lunch

Wine Country

What a good weekend! Logan turned 19 months old and was such a goofy, cute, fun little boy all weekend. He decided he wanted to learn how to jump. I have some pretty hilarious and adorable videos of him trying to learn how to jump up and down. He’s not quite coordinated yet.

Also this weekend, Michael and I got to get away for a little but on Sunday. Logan got some quality time with the grandparents and we got to have adult time with friends! Win-win! I went swimming and then we met up with some friends and drove down to Dundee, Oregon together.

It was the Sokol Blosser wine club pick up party over the weekend and we went with friends who are also members. First, we stopped for lunch at a place they recommended. It was called the Babica Hen Cafe.

I ordered the Blue Cheese and Bacon Salad. It came with grilled chicken and avocado and an egg on top. The salad was really delicious and fresh. It was also a ton of food. I only ended up eating about 80% of it. And…despite the low carb diet, I did have the bread that came with it. It was warm and freshly baked with melty butter…and hard to pass up. Lunch was delicious.

I kind of got talked into having a raspberry mimosa, which was also delicious.

Michael got the smoked salmon eggs benedict, Charla got the taco salad (looked delicious) and Ben got this crazy fried chicken and waffle dish I had to share a photo of!

It looked like there was a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of it, but it was mashed potatoes. With caramel syrup and coconut flakes on top. We all had a bite. It was super weird! But the presentation was great.

After lunch we arrived at the winery for the private members-only party. We weren’t sure if there was going to be “real” food there, hence the reason we stopped for lunch. But we arrived and there was a pretty decent spread of stuff. So next time, we’ll just bring a picnic lunch and supplement with the cheese, meat and olives they provided. They also had free coffee from a local place. Sadly, I forgot to get a sample of it.

We checked in and got a taste of their sparkling rose wine, which was really light and refreshing.

The place was packed but we found a cozy spot on the downstairs patio outside. The weekend had been super stormy, rainy and wet but we lucked out on Sunday to nice, warm and sunny weather instead.

It was kind of the perfect afternoon. We were all able to relax kid-free and have adult conversations. Way different than the last time we were there. 😉

The wines were all so good. They were very generous with the pours. We spent a few hours tasting and hanging out.

Around 3:30 the place was starting to thin out. We were able to get a table inside and see the musician who was hired for the event. His name was Dante Zapata and he was so good! I posted two videos on my instagram if yo are interested. When we joined the party, he was playing some old R&B songs acoustically. Loved the spin on some old favorites!

Charla suggested we stop at Argyle on the way home. She’s raved about their wines a few times.

It was a really cool, modern tasting room. There was tons of space both inside and outside, there was cool art inside and a private room in the back, plus outdoor covered areas and an area for bocci ball. It would be a fun place to go back to when we had more time.

Three of us shared some tastings. The wines were really excellent: smooth and rich and full of noticeable flavors that were easy to identify. It’s a shame their wine was too rich for our blood! I would have taken a bottle home but the cheapest one on the menu was $45! Ooof, little too much for my budget.

After that it was home to our little dude, who’d had a fantastic day with grandma and grandpa. Then Michael and I finished the season finale of Game of Thrones (holy crap that was crazy and intense!!!). What a great day!

Kid-Free Adventure Day

What a busy summer! We were kind of making up for last summer, I guess. Last summer we didn’t do much, we didn’t really go anywhere. We were home-bound in the newborn baby fog of lack of sleep and breastfeeding and just trying to stay alive. LOL So this summer has definitely been full of adventures.

Michael’s mom recently offered to babysit Logan for the day so Michael and I made plans to have a baby and dog-free date day! We had to go Syncline Winery to pick up our wine from our membership, so we decided to do a hike and have lunch, too.

We went to Trapper Creek in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It was fairly close to the other hike we did up there, Falls Creek Falls, about 15 miles north of Carson, Washington. The hike was pretty easy to find, even though the GPS quit at Carson.

It was a really hot day and even in the old growth forest, it was still 100 degrees out. We got a late start to the day, so it was about 11:30 by the time we started the hike. It was a pretty hike in the forest.

There were several other trails that connected to Trapper Creek, so I think you could spend days exploring out there. It was so weird hiking without the dog and baby. For one, it took no time at all to pack the car and then get ready to hike. It literally took 2 minutes to put our boots on and go. LOL Very different than the time it takes to get Bella ready, then Logan, then get Logan in the pack and on Michael’s back…. 🙂

The hike was listed as “Difficult” on the hiking website I use. I can never really tell what that means…like is it a hard hike? Is it classified as difficult because it was long? You can never really tell. This hike started out pretty easy. We discussed whether or not this was actually a “difficult” hike and then all of a sudden, the trail started going uphill and it was most definitely difficult!

Once we crossed the small creek and got to the other side, it was ALL UPHILL. And steep! Apparently we climbed over 800 feet, which doesn’t sound like much but that climb was in less than 2 miles. So pretty steep!

It definitely got our hearts pumping and with the workout and hot day, we were drenched in sweat. (The one time I forget to pack a hiking towel…)

The trail was really peaceful and we didn’t really see anybody else on the hike, except when we first started out. It was a good hike and a good workout.

The trail kept climbing and climbing and finally we decided to turn around at 2.5 miles. It was pretty steep and we were both starting to get hungry. Plus, it was getting pretty late in the day. We turned around and hiked back down the mountain.

We did just over 5 miles total and I burned 730 calories. It was a sweaty one!

I really love seeing the graphs of our hike! So fun to see after the fact. After the hike we grabbed snacks from the cooler (salami, cheese and some soda), cleaned up and changed and then drove to Syncline to go wine tasting and have lunch.

Originally we were going to try and go back to Big Man’s BBQ food cart that we absolutely LOVED but we were running out of time. The hike took longer than we expected. Plus, Syncline had sent me an email the day before saying they were going to have a small wood-fire pizza oven there for Saturday’s wine tasting. Perfect!

We ordered the lamb and pepper pizza for our lunch.

While we waited for our pizza, we did some wine tasting. I didn’t love the Rose they had and there was a white I didn’t really like, but I did get a taste of my favorite white they sell–the Grenache Blanc. Delicious! Definitely brought a bottle of that home.

We played a little corn hole while we waited for lunch. We had both been looking forward to lounging in the hammocks like we did last time, this time without a squirmy baby trying to flip us over! 😉 But unfortunately it was 100+ degrees and laying in the hammock in the sun didn’t sound appealing to either of us.

Finally the small pizza was ready and we were famished. We devoured the pizza. Michael thought it was just ok, he wanted more cheese on it, but I loved it. I thought it was great and smokey and the crust was perfect.

Lunch was good and hit the spot after the hike.

It was starting to get late in the day and we had to get home to Logan, so we wrapped it up and headed home. It was a really nice day away from home just the two of us. I can’t even remember the last time we had a date night. It was a gorgeous day in the Gorge and an excellent start to the long weekend.

On a more serious note, we left The Gorge about 30 minutes before a wildfire started. It started at Eagle Creek because some teenagers decided it was a smart idea to throw fireworks into the forest during the hottest, driest season we’ve probably had in decades. The wildfires started and spread quickly. 140+ hikers were trapped on the trail and had to be rescued. The wildfires quickly spread throughout the Gorge, and even jumped across the Columbia River into the Washington side. More soon…