Tag Archives: Walla Walla

2013 Recap: Best Moments

31 Dec

I don’t want to make my followers crazy by publishing a super-overabundance of posts all the time.  So I had to choose today’s post carefully.  I decided on this all-important last day of the year, I would pick my top moments of 2013 to talk about.  I have so many looking back and looking forward type posts in que through.  I wrote my 2013 resolution results post, but it became very long, so I sperated it into the various sections.  Which made 5(?) posts.  And then, of course I have 2014 Resolutions.  And the music I listened to most in 2013.  But then I have the new 2013 album releases post.  And I want to make a big post about strategies of how I plan to go about accomplishing my 2014 goals.  Maybe I will make a New Year kind of post every day of the month in January.  Because that’s the way it’s looking.  I like it–I hope I doesn’t make you guys irate.  Anyway, without further adou, the very favorite of my moments in 2013, from 10th most important to super-best-time-ever-of-the-year!

10.  Keeping my 4.0 GPA in school.  Very important to me.  And not all that easy to do, so it garners a spot on the big list.  I only hope it will also be here next year too. . . pinna art

9.  Spa weekend & camping in the living room.  Grocery Outlet beauty/grooming items, massage, foot soaks, spa treatments, and healthful cooking.  Home spas are a heck of a lot less awkward with your mate and more affordable at home.  And camping included, sleeping on the air mattress in the living room, eating microwave s’mores, and watching “The Great Outdoors.”  A good time was had!  I had wanted to have theme weekends all summer, with varying items.  We made it to two before running out of ideas, then motivation.  But these 2 were so fun!  We saved money by staying home as well, which I always like.  I will try to start brainstorming now so we can have more this next summer.  I just thought of music.  And a crafty weekend.  There’s the first month for us. Summer Begins 2013 060

8.  Walla Walla big 30th Birthday.  I was really looking forward to this milestone birthday.  This one is probably due to the great anticipation and the weight I placed on this age.  It’s a big deal to me.  And I always love Walla Walla for the wine country and quaint small town feel–as well as the beautiful Palouse views.  The only reason this items fell relatively low on the list is Cool was mixed state, manic, or cycling (who can tell?) at the time and had no money and she acted like a jerkelsteilskin frequently because of the bipolar.  But I looked good, wasn’t at work, and got a true wine tour–so it was still pretty fun. Walla Walla 30th 022

7.  Seeing a moose up close.  Terribly exciting!  It came right in the yard while I was house-sitting for my boss.  And it ranks only 7th, because when it happened, I was worried the aggressing dog was about to DIE.  And on account of that I did not get a (good) picture. moose 1moose 6

6.  Green Bluff.  I think Peach-Fest was my favorite this year, though we got to go relatively frequently.  I like everything about Green Bluff.  The farm feel, picking/eating my own food, taking pictures, and supporting non-Monsanto produce.  It’s my favorite thing about Washington State (even beating the Fremont neighborhood, I think?!), and always a new adventure when we go.  Oh, wait–it couldn’t possibly beat Pike Place Market for WA fave, or adventure, but it’s the best thing Eastern, and a close second (because the Gorge isn’t as cheap or accessable = #3). Green Bluff 2 018

5.  Parasailing in CdL.  Wow!  We sort of did this one on a whim.  And it wasn’t what I expected at all.  No adrenaline was involved, just peace.  I got great pics, and had a really fun time with Cool.  It was really relaxing–until the dip at least!  I would do this one again any time, and I’ll never forget it.

tree and wake


4.  Labor Dave weekend, including the concert, tail-gating prior to entry, exploring mid-WA during the first half Selfie Columbia Riverof the day, hiking down to the Columbia River, camping near Feathers, and playing theampitheatre 4 setlist game with Cool.  The whole thing was fun, and I really like that it wasn’t just about drinking, or even music.  We spent a large majority of the day just appreciating the nature of mid-Washington.  Everyone was in a good (and stable) mood and that’s the best.  I love this concert and the time spent with Cool so much.  It’s totally OUR thing.  But next year–SEATS.  There will be no more GA at Dave for us.


