Calm Before The Storm

It was a beautiful, unseasonably warm November day in Washington DC. I was here on business, and we took the opportunity to extend our visit into the weekend. We spent Saturday enjoying the perfect weather and visiting the National Gallery of Art. A special exhibit on Vermeer’s Secrets caught our attention, but we also enjoyed some of the more unusual pieces of art. This was a large rooster sculpture on the outdoor roof patio.

In the atrium we admired a very large mobile by Calder.

Even the stairwells have an artistic flair.

On the walk back to our hotel I took this photo with a different perspective of the Washington monument.

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Home Again

The full moon from home.

We had a wonderful time on our trip to Oregon, but it is still wonderful to be home again.

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Last Day

We started our last day in wine country at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars seated on the patio looking out over the Willamette valley.

The hilltop location was perfect for sunflowers.

Then we were off to our next tasting, following a wine truck down the narrow winding road through the trees back into the valley.

Our next stop was Domaine Drouhin.

And then it was back to the cottage for our last night on the hill watching the sunset. As we sipped our wine, a flock of birds flew overhead and we all instinctively covered our wine glasses just in case. We thought we were safe, when suddenly…

I’ve been told that having a bird poop on you means good luck, so I’m taking this as a good omen for our next visit.

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St. Innocent Winery

After a leisurely morning we headed south to St. Innocent Winery, thanks to a recommendation from Allan. The drive took about an hour, but it was well worth the trip.

St. Innocent Vineyards

It was an idyllic setting overlooking a small pond.

St. Innocent had something we hadn’t seen at the other wineries – a tasting menu with food pairings. It really helped to spotlight the strengths of each wine. We loved it.

I would highly recommend St. Innocent – it was probably our favorite so far. We took a different route back, crossing the Willamette river on a very small ferry.

While waiting for the ferry, we spotted a nest with a juvenile Peregrine falcon (we think) calling for food from its parents.

A view of the Willamette from the ferry.

Then it was home where our designated driver had a glass of wine in her happy place.

And then, after dinner prep, it was up the hill for another sunset in everyone’s happy place.

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Country Roads

After a quiet morning we headed south for a wine tasting at Cristom Vineyards.

We had a cheese tray with the last glass to tide us over till a late lunch.

The tasting room was in the middle of the vineyards.

The Pinot Noir grapes are beginning to ripen.

Then it was off to Left Coast wines for lunch – with wine, of course.

We shared a pizza from their wood fired pizza oven. They asked if we were celebrating anything, and we said “the fact that the border is open again”. So we were treated to a complementary glass of bubbly.

Then it was back to the cottage.

Another evening watching the sunset.

A short walk back to the cottage in the twilight allowed some interesting pictures – the light was amazing.

Then it was back to the cottage for dinner and a relaxing evening … wait for it … drinking wine.

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This Never Gets Old

We visited two wineries yesterday – Elk Cove and Kramer Vineyards. At the first we tasted wines while looking out over the vineyard. At the second we watched birds of prey riding the air currents while searching for their dinner.

We had our lunch between the two tastings at the Horse Radish in Carlton. The food was divine – we will definitely be back. The scenery around the two wineries was not what we expected. They are in the hills surrounded by forest and small farms selling farm fresh chicken and quail eggs. The roads were scenic but also very narrow and winding. I was glad that I wasn’t the one driving.

And then it was back to the cottage to watch the sunset with a glass of wine. It never gets old.

It’s off to another wine tasting shortly, but here is my view as I write this.

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Wine Country

On Sunday we headed inland to the Willamette valley.

To celebrate the amazing surroundings we had a meeting of The Other Champagne Club overlooking the vineyards.

Then we headed up the hill to watch the sunset.

The changing colours and shadows as darkness descended were stunning so we stayed and watched.

Now for the wine tasting…

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Last Day

Not the last day of the trip – just the last day on the Oregon coast. We had lunch at a local brewery with amazing wood fired pizza. The beer was pretty good too.

We walked along the beach in the morning and afternoon but the highlight was a campfire on the beach watching the sunset.

We let the fire burn down to embers and then doused it with water. We don’t want to be responsible for starting any fires…

Tomorrow we head inland to the Willamette valley and wine country.

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Going Rogue (in a good way)

What did you think I meant? We were just down the road from Newport so we had to visit Rogue Brewery where I had a Rogue Dead Guy ale. Yummy.

But the highlight of the day, other than Rogue, was walking along the beach. First thing in the morning the mist was so thick that you could barely see where you were going. It was equal parts disorienting and magical.

Walking along the beach, we kept seeing bits of evergreen trees in the sand. There must be a story there, but I have no clue what it is.

We were fascinated by the other things washed up on the beach.

There were a number of tidal pools near our hotel and I could have watched them for hours. I nearly did.

We went for a long walk along the beach in the morning, but we enjoyed it so much that we had to go for a walk in the evening. The sun was setting…

The tide was still going out, which created fascinating patterns of running water.

… and interesting reflections in the wet sand.

I’ll leave you with a picture of shells attached to the rocks – almost abstract art.

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We headed south from Seattle this morning driving along the old pacific coast highway.

Along the way we stopped at Canon Beach with a perfect view of The Haystack.

There were several interesting rock formations along the coast.

Jan took her sandals off and walked in the surf – how could you resist?

The Pacific Coast Highway has scenic viewpoints about every five minutes and the view is amazing every time. Here is one example.

It was mostly sunny, but looking inland the hills were shrouded in clouds.

Our hotel is right on the ocean with a balcony where we can sit and listen to the surf.

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