We left Spokane last Sunday. The weather was sunny and nice. We were sad to leave Jesse and Erin and sweet little Anabelle, but had made peace with that. Christmas isn't too far away is it?
|dreamy eyes in grandpa's lap
|relaxing on Dad's lap at happy hour
We enjoyed a few last outings by ourselves and with them. A delicious wine offering for a lunch at Vieux Carre gave us the idea for a new destination in Walla Walla. Also, a last opportunity to have some beloved beignets. Dave deemed these "the best outside of New Orleans".
|bbq shrimp on cheese grits and gumbo, mmmm
We were happy and looking forward to being on the road again. Our route took us on the previously closed I-90 and we were stunned by the reach of the Gray Fire, the beginnings of which I showed you on my last blog.
These few pictures, taken from Beluga's side window with my cell phone, while moving along at 65 mph, don't really show the devastation we saw and felt. Huge pines completely blackened, piles of vaporized cars and bldgs......oh my.
We drove in silence.
Ok.....back to real time. We're at the Blue Valley RV Resort in Walla Walla, Washington until tomorrow morning. It's our third time here. This is a small, well run, well kept property on the outskirts of town in an industrial and rather downtrodden neighborhood. But....it's very close to the neat little downtown with lots of restaurants and set in the midst of lots of very good wineries. Perfect.
We had another knock out dinner at Brasserie Four last night and visited two new to us wineries. The first was Valdemar Estate Winery, a stylish new facility with it's roots in Spain.
We planned our tasting for later in the afternoon be able to enjoy their wines (Spanish and Washington) with some Tapas for our meal of the day. We weren't disappointed with either. As usual, we left with a bag of bottles. The temperature was in the low hundreds, so we stayed indoors. Not a hardship, the expansive views were just as nice from our window side table.
|quiet sounds of water running down the back wall
|light reflections in the glass fascinated me
The last wine tasting of our Walla Walla stay was our favorite, however. You'll remember that I mentioned the good wine we had with our lunch in Spokane....a Viognier from Isenhower Cellars. Since it was lunch time then, we had only split one glass and it left us with a taste for more.
We located the vineyard in Walla Walla and were delighted to find them open mid week. Isenhower is a small, family owned and run place in a pretty, but out of the way, location.
|whimsical statues in the garden
It was worth searching for. When we arrived and walked through the little garden, we found were the only visitors. We had owner Denise all to ourselves. She's a delightful woman, full of stories and a genuine interest in her wine and her customers. We told her we had tried one of her wines in Spokane and decided to seek her out, to see what else she had to offer.
Usually one gets three or perhaps four tastes of various wines, recent releases, vintages, etc. Denise was excited to share her wines with us. I lost count at about 8 (or was it 9) "tastes", she apologized for the warmer than normal temperature of the Viognier so she chilled it to "try again later". And so it went. I took only two or three pictures, I was otherwise occupied. The wines were very good (we left with a number (get ready Steve and MonaLiza) of bottles, the conversation was delightful, but the real star of the day was Augie. For us, nothing compared to tasting good wine with a large, bony yellow dog contentedly leaning on our leg......
Augie was closed in the back room when we arrived, behind a glass door. He stared at us, longingly, and tapped the door, quietly, every few minutes, just to remind Denise that he was there and would very much like to meet the new people. tap............tap...........tap. We finally made her understand that we'd really love to meet him too.
|Denise and Augie
Other people started arriving for scheduled tastings so we left with an armful of beautiful donut peaches, a heavy bag of wine and dog hair on our jeans. Oh happy day.
Having had plenty of wine yesterday, burp, we took it easy today. Grocery shopping, reading, naps, take-out pasta dinner and getting ready for the drive to Caldwell, Idaho in the morning. Dave made sure that we had a little pastry box full of Kouign Amann for the road.....what a guy.