3.  Clogging at my school’s Talent Show.  Who knew I missed dancing so much?  The thing that made this so great was the fact it was all mine.  I picked the song.  I wrote the dance.  And I rocked the performance.  I felt really great about the whole thing, and am excited to choreograph my next dances when time allows.  Winter break is for getting ahead with textbook reading, scholarship and application tasks, taxes/FAFSA, shopping for a semester, and winter cleaning/organizing.  See what I mean?  Four and a half weeks SOUNDS long, but there’s not enough time.  But when I do, I will be sure to do some more clogging dances.

2.  Bringing Goose home.  Not the actual hotel stay though.  Being sleep-deprived is never my favorite–though Fall finals 118Boise--May 2013 018seeing Boise with my parents and Cool was extra fun (even tired).  So finally!  I get to have all my buddies in the same state.  I missed him very much, and worried.  Also, this little item improved my relationship with my parents exponentially.  I am enjoying having happiness and closeness with them again–I missed that too.  And Goose is beautiful inside and out.  He’s home ❤

1.  Hands down–getting Forster-Fridays “off” of work.  I just can’t convey what a relief this is to me.  So much weight/stress/anxiety was lifted from me when this happened.  I feel so much more uplifted, positive, and hopeful!  Even though I didn’t believe it would actually happen or stick, and even though the social fall out was. . .  Special.  I love being away from that horrid day (most of it–I’m still there for 3-4 hours) even at the cost of having ALL early mornings, daily tiredness, and being locked in this city.  Still, totally worth it.  This is the item that really enables me to quit drinking.  I love my new schedule more then anyone could know.  I would write/say a big thank you to my boss if it wasn’t poking the bear, or jinxing it. It was sort of a chilled out year, but still good.

DMB Gorge 2008

I think I learned that you don’t have to spend a lot of money or take a lot of time away from work to have excellent moments.  I think 2014 will continue along that train of thought:  I have to work all day on my birthday, and Walla Walla is out of the question.  But maybe my parents will follow-though on visiting us, and that’s always a good time.  There will be the big, super-special yearly event of Labor Dave Weekend (with seats!), plenty of Green Bluff, and maybe a trip to The German (if we’re lucky), but other then that, we’ll make our own good times.  Even if it means being HERE for another year.


Eis Eis Baby

13 Aug

Ice Wine:  The coolest drink ever-pun intended!  And COOLest blog post ever–pun also intended.  My mate, is going to help with a tandom post.  She was the one who did most of the typing on this one:

Hi there. This is a guest entry from Cool 
(my last name - which is what LaVrel calls me by). 
This summer we re-discovered our passion for wine, 
in particular Ice Wine, which is a rare type of wine 
made from late-harvest grapes after the first frost 
after the harvest season. Here's my very non-technical 
description from information I gleaned visiting Walla 
Walla Faces tasting room, the only winery that 
consistently produces this beverage in Walla Walla:  
After most of the grapes have been harvested, the 
weather has to get really cold.  At a certain 
freezing temperature, the few grapes that have 
survived are very small and frozen.  Some poor 
soul has to brave the cold and go pick those tiny grapes, 
which don't yield very much liquid at all.  Everything 
has been concentrated by the freeze.  What little 
liquid is left is very sugary.  Since the yield is 
quite low in this regard, ice wine comes in very skinny bottles. 
But it tastes like a little piece of heaven. 

Sometime in June of this year we grew more and 
more excited for Laurel's birthday, because we 
were going to Walla Walla - wine country. as a result, 
we picked up a good amount of ice wine and 
other kinds to try beforehand. We picked up a 
free wine guide from the store, and it gave us 
some hints and tips about tasting. Therefore, 
we decided to review each wine that we tasted. 
And here it is.

