Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Washington to Oregon: The Return

Another sad departure was had this fine morning, as we were leaving the wonders of Walla Walla and Washington State to return to Hood River and the state of Oregon. The sadness was met with equal anticipation of things to come though. 
The morning began with breakfast out on the patio watching the Walla Walla Balloon Festival begins and seeing the hot air balloons dance around the sky. It was a really rough way to start the day.

Our first stop out of town was at North Star Vineyards for a wine tasting and hopes of meeting their huge Great Danes. Fortunately, wine was tasted and purchased, but the pups were not there to be seen. Some of the most fun we have on these trips are with the "wine dogs" or "wine cats", just an intriguing mix of animals with an abundance of love and personality. This location was one of the more comfortable tasting rooms we have been to, and the boys quickly found them swallowed into the oversized leather furniture while the girls chatted away with the wine guy.



North Star Vineyards

Our next stop was L'Ecole Winery (I learned some French this day, as L'Ecole is French for school). This tasting room was located in an old school that had been beautifully refurbished, keeping much of the original structure intact. From the old wooden staircase, to original bookcases (not seen below), and even an old chalkboard, the place had such character and sense of history.

Book case AND wine case...I LOVE their thinking!
Two of my favorite things that go SO well together!

Old school house turned wine tasting room = glorious
And then finally...back to Oregon

Adam's hops fields...and my finger
He didn't give me enough notice and we were on the highway, it was the best I could do

The Columbia River Valley

Once we got checked into Hood River it was out we went. Our evening started at Volcanic Bottle Shoppe because rumor had it that they carried "Pliny the Elder". I guess this is a SUPER rare and coveted beer that Jeremy and Adam were all about having. There was much happiness and excitement all around between this, Shawna finding a really great beer, and my having an abundant selection of ciders that I had never heard of (and were delicious!). This was a really chill place to hang outside in the back patio area and enjoy some olives with our drinks and just socialize and people watch and continue to relax. Many people came with their dogs, so they were roaming all around looking for attention, and our table was happy to oblige.

This is suppose to be an awesome beer
The beginning of an epic evening

Then off to dinner we went and continued the epicness of the festivities. Hood River is a great little town with eclectic places to taste wine and beer, they have a variety of well rated restaurants, and they had an AWESOME little farmer's market that we stopped in at on our way out of town. Not much more to do than a day's worth of activities, but it makes for a really fun day.

Jeremy's "LIFE" picture at dinner

Below are some of the gorgeous irises found at the Market...if I lived here I would either grow these flowers myself or be buying the frequently to display in my house. They are the largest irises that I have ever seen (sorry my photo perspective does not show this) with the widest variety of colors. SO pretty!