Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

Last year Michael and I went pumpkin picking and went through a corn maze. It was such good fun we decided to do it this year and make a tradition out of it.


Michael picked out a white pumpkin this year while I picked out orange ones for Blaire and I.


The weather unfortunately was very unpredictable, going from dry to pouring down rain the next. Nonetheless we stuck it out and waited for it to past.


After getting all our pumpkins we decided to treat ourselves with some kettle corn and hot spiced apple cider.


Then it was off to the corn/sunflower maze!


All in all it was fun and relaxing way to spend our Saturday. If you haven't been pumpkin picking yet, I recommend doing so before the season ends!

I jumped off a cliff.

Dear Readers,

I jumped off a cliff for the first time. Don't worry, I'm still alive. My ear just hurts.

Yours truly,

Michelle

Alright, maybe I am a tad bit exaggerating, but hey, it was a big moment for me.

Last Saturday after Kristen and Noah's wedding, a group of us went whitewater rafting in the River Columbia Gorge, nesteled right in between Oregon and Washington. Never before that day had I rafted. Sure I had a little interest in doing it someday, but to be honest, I am a very poor swimmer. Like if you tossed me into an eight foot deep pool, I'd probably drown. Nonetheless everyone was super encouraging and I tightened my life jacket so tight I could hardly breathe. As long as I stayed in the raft, I would be fine. Right?

Josh, Me, and Michael in our wet suits.
After a few minutes in the river getting splashed with icy cold water, I thought, this isn't so bad. Then they made us get out of the raft and onto this high bank. They said we were taking a 'nature walk,' but let me tell you, if you fell off the side of the cliff during the nature walk, it wouldn't be pretty. It was completely understandable of course, seeing as the fall was a high category 5 and dangerous for us to ride. So one of the guides tied the rafts together and went down it himself.

Now we had to get back to the raft but we were on a sixteen foot cliff and he was below in the water. The guide with us on our nature walk told us we could either jump off the cliff and swim to the raft, or take the long windy 'nature walk' down (which was basically holding onto a rope and lowering yourself. It was equally scary). Being the water wuss that I was, I wanted to take the walk down, but everyone else was jumping off the cliff and being so supportive that I caved in to peer pressure. But I am glad I did because I am so PROUD of myself. I took the huge leap and jumped into the water. It wasn't very graceful and was super loud sounding because it hurt, but I did it.

The only bad thing? After the raft trip my ears were painfully water logged. Because I'm not a swimmer, I didn't understand the pain. It just felt so painful I wanted to cry. I spent the whole night blow drying my ears, hoping on one foot trying to get the water out, and laying on my sides hoping gravity would take it out. My hearing was a bit dulled the next few days, but I think it has finally passed.

Also, I didn't take any photos, but the next day we ate at Pok Pok in Portland at Josh's suggestion. It was the most amazing and authentic thai food I've eaver eaten. So do yourself a favor and go eat there the next time you're in Portland.

Two-year Meet-aversary!

What a weekend! Michael and I got back yesterday night from a great weekend in Hood River, Oregon for a friend's wedding. You bet I'll post more about that later. This post however is a recap of Michael and I's meet-aversary!


As most of you know, Michael and I met in Paris on September 3, 2012. So every time September 3rd comes around we like to celebrate our chance meeting by going to a French restaurant. Last year we went to Le Pichet, but this year we went to Cafe Campagne right near Pike Place Market.

If you haven't been, I recommend it. It was my first time there and I was impressed. It made me so nostalgic of Paris.




 We started with a bottle of wine, escargot, and a salad (not pictured).


For the main I had mussels and fries. Fries were amazing because they were double fried just like I had them in Paris! They were also great to dip into the broth.



 Michael had the duck confit which turned out excellent as well.


To end the meal we had creme brulee.


Another great date night to be remembered for sure :)

Walla Walla Series: Our Wine Haul and Saffron

So by mid afternoon, we're still at it! Wine tasting galore! 
 

We went to Gramercy and then Long Shadows where we got some nice Riesling. In the below photo you can see their chihuly art.


But I think this was the point where the wine started to hit us.  Michael was getting weary and I was so hungry.

So after Longshadows we went to get a sandwich, but by the time we were done we were only able to hit up one more winery before the tasting rooms closed. We ended up choosing Sleight of Hand that had this cool record player and tons of records along the walls. It was by far the most eccentric winery I've ever seen.



Returning back to the inn Michael and I observed our wine haul. 13 bottles!




For our last night we went to Saffron for dinner. This place is also a must if you ever go to Walla Walla.


 
The great thing about Walla Walla is the surrounding farms, meaning all ingredients were organic, picked at peak season, and weren't sprayed with pesticides. The tomatoes in the salad were so ripe and juicy!
 

Then we had some calamari which was seasoned very well and super tender.


