A wonderful time in Washington
08.05.2017 - 09.05.2017
Although Ryan and I had not originally intended to visit Portland, the change in schedule on Sunday, May 7 afforded us the opportunity to briefly see the city on Monday, May 8 before heading to our next destination in Washington. We made good time to The City of Roses, or as Ryan affectionately refers to it, the Hipster Capital of America. Our car was 3 minutes away from the Base Camp brewery when we suddenly came to a halt for a line of stopped cars. A train was going by, immediately followed by another train, resulting in a 30-minute delay. Flashback to our drive in northern California when Ryan was annoyed by the amount of tractor-trailer trucks on the busy 2-lane highway. He had insisted that “there needs to be more trains”, a statement that he soon retracted based on the circumstances. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?
Base Camp Brewing Company was well worth the wait. Ryan and I each sampled a flight of their tasty beer and scarfed down a delicious Mexican lunch courtesy of the food truck parked outside. They had the best swag of any brewery we had been to so we stocked up on souvenirs and a new stainless steel insulated growler. I was ready to hit the road west but Ryan insisted on “just one more brewery”. He was like a kid in a candy store! Our friend Ed, who introduced us, recommended Cascade Brewing which specializes in sour beers and was conveniently located just down the road. The beers were so good that we didn’t want to leave! We will likely be making a trip back to “the other Portland” for a longer stay in the future.
Ryan and I arrived at our friends Steve and Shira’s house in Touchet, Washington later that Monday evening. Steve, aka Dr. Adams, is a psychiatrist whom I had the good fortune of meeting during my pharmacy residency at the VA Maine. Brilliantly smart with many talents, like being a sharpshooter and professional trombonist, Steve quickly became a mentor and confidant. I knew he would get along well with Ryan since they both have a deep-rooted appreciation for the outdoors. Steve accurately speculated that Shira and I would hit it off because we also have a lot of common interests, especially good conversation and scrumptious food. We had the pleasure of befriending Steve and Shira, plus their daughter Sarah and son Harry, before they made the move from Maine to Washington for Steve’s job re-location last year. Ryan and I were excited to reconvene with the Adams and see their new home during our cross-country adventure.
As usual, Steve and Shira were extraordinary hosts. Shira prepared a fabulous lamb dinner with all the fixings, while Steve concocted our drink of choice when getting together, gin and tonic (in his fancy crystal glasses from Europe, of course). We toured their beautiful new home and basked in the gorgeous scenery of the surrounding Blue Mountains. The sunset was a spectacular site of pink, orange, yellow, and purple. Life is good.
Tuesday, May 9 was a fun day filled with local activities. Shira continued to spoil us with her top-notch cooking, preparing donuts and huevos rancheros for breakfast and Cape Cod-style chicken salad sandwiches on homemade bread for lunch. The four of us drove to Ranch & Home (“Raunchy Home”) that morning to browse the Western attire. I proudly bought my first pair of cowgirl boots and Ryan purchased an awesome Western-style button-up shirt. We cruised around for a bit before a delightful wine tasting in “Napa North” at Pepper Bridge Winery. From there, our company visited the Whitman Mission National Historic Site so Ryan and I could learn more about the 1847 massacre along the Oregon Trail. The weather was warm and in the 80s, a nice change from Crater Lake (and Maine, for that matter).
Following a rejuvenating afternoon siesta, Steve, Shira, Ryan, and I ventured into Walla Walla for a divine dinner at the French restaurant called Brasserie Four. The eatery had a “wine wall” where one could hand select a bottle of wine to compliment dinner. The boys and I picked out “Beast”, a smooth Cabernet Sauvignon made locally by Buty (pronounced “beauty”) Winery – get it? The description was fun and it appealed to me more than the adjacent $139 bottle, yikes! I ordered bouillabaisse for the first time and was astounded by the plentiful amount of seafood. It served as my delectable dinner that night plus I had enough left over for two more meals.
Wednesday morning came and we were on the road again to Glacier National Park in Montana. Prior to our departure, Shira cooked some scrumptious scones and packed us vittles to go. Ryan and I are certainly blessed to have such wonderful people (and chefs!) in our lives.