“Woke Up In Walla-Walla” should be a country song. I’m in a country music mood after choosing a local radio station for my run this morning – HANK-FM. The only problem is trying to find something that rhymes with Walla – maybe “can hear the vineyards calla?” We spent yesterday afternoon at Foundry Vineyards with a six-round tasting. We also brought in food from Andrea’s Kitchen, a misplaced award-winning New York City chef’s gas station restaurant. I had a Cuban sandwich and my wife enjoyed Carolina pulled pork with a delicious corn salad. It was a unique way to end the day.
It’s a beautiful drive into Walla-Walla, along the Columbia River Gorge. However, the winding highway is not necessarily a carefree jaunt. I found myself with both hands firmly on the wheel and reluctant to enjoy the views. The plush green forests turned into brown rocks as we approached the Washington state border, so a very stark contrast in beauty. I was glad to finally get on some flat, straight roads banked by corn and sweet onion fields.
We walked the downtown streets before an early bedtime. It was a much more relaxing atmosphere than downtown Portland. There was little traffic noise or dog duties to keep me awake. I needed to get my rest for three separate tastings today and a big dinner at the Walla-Walla Steakhouse. Also, restrooms were few and far between, especially considering that most restaurants are open only for drive-thru. I had to get creative in one situation and paid $10 for the key in another case.
We’re staying two nights at the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel. On our last visit we explored some of the history of the hotel and surrounding community (See Post #951). As I read these comments, it reminded me of the town motto, “a place so nice they had to name it twice.” We’ll get another taste of the countryside this afternoon, returning to two of the wineries we visited before, but this time with friends and no dogs. In two days, we’ll head to Spokane and stay at another historic property, The Davenport. In the meantime, Walla-Walla Calla.