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September 25th, 2009 | in Wine & Wine Tasting | Leave a comment

We are about ready to really get down and dirty and start picking the majority of the Lenne Estate Vineyard. The grapes are in excellent shape, great color, flavor, sugars & PH. Any day now, the 2009 harvesting will begin.


Here are a couple of pictures that I took a week or so ago out at the tasting room/vineyard.


looking up at the vineyard & tasting room

Looking up at the tasting room & vineyard from Hwy 240 just before you turn onto Laughlin road.


tractor is ready to go, just waiting in between rows of grapes

The tractor is ready to start placing the bins around the vineyard to be filled with the grape clusters.


Pinot Noir clusters; huge this year

The grapes & grape clusters are huge this year, may have to treat them a little different as we harvest them this year.


My mouth is already watering, thinking about the 2009 vintage. Part of the 2008 vintage will be released over Thanksgiving, they say it is going to be a good one, but our 2007 was also a great year, even with all the rain. If you haven’t had any 2007 yet, you should, it is silky and smooth, just a luscious mouth full.


September 25th, 2009 | in RV'ing Lifestyle | Leave a comment

In our case, it is brand new rubber… tires that is! We were still driving on the original tires on the RV, it was time to replace all 6 of them. Of course, these are not your everyday tires, they are oversized and really BIG. We checked around the Portland area (again, no sales tax) and found a place that could get the Goodyear tires that Jim wanted for a "decent" price. Luckily, there also happened to be a $75.00 rebate on the tires (mail-in, but better than nothing!). We also had to make sure the shop could spin balance them (a big deal in seems) and accomodate our RV to swap them out.



We had to check in on our way, to make sure the coast was clear. There was a truck getting new tires scheduled in front of us and we both wouldn’t fit. Timing was great, the truck was gone and we got squeezed onto the lot. They were fast and efficient, they had 3 or 4 guys working on the RV at once, but could only do one side at a time, they do not have a jack large enough to lift the whole RV.


We now have very stinky new tires; but it feels good to know we are safer once again. It’s amazing how much more road chatter you get with new tires and how bad the I-5 corridor has gotten over the years. Oh well, we will get this set broke in over the next few adventures!


September 22nd, 2009 | in Family | Leave a comment

Hey, I am not always about wine, I do enjoy a good beer now and then. Zach, my niece’s fiance, is a brewmaster at Lompoc in Portland. He is just as crazy about his beer as I am about my wine. We have a great time when we get together talking about malt & hops, Pinot noir & barrels. Lompoc was introducing their fall brews and so my sister Teresa, her husband Al, myself and Jim headed down to get a little taste of the fall line-up.



We tasted everything on the board, I am not sure what my favorite was, but I really enjoyed the Bourbon Barrel fermented LSD. Jim’s favorite was the Monster Mash, it is a dark porter and he loves a good porter. Zach gave me a tour in the back where the real stuff happens, the mash tons, the fermenters, the fun… I had a great time, thanks Zach.


We had a little to eat while tasting the beer, but decided to have a few more "small bites" and headed over to The Maiden for some Spanish Tapas. Their wine list was short, but actually very good and we enjoyed a couple of bottles (shared…) while enjoying the repast of small bites. Thanks Teresa & Al for a great afternoon/evening!


We will be back to both venues down the road…


September 22nd, 2009 | in Wine & Wine Tasting | Leave a comment

We are so fortunate to have so many great friends in the wine industry! I received an invitation to Anam Cara Cellars open house over labor day weekend. I put it down on my calendar so that I wouldn’t forget. They were actually tasting out at the vineyard and not at their normal tasting room location. Anam Cara is celtic for "Friend of My Soul".


Jim and I had the opportunity in 2005 to "help" them with harvest and racking of wine and we fell in love with Nick & Sheila and their wines. We try to keep in touch, either by email, Facebook or at their tasting room!


Labor day weekend turned out to be pretty soggy, but we are troopers and made the trip out there. We made sure that we arrived at the beginning of the tasting to see if there was anything that we could do to help. Well, it was a good thing, they already had guests (club members mostly) but they were in the process of setting up a second time for the day! They had originally planned to have the tasting down in the vineyard, but it was so wet & muddy, at the last minute they decided to move it up closer to the house.


We got there and I stepped up to help start pouring wine for Sheila so that she could finish up what she needed to do. I love pouring wine and pouring great wines like Anam Cara’s is a joy. It was 2 hours later that I asked what time it was, I was having so much fun! I didn’t want to miss the Oregon State football game.


We chatted for a little longer, made our purchases (oh, baby, had to buy a few bottles, not nearly as many as I would have liked) and headed home. The weather was crazy that day, but the friends and wine were wonderful!


Yummy Pinor Noir grapes almost ready to pick…

Nicholas Vineyard Pinot Noir


Nick pouring the Pinot Noir at his table, chatting with Jim, Sheila and friends…

Crowded under the awning to taste


Clouds as they passed over Nicholas Vineyard…

looking out over the misty vineyard


Sheila ready to take over, I was pouring their Rose and Riesling…

Sheila taking over her station


I am so glad that we made the trip out, we will be chatting with them after crush, when they can think straight again :)

September 22nd, 2009 | in RV'ing Lifestyle | Leave a comment

and in with the new! We (I) decided we needed a new mattress in the RV, they don’t put very good ones in to begin with and it’s been 8 years already! Of course we have to do our shopping in Oregon, no sales tax! Jim and I headed out to check out the mattress sales (and there were a lot of them that weekend) to see if we could find a bargain for a great mattress. We shopped til we dropped, but mostly we laid around trying out each of the mattresses. We probably took about an hour at each of the mattress stores trying out various mattresses. I found the style I wanted, but had to check out the competition. Needless to say, I finally found the one I wanted after narrowing them down for over an hour of just lying around 😉 literally. We only need the top mattress since it goes on to a platform in the RV. It saves you a little money, but it also makes it so you can’t just shop anywhere, many places only want to sell in sets.


