My parents just departed last night after a long weekend here. They're not really big on travel, so their main goal in coming was to just hang out with us and visit. But we made sure to take them to a few sights, including one they specifically requested, which was the Columbia Winery in Woodinville.
They arrived late Wednesday night, and lack of sleep and jetlag pretty much kept us at home on Thursday. Other than running out to a few stores and having lunch at Ivar's (a popular local seafood chain), we didn't do much. We grilled steaks for dinner, drank wine and just hung out.
Friday, we went to Mt. Rainier. I forgot my camera, but my Mom took pictures. If I ever get copies, I might post them, but we basically covered the same ground that Lance and I covered on our last visit out there in October. We came in through the Nisqually entrance and drove up to Paradise and then left the same way. We brought picnic stuff and had a nice picnic in the woods. After we got home that evening, Lance and I took them to dinner at El No Que No, a really excellent Mexican restaurant in downtown Kent.
Saturday, we went to Woodinville (detouring briefly to Kent Farmers' Market, where I bought 2 homemade garden stones for $10). There are a lot of wineries in Woodinville, but the main one they wanted to see was Columbia Winery. They discovered Columbia's wines, which are now a favorite. Turns out, the Columbia Winery is the very first one we stumbled upon as we drove into Woodinville. So we commenced to enjoying a wine tasting, and then shared a bottle of Gewurztraminer out on their lovely patio. My parents were only familiar with the Cellarmaster's Riesling (their best-seller) up until this point, and were thrilled with Columbia's other selections. I thought the Gewurztraminer was fantastic, and so did they, as these pictures clearly show.
Columbia Winery in Woodinville.
The gardens were absolutely gorgeous.
Yay! Gewurztraminer! Cheers!
I'm laughing because I just spilled some wine on myself. Oops.
Mom and I share a moment...and a laugh.
It wasn't yet lunchtime, so just the small amount of wine we had during the tastings and the glass and a half we had afterwards was enough to get me the drunkest I've ever been. And believe me, I have had more to drink than that before. This is just what happens when you drink on an empty stomach. But we still enjoyed ourselves immensely. The grounds at Columbia are beautiful, and it's a shame that they'll be moving to a different location early next year. I can't imagine a more wonderful setting than what they have now.
It was well past noon once we finished up there, so we popped in at the Red Hook Brewery, located just down the street. They have a very large public house there with a nice menu, so we ate lunch out on their patio. Mom and I both had their Turkey Blast sandwich, which consisted of turkey, cheese, tomato, avocado, and some other tasty stuff on a croissant. Came with chips and seedless grapes. Lance and Rob each enjoyed a burger. We contemplated staying for the brewery tour (even though Mom and I don't have the slightest interest in beer), but since we would've had to wait quite some time for the tour to start, Lance and Rob settled for buying a 6 pack of Red Hook and some souvenirs in their gift shop.
After lunch, we decided against visiting any of the other wineries. Enough was enough. So back to Kent we went. But it was a nice few hours spent in Woodinville. I would definitely go again, and I know they want to go back next time they're in town.
Yesterday was another day spent hanging around here. We went to breakfast at IHOP and then came back to the house. Lance and Rob watched football, so I took Mom to some of my favorite local shops, including Chair & Trellis and Bella Home & Garden. We stopped in Waxen Art as well, so I could show her where I make candles (she loved the candle I made her so much, she redecorated her bathroom using my candle as her inspiration). Mom helped me pick out some things for our garden: a large potted mum, bird feeders, etc. Then we came home with all the stuff I bought and put it out.
They left late last night, taking the red eye back to Ohio. They're home now. I miss them so much already. This was the most relaxed I've ever been having house guests. But of course, they are more than just house guests, they're my family. I would've had them stay forever, if I could. And I know they loved it here. And we couldn't have had more perfect weather - it was sunny and in the 70's everyday.