After leaving the Coffee Perk yesterday (and now I’m back for more internet!) I walked around downtown Walla Walla for a while. There were wine tasting rooms everywhere I looked, literally.
It (all the tasting rooms) was amazing. More amazing–I did not go in to any of them (at least not while downtown). Walked around snapping pictures, poking my nose into a few stores, and visiting the post office for postcard stamps (see previous post). Then, I walked back to the home sweet rental home.
Apparently, it’s really hot here, which I don’t really feel because I’m used to hot. But by the time I returned to the house, I was hot, tired, and craving a nap (such lovely imagery). It is hot here. Also, pedagogical vacationing is hard! But my self-talk worked (“YOU ARE NOT HERE TO NAP!”), napping was averted, and I hopped into the car and was off again. Destination: J&J Vintners. And they were closed. Awesome. Planning ahead is not adventurous, so. Things worked out swimmingly in the end, however. More on that later.
The drive there was weird. “Um. Why am I going to the airport?” Really. I was headed to the little airport in Walla Walla. When I arrived at the address, I was flummoxed and a little pissed at my phone (because that is so very helpful). Clearly this was not right. Wrong.
What I came upon was a series of five buildings, or huts. They are all part of the “wine incubator,” a grant-funded project, which is adjacent to the airport. After seeing that J&J was closed (one of the huts), I ventured over to Walla Faces and talked with Debbie Johnson for awhile. She was awesome and poured me a series of red wines to try. The wine was lovely, but I know nothing about wine, so I have nothing intelligent to share on that. Debbie and I chatted about the area and all the beautiful wheat fields I passed along the way.
I asked her about the people of Walla Walla, the art in the room, and food (where must I eat?). The people are kind, generous, and caring. The art is made by her sister-in-law. And I should eat at Saffron (and order octopus) and the Whitehouse-Crawford Restaurant (and order whatever).
After tasting the wine, I got a mini-tour of the facility from Victor De La Luz. He was excellent and informative and patient with my questions. Because it was a Wednesday, most of the other “huts” were closed, so after spending time at Walla Faces, I decided to be on my way.
I swung through Walla Walla Community College to get my bearings in preparation for hanging out on campus the next morning (today!) and continued on to the grocery store for supplies. There is a grill at the house, and I wanted to use it! With two bags of groceries in the car (and two bottles of wine–thank you Debbie!), I was in the for the night.
Dinner was served, and I spent the rest of the evening relaxing and finishing The Small Room. Made it until about 10:30 pm. Then, lights out (jet lag and two modest glasses of this). More on today in a moment.