Girl’s Night Out

Wine Country

Over the weekend I got to escape the city and spend a mini-break in wine country with friends!

Michael stayed home with the baby and after the gym on Saturday I drove down to McMinnville for my cousin Anna’s bachelorette party weekend. The group had gone down Friday night for a show, and then stayed in the house we rented for the weekend. A few of Anna’s friends from the Peace Corp flew out from DC to celebrate with her! That was so awesome!

I got to the house a little after noon and they were all at the first winery only about 3 miles or so from the house we rented. I got in the house and did some decorating to surprise Anna later that night.

The house was so darling inside! I don’t know how old it was but it was clearly an old farmhouse and it had three bedrooms upstairs, with a large bathroom, and one bedroom and bathroom downstairs. It was decorated in a traditional way.

There were lots of cute built-in cabinets and drawers in the walls and there was even a working laundry chute!

The house was so cute.

Then I met up with them at their second winery stop. They weren’t a fan of of that winery so we all moved on to the next one: Brooks.

The tasting room was PACKED! But somehow we managed to snag a private back room. The girl helping us, I think her name was Allison, was super awesome and very generous and nice. It was cool that she let us use the private room. It had a huge, long table, it was quieter and private and we were able to eat our sandwiches, fruit, chips and cookies for lunch while we tasted the wines at Brooks.

Several of us split tastings. I shared the Pomona Flight (3 reds, 3 whites) with Erin. I loved the Pinot Blanc and ended up buying a bottle to bring home. There was an awesome wall behind us made of corks!

After our tasting and lunch we decided to buy a few bottles to drink there. Another big group was supposedly going to show up (and they had reserved the big room we were using) so Allison moved us outside and hooked us up with a bunch of blankets and turned on the heat lamps and we hung out outside with a bottle of Pinot Noir and a Rose to share amongst the group.

I had a glass of the rose, which I didn’t love but it was okay. It had a sparkling wine quality to it.

We hung out and enjoyed our wine and talked and celebrated!

It was starting to get a little late and we wanted to make one more stop before calling it a day.

The last winery of the day was Keeler.

I was really glad we were able to hire Anna’s sister to be our driver for the day! It meant no stress and everyone could just enjoy themselves. I’m also kind of glad I missed out on the first two wineries they went to because honestly I’m a lightweight and two tastings is enough for me. LOL

The group had some buy one tasting get one free cards for Keeler that they had picked up somewhere so we were lucky that we didn’t have to really pay for tasting fees or share tastings at the last place.  The wines were pretty good. I didn’t love them but I liked two of them a lot–I ended up buying a bottle of the Chardonnay (which is weird for me because I’m not usually a Chardonnay fan, but they did theirs in steel instead of oak and I tend to enjoy that flavor most) and Anna bought a bottle of the Pinot Noir Reserve, which was outstanding!

After the afternoon of wine tasting we went back to the house for the night. Anna loved the surprise decorations! 😀 We had dinner–homemade soup, bread and salad. Everything was so tasty!

Shawna made a delicious salad dressing that I’m going to make because it was so good:

Champagne-Shallot Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 5 minutes

From: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/champagne-shallot-vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Whisk together vinegar, shallots, honey, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil until blended.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=51666

 

After dinner we all got comfortable and then settled in for a few hours of card games, some chocolate cake for dessert and then bed! In the morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast together and then packed everything up.

I was home by lunch time to snuggle my baby, then off to the pool for me! It was a weekend of indulging but it was fun and I don’t do that often so it was a fun little splurge.

It was so much fun! I got away, made some new friends, got to try some new wines and see a part of Oregon I haven’t really explored much. In two short weeks Anna will be saying “I Do”!

 

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

ROAD TRIP!!!

GIRL’S WEEKEND!!!

