Sunday, September 7, 2014

Meet Me In...Washington Wine Country!

Last weekend was one of the best of my life.  Eric and I met our friends, Lisa and Dan, in Seattle and from there we drove down to the wine regions of Yakima Valley, Tri-Cities, and Walla Walla.  The scenery was stunning, the wine was superb, and the memories we made will last forever.  On Saturday we drove up to the Gorge to see the Dave Matthews Band...our real reason for the trip.  We camped at Wildhorse Campground and made so many wonderful new friends in those two nights.  The people were so kind, the music was the best ever, and I survived camping!

Our first afternoon in Seattle we spent waterside eating oysters at Westward.  The nautical themed restaurant was so cute and the oysters were quite good!

Oyster bar
Beautiful view
Dan, Eric, and Lisa at the Westward oyster bar
Happy Girls!
These were really good...I'm not usually an oyster person
The hazards of being 6'5"
Cute LITTLE hotel...our key had a picture of Kurt Cobain on it
Staple and Fancy where we had dinner
The next day we got up and went to the three story REI in downtown Seattle to pick up our rented camping gear.  What a great store!  We were like kids in a candy store, but we finally made our way out and pointed our minivan in the direction of Yakima Valley.

On the drive from Seattle to Yakima Valley

Our first stop was at Kestrel Vinters and their wine was a delicious way to start the day

Our next stop was for lunch at Wine O'Clock which was run by the Bunnell Family Cellars.  We shared a couple of wood fired pizzas which were delicious!  We also each got a flight of wine and bought a couple of bottles to take with us.  Good stuff!

The Wine O'Clock cottage
My wine flight
The outdoor patio of Wine O'Clock
Our next stop was at Fidelitas Wines in the Red Mountains.  This winery had some big, bold cabs that were delicious!  And their surroundings weren't awful, either!

Their wall of wine
Clouds reflected on the table inside Fedelitas
The 'unfortunate' view
Fidelitas grapes
That evening we had a lovely dinner at J. Bookwalter where we, again, enjoyed a beautiful view, good wine, great music, and friendship.  The following morning we left our hotel and started off toward Walla Walla.  Our first stop was at a small farmhouse winery called Woodward Canyon of the oldest in the region.

Woodward Canyon Winery tasting room
The backyard of Woodward Canyon Winery
Eventually we arrived at downtown Walla Walla.  It is full of wine tasting rooms, restaurants, and shops.  Our first stop after finding parking was at Charles Smith.  I think this is my favorite tasting room we visited on our trip.  The wine was good, the atmosphere was fun and young, the music was awesome, the girls pouring the wines were sweet and knowledgeable.  We were all quite happy at Charles Smith!

Large warehouse space of Charles Smith tasting room...and Lisa wants that table!

Eventually we pulled ourselves away from Charles Smith to grab some lunch.  And then we headed to Rotie Cellars.  We enjoyed some wine and some laughs in Rotie and the owner's wife enjoyed us so much she waived our tasting fee!  Fun times!

Rotie Cellars
A new friend I made at Rotie
Stay tuned for the story of Jack the Squirrel!
Before leaving Walla Walla for our hotel we made stops at Kerloo Cellars, Maison Bleue, and a cute little cheese shop / gourmet grocery called Salumiere Cesario.

Kerloo is the call of the crane...oh, and good wine!

Interior of Maison Bleue

FINALLY, Saturday arrived!  It was my Labor Dave Weekend!  We set up camp at the awesome Wildhorse Campground and made new friends with our fellow campers immediately!  Walking around the campground you could see the joy and happiness all around.  It was a beautiful day!

Columbia River

Wild Horses Monument

Our campsite

This is how we camp!

Wine, cheese, and meat from our wine country travels

Wonderwomen and Boyd Tinsley!  LOL

Okay, they may have us beat!  Nice!

They've got their Tight Pants on!

Doing their Tight Pants dance (these guys are married to the Wonderwomen)

And they carried around a yummy watermelon cocktail bowl!
She walked by just before this shot in just her bikini and said "I hate when I can't find my one-piece fishnet body stocking."  Who doesn't?!

Fun on the big ball!

And then the concert!  Walking into the Gorge for the first time...any breathtaking.  I just wish I could have taken in my DSLR.

The Gorge

Yeah!  We made it!

And we found a giant cock!
The lovely and talented Brandi Carlile opened for Dave and the boys.

The sky during Brandi's show

And then the reason for the trip, The Dave Matthews Band.  Special guests on stage included Brandi, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, and The Lovely Ladies!

David J. Matthews

Stefan Lessard

Boyd Tinsley

Brandi and Dave

Day 2 of camping we enjoyed outdoor showers and then hopped in the minivan to go right up the road to Cave B Winery.  This winery had one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen.  The wine was not as good as what we enjoyed previously on the trip, but it wasn't bad!  And it just so happened that Dave and the band were staying at the Inn on the estate.

The buildings off to the right are where the band stayed

Don't know what's prettier, the view or the lovely Lisa!

Wind turbines

We met a group of people who were jamming to some DMB on the guitar and we sat by the lake and enjoyed a perfect Sunday with new friends and old sharing Cave B wine!  Oh...and during this time I met Dave Matthews!!

This couple got engaged over the weekend!  So sweet.
Dave signing my arm!

So happy!
My good friend, Phil, found us chilling and joined us!

And he borrows the guitar and begins to jam...who knew?!

A wonderful day indeed, followed by another great concert that night. I could do that weekend over and over and over again.  However, on Monday it was time to get back to Seattle, return our gear to REI, have dinner, and fly home.  It was another beautiful evening in Seattle before flying out, which made it all the more difficult to leave.

The seagull on the balcony of our room

Dan made fast friends with him by feeding him!

View from the room

We rarely get clouds like this in Phoenix!!  Beautiful!

This was a trip that will be remembered always and forever!  Good friends, good wine, good music, and the beautiful surroundings of Washington.  We are blessed.

“Troubles, they may come and go, but good times, they're the gold.”
Dave Matthews Band

“Celebrate we will, because life is short but sweet for certain”
Dave Matthews Band

“Turns out, not where, but who you're with that really matters.”
Dave Matthews Band

1 comment:

  1. Awesome trip, forever friends and memories that will bring smiles for years to come! Cheers, L&D