Our first stop was Burgerville in Centralia for lunch, one of Garrett's favorites. It was ok. Normally on car trips to Portland I've gotten a much earlier start and had breakfast in Centralia at Country Cousin, and it was really weird to eat somewhere else. From there we went through Portland and beyond to our final destination, Carlton, with stops at a couple of stores for supplies along the way. Our rental house was really great. Good air conditioning, which was very necessary, and my bed was so perfect, I'm trying to buy one just like it. The reason? After two nights on it, my shoulder that's been sore for two months was almost all the way better. The company that made it isn't making things easy for me. That particular model isn't listed on their website, so I called to find out if they still make it, and if not, what they've replaced it with. A guy took my number and said he'd call back, but it's been more than 24 hours and I haven't heard from him. One bedding chain in the Portland area has it in stock, but they only deliver so far and don't have the option to ship. So I guess I'll try calling again tomorrow. I need this bed.
The house was in a great location, right across the street from Cana's Feast Winery. We had a very nice tasting flight there, though there was a minor setback when a corkscrew broke, which I've never seen happen before. Garrett was taking a drink at the time, and wine shot out of his mouth as he stifled a laugh.
The winery is stunningly beautiful.
We'd had a huge lunch at Burgerville, so a wine and snack dinner while we watched the movie WarGames was perfect.
Morning coffee on the deck the next morning with a view of the winery was also very nice.
No sense in jumping right into the wine tastings again on day two, so we drove to McMinnville to visit the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. It was super cool to get to see The Spruce Goose in person and even go inside it! Of course I made Garrett pose for his g-wave in the blinding sunlight first.
It's pretty neat to see stuff so big that you have to take a video instead of a photo. While we were there, we watched James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge in IMAX 3D. Kind of cool, but also kind of annoying when you realize he's only getting that opportunity because he bought his way in and there are certainly tons of people who are far more qualified to be in his chair.
Once we got back to the house, we walked over to The Carlton Winemakers Studio, which is just down the block. Had an excellent tasting there, including whites this time because it was so hot out. Everything was good, and we have a new inside joke because the woman who helped us said we were obviously "such great friends" when I put the tab for the tastings and two bottles of wine we selected together on my card. From there, we walked about a quarter mile to the Scott Paul winery. Normally it would have been lovely, but in 90-degree weather, it was unpleasant.
Their wine's good, though. It was tempting to get a case and join their wine club, but we couldn't carry it back with us and they wouldn't be open early enough the next day for us to stop by on our way out of town. They have an annual seafood dinner event that sounds pretty cool. From there, we went to The Horse Radish for an amazing lunch, and of course, more wine.
After that, I was ready to head back to the house, but Garrett wasn't, so he headed over to Troon. The heat was so brutal and I was glad I stopped when I did, and I could tell Garrett was even more miserable upon his arrival than I was upon mine. But we cooled down quickly and had a fun evening of box wine, frozen pizza with salad, and a true American classic, Showgirls.
After breakfast and showers the next morning, we drove straight to the Portland Saturday Market, so I could drop off that large picture I picked up a while back for the owner of Unusual Cards. After dropping it off at the booth, we wandered around the market to kill time before meeting up with Alan, AJ, Jayme, and Andrew for lunch at Theo's. The market was the first and only place I saw Honey Buckets in Oregon.
After checking into the hotel and having a nap, we met up with an even bigger group for dinner at Green Dragon.
Clockwise from the bottom: me, Mindy, Heidi, Marijane, Jayme, AJ, Alan, Julie, Garrett, Douglas, and David. Douglas was my very first boyfriend back in 1997, and he's been with David ever since shortly after he and I broke up. It was really cool to sit between Garrett and Douglas at dinner; they're the beginning and end of my love life.
Belly put on a great show, starting exactly on time, with no opening act, and playing two sets with a short break in between. Alan, Jayme, and Mindy joined me for the show.
Brunch the next morning was with our friends Scott and Paige at their new home in Vancouver, Washington. They just moved there recently from where we visited them in Florida. That was a lovely time and we probably should have planned to stay the night, since the longer we stayed, the later our departure. Traffic was pretty bad in some spots and the trip took a while. Even though I'd much rather be on that mattress from the rental, there's no place like home.