Musing with Max

Musing with Max

July 2, 2015

Walla Walla!

The name alone is alluring---Walla Walla---say it a few times and it just brings a smile to your face, for no apparent reason other than the sheer sound of it. And to top it all off, it's wine country! Sounds like perfection to me!

We go west after crossing the beautiful Columbia river and follow the road all along it marveling at the beauty of this drive, when all of a sudden we see the signs, "Stonehenge"!, OK we'll take the detour,



hmm, where am I again?  The views clearly show where




but it's hard not to make the quick stop at this little oddity along the way. We keep driving along what clearly defines "amber waves of grain".



 The landscape has me awestruck, we went from mountains and walls of dark green pine to these golden fields in a blink. Where am I again? Two and a half hours later or so we are in Walla Walla, a beautiful town surrounded by vineyards and farms and a main street where each lamp post boasts a hanging petunia, and no two are alike.












And every other storefront is a tasting room with my rock star favorite right around the corner from where I live.







and what is not a tasting room is either a coffee bar or a restaurant,




which might just be attached to a tasting room! And if that's not convenient enough, we can always take a 15 minute drive out to one of the vineyards,





and have a little tasting there,





and watch the vineyard pups lounge about,


while trying to do the same.



And on our last day there is the most precious little lavender farm,








which calls out "go west, young man, go west!"

June 28, 2015

The Hood

After four very enjoyable days in Portland we head East for our next leg to the Columbia Gorge and the charming little town of Hood River. We are happy to find out from the very enthusiastic valet at our hotel that it is only a little over an hour's drive away and a beauty of a drive at that. And he's not kidding. On the road which follows the beautiful Columbia River as the road bends this way and that our view is of magnificent Mount Hood.



I seem to keep whipping my head around every time I glimpse it so I can take yet another picture



It is hypnotic and beckons me yet somehow elusive, one second it's there then  it's gone.



Then there are the pines,



they are massive and permeate the air with delicious fresh scent. If you veer of the main road there are waterfalls galore,



which I have a hard time capturing with my camera but I keep trying.





We arrive at the Columbia Gorge Hotel,




which sits right on the river




It is surrounded by plush gardens






with it's own little creek and waterfall






and swings for a lazy afternoon.




And lazy we are. We spend the next two days traipsing through the charming little town with it's adorable shops and cute restaurants;



the evenings on the terrace enjoying a bottle of wine




while gazing across the river at Washington.



We cross the river for lunch in the darling town of White Salmon, Wa.




at Everybody's Brewing



and find the most amazing view from their terrace!



One night I have a salmon for dinner that tastes like none I've ever had, river to table! I could linger around here a while longer but there are other plans in store so off we go.

And I forgot to mention, when we arrived there was a wedding going on,


auspicious beginning number two.