Tag Archives: Hood River

Wine, Food and More Wine


On Friday after the hike, we took our guests into downtown Hood River to do some wine tasting. We were running short on time so we went to my favorite: Quenett and then to Naked Winery. I wrote about both wineries last month when we went there for our anniversary. Michael’s family had a great time! They loved wine tasting and both places have some good wine.

Michael and I love Quenett Winery and we ALWAYS go there when we visit Hood River. Not only that, we always leave with at least 1 bottle of wine, if not two. So we decided to sign up for their “Platinum Club”. It gets us into the twice annual parties, free tastings, and a big discount on wine. It feels so “grown up” to be part of a wine club! And we did it together. Awwww…..

We took them to the Naked Winery because it’s a fun tasting room and lots of wines to taste. They had a great time! We were short on time so we didn’t spend a lot of time in Hood River. We had dinner reservations at Jake’s Grill in Portland. We drove home to change and head downtown. The pictures from Jake’s didn’t turn out great because it’s pretty dark in there. It’s a classy restaurant with mood lighting.

Even though I had over-indulged in Hood River wine tasting, I order one glass of Pinot Noir to go with my steak dinner.

Michael ordered their calamari because it’s the best in town. Again, since there were so many of us, I wasn’t worried about overeating. I had a few bites of the calamari and waited for dinner.

I ordered the Top Sirloin Bordelaise. It came with Yukon Gold Potatoes, Asparagus and Dungeness Crab. My steak was a little overdone but the meal was delicious!

Michael talked me into splitting dessert. We ordered the cheesecake that came with a raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries and bluesberries. It was amazing! The best part: the cheesecake had a creme brulee topping! It was fantastic.

I sort of regret splitting the cheesecake with Michael because I wanted it all to myself. 😉

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Food, Windsurfing and Hiking


Day 3 of the family visit was a long one!

The first stop was to Oaks Bottom Pub for lunch. I ordered the half roast beef sandwich with a salad. Michael ordered the famous “Totchos” for the whole table to try.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned totchos before. They are nachos but instead of chips, it’s tots. It’s very decadent and sometimes a gut-bomb of food. Luckily, the small plate was split between 6 people so I only had one or two bites.

We sat on the back patio for lunch and it was an absolutely gorgeous day! My lunch was pretty good. I was glad I got the half sandwich. The roast beef was a little on the dry side but the salad was delicious. It came with a lemon, garlic and pepper vinaigrette dressing. Delish.

I ordered a diet coke with lunch. I am much more successful with ordering healthy lunches than I am with dinners. I have no idea why dinner is so much harder for me, but it is. I tend to splurge more, and then of course, get a glass or two of wine AND dessert!

Michael and I thought it would be a good day trip to take our guests to Hood River. The Columbia River Gorge is really scenic and for people who have never been to Oregon, it’s a good introduction to the different types of landscapes in this area. Our guests are from Texas and two of them had never been to Oregon.

We went down to the water once we got to Hood River and showed them the kiteboards and windsurfers. It’s a really cool thing to watch! I really want to try both someday. It just looks like a lot of fun.

Our guests had a great time and thought it was a cool thing to watch. These people at Hood River are serious too. They have all the gear!

It was so windy down in Hood River yesterday! I don’t remember the last time it was that windy. A few times I felt like I was going to get blown away. I lost my footing and almost blew over. That never happened at 250!

After checking out the waterfront, we drove to the Old Highway 30 to go for a hike. If you remember, dear readers, this is the same place Michael and I biked for our anniversary last month.

It’s such a beautiful location, with a view of the whole Gorge!

It was a hot day yesterday and while I loved the bike ride there, it was a bit too hot to be hiking there. The shade was limited and I felt dehydrated. What’s the best thing to do when feeling dehydrated? Drink a bunch of wine!! 🙂

To Be Continued…..

🙂

Fruit Loop and a Hike


It was still pretty early in the day when we finished up the crepe breakfast, which was good. We decided to check out the 35 mile “Fruit Loop” and get some things from there. The first stop was the Lavender Farm.

The lavender wasn’t quite in full bloom yet. The lady said with all the rain and nasty weather lately they are behind schedule. In 2-3 weeks the lavender will all be in full bloom. It smelled wonderful there!

