Showing posts with label Walla Walla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Walla Walla. Show all posts

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Our Wedding Night ~ and other Travel Tales. . .

IMG_20130620_162149_853We’d ditched the wedding duds hours earlier --  opting, as they say,  ‘for something ‘more comfortable’. 

The lights were dimmed and we were snuggled up together on that,
. . .our first night as husband and wife. . .

wedding 001. . .well, as snuggled as one can be sitting side-by-side in the ‘no smoking’ section of a Delta Airlines flight that was whisking us across the continental United States to our Caribbean honeymoon hideaway. 

(Can you believe they had smoking/no smoking sections?!)

As a newspaper reporter, I didn’t have a lot of vacation days; so no time to waste when it came to travel.
This Friday is the 33rd anniversary of that first trip.  Although we no longer have those jobs with limited vacation time, we still believe there is no time to waste when it comes to travel! But sometimes it is good to pause in the planning and enjoy a trip down Memory Lane as well. . .

1980’s: Those wild and crazy early years. . .

PicMonkey Collage

Even with only two weeks annually, we managed to cram a lot of travel into those newlywed years.  Hong Kong,Thailand, followed by Singapore and Malaysia and then Japan. We couldn’t get enough of Asian cultures, the food, and history. The now-fading photos (above) were taken in Thailand (circa early 1980’s)– notice those look-alike white pants. And, btw, that elephant had just ‘goosed’ Joel!

The Call of Aloha . . .

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VegasHawaii2012 067When we couldn’t make it to Asia, we’d head to Hawaii; a relatively ‘close’ getaway requiring only a 5+ hour flight from Seattle.

We were captured then by its ‘aloha’ magic  and our recent entry into the timeshare world has made O’ahu  our tropical ‘home away from home’ – for a few weeks each winter.

The 1990’s South of the Border ~ Down Mexico Way
DSCF2815A serendipitous set of events that prevented us from returning to Thailand, took us to Puerto Vallarta in 1993; a trip that was to turn our 8 – 5 work world upside down and change the course of our lives. 

(In this photo we were posing next to our first banana crop.)

Six months after that visit we had purchased Casa de la Playa, pictured below.  A decade later, we had quit those 8 – 5 desk-bound jobs and set out on the course of adventure we continue today.

Casa de la Playa 001

33 Years ~ What a trip!

We now spend nearly five months, sometimes more, living out of our suitcases. So many places we’ve seen; such wonderful people we’ve met. Land and sea; land or sea – doesn’t matter to us. Traveling independently, we’ve  follow our hearts; returning to favorite places and discovering new destinations.  Going ‘where the winds blow us’ has resulted in some amazing places, for instance:

PicMonkey Collage
From top left, clockwise:  Off-the-tourist track towns of Mexico; Bologna, Italy; Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Scottsdale, Arizona.

PicMonkey Collage
From top left: Venice, Italy; Loutro, Crete; Kotor, Montenegro,  Lake Chelan, Washington State.

PicMonkey Collage
Clockwise from top left: Walla Walla, Washington; Athens, Greece; Paris, France; Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take;
but by the number of moments that take your breath away.

Thanks for joining us today while we paused to admire the views on Memory Lane. We hope when you take a backward glance at your travels,  you’ll have as many of those breath-taking memories as we do. 
But enough looking back! Time to get started on the next trip. . .

That’s it for Travel Photo Thursday, be sure to stop by Budget Travelers Sandbox for more armchair travels. And for those wanting to know about my rendezvous with Nancie McKinnon, check back this weekend!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

WAWeekend: Walla Walla’s Original Wine Road

Washington State is crisscrossed with ‘wine roads'. Fanning out from Woodinville in the Seattle suburbs to all points north, south, east and west; they even lace the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound.

The original wine route, as we call it, takes you directly to Walla Walla (wah-lah wah-lah) in south central Washington. It remains the ‘granddaddy of wine growing areas’ and that fact alone is reason enough to add it to your travel bucket list.

If wine isn’t your thing, here are a few other reasons to add this vibrant college town near the Oregon/Washington border to your travel destinations:

1.  Walking through History. Founded in 1862, the town celebrated its first 150 years in 2012. History is so treasured here, that you’ll notice it the minute you stroll along its tree-lined downtown sidewalks. Walla Walla has been named one of 12 Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust For Historic Preservation. Speaking of trees, it’s also been honored many times as a “Tree  City U.S.A.”

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Take a tour using the free Walla Walla Heritage maps.  They include a Downtown Historic Trail Guide, Fort Walla Walla and other sites in the area including Boyer and Pioneer Park historic homes (some of which are pictured below).

PicMonkey Collage
(The photo in the lower left corner is of a mid-century art-deco service station that’s been turned into a nifty restaurant.)

