Okay, so now that I’m back, I’ll mention just a few highlights. It’s hard to sum up a three week trip that covered Ashland, Portland, Astoria, Seaview, Monterosa, Olympia, Tacoma, Bellevue, Seattle, Bainbridge Island, San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Port Townsend, Leavenworth, Wanatchee, Ellenburg, Yakima, Grandview, Walla Walla, Bend, Crater Lake and Klamath Falls, but here are three I’ll definitely remember:
Crater Lake. This was taken in the middle of June. The first time I’ve seen snow in about 20 years, having lived in Austin and then San Francisco that whole time, and it’s the middle of freaking June. I will never again whine about how cold it is in San Francisco in August.
Java Jive. This place was a roadside attraction in Tacoma. I assumed it was going to be a tiny little coffee shop that closed at 3PM. Oh no, my friends. It’s a very cool dive bar, with live music and cheap beer and friendly bartenders and it used to have monkeys in a cage behind the stage until someone realized it was cruel to subject monkeys to all those Kurt Cobain wannabes.
Blackwood Canyon Winery. See that dirt-covered homeless-looking dude? That’s the winemaker and winery owner. The guy’s worth — well, he just sold off part of his land to a guy from Microsoft for about $6 million, and he owns a huge chunk of Santa Barbara where he caters parties for Oprah. But when you visit his winery, it’s just him and about six dogs roaming around the place. The guy’s super-interesting: he basically hijacked our day and took us through a complete history of winemaking, with five hours of sampling some amazing wine, including some that sells for $125 a bottle. He even paired some of his wine with food he whipped up for us in the back room. Then he walked us out to the fields where we drank some unbelievable French-style dry rosé right from the barrels. An incredible day, and a good reason to be married to a travel writer.