Sunday, June 28, 2009
Riggins to Seattle '09: Part III
Saturday, May 30th. This was a special day. Not only were my favorite lovebirds still here visiting, but alas, I turned the ripe old age of 45! Sighhh. So, I can tell you that possibly the best way to greet 45 is to go wine tasting! Trust me on this. It dulls the pain! We hopped in the car and drove up to Concrete, WA to sample the goodies at the Challenger Ridge Winery. Our friends Ken and Danette (along with a group of their friends) own this winery. To say that it is the most charming plot of earth evahhhh would be an understatement! I mean really: Look at that view. Look at all those vines. And that is just part of the property. We went inside the Tasting Room, which is an ooold cabin. Very rustic and homey. Once inside, our darling hostess Cora hooked us up with tasting after tasting of wine. Three whites...then 3 reds. Each one better than the last. Good times, I tell ya! Lookie....future grapes! I just have to tell you about two of the wines we tried. "Gordon" and "Faye." Apparently these two wines are named after winemaker Randy Bonaventura's TWO DOGS...and their likenesses are on the labels of their namesake wines!!! Can you stand it? Anyone who names their wine after their dog is a star in our book! Missy Laura and I. We were still tasting at this point. This was right about when Laura decided to move up here and be my neighbor so we could go wine tasting every day! Yeah yeah....I made that up. My Boy and I. He's my Hunky-Monkey. I think the buzz was a little more apparent. I look WAY too happy to be 45. After tasting, we each got a full glass of wine and Cora then took us on a little tour of the winery. We got to see the whole production area from smashing the grapes to the bottler and labeler. We walked up to the upper level of the property where there is a little pond. As we stood there taking in the serenity of the pond, about 100 fish darted into view, scaring us and causing me to scream out loud. The buzz was very apparent at that point. We went back to the Tasting Room and got another glass of wine and sat in rocking chairs on the front porch and discussed how there really was no better way to spend the day. And that is when I took the photo of the wine glass and flag. We said our farewell to Cora and headed down the road to find something to
soak up some of the wine eat. We came upon this place:
These are the best places to nosh, right?
Yeaaahhhh. I don't know if it was the wine or what, but this was the best burger I'd ever feasted on. (Except for Dano's home-made burgies. THAT goes without saying!) So, Laura and I ordered bacon cheeseburgers that came with everything, though Laura eats hers dry. Nothing on it. The guys, on the other hand, ordered regular old burgers with the assumption that their burgies would come with, oh I don't know, lettuce or tomatoes or onions or TOPPINGS IN GENERAL!!! I guess at Birdsview Burgers, you have to tell the little ladies workin' the counter exactly what you're expecting on your burger. Laura and I felt bad for the boys and their sad, plain, topping-less burgers, but the buzz of the wine left us powerless to do anything but snarf.
We had the long drive home, during which Laura and I reclined the back seat and "rested our eyes." (That is Grandma Liebel's term for napping...and Laura uses it on occasion!) When we pulled up to the house, we all noticed this unsettling phenomenon. There was a dark ring around the sun. Very, very bizarre. I admit it fa-reaked me out.
It finally disappeared, allowing us to relax a little, knowing the world wasn't coming to an end on my birthday! We spent the rest of the day looking at the houses for sale our neighborhood (the one right behind us is perfect for Laura and Corey...we even have a back gate to connect our backyards. Just sayin'...)
For dinner, we'd originally planned to go to PF Changs. But after a day of wine-tasting, we were more inclined to hang around the house and let Dano feed us his version of Me 'n Ed's pizza.
I KNOW! Dano has been on a quest...a mission, if you will, to duplicate the pizza from Me 'n Ed's in Long Beach, CA. We believe he has come out victorious! Trust me...it's that good!
A special treat for Corey in his visit up here was that his friend from his Navy days, David Shellhammer, was able to drive over from Bremerton and have dinner with us that evening. He's a sweetheart. The poor guy U-turned right into a grass-covered ditch at the bottom of our hill Sunday morning and he just took it in stride.
They hadn't seen each other since Laura and Corey's wedding. We all feasted on pizza and then headed out to the firepit for an FPN...Seattle style. S'mores and mosquitos. Yay!
Sunday morning, I woke up feeling amazingly good. (Considering the amount of wine and Captain & Diet Cokes we consumed the day before!) We headed to church and then to the Bluebird Cafe for breakfast. Yummy!
Sigh. Sadly, we had to drive our favorite lovebirds to the airport on Sunday afternoon. We stopped in at the Pyramid Brewery right by Mariner Stadium for some grub, since the travelers wouldn't be getting any real food until late that night. A little Hef, some nachos, some BBQ chicken pizza and a rather eccentric History teacher who made our acquaintance because of Dano's t-shirt that had Ben Franklin's quote: "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" made for a memorable lunch. Did YOU know that Ben Franklin and George Washington smoked weed? No? Well, this woman did. And she was all too happy to go on...and on...and on about it, while our pizza cooled!
I think we all silently cheered when she finally left our table so we could eat!
We got to the airport and sadly bid farewell to our awesome niece Laura and her sweet hubby Corey. Fortunately for Laura and I, a simple one or two word text brings all the fun right back!
After all, "We live on the Rez!" Tee hee! Corey and Laura, come see us again when you can! We love and miss you!