Those of you who’ve read about  the U.S. explorers, Lewis and Clark,  might already know that their expedition first passed through Walla Walla County in 1805. Marcus and Narcissa Whitman were missionaries who came to the area to minister to the Indians.  To learn more, make it a point to visit the Fort Walla Walla Museum.

2.  Celebrate Agriculture. You can get a taste of the area at Walla Walla’ Farmer’s Market, held downtown on Saturdays and Sundays from May to October, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  While most of the area’s acreage is wheat fields and vineyards, there’s plenty of truck garden and fruit to be found. . .don’t forget to buy a few pounds of those famous 'Walla Walla Sweets' (onions). 

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3. Stay a few days.  There are many hotels, motels and Bed and Breakfasts from which to choose in Walla Walla but our favorite stay is at the grand old Marcus Whitman Hotel, right in the heart of the downtown.  Simply park your car in the hotel’s lot and set out on foot – you’ll find dozens of retail shops and restaurants nearby.
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We were in Walla Walla celebrating our anniversary last year so we upgraded ourselves to a suite in the old tower, (pictured above). It really didn’t cost that much more than the standard room. The rooms in the old tower have been modernized with all the comforts of the new wing, but the old mid century ambiance remains:

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From our suite, we had a magnificent view of the fields that carpet the nearby hillsides.

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If You Go:

Map picture

It is just over a four hour drive from the Seattle; over Snoqualmie Pass and then through some of Central Washington’s  wine country.  Alaska/Horizon airlines has flights from SeaTac Airport.
For more information:  Click on Tourism Walla Walla.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

WAWeekend: Wine ‘Tasting and Toting’

Tasting and toting in Washington Wine Country just got easier thanks to a new program announced yesterday.

Tourism Walla Walla, Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau, Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau, and Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance announced the launch of a new collaborative effort with Alaska Airlines and Enterprise Rent-A-Car to promote Washington Wine Country.

Map picture

Launching September 2012, Washington Wine Country Taste and Tote will make it easier and more affordable to taste and travel the Yakima Valley, Tri-Cities and Walla Walla Valley wine regions.

DCVegasSeville2011 157As part of this new partnership, Alaska Airlines will expand its existing wine check-in program Taste and Tote to the Yakima and Pasco/Tri-Cities airports.

Originating in the Walla Walla Valley in late 2011, this program allows outbound passengers to check their first case of wine free on their return flight. In addition, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will waive car drop-off fees for visitors flying on Alaska Airlines into Yakima, Pasco or Walla Walla regional airports who wish to fly out of one of the other two airports.

WARoadTrip2012 198"The Taste and Tote program has been a big success in Walla Walla and we feel our expansion to the Pasco and Yakima airports shows our dedication to being Washington Wine Country's airline of choice," said Clint Ostler, Alaska Airlines' manager of retail advertising and sponsorships. "Washington State's tourism and wine industries are so closely connected and we are committed to making it easier for travelers to visit our award-winning vineyards."
(Photo: Marcus Whitman Hotel, Walla Walla)

Other features of the new program will allow travelers to sample wines at participating wineries and pay no tasting fees when they show a current Alaska Airlines boarding pass from one of the three airports.

WARoadTrip2012 215The majority of visitors to Walla Walla Valley, Tri-Cities region and Yakima Valley wineries come from the Seattle and Portland metropolitan areas. Organizers hope that with these added incentives, visitors from these destinations and others served by Alaska Airlines will utilize air service for their trip to Washington Wine Country.
(Photo: Walla Walla).

For more information on the Taste and Tote program:

Note:  Thanks to Seattle’s GreenRubino PR for providing today’s news. The photos are mine, (the planes flown to these destinations are smaller than the one pictured above).

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

WAWednesday: An American Soul Trip

Sometimes even the shortest of trips can replenish the soul and renew the spirit. Our road trip last week through America’s Pacific Northwestern states,Washington and Oregon, did just that.
Because we live in the fast-paced, high-rise, high-tech corridor of Washington’s Puget Sound area (3.5+ million people; more than half the state’s population) it is easy to forget there really are places where life’s focus isn’t the newest computer application or transit route.
Today, in honor of the Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day, I want to share some scenes from our journey:

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Grain elevators in the background and the gazebo at
Rosalia, Washington. Population 627. Founded 1872.

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The county courthouse and gazebo at
Enterprise, Oregon. Population 1,895.
Incorporated 1887.

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Wallowa, Oregon. Population 869. Incorporated 1899.

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A private home in Walla Walla, Washington. Population 31,731. Incorporated 1862.

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Flag on Main Street in front of the town’s century-old, (still operating) meat store in Cle Elum, Washington. Population 1,872.  Incorporated 1902.

To those of you celebrating the Fourth of July, where ever you may be, we send our wishes for a day filled with family, friends, and patriotism.  Please join us  tomorrow on Travel Photo Thursday when we’ll take you to Wallowa Lake and its historic Lodge.


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