Each wine review is broken down in 5 ways: 
Color, Nose (smell), Taste, Texture/Body, and Finish (the after taste). 
1.  The first we have on our list is 
Kiona ice wine, from Benton City, WA. It is a 2010. 
Its color is golden, and has a viscous swirl, 
much like extra virgin olice oil. Its taste is 
sharp, crisp, thick, and smooth. The finish 
reminds one of honey, and its finish is long, 
so it lingers on your tongue and back of the throat. 
It reminds us of a similarity with apple cider, almost.
blue mt lavender farm
2.  Our next wine we tried was our favorite 
and a wine of my people!: 
Okanogan Reisling ice wine, from Orchard Hills 
in Oroville, WA. This one is a 2009. Right off 
the bat we enjoyed its color: Sunny, bright, 
happy yellow, lighter than the Kiona. 
After a swirl, we saw that it had nice legs, 
and had a consistency ot liquid honey. 
Its armoa is light and sweet, reminding one of pear, 
with floral notes and a hint of citrus. 
Its taste had a bit of a tang, or kick to it. 
You could taste the pear, and it felt thinner 
and lighter with a sort of prickley pre-sparkle 
to it. The finish to this one was very honey-like, 
with some floral aspects, and the entrancing 
finish was longer than the Kiona. The sweetness 
lingers and doesn't disappoint. 
winery view
3.  Next, we tried Buti Nages "Gather Nectar" 
from Rhone France, 2012. It has a pale, straw 
color, was very thin with no legs, has a 
very light armoa that is reminiscient of summer, 
citrus, and flowers. The taste was a bit dry, 
with wisps of fruit notes, light, sharp, and 
a bit prickly or tangy - more than the Okanogan. 
The finish resulted in a fruity short burst. 
4.  After that, we tried a red wine from Pesek Cellars 
from Mt. Vernon, WA. This had a dark burgundy color, 
rather opaque. The swirl was like syrup, or jam... 
and had no legs. The scent was sweet, with 
blackberry notes, but with an undistinguished 
alcohol-sharpness at the end. it tasted really 
dry at the start, but smoothed into sweet 
blackberry, with short, smooth, and warming finish. 
5.  The next was a sort of 'coffee' wine, 
Pesek cellars Arabic, also from Mt. Vernon, WA. 
Its color has red huses in its amber/brown 
appearance. Its body was thin, with no legs 
and close to translucent. The aroma brought 
to mind caramel, vanilla, and an overall 
sweetness. The taste was like brown sugar 
or maple. Very sweet and sticky. Its finish 
was long and syrup-like. Pretty interesting stuff. 
We enjoyed it. I enjoyed the first couple of sips, 
then it became too saccharine for my liking.  
This is one where a shooter will do you.
Dirty 30 020
6.  The next one we decided to try was 
Brovida Cordara, Langhe, Dolcetto, Italy, a 2010. 
A red wine with purple - maroon color, medium thick 
swirl, showing apacity with a small amount of legs. 
its aroma was sweet and gave off the oakiness of 
the wine itself. Its taste was very dry, deep, 
and bitter. Its finish was medium, dry and rather 
burning. Not my favorite. I'm not a real big fan, 
however, of red wine, so that could have 
influenced my perseption as well.
7.  After that the next wine we had tried was 
the Walla Faces Verlynn, a 2010 reisling 
with a dilute gold color, thin swirl with 
no legs and a hint of viscosity. With a sweet, 
pear-like aroma bringing in a succulent apple 
and honey suckle nose, it has a crispy tartness 
to it. Very clean. Its finish was brief, and 
rather dry. The finish included notes of 
honey suckle, which was pleasant.
Walla Walla 29th Birthday 024
8.  Our last that we tried was 
Tertulia Cellars Last-Harvest semillion, 
from Walla Walla, Columbia valley. 
This is very similar to an ice wine. 
In fact, so similar that it might as well be 
considered one anyway. It has a pleasant golden 
color, no legs but very syrupy. It smelled 
like a golden delicious apple, with pear, apricot, 
and very sweet. Its taste was very full-bodied, 
thick, and sweet like honey. The finish at the 
end was long, pronounced, and sweet, reminding 
us of carmalized sugar. We enjoyed this one a lot.
Walla Walla 29th Birthday 002
Overall, the impression we got from 
tasting these wines and understanding 
how each one can be vastly different 
from another helped us with our tasting 
abilities when in Walla Walla. 
We had brought back the Walla Faces and Tertulia 
from there, as well as A chocolate champagne 
from The Chocolate Shoppe. I believe their wines 
can be found in stores. My favorite tasting 
at the chocolate Shoppe was the strawberry 
chocolate wine. We didn''t bring any others 
back to taste before this entry was written, 
but we will be sure to let you know how the 
chocolate champagne tastes after we drink it, 
which will be in November for our 4 year anniversary. 
the 1 pic of both
And always remember: No matter how good or 
bad the wine, no matter the color, aroma, 
flavor, texture, or after taste - it is still wine, 
and you should have fun with it. 
Don't let any pretensions get you down. Its there to enjoy, 
above all else. And I hope YOU enjoyed reading. 

Until next time...
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