Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Bit of Serendipity

Monday may have been the first day of summer on the calender, but here in E. Washington it felt more like April as it was a gray day with areas of light rain. It was also my birthday. DH and I had talked about driving over to a lavender farm a few weeks ago, so we thought my birthday was a perfect time to go - even if it was gray and drippy.

Blue Mountain Lavender Farm is just south of Lowden, which is west of Walla Walla a few miles, almost to the Oregon border. About ten years ago a Washington state gal and her French husband moved to the area (because he was tired of the weather on the wet side), took up a teaching job and found this delightful little piece of property in the rolling hills where they began to grow lavender.

They grow ten varieties at the farm and have plants for sale, u-cut lavender, a sweet little gift shop, picnic areas, and free samples of lavender lemonade. The yard area is lovely, tended by the wife's parents who also live on the property. Monday was kind of a slow day for them so DH and I struck up conversation with the couple and learned that they homeschool their two daughters who will soon be high school age and were eager to talk with parents who had navigated their children through the Running Start program. I bought a few plants and a sachet and on our way out they gave me a small dried bouquet for my birthday - such sweet people!!

For more wonderful pictures of the farm, go here for a slideshow of snaps DH took.

The lavender farm was the only item on our agenda for the afternoon, so we did the obvious thing - found a winery! Waterbrook Winery has a new facility and tasting room right on Highway 12 which we hadn't visited yet. They've built a big pond next to the patio of the tasting room which is nicely landscaped and will surely be gorgeous after a couple of growing seasons. The tasting room is large and airy, with quite a bit of expensive art for sale. Their tasting list was one of the longest we've seen and as we tasted each wine, were surprised to find that we both enjoyed each and every one. So we restrained ourselves and bought only half a case of mixed bottles. :)

What to do next? Well the server at the winery was talking about a great bar in Waitsburg, a small town (pop. 1200) about 20 minutes down the highway. Gary started looking for info online as we drove that way. As he was reading the glowing reviews of the jimgermanbar, many referred to eating first at the cafe across the street - Whoopemup Hollow Cafe - which also received many rave reviews.

All I gotta say is all those raves were right on the money! DH had the jumbalaya, I had goat-cheese filled ravioli with an appetizer of gumbo - each one truly spectacularly delicious. After dinner drinks at the jimgermanbar were unique and the drink menu changes at Jim creates new concoctions.
Wow! Little Waitsburg - I had no idea the delights to be found!


Kathryn said...

Belated Happy Birthday Von!
What a great day you had!

Lynn said...

Happy Birthday Von!!
I absolutely love lavender. I planted some last year but it appears that DH has mowed it down in error. The lavender lemonade sounds interesting!
From the looks of it you had a lovely birthday. Isn't it great what you can find in some of the little towns?

Lee said...

What a wonderful day! Happy Birthday Von!

a woman who is said...

Danny says we need to hang out with you guys again...we like the same things :)

C in DC said...

Happy Birthday.

Ooo, I just love lavender.

Siobhan said...

Happy belated birthday, Von! What a fun day you had--I love lavender!

Karoline said...

Happy Birthday Von, sounds like you had a wonderful day

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful birthday. Lavender is one of my favorite things. Mine is in bloom, but we only have a few varieties that will tolerate our weather. One of mine is Provence and I can't remember the other...doesn't resemble the farm though. Happy birthday hugs, double since they're late. viv

Kathy A. said...

What an absolutely perfect day for the two of you.
There is a lavender farm very near where I love and it is so beautiful with all it's purple color.
Congrats on the two graduations and the big engagement.
And belated but heartfelt birthday wishes to you.

Dianne said...

A trip to a lavender farm must be like a trip to heaven-well same with the wine place!
Happy belated birthday!

Brigitte said...

Happy belated birthday, Von. And as I can see on the pictures and read in your post you spent your day in a perfect way.