This one's hard to see, but it's fried potatoes in a sweet and spicy sauce. It was so good. My favorite appetizer out of the three.


Michael had the steak for dinner and I had the duck ragu.



My favorite part of any meal, hands down, is the dessert! This panacotta was beyond heavenly.


Then we finished it off with some port wine and expresso.


Before we knew it, our Walla Walla trip was over!

The rest of the Walla Walla series:

Tranche, a Maurice, Walla Walla Vintners

L'Ecole, Woodward Canyon, Reininger, Brasserie Four

Walla Walla Series: Tranche, a Maurice, Walla Walla Vintners

So yesterday I posted about the first day in Walla Walla (see post here), today I'll be posting about the morning after (this past Saturday). Well, the first half of that day anyway. Saturday turned out to be super busy. So much wine to taste, but so little time!

We started with the eastside by hitting up Tranche first. This winery was pretty neat because we were able to drive through the vineyard. I mean, look at that! Isn't that gorgeous?


The wine tasting was also held in the same room where they stored their wine.


After tasting, we ended up driving through the vineyard for more photo ops.




Then on our way out we came across this galloping deer. I pointed at it, "Look michael isn't it so cute?" It seriously stared at us before squatting, taking a shit, then running in front of the car. Not so cute, anymore.


After we went to A Maurice, which turned out to be my favorite winery there. There whole driveway going up to it was filled with lavender and dancing butterflies. It smelled so heavenly and was just such a beautiful welcome that I knew this would be a winner.



The wine below was my absolute favorite on the whole trip (and not just because the label was adorable).



Next we went across the street to Walla Walla Wintners. This one turned out to be Michael's favorite on the trip.




Michael was so cute he buckled up the wine box just so they wouldn't tip over.

 
Now off to more wineries that I'll post tomorrow!

Walla Walla Series: L'Ecole, Woodward Canyon, Reininger, Brasserie Four

The past weekend in Walla Walla was one to remember! Since I took so many photos, I'm going to have to do a series of posts like I did for NYC.

A similar interest that Michael and I have is wine. We both love it. It's a part of our lives and something we always enjoy. So for our summer romantic getaway, we decided to hit the road to Eastern Washington's wine country in Walla Walla. It's about a 4-5 hour drive from Seattle, but it's worth it. The contrast from west to east (port city to high dessert) was startling. Slowly the scenery changed from emerald green to dusty yellow. We didn't mind though. In some ways, it reminded me of California.

On our way in to town we did three tastings before getting to our bed and breakfast at Fat Duck Inn.

The first was L'Ecole:


The staff here was so knowledgeable and helpful, giving us so many recommendations during our stay. Not to mention, they had delicious wine that we ended up buying two bottles.

The second was Woodward Canyon:


The great thing about this place was their selection of whites. Since Walla Walla has more of the 'big reds,' this was a special treat. From Woodward we got a nice riesling.

Our third tasting was Reininger:


This was such a cute place! We even came across a rooster on our way in. The owner of the place was so gracious as he introduced himself to us. We got a red blend and a red peppery tasting rose.

For dinner, we miraculously got a reservation at 7 p.m. at Brasserie Four. I say miraculously became this French Restaurant was phenomenal and we were only lucky because their was a cancellation. If you ever head into Walla Walla, make a reservation before hand! Michael and I lucked out this time around, but we know we won't be as lucky next time.

To Michael's glee, the restaurant had this rose:

 
This is supposed to be the best rose, or at least that's what we've been hearing, so Michael was dying to try it. Turns out, it is the best damn rose ever. More please?
 
Michael and I started off with escargot (snails) and instead of being just buttery in flavor as you would expect, it tasted earthy and grassy (in a good way). We couldn't figure out what it was seasoned with, but it was delicious!


The last time I had escargot was almost two years ago in Paris, so right away I knew this meal would be memorable. If someone ever wants to take me back to Paris, I would be extremely delighted!

Alright, next appetizer? Tartare!


This tartare was unique because it was made with sockeye salmon (one of Michael's absolute faves). It was so well-balanced I could eat it forever and not tire of it.

For entrees Michael had the bouillabaisse filled with mussles, clam, scallops, and fish :


He said it was the best bouillabaisse he's ever had. I had the classic moules frites (mussles and fries):


It did not dissappoint! I just wish I had a bigger stomach to finish it!


Here's a photo of Micahel and I. Very blurry, but I think it's a great depiction of the moment: wine drunk. Just kidding! The lighting was just too dark to take a good photo.


To finish off, Micahel had an expresso and we shared a creme brulee.


Such a wonderful meal! As you can tell, wine isn't the only thing Michael and I have an interest in! Food is just as important!

Since our inn was only half a mile away and the weather warm. Michael and I had decided to walk instead of drive. Big mistake! We ended up being followed by a sketchy character who later gave up. Lesson learned. Never walk around at night in a town you haven't been to before.