Since we were doing a little makeover in the bedroom, I finally talked Jim into buying me a new flat screen TV for back there also. We had the original, old, 13", tube TV and it was going wacky, you couldn’t get any sound out of it most of the time. We found a great little 22" flat screen, but we are having a little trouble with it (another story). Mostly, the bedroom is now a wonderful little haven.



Hey, the mattress is so tall (compared to the old one), that I now need a step stool to get up on top to go to sleep :) It took me awhile to find a small wooden stool, but now I have one. All is good, especially a good nights rest!

Lots of stuff going on in Sept. We will be spending it back & forth between Portland and Seattle. Between family & friends, and we will throw in a few visits to doctors and dentists :)  Here is some miscellaneous stuff so far:


As we drove from Chelan to Seattle, you follow the Columbia River for quite a ways. It was a beautiful morning, still and calm. There was some great scenery to watch as we passed by. If you mouse over the picture, you will see the caption :)


early morning water skiing on the Columbia River


apple orchards along the Columbia


We got parked at one of our favorite RV parks, Issaquah Village, and a few mornings into our stay, we saw this parked across from us:


Breedlove guitar tour bus


My niece works for Singing River Natural Medicine (and my niece also does massage through the office) and I have always wanted to try acupuncture. I wanted to see if it would help some of my aches & pains, but mostly calm down some of the issues I have with my low back. I have had two sessions now and will be back for more because it makes me feel so good :)


Kim getting acupuncture


In the middle of the month, we got our invitation for the wine pick-up party at Cana’s Feast (formally known as Cuneo). We wandered down on Saturday to enjoy wine tasting with small bites of great food. The food was prepared by Lisa, the in-house chef, to match the wine created by Patrick, the winemaker. Cana’s Feast does serve dinner on most Friday nights and lunches on most Saturdays & Sundays.


tasting room at Cana's Feast


winemaker at Cana's Feast: Patrick


There have been lots of mini adventures already, more to come!




September 22nd, 2009 | in Family, Scenic | Leave a comment

We arrived in Portland safe & sound. I was up early (5:30am) to take my mom to a doctors appointment (it was at 7:00am of all things and had to be early) and to my surprise there was this glorious sunrise! I ran back into the RV to get my camera to take a few shots before we left. I got so lucky! The first pictures are looking over my parents home, but then I turned around and right behind me was this rainbow that I have never seen the likes of before. It just makes you drop your jaw in awe when you get to see wongers like this.


glorious colors in the morning


multi colored cotton candy in the sky


the sun is coming up


the beginning of the morning sunrise rainbow


the rest of the rainbow


 What a great  way to start the day, in all this glory.

September 20th, 2009 | in Friends | 2 comments

It’s a nice way to end a great visit to Chelan by spending some time with our friends, Bob & Kathy. Bob restored his N-22 Bolam’s Express hydroplane and now races it in Vintage Hydroplane races.



Kathy has put together a great website about the restoration of N-22, you should check it out. Bob is not new to restoration and he is very thorough. He has restored a few cars and helps lots of friends on boats & cars. I have had the chance to see several of these projects over the years.


Mokie (Bob & Kathy’s dog) and I bonded during the races while watching, Jim was helping as part of the pit crew for Bob, Kathy was watching, taking lots of pictures & movies. Saturday started out well, but then there were a few issues, least of all being the throttle cable broke. With lots of help from his crew & friends, Bob got it fixed so that the boat could go back out on Sunday to race. Scott (the driver) and the N-22 Bolam’s Express made a great showing.


We headed back to the Seattle area on Monday after spending the night in our RV next to the parking lot where Bob & Kathy had been dry camping. I had to get back, had a dentist appointment that I had to keep.

September 20th, 2009 | in Scenic, Wine & Wine Tasting | Leave a comment

The last week of August we spent in Chelan, at the city park on the lake. What a great spot to enjoy the day and so close to all the wineries around the lake. One of our reasons for visiting Chelan was to do some wine tasting, it’s been on my list for quite some time. It’s a great time to visit; Chelan now has it’s own AVA and they deserve it. Great wineries & great people, worth a visit (or two or three…). We also did wine tasting in Leavenworth (part of the Columbia Valley AVA).



The wineries we enjoyed on this trip (but more to try at a later date!):

  • Hard Row to Hoe * – on the south side of the lake, had a great time chatting and enjoying the wines
  • Vin du Lac – another winery on the south side, we stopped here for dinner & wine tasting
  • Tsillan Cellars Winery – on the north side, great views, grounds are awesome, tasting is fun
  • Nefarious Cellars * – enjoyed chatting with Dean & Heather, the wines, the view…
  • Boudreaux Cellars * – needed appt for here, great time with Rob & Tyler, totally off the grid and worth it
  • Icicle Ridge Winery – we tasted downtown Leavenworth, but you really need to go to the winery!
  • Kestrel Vintners * – again, tasted downtown Leavenworth, but also have tasted in Prosser where they are from
  • Benson Vineyards * – back on the south side, high on the hill, a great place to end your wine tasting experience

 There are many more wineries to enjoy in Chelan, Leavenworth & Wenatchee, I see another visit in our future :)


The weather was great, the food was great, but it was a little struggle in the RV park; it had only 30amp, so only one AC unit could run at a time and if you wanted to use the toaster, microwave or coffe maker, you had to turn the AC off :) oh well, roughing it smoothly still.


The last weekend in August, which was the last weekend at Chelan, we spent some time with our friends Bob & Kathy over at Pateros while they were racing their vintage Hydroplane (new post coming).