Can you tell I’m excited? 🙂 It’s been a long time coming. Over the weekend Michael and I went up to Seattle for the weekend and then parted ways. He stayed with his friend Jeremy to watch golf all weekend long and drink beer (snore) and I picked up my friend Rachel for my own weekend getaway. The last time I saw her was about two months ago when she came down to visit and I ended up suffering from food poisoning all weekend. That was kind of a bummer. This time was much better.

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Rachel and I booked a room at the Hotel Deca, a swanky hotel in the U District. I like the U District because it’s funky, there’s stuff to do and it’s very walkable if you want to have some drinks and stumble back to the hotel. 🙂

We checked in and discovered that the travel agent she used or the hotel, screwed up our reservation. They booked us as a single person not two in a single bed studio instead of the two queen suite we paid for. They also booked us for 3 nights not 2. Ugh. And they were completely booked because it was UW graduation weekend!

We made it work and the next night they upgraded us to an excellent room! With a complimentary bottle of wine, free parking all weekend and free breakfast on Sunday. This was the view from our better room on Saturday:

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Pretty nice view, eh? Back to Friday night. It was like 8:30pm and we were famished. We ended up at Village Sushi for dinner, right off Brooklyn & 47th. What a fantastic place!!!

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We sat outside on their patio in the cool summer night with glasses of wine and spectacular food. We got yellowfin tuna poke and two rolls (the Seattle Roll and Hanabi Roll, which had tempura shrimp, cream cheese and avocado with a spicy sauce). Probably the best sushi I’ve had in the NW. It was comparable to the amazing sushi and poke I had in Hawaii! This place is a must for future visits!

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The service was speedy and friendly. We took our time, lots of girl talk and laughing then we wandered around the Ave until midnight before going back to the hotel. We did stop at Kai’s for a drink and I got the raspberry lemon drop–pretty good.

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Saturday morning Rachel had some work to catch up on and I was up early so I ran up to the gym for a workout. The gym I went to at Northgate was great!! It must be brand new because I walked in and had immediate gym envy and wished I lived in Seattle. 😉

Breakfast was at Petti Rosso on Capitol Hill. What a cute place! Great service and unlike Portland, there was NO WAIT. That’s unheard of in Portland–expect an hour wait for most breakfast joints. Anyway. We got coffee and what turned out to be one of the better breakfast meals I’ve had. The coffee was divine and served with rich cream.

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Breakfast was a garlic brioche bun cut in half and placed on too of a bed of arugula and peas. There were two poached eggs on top of the brioche and they chicken andouille sausage gravy was poured on top. Mama Lil’s peppers were scattered on the plate. I’d never think to put all those foods together but it worked so damn well. The sausage and peppers were spicy and the yolk from the poached egg ran into the greens like a gravy. How fantastic!

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We took our time with brunch and then had some time to kill and no real schedule so we went downtown to meander through Pikes Place Market for about an hour. I spent way too much money on fancy olive oil, gluten free pasta, honey and chocolate.

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Growing up in Seattle we went to Pike Place Market frequently and I see the attraction for tourists. You can find pretty much anything you might desire at the Market. Even Big Foot:

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The place was packed, as it usually is, but even more so because it was a sunny Saturday morning. People were packed into the market so closely you could barely walk. And of course there were also people with double wide kid strollers too. (Really??)

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If you don’t like crowds, you can avoid it by walking on the outside of the market in the streets and still see a lot of things. There’s tons of fruit stands and fish stands. I would have bought some fruit but I didn’t want it sitting in my car all weekend going bad. So Rachel bought a big bag of peaches for a friend and I bought non-perishables.

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On the walk back to the car from the market we stopped at Fran’s Chocolates. I hadn’t heard of Fran’s before but apparently it’s a popular place. When we entered the store we were immediately given a chocolate truffle that was creamy and delicious and melted in my mouth. I bought a few things and then we dashed back to the car before the meter ran out.

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Are you drooling yet? I can’t wait to tell you about the rest of the day! It was action-packed. Stay tuned.

QUESTION: What’s your favorite must-see Seattle sight?