More Fun in Wine Country

Spots 11 and 12 at Willamette Wine Country RV. That's us on the right:


Yesterday we did some work in the morning here and then met up with our friends Lisa and George. They arrived early in the afternoon and the four of us headed first for Seufert Winery and then over to the Dominio IV winery to pick up our wine club shipments (we had about a year's worth!).

Dominio IV: 


We met back up with the Hardersens when we returned to the RV park and everyone got together for a fun group dinner. The weather was beautiful and the moon was big and bright. (We also got to ride our bikes around a bit!)


The clouds moved in later in the evening while we were all still out visiting and then suddenly the rain came with those big fat raindrops so we quickly cleared the tables and moved inside. Fun evening!

It rained off and on all night, and this morning it's more of the same. We were going to go home today, but figured we'd get a bunch of work done here instead, cozy and out of the rain, and go home tomorrow.


Airstreamin' in Wine Country

We dusted off the Airstream on Thursday morning and headed down to the Willamette Valley wine country (only a little over an hour from our house in Portland) to meet up with some friends for the weekend. 


When we got to our RV storage unit, everything was just as we'd left it and there were no big issues. Pretty good after sitting for a year in storage! The tires needed a little air, the clocks needed new batteries, and the fridge light needs a new bulb, but other than that everything was ready to go. 

We are camping at the Willamette Wine Country RV Resort and so far, we have mostly remembered how to do everything. Campgrounds are definitely noisier than anchorages and mooring buoys, but it's still fun to be out in the trailer. (And there are no ferry wakes tossing you awake at 7am!)

Kevin and I had a reservation for dinner on Thursday night at the Joel Palmer House (thank you to Kevin's mom for the sweet gift card!)

The Joel Palmer House, in Dayton, Oregon:



Our table:


Because this is truffle country, we did the Mushroom Madness tasting menu, and because we're in pinot noir country, we shared a bottle of Methven Family Vineyards Pinot Noir. All was delicious and it was a nice evening.

In the morning, we met up with our friend Kathy Hardersen and her son Kyle. (Kyle just bought a new Airstream International 25' and is parked right next to us, and Kathy left her Airstream at home and is staying here in one of The Vintages.) We had breakfast at our trailer, and then went over to Sokol Blosser for some wine tasting on the patio.

Sokol Blosser has a gorgeous tasting room and patio, and we couldn't ask for better mid-October weather!




We were there for a couple hours just visiting and playing cards and tasting wine. Kathy is a wine club member at Sokol Blosser, so we got a nice complimentary charcuterie tray during our card game:


We brought back a deck of cards from the Trickster Company in Juneau, Alaska. This is the Tlingit language edition, and they're fabulous to play with!

We had some lunch at the Red Hills Market, then went to Penner-Ash Wine Cellars for another tasting (and met up with more of Kathy's family). I didn't take any photos at Penner-Ash, but they too have a gorgeous place up on the hill with a fantastic view of the valley. We really enjoyed several of their wines, and left with four bottles: a 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, a 2014 Viognier (served at the White House State Dinner a few weeks ago), a 2013 Oregon Syrah, and a 2013 Rubeo (70% pinot noir, 30% syrah). 

We decided to finally let Kyle have something HE wanted drink, so we stopped at Deception Brewing for a bit. (Kevin and I didn't try any of their beer time!)

Dinner last night with the entire Hardersen family (table for 9) was at Ruddick/Wood in Newberg and was a blast. We always have so much fun with these guys. So. Much. Laughing!!


We started with a Honey Badger and a Whiskey Sour, and shared the duck confit hushpuppies (the winner) and a grilled octopus salad for starters, and the Fishermen's Stew and the Chicken Roulade (the winner) for entrees. 

Today, we've got some more friends (Lisa and George, in their Argosy motorhome) joining us here and we'll probably visit two more wineries today...maybe ride our bikes around a bit, and just spend more time visiting and catching up.

It's definitely nice to be back in the Airstream, but I miss the boat and the water a little bit (and the rocking!). I think we're going to need to revisit the boondocking side of RV travel a bit more next time we set out for a longer trip...get away from the traffic noise and the leaf blowers and lawn mowers. :)

LaConner to Langley

We left LaConner early this morning around 9am. I know, that's not super early, but by the time we left we'd both showered and cooked breakfast and made coffee and topped off our water tank, so considering all of that, it was early!


On our way through the lower part of the Swinomish Channel we saw many, many geese flying in cool formation overhead:




And then just out from Maple Grove Beach on the northwest tip of Camano Island, our sonar was picking up SO MANY FISH! For about 10 minutes we had solid lines of fish showing up at about 75 ft, like this:


Wouldn't it be cool if it just showed you the orcas, like this, just once?


We got into Langley (on Whidbey Island) at around 12:30pm, washed off the boat, paid for two nights, and headed up into town for some food and some wandering. We had lunch (and delicious espresso drinks) at Useless Bay Coffee Company. Look at Kevin's latte art:


We shared a jalapeno burger and some fish tacos and both plates were excellent! After lunch we stopped at Callahan's Firehouse to watch some glass blowing. Next we stopped into The Star Store and picked up a few things: a nice pair of wool fingerless gloves for Kevin, a pretty sweater for me, a new tea towel for the galley, and a proper captain's hat for whoever happens to be manning the helm. Score!

Next we stopped in at the Ott & Murphy Winery Tasting Room for a little wine tasting (with a view!):


We shared one tasting and brought 4 bottles back to put in Airship's wine cellar: a viognier, a syrah, and two bottles of their red blend called L'Entente (syrah, petite syrah, mourvedre, and viognier).

Here's a quick snap of the (full!) wine cellar:


Now we're just chillin at the boat (watching Deadliest Catch, heh). It's rainy and a bit windy outside and we plan to stay put and wait out what is supposed to be a windy day tomorrow. 

Tomorrow we'll go back up into town and explore some more, and probably hit Kalakala for lunch. When we passed by today it looked like they had a couple of ramen specials that sounded perfect for a gray rainy Sunday.

Gray marina at Langley:


Tonight we're going to use some of the pulled pork we made and froze at home last week in some Cubano sandwiches. (Kevin brined the meat for 4 hours, smoked it for 4 hours, cooked it in the sous vide for 60 hours, then finished it on a hot grill to get a good bark on the outside. I made a Carolina vinegar sauce for it -- apple cider vinegar, red chili flakes, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, and pepper.) It came out so good and works wonderfully on a Cubano.

Oh yeah, I forgot to post these shots from yesterday. This is as we were about to enter the Swinomish Channel, between Anacortes and LaConner:



Here's a map of today's route (about 30 nautical miles):

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 4.48.14 PM

No whales today, but we did see a few seals and some porpoises. They're out here though...we'll see some this trip...I just know it. :)