weekend getaway

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”!

 

Astoria

Saturday morning we got up and went to the downtown area of Astoria to get breakfast. We went to a Bistro that we’d been to in the past and were able to get a seat outside so Bella could join us. It was warm but a little overcast. Michael got the brisket and eggs. I got two eggs with bacon and it came with buttermilk biscuits.

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Sadly the food wasn’t very good. It was really good last time but this time we were both really disappointed and won’t be going back. The coffee and the biscuits were the only thing good about breakfast. 🙁

The plan for the day was to go for a hike. I found one nearby, Gnat Creek. The description of it sounded nice and it said it was considered easy to moderate. The whole thing was 8 miles. After breakfast we picked up a sandwich at Subway and then drove north about 30 minutes to the campground where the trailhead was.

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It was pretty easy to find and there was plenty of parking right at the trailhead. It was so muggy and humid! We climbed up the stairs and the trail quickly went deep into the forest and wound through the trees along the creek. The ground was really soft from hundreds of years of pine needles.

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We hiked through the woods, setting a pretty quick pace, and then all of a sudden the trail ended! It turned out you had to cross the highway to pick the trail back up. Luckily the traffic wasn’t too bad so we didn’t have to wait long to cross. We got to the other side and the trail was winding through the trees and then all of a sudden we were at the Fish Hatchery.

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On the other side of the hatchery the trail continued. It was getting much hotter out now and this part of the trail wasn’t shaded. We saw some wildflowers, lots of butterflies, and then the trail was back in the woods. Thankfully! It was slightly cooler in the trees. There were a lot of cool little bridges all throughout the hike and lots of different trails you could take.

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We crossed a bridge and then all of a sudden the trail was going steeply up. Our heart rates were climbing as we climbed and we were both DRENCHED in sweat. Not from the exercise really, but the humidity. It was SWAMPY. That was the feeling for most of the hike. Hot and humid and gross. And I wasn’t wearing typically hiking clothes that wick the sweat away, nope! So I was feeling extra gross and sweaty.

We kept on climbing and it was getting hotter. Bella started doing weird stuff on the trail (it was exposed to the sun) like jumping off the trail and hiding under bushes. We figured she was too hot. We stopped a lot for water breaks but clearly it was time to turn around. We hiked back down the trail and found the waterfalls where there was a bench and we cooled off in the shade to eat our sandwiches.

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It was a nice little spot for a picnic. Despite the name “gnat creek” it wasn’t too bad on the hike as long as you were moving. But once we stopped for the lunch break the gnats and mosquitoes and flies were really bad! And of course I forgot to pack bug spray. There was one gnat really bugging Bella and she kept trying to bite the air to get him.

After lunch we hiked back down to the hatchery, across the highway and then back to the trailhead.

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We ended up hiking just under 5.5 miles. I burned 718 calories during the hike. It was a decent number! But I’m pretty sure I sweated out a few extra pounds just from the humidity.

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The drive back to Astoria was slow. There was some nasty traffic jam and it ended up taking twice the amount of time but we eventually got back and cleaned up and then spent some time in the hot tub relaxing our sore bodies. There was another couple in the tub visiting from North Carolina and they wanted to tell us all about what they saw on their trip to Portland. 🙂 I was just happy to be relaxing in the saltwater.

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So one of the nice things about the hotel we were staying at was the free wine and cheese social hour they had every night from 5-6pm. After cleaning up Michael and I went down to check it out. Got some delicious cheese and crackers, some toast with cream cheese and smoked salmon on it and an Oregon Pinot Noir that I love. We sat outside on the patio with everyone else, enjoying the sunshine and view and tried to figure out what to do for dinner.

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In the end we decided to get take out again. There were a few restaurants we’d been wanting to try but they were booked for the Saturday night. We didn’t plan ahead very well. So back to Fort George it was! This time Michael got a Cobb Salad and I got a cup of their clam chowder and the kid’s fish n’ chips. It was two small pieces of fish and just the right amount of food.

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The fries were terrible so I didn’t eat them. Which was fine, who needs the empty calories. The clam chowder was pretty good. On our way to the restaurant we’d also picked up a bottle of Bogle Red Blend to drink in the room and relax.

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Cheers! I’m glad I got the small portions for dinner. It was just the right amount. I had about two glasses of wine and called it good for the evening. We were both really tired after the long, hot day.

Sunday

Sunday morning I woke up and had PLANNED on going for a run along the waterfront on the trail. Unfortunately when I took Bella out to do her business it was shockingly cold, gloomy and sprinkling quite a bit. That was a surprise! I hadn’t seen rain in the forecast. So I ended up running on the treadmill in the small hotel gym. They had a treadmill, exercise bike, stairclimber and weights.

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I ran 2.55 miles on the treadmill with a few walking breaks and then called it good. The hotel offered a continental breakfast, too. It was the usuals–pastries and donuts, cereals, oatmeal, granola bars, bagels and English muffins, yogurts, fruit, fruit salad, juices, etc. I had some plain Greek yogurt with the fruit salad and an English muffin (and two coffees). It hit the spot.

One thing I forgot to mention, the hotel also offers free car rides to restaurants in this car:

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I was kind of bummed we didn’t get a chance to take it! It’s so cute. Anyways, after breakfast we packed up the car. The original plan was to drive south to Seaside and let Bella run wild on the beach but the forecast was stormy and rainy for Seaside so we ended up skipping that.

That was a bummer but all in the weekend was a nice getaway and I was glad we could bring Bella to such a nice place! I really recommend the Cannery Pier Hotel if you are ever in the area.IMG_4089

On our way out of town we stopped by Flavel House and I took some photos. It’s the house that George Flavel built in 1883. It was such a cool looking house on the outside! Next time I’ll have to do the tour of the inside.


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I also walked around the Sunday Market. They shut down a few streets in the middle of downtown Astoria for a Sunday Farmer’s Market. I bought some cherries, blueberries and raspberries and a few other goodies and then we hit the road back to Portland.