After our fabulous trip to Alaska, and a quick trip to Texas for yet another wedding, we stayed in the Seattle area for a few days before hitting the road to the Columbia Valley. Here are a few places we visited:
Alki Beach – We sat on the patio and ate dinner at Cactus Mexican Restaurant.
Pike Place Public Market – The farmer’s market was closed. However, most restaurants were open.
- The Tasting Room – Wine Tasting and snacks.
- Original Starbucks – We walked by and took a peak inside around the long line.
Seattle Space Needle – Jim went up while Kim and Enzo stayed on terra firma.
Our next stop was Washington’s Columbia Valley wine country where we got a chance to try out lots of local wines. We also got to spend some time with friends that we hadn’t seen for a long time.
We stayed in Kennewick at Columbia Sun RV Resort. After our not-so-fantastic stay at the KOA in Kent (near Seattle), we were so pleased to check-in at a spacious, well-kept park! Our friends live in nearby Richland so we were in a good location to begin our wine tour.
The first few places we visited were fairly close by. We tasted wine at Tagaris, J. Bookwalter, and Barnard Griffin. Barnard Griffin is also fit for foodies, so we stayed and had a delicious dinner with their wine. The next day we ventured out of town to the Red Mountain AVA area and visited Hamilton and Col Solare. We have had wines from Col Solare and it was nice to finally visit the beautiful winery. Our last stop was Goose Ridge where we had some good snacks and enjoyed a nice tasting. The other winery we visited was Badger Mountain Winery. After our Pinot Noir-centric adventure in Willamette Valley, it was a totally different experience tasting the Washington Cabernets, Malbecs, and blends.
We took a day trip to Walla Walla and checked out the farmer’s market there. It was small, but had nice produce and freshly roasted coffee beans. The first tasting was at Bledsoe Family Winery, which is right on the main drag in town. We also tasted at:
On the way out of town, we stopped at L’Ecole which ended up being my favorite of the whole trip! They had a nice variety of whites and reds and the wonderful hostess (whose name I can’t remember) who poured for us, was very knowledgeable and fun. We were tempted to join their wine club…but we restrained ourselves.
Early Smoky Exit
We loved having the opportunity to sample the wines of Washington, but the best part was catching up with our friends. Jim and Hans started at Texas Instruments at the same time – seems like a lifetime ago! Hans and his wife, Stacey were great hosts to us and we hope to see them again soon. Unfortunately, the smoke permeating the air from the British Columbia fires caused us to cut our trip short. It also altered our itinerary – our next stop was supposed to be Glacier National Park, which was also greatly affected by the fires. So, we changed our plans and decided to head back to Nebraska to help Jim’s mom tour assisted living facilities.