Musing with Max

Musing with Max

June 28, 2015

The Hood

After four very enjoyable days in Portland we head East for our next leg to the Columbia Gorge and the charming little town of Hood River. We are happy to find out from the very enthusiastic valet at our hotel that it is only a little over an hour's drive away and a beauty of a drive at that. And he's not kidding. On the road which follows the beautiful Columbia River as the road bends this way and that our view is of magnificent Mount Hood.

I seem to keep whipping my head around every time I glimpse it so I can take yet another picture

It is hypnotic and beckons me yet somehow elusive, one second it's there then  it's gone.

Then there are the pines,

they are massive and permeate the air with delicious fresh scent. If you veer of the main road there are waterfalls galore,

which I have a hard time capturing with my camera but I keep trying.

We arrive at the Columbia Gorge Hotel,

which sits right on the river

It is surrounded by plush gardens

with it's own little creek and waterfall

and swings for a lazy afternoon.

And lazy we are. We spend the next two days traipsing through the charming little town with it's adorable shops and cute restaurants;

the evenings on the terrace enjoying a bottle of wine

while gazing across the river at Washington.

We cross the river for lunch in the darling town of White Salmon, Wa.

at Everybody's Brewing

and find the most amazing view from their terrace!

One night I have a salmon for dinner that tastes like none I've ever had, river to table! I could linger around here a while longer but there are other plans in store so off we go.

And I forgot to mention, when we arrived there was a wedding going on,

auspicious beginning number two.

June 26, 2015

Days of Wine and Roses

Less than an hour east of Portland under the watchful eye of the majestic and imposing Mount Hood,

following the Willamette River lies Oregon's best known wine region; the Willamette Valley, Pinot country which just happens to be my favorite wine. We decided to keep it close by since later on in our trip we were going into some serious wine country and chose the towns of Yakima and Carlton. Our first stop was the beautiful Elk Cove with it's gorgeous tasting room high up above their stunning vineyards.

After some tasting and fun conversation and some purchases we strolled the beautiful gardens.

Which I was told were planted by the now retired owner who is a master gardener

On our way out we stop at the very charming town of Carlton

for a leisurely lunch in the patio of Horse Radish

before our next stop, The Carlton Winemakers Studio.

Enough wine tasting for one day. 

Wondering about the roses? A few blocks from our hotel in the southwest section of Portland within steep walking distance is the largest park in the city, Washington Park. It houses the Oregon Zoo, a Japanese Garden, miles of beautiful woodland trails as part of a massive arboretum,

and something called the "International Rose test Garden" which I figured would be something pretty (Portland's nickname is "the City of Roses" something quite evident since they are everywhere and thriving beautifully) and educational. I was wrong, it is jaw droppingly magnificent.

The aroma is intoxicating! And the colors, textures and varieties are such that your head just swoons

and you need to rest with a glass of wine.