My parents, Tawnya, Nick and Beth had been planning a wine-tasting trip to the Yakima Valley for a while, but I didn't think I could go, so I just jealously listened to their plans. Then I remembered that my mother-in-law just retired and would relish the opportunity to have Juliana for an entire day, so I decided to join them last Friday. Of course, since it was a Jelly-less trip, I didn't think to bring my camera, so, sorry, no pictures- at least, not my own pictures.
I went over with Tawnya, Mom, and Dad in Tawn's car. We got there about a half hour before Nick and Beth, so we went