There was a gazebo amidst the lavender fields and an arch with vines climbing it. And there was a cute puppy enjoying the shade.

Lavender Puppy

I bought some lavender lotion for my friend that was taking care of my kitties back home. 🙂

We hit the Wy’East Vineyards and did some wine tasting. Not much because it was pretty early in the day. We left with a bottle of Pinot Noir and headed to the next farm to get some fruit.

Wy'East

We stopped at the Apple Valley Country Store and Bakery next. We walked in and there were freshly baked pies everywhere! It smelled sooo good!

Apple Country Store

It was a quaint place and they had walls and walls of different kinds of jams and jellies. There were samples and our favorite was the jalapeno jam. Spicy! They also had homemade mustards of various flavors. I really liked them a lot.

We resisted the freshly baked pies and headed to the next farm: Rasmussen Farms.

At this spot we bought some farm fresh apples! Pink Ladies and Fuji. Very cheap, too!

We’d had enough sight-seeing and headed back towards Portland. We stopped at Oneonta Trail to do a hike before going home.

It was a fairly steep hike. My hip was beginning to bug me again.

We hiked to the triple falls and then headed back.

Stats for the hike:

Time: 1 hour 29 minutes

Calories: 433

We stopped at Franks-A-Lot for a late lunch. It’s a hot dog stand in Portland that serves the best bratwursts!

Lunch

Since it was late in the day when we had lunch, we skipped dinner on Sunday night. Back to the grind: unpacking, laundry, yard work. Blah! Wish the vacation could have lasted a little longer!

A Little Italian and French


After our epic hike where we got to see TWO mountains, we headed back to the room to get changed for dinner.

We had planned on going out for pizza but a quick search revealed NO good pizza nearby. Bummer. So instead, we went to the nice Italian restaurant in downtown Hood River called the North Oak Brasserie. It was a cute little place in the basement. The bread and oil and balsamic was okay but nothing compared to the previous night’s fantastic rosemary bread.  I ordered the Grilled Lobster Ravioli. The description sold me: black truffles, brown butter, shallots and crispy fried leek onions. Michael ordered the lasagna.

I got a glass of the Sangiovese wine. It was good! I didn’t get any other good pictures because it was pretty dark in there. Dinner was absolutely delicious! I was so pleasantly surprised at how amazing the lobster was and the flavor of the sauce was amazing. We did not have room for dessert after this fantastic meal.

It was getting kind of late so we went back to the room. It was our last night in paradise. 😦

Sunday we woke up and the breakfast was Crepes!! I hadn’t had Crepes for so long. Jane had all the fruit and lots of jams for the crepes.

The fresh fruit was perfect. I filled my crepe with some strawberry jam, fresh strawberries.

Topped with a little powdered sugar and a teeny bit of syrup. Jane brought out our second crepe. I was sort of full but they were so good! I made the second crepe with raspberries and sylvan berries. I ate 3/4 of it and gave up.

Breakfast

After breakfast we packed up the car and headed out. I was getting sad to have the vacation end. 😦

Beer Tasting, Ice Cream and Hiking


I left off with our morning bike ride on Saturday. The perfect sunny, summer day in The Gorge.

Bike Ride

I should have made this Disclaimer during Post #1 for our trip: VACATION CALORIES DON’T COUNT!! 😉

For lunch we went to the Horsefeathers Brew Pub. It’s a three story house built into the side of the hill with a fantastic view of Hood River and the Gorge. It also has outdoor seating on the top floor.

This was our view during lunch:

I ordered the small beer sample tray. The beers I sampled were: Easy Blonde, Pale Ride IPA, Phat Dog and the Red Ale.

I am not a fan of dark beers (extra special bitters or stouts). I usually like the blonde or red beers. I’ve recently discovered a few IPAs that I like. I love beer samples at restaurants because I’m not much of a beer drinker (wine is my thing) so I’d rather not commit to an entire glass of something I might not like.

Beer Samples

I gave Michael a full review of each beer. He also had a few sips of the samples. He ordered his own pint of the Blonde Ale.

Liquid Lunch

I drank my samples in order of what I thought I might not like first. I’d rather finish on a good flavor. I didn’t really like the Phat Dog. As I could have guessed, it was a bit too dark for me. And it had a very strong coffee taste. Michael drank most of that for me. I moved on to the next one.

We didn’t just have a liquid lunch…no, in fact, I remembered the AWESOME fish tacos I’d had at that restaurant last year. I wanted to have them again and they were just as good as I remembered!

Lunch

I LOVED the spicy sauce and the salsa it came with. Wish I knew what they were so we could recreate it. The fish tacos were fish, avocado chunks, mango, cabbage and lettuce, and lots of spice and flavor. I want more. Michael got the burger and fries and told me afterward that they overcooked it. 😦 I wish he’d said something! There’s no excuse for food not prepared the way you order it.

We were stuffed but as we walked back up the hill to our room, we saw the Ice Cream Stand.

Ice Cream Stand

This place must make millions a year because there is always a line out the door and people sitting at the benches eating ice cream. Always. It was like 85 degrees out and we said “Let’s get ice cream!” Don’t have to tell me twice!

I got a small sugar cone with two scoops of the Minty Oreo. It was fantastic.

Michael got a chocolate malt–like a real one. It took them a few minutes to make it. I didn’t get a picture because honestly I was preoccupied. 😉

Leave Me Alone- I Have Ice Cream

We got back to the room around 3-ish and fell into a food coma. Michael napped and I laid in bed staring at the view.

Nap Time

I read my book a little, napped for maybe 10 minutes, and just relaxed. As Michael pointed out earlier “Doing nothing is my new favorite thing.” And that Bed n Breakfast made it a nice experience. Our room was so peaceful and with all the big windows open we got a wonderful cross-breeze. Lovely. After we woke up and sort of shook off the nap-cobwebs, we decided to go for a short hike before going out to dinner. It was probably 4:30 at this point and neither of us were very hungry yet.

We headed up Highway 35 to part of the “Fruit Loop” (a 35 mile loop of farms through Hood River) and found the Old Dalles Road we were looking for.

Fruit Loop

The old road was narrow and totally TERRIFYING as we drove up. I have a fear of heights and was too paralyzed with terror to take pictures until we were going down later. So here’s a picture to give you an idea:

Scary Road

Basically a narrow road going up the side of a mountain. The directions to the Hood River Mountain Summit Trailhead were sketchy at best but we finally found it. The trail was remote and overgrown. There were also a LOT of mosquitoes. And bugs love me–so I was already itching.

A few times I felt a tad nervous–like, “This is totally the premise of a horror movie” and “I wonder if this is actually the trail??” But we kept going and eventually came to the summit. And oh my god was it worth it! We came to a clearing and took some pictures of Mt. Adams (which is on the Washington side of the Gorge).

Mt. Adams

We took some goofy photos of us “hiking”.

Hiking

And then we turned around and walked around a tree and saw THIS!

Mount Hood

The summit opened up to a view that was absolutely breathtaking. I don’t think my pictures can really do it justice. First, the sun was out and it was hot. But it also had a wonderful breeze. Check out how the trees were growing because of the wind:

And then you turn to the right and see the entire valley–which we later discovered was the “Fruit Loop” area with farms and vineyards.

Hood River Valley

We sat down together on some big rocks and just took in the view. It was so amazing!

We spent a good amount of time on-top of that mountain just relaxing. And, I’m not embarrassed to admit, texting friends and family pictures of the view! Michael even “checked in” on Foursquare! How was there service up there?!!?

Then all of a sudden our peace and quiet tranquility was disrupted by a startling sight!

Glider

It was a Glider! An engine-less plane that I guess just floats through the air? It was so close to us I thought he was going to crash! I’m pretty sure the pilot saw us because he started doing tricks in the air: diving and dipping down really low and then flying right over us. It was strangely cool and frightening!

After the air show was over, we took our last pictures and headed back down to the car.

Hiking stats:

Time: 1 hour 11 minutes

Calories Burned: 329

And those calories were on top of the cycling calories from that morning! Michael joked that I had just done a “Brick Workout – Northwest Style”! Biking and then hiking! I like it! 🙂

Bike Ride Up a Mountain


After the great breakfast we had, we took the bikes and left for a ride. Jane had recommended that we check out the old Highway 30 bike route. It’s the old Highway that they closed to car traffic. Only foot and bike traffic is allowed.

To get to this trail, we rode through downtown Hood River–which is all downhill in THAT direction…

Hood River

We headed out of town and found the very steep, winding road up to the trail. Here’s the view from half way up that hill:

Downtown Hood River

The hill was intense but not killer. I took it easy at first, not sure if my hip would act up from the steep incline. I had no pain so I kept going. My quads weren’t burning but I was breathing hard. It was like lamaze class or something!

I hope you guys can tell that the elevation is pretty high! We stopped halfway up the road to rest for a minute. I took a ton of photos and then we hopped back on the bikes.

Stopping Half Way

The trail was really cool! It was a nice ride–all uphill of course–with views of the Gorge.

It was a hot day out and I was sweating like a pig! There were some shaded areas of the trail where we went through tunnels and through tree tunnels. It was a really scenic ride.

Wildflowers

Besides the amazing view, the wildflowers were everywhere!

Wildflowers

We rode the entire trail –which probably wasn’t more than 10 miles long–and then turned around and headed back to the room. Going downhill fast is one of my fears about the bike. I was nervous about going down those winding roads. But honestly, it was okay. There wasn’t much traffic and the wind was so strong it kept me from going too fast anyways. We got back to Hood River and road UPHILL again! Hood River is built on the side of a huge hill and the roads are pretty steep. This part almost killed me!

UPHILL!

I don’t think these pictures do the incline justice! But trust me when I say it was brutal. At least it was only 9 blocks, right? 😉 We made it back to the BnB and I took a moment to rest!

What a great ride! Here’s the stats:

Time: 1 hour 42 minutes

Calories Burned: 731

After the bike ride we both used the Foam Roller (of course I brought it!) and then I enjoyed another bath in the jacuzzi tub. We cleaned up and got ready to head out for lunch. At this point I think it was just after noon! We’d done so much already.

Historic Hood River Dinner


Last I left off, we went wine tasting:

And enjoyed some time at the BnB. Did I mention our room had a view of The Columbia River and Mt. Adams?

Mt. Adams

We got dressed up and played with the camera before heading to dinner:

BnB Porch

We decided to go to the Historic Hood River Hotel’s restaurant. It was a balmy 80-something degrees still and they had outdoor seating. We were lucky to snag a table outside and enjoyed the gorgeous setting sun and cool breeze coming off the river. I ordered a glass of Viognier and Michael got a beer. They brought out freshly baked rosemary bread that was THE best bread I’ve ever had a restaurant. Mmmm.

Al Fresco Dinner

Michael got the steak for dinner. I had the Rosemary Sea Scallops with fingerling potatoes, asparagus and an aioli sauce. It was delicious! It reminded me that I really love scallops and need to learn how to cook them! I am not ashamed to admit that I ate way too many pieces of this bread:

Rosemary Bread

Fancy Dinner

We did not have room for dessert! After an afternoon of wine and a great dinner, I was DONE! Michael had this steak with tons of sauce and garlic:

Michael's Dinner

There was a live band playing that was actually really good. They were playing old favorites by James Taylor, CSNY, Bob Dylan, etc. It was a really nice night!

I slept like the absolute DEAD that night. The next morning we woke up surprisingly bright and early. Showered and dressed and we went downstairs for our breakfast. It was a wonderful experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect for the BnB breakfast and was pleasant surprised. I had my coffee and Michael had green tea and we sat on the back deck and enjoyed the sunshine and view of the river while we waited for breakfast.

Coffee on the Deck

Jane, the BnB owner, had all the fixings for yogurt: nuts, oatmeal, chocolate chips, raisins and what looked like Raisin Bran cereal. The dining room was set up for breakfast for all of the guests. She had lots of fresh local fruit too.

Fixings

Breakfast

Breakfast was scrambled eggs with ham in it. Jane said her secret to good eggs was adding a little cottage cheese to the eggs. I’ve never heard of that before and it was great! She also made fresh boysenberry muffins. I loaded up my plate with fruit and eggs.

Breakfast

Fresh raspberries, strawberries, sylvan berries (which I had never heard of but tasted like blackberries). The muffins were fantastic! I ate up because we had plans for a bike ride.

Next Installment: an amazing bike ride in the Gorge!

QUESTION: Have you ever stayed at a Bed and Breakfast before? What was your experience like?