Mystery Road Trip – Part Three

Despite the horrible stomach flu (or whatever it was) Saturday night, I slept well (the sound of the ocean always helps me sleep) and I woke up feeling much better. We went to the restaurant next door for breakfast.

I ordered very plain food and ate half of it. I ate the English muffin, the eggs and one sausage and left the rest. I wanted to make sure my stomach could handle it. Michael got a breakfast burrito that he said was delicious.

After breakfast we checked out and then went for another walk on the beach. The weather was much better. It was hot, sunny and not windy at all!

We walked south down the beach. There were rumors of a kite festival down there and I wanted to see if it was happening yet. It was still pretty early in the morning.

We walked a long ways down the beach. It was such a nice day and I was happy that I was feeling better.

I love the beach! It is so relaxing to me. Walking on the beach is a workout too. I was a little bummed that I was too sick the night before to check out the hotel pool but that wouldn’t have been a good idea with my stomach issues.

We made it to the kite festival and watched for a few minutes. The kites were exceptional. It wasn’t really windy, though, so I wondered if the Kite Festival would be a bust.

Our legs were getting a major workout as we walked the beach. It was nice! We made our way back to the hotel.

In the car I had another clue.

Michael navigated and I drove down 101 through Lincoln City. The destination ended up being Devil’s Lake. Michael had planned for us to go for a bike ride around the lake. He decided he didn’t want to do that. His legs were pretty beat up from walking several miles on the beach. I was alright with not biking. I wasn’t 100% after my stomach issues. I suggested that we drive back toward Portland and stop at Hagg Lake on the way. There were supposed to be biking trails there. He thought that was a great idea and he hoped his legs would be recovered by then. I got the final clue:

AWWWW. Michael is so romantic! We drove to McMinnville and stopped for lunch first. We ate lunch at the Golden Valley Restaurant and Brewery. We’ve eaten there before and enjoyed it. Michael got the skirt steak salad:

I had a bite and it was good! I ordered the half sandwich (turkey with havarti) and a small cup of chili.

It was a nice, slow lunch on the outdoor patio. It was warm and muggy but a pleasant experience. I did not count my calories at all over the weekend. I gave myself a break. But I didn’t eat much (and I was sick) so I am not worried at all. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break. And sometimes it’s nice to not “work out”. Our vacations are usually pretty active and we usually do a LOT of heavy fitness activities. It was nice to just do low-key this time.

After lunch we drove to Hagg Lake and checked it out. By the time we got there we were both EXHAUSTED and neither of us felt like biking. It will definitely be something we do in the future.

It was a wonderful weekend! Michael did a great job planning everything and I loved the romantic clues. 🙂 He said that I get to plan next year! I think he realized how much work goes into planning our trips. I don’t mind being the planner, but once in awhile it’s nice to have Michael create something fun!

QUESTION: Are your vacations active or low-key?




Flashback Friday: Wine Tasting

This time two years ago Michael and I escaped to wine country.

But a month prior to our weekend getaway I surprised Michael for his birthday by kidnapping him, driving him to the Columbia Gorge for a surprise hike and picnic (all food and snacks from Trader Joe’s), then to Hood River for wine tasting. Neither of us had ever been wine tasting before and I thought it would be a nice birthday surprise. His birthday gift from me was hiking boots from REI.

It turned out to be a total hit. And it started our love affair with wine tasting. So a month later we went away for the weekend in the Willamette Valley. It’s packed with wineries (more expensive wineries than the Gorge though). We stayed at the McMenamin’s Hotel Oregon for the weekend.

We arrived (it’s about an hour drive south of Portland) and immediately had happy hour food and drinks on their rooftop bar. It was a nice day but with clouds looming in the distance.

It was so cool up on the roof. Very romantic. After that the rain started and it rained off and on most of the weekend. Which was fine because we weren’t doing a lot of hiking.

Oregon is rich with vineyards. Wine tasting is a popular past time here.  It can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. We learned pretty quickly that while we love wine tasting, we both have a low tolerance so often by the end of the tasting excursions we pay for one tasting ($5-10) and split it. It works well.

The great thing about wine tasting is the lack of commitment. If you don’t like one of the wines–don’t drink it. In fact, you can spit it out in a bucket. 🙂

The good thing about tasting is that for (usually) $5 you can try a handful of different kinds and discover new wines you’d never think of trying. For example, I always thought I disliked white wine. Then I had some really amazing Pinto Grigios and was converted.

McMinnville is the middle of farm country here in Oregon. There were lots of farms amidst the vineyards.

After sampling wine during the day and doing shopping, we retreated back to the hotel room where Michael tried to teach me how to play poker (first attempt of many) and we opened a bottle of one of our newly procured wines.

Only the finest stemware used for the best wine. 😉 Later dinner was at a nearby tapas restaurant.

We also stumbled upon an olive oil store out in the middle of nowhere offering samples! Yum.

There were gardens and this beautiful fountain too. We had a great time and it just confirmed our love of wine. 🙂

Want to try wine tasting? Watch the movie Sideways and then read a few websites on how to adopt a snooty upperclass accent and memorize some pretentious phrases…then enjoy! 🙂

QUESTION: What were you doing this time last year?