Today on Weekend Meanderings our road trip to Oregon’s wine region and Jim’s mom’s 90th birthday celebration.
Happy weekend, friends!
It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meanderings.
Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.
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Labor Day’s behind us and I’m ready to talk about fall.
That said, there will be no pumpkins at Snowberry until October 1st.
It’s a hard and fast rule.
Candles are another matter.
I’m loving the new gold pots, but they still come in amber glass jars too.
I used the fireplace for the first time.
We took a road trip to Oregon over Labor Day weekend.
To celebrate Jim’s mom’s 90th birthday with his family.
Pippa and Maggie came along too.
ROAD TRIPPING … WITH DOGS
Over Labor Day weekend we took to the road (the well-traveled I-5) and headed to Oregon’s wine region to celebrate Jim’s mom Ruth’s 90th birthday. Jim’s mom, and the rest of his family, live in and around the Portland area. We’re pretty savvy road trippers after our adventures on Fidalgo Island (lot’s of trips back to California with our two small dogs). We couldn’t find a dog sitter over Labor Day weekend so Pippa and Maggie came along. It’s a nine hour drive and with pit stops and meal breaks it took about 11 hours.
There are many cool places to stop along the way (Lake Shasta and the Shasta Caverns) but this wasn’t a leisurely drive and we had the dogs. That said we did make a couple of longer stops in Ashland and Eugene, Oregon. We also stopped for lunch in Weed, California … but we’ll gloss right over that.
Ashland is the location of Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival, and home to Southern Oregon University. We took the dogs for a walk around the pretty campus.
In our Fidalgo Island to California days, we made it a two-day road trip and stayed overnight at Ashland’s Lithia Springs Resort which I highly recommend. We miss it and did drive by during our stop in Ashland. It’s a little outside of downtown. If you want to be in the midst of the downtown action the historic Ashland Springs Hotel is the place to stay.
Eugene is also a good stopping point. The University of Oregon is beautiful and, of course, their sports facilities are world class. As you’d expect there are many great restaurants and breweries downtown … and a beautiful Whole Foods.
The biggest road trip challenge for me is food. As in how not to (over) indulge in fast-food. My game plan generally is to pack an ice chest full of food for the trip there, and succumb to fast-food on the way back. It’s very hard to go into a proper restaurant when traveling with dogs. We don’t feel comfortable leaving them in the car … unless we can see them and the temperature is mild. Most of our road trips have been in very hot or very cold conditions. Our favorite road trip meal to pack is Nancy Fuller’s Farro Salad and Honey Glazed Ham & Brie Sandwiches. And, of course, plenty of Tejava. I need a little hit of chocolate after meals so I pack Ocho Dark Chocolate and Coconut Minis. If I’m really well organized I bake chocolate chip cookies. And, of course, we pack lots of water and ice. That said, this trip I was super busy in the days leading up to our departure and didn’t get around to doing any of this … aside from the water, ice and Tejava.
For entertainment we listen to podcasts or an audio book. This trip we listened to the Smartness podcast with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes. Have you watched Smartness On the Road? It’s hilarious!
I dress very comfortably for road trips. It was a little warm both days in the car and I wore a pair of baggy linen shorts from Target that are sadly no longer available (similar here). Good thing I bought a pair in white too … love them. Because they’re baggy I wear them with a more form fitting tank … and of course I brought a sweatshirt because Jim and I disagree about the level of air conditioning necessary in the car. Wearing black has its pros and cons … on the pro side I don’t worry about spills which do happen. On the con side, we have white dogs.
Traveling with dogs requires some additional planning. It takes longer to pack them than me. These are few of my dog tripping essentials.
We’ll be road tripping again next month for nephew Noah’s and Katie’s wedding on the Oregon coast!
THE PINK HOUSE … OUR AIRBNB
We found the cutest Airbnb in McMinnville, Oregon … The Pink House. I took no pictures. I know! Major blogger fail. Here are a few snaps from the website … we found the house exactly as advertised.
The house is well prepared for it’s 4-legged guests with little towels by the front door to wipe wet paws, and a basket of soft blankets to throw over the furniture so doggies can relax without concern of shedding on the good stuff.
The best part about it, aside from being dog friendly, is its location just a few blocks from downtown McMinnville. And it’s in a charming neighborhood perfect for dog walking. We strolled by many cute houses and wonderful gardens … this area has an ideal growing climate.
Two of my must-pack travel essentials are a sound machine and a magnifying mirror. Most hotels have a magnifying mirror, occasionally they don’t, but not all magnifying mirrors are created equal. These days I can’t put mascara on with one one. Last week I shared the details of my party ensemble. I took a quick selfie in The Pink House’s armoire mirror before we left.
McMinnville is a charming town and wonderful home base for wine tasting adventures with 250 tasting rooms within 20 miles. It’s a Pinot Noir lover’s paradise. The town itself is full of wonderful shops, restaurants and tasting rooms.
There are a lot of Airbnbs in town. And a few hotels. We considered the Atticus Hotel before it became clear the dogs were tagging along. The hotel is dog friendly, but I think it’s easier to stay in a house with the pups.
The hotel is very cool, and we had brunch at their Cypress restaurant. It’s a Mediterranean menu and quite good.
The Crescent Cafe seemed to be the happening breakfast spot in town. Lines of people waiting to get in.
My sister-in-law told me about a new-ish resort in the area, the Allison Inn & Spa, that looks very nice and I’d love to stay there for a longer visit.
RESONANCE WINES IN CARLTON
We celebrated Ruth’s birthday at Resonance Wines in Carlton, about a 15 minute drive from McMinnville.
The Amites room is a stunning space with soaring windows with sweeping views of the vineyards. It was overcast somewhat chilly and they had a fire going that kept us warm and cozy.
We enjoyed passed hors-d’oeuvres paired with Resonance wines followed by a catered Italian dinner served family style.
Jim’s sister Lisa is a chef and she made creme boule for dessert.
Ruth has wanted to gather her entire family together for a long time and Jim’s older brother John and his wife Julie took on the Herculean task of making it happen. It was a special day full of love, laughter and appreciation.
Winery’s are great places to hold group gatherings and celebrations. There’s the built-in activity of wine tasting, gorgeous scenery and many winery’s have private rooms and patios available. Food and wine pairing is a big deal and it’s common for winery’s have an in-house chef or to partner with local restaurants and caterers.
Odds & Socks ~
It takes me a day to recover from travels … short or long. And Wednesday I spent lounging around reading the September issues of several favorite magazines. They’re not as thick as they once were but I still love them and hope the print editions never end (yes, I’m fooling myself). On Thursday, I pushed the magazines aside to devour two new books (from my pre-order list) … my friend KariAnne’s 10-Minute Decorating Ideas is really good (and so cute). Organized by season she shares tons of quick and easy (and budget friendly) decorating inspirations. It’s an ideal gift book … and I’ve ordered a few more copies with hostess and holiday gifting in mind. And, The Cottage Garden from Claus Dalby is every bit as beautiful and enchanting (and informative) as you’d expect.
Loved reading Bay Area blogger Dawn Lucy’s What I Learned from Two Months Off. I have a love hate relationship with social media, I think we all do. It can easily take over your life and we need to find balance.
Current favorites ~
And that’s what I have for you this week.
Let’s see what’s inspiring Kim and Elizabeth …
If you missed my last post, you can catch up here.
You’ll find all my weekend roundup posts collected here.
Any thoughts you’d like to share?
I’d love to hear them and you can drop them in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!