That’s Just False Advertising

Observations from vacation, Day 4:

Ma Deb took a day off. Her retired husband Steve shirked some responsibilities and guided the tour. My friend Mike (did part of his wedding ceremony, too) had the day off from his student teaching and came along for the ride. We got out to see Oregon, and kids, I gotta say it’s truly beautiful. Sometimes we cheapen that word, but it’s beautiful.

We drove along the Columbia River and on our way to Hood River we got to see Multnomah Falls. The Columbia River has enough views of it’s own to make it worth the ride.

So, we get to Hood River…and park in the lot here:

Mike was a little angsty because the Full Sail folks have a large sign on the highway side of the building announcing a tasting room yet it’s apparently been closed for a while. No need for tasting, anyway, as there’s plenty at the house.

So, we mosey and shop at a bookstore (I’d use the adjective “quaint” but that kind of fits everything about the town) along streets that all pretty much look like this:

While we were in the book store, Ma Deb and Steve went into a pet store. The store had signs like these in them:

Let’s be honest, here. The message is intended for humans. Dogs can’t read, man. Good advice, nonetheless.

These are the kinds of signs I’d never buy but find they’re kind of “pawky.” Now can I get my award for using the word of the day correctly in a sentence, Ma Deb?

Then on to a local brewery/restaurant that, for reasons you’ll see soon enough, I’m making this a destination anytime in in the area.

See, they make their own special blend once a year and the 2010 version of Devil’s Kriek seemed to be the choice to make (hey, man, when in Rome, pay for the good stuff, right?) to go along with some excellent brick-oven pizza. Read the description of this stuff:

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Admittedly, I’m a beer neophyte and can’t say I’ve tried a ton of beers, but I’ve had a bunch. Never in my life have I had a beer that tasted this good. And I tried to buy some in a growler to go, but the only way they even let it be purchased is one 12oz. glass at a time, right there in the taproom. Nobody, not even employees, is allowed to take it out of the room. We had a discussion as to how much money the owner would need to break that rule…to which we decided that no matter how much it was, at a certain price, no matter how good the beer is, it simply isn’t worth it. So, the owner will just have to take $8 bucks a time, I guess.

Then we crossed the river into Washington to go to the Maryhill Winery. It was Washington’s “Winery of the Year” winner for 2009. Ma Deb had gotten some wine there she really liked and wanted to pick up some more of it. We were treated to this view:

They also have an amphitheatre there that looked like it would hold 4,000 or so people, I guess. Lyle Lovett played there recently…and I thought that would be kind of a nice day. Little wine tasting in the early afternoon, set out a blanket near this view and listen to a little Lyle.

Then we drove back on the Washington side of the river and Steve and Ma Deb knew of a nice place about halfway back where we could stop, get a snack & a drink and stretch our legs a bit. The hotel was cool, with a large fireplace in the middle of this room with this view. There are worse ways to drink a girly drink (I hate it when I order a drink that sounds good and then it comes all fruity and girly–it was good anyway).

Just so you know, the Skamania Lodge is “guided by principles of sustainability,” whatever the heck that means. It was on all their menus and stuff.

After Mikey forgetting what day it was, we came home, grabbed Danny “The Dragon” and went out to dinner at “Portland’s 6th best seafood place” according to Ma Deb’s Zagat Guide or something. Peculiarly named:

Suffice to say that it was Chinese dishes with a lot of options for very good seafood. But make no mistake, this was a Chinese restaurant…and I have no idea where Zagat would rate it as a Chinese food place, but it was really, really good food,too. And there were discussions about centrifugal force and the lazy susan and a ride home discussion about a 25 pound bag of peanuts that were available for purchase.

A day of great experiences, views, drink, food, and friends. We really should do this every day.