Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jack the Squirrel's Adventures in Washington Wine Country

Jack the Squirrel is one lucky squirrel.  His life started in some faraway land like Taiwan or China.  I'm sure he has plenty of great stories of his journey from said country to the United States, but he has yet to share those with me.  In time, I'm sure he'll open up.  Once in the US he found himself in a bin near the registers at one of the biggest and coolest REI's I've ever seen in Seattle, WA.  I was drawn to him immediately; me with my love of squirrels, he with his love of humans who love squirrels.  It was destiny.

Jack became our mascot for our road trip to wine country.  And, as luck would have it, he also really likes wine so he fit right in like a long-lost friend.

Sometimes Jack got to ride up front with Lisa and Dan and help navigate

Other times he just hung out
Our first stop of the day was Kestrel Winery in Yakima Valley.  Kestrel is actually a small falcon, so, rightfully so, Jack was a bit nervous about this stop.  Luckily, though, the wine was delicious and we did not encounter an actual kestrel.  It was a good start to our day.

Next we stopped for lunch at Wine o'Clock and enjoyed some pizza and some Bunnell Family wines.

Our next stop was Fidelitas Wines located on the slopes of Red Mountain.  This was Jack's favorite stop of the day.  We tasted a flight of Cabernet's that he fell in love with.  He did have to get a little assistance from Eric to pose for his photo, however.   


Our last stop of the day was at Kiona Vineyards.  At first, Jack was a little nervous because we saw the bed of what appeared to be a large dog.  But we soon learned that the dog was not there so Jack got comfy in his bed!

I don't care about no dog!

Jack enjoyed the Dry Reisling...we bought 4 bottles!
The next morning we headed down to Walla Walla.  Our first stop was in a cozy old farmhouse called Woodward Canyon.  The wine was exceptional and man doing the pouring was quite knowledgeable.  Another good start to our day.

Jack relying on Eric's height once again

Happy Jack!  After the tasting!
We finally arrived in Walla Walla after a beautiful drive through the countryside!  Our first stop ended up being one of our favorite stops of the entire trip...Charles Smith. The wine was delicious, the girls pouring knew how to pour, the music was rockin', the sun was shining.  Jack was happy as a squirrel who found a deserted picnic!

Yay for Charles Smith!

We eventually, begrudgingly, had to leave Charles Smith. But I'm happy to report that we found Rotie Cellars and more delicious wine!  Jack started feeling really good at this point and got a little more playful.

Here he is trying to check out the lovely lady's cleavage!

Here he found a bannister to run along like a tree branch...such a squirrel!

Our next stop of the afternoon was Kerloo Cellars where we found good wine and a fun gal pouring the wine!
Jack the Squirrel peeking out the Kerloo window

Our cute girl letting Jack take a ride on the Rose'
After Kerloo we went right next door to the quaint, family owned Maison Bleue where we got a table to ourselves to enjoy some lovely wine

Jack's smile got bigger and bigger (okay, I may have helped it along with a Sharpie)

Looking out the window of Maison Bleue

Finally, it was time to go camping!  Jack the Squirrel was in his element...outdoors, picnic, trees, wine, and good company.  No complaints!

Jack settled in to his camping chair and a glass of wine from Kiona

Cheese and crackers and his new DMB t-shirt!
The next day we visited Cave B Winery just up the road from the campground.  It was here that Jack felt most welcome, as they had a special squirrel section in their cave!!

Jack located this special squirrel table and made himself at home
He was promptly served a glass of wine

And Jack was in heaven...feeling like he really fit in here at Cave B
We ended the day drinking wine by the pond with old and new friends, listening to music and enjoying a perfect day.

Hanging out

Enjoying Phil's music, the beautiful surroundings, and some wine

Group photo

Since the trip, Jack has settled in nicely here in Phoenix.  He is looking forward to our trip to Napa next month with the girls.  Stay tuned...

"Life is complicated, stupid, confusing, and annoying.  Why couldn't I have been a squirrel?"
~author unknown

“To A Squirrel At Kyle-Na-No

Come play with me;
Why should you run
Through the shaking tree
As though I'd a gun
To strike you dead?
When all I would do
Is to scratch your head
And let you go.”

 ~W.B. Yeats

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