought refuge in a few of the downtown tasting rooms, while me and his step mom went for the antique stores. Once the storm calmed down we went back to the house to rest up and change for dinner.

[[ lunch at brasserie four. the storm rolling in. antiquing in downtown walla walla. ]]

Since Pat's dad and step mom had been to Walla Walla several times, we left all of the planning up to them. For our first night they made reservations at Whitehouse Crawford, which was situated in an old mill and seemed very colonial to me. We had a drink before dinner and then not surprisingly, more wine with our meals. I ordered the halibut and it was delicious. After dinner we walked down the street to the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel which pats step mom wanted to show us. We spent a bit of time exploring the grand rooms and then had a night cap before heading back to the house for bed.

[[ dinner at whitehouse crawford. my halibut. the interior. strange artifacts in the waiting area (the dollar reads something about japanese currency and lists one peso as the tender). exploring the marcus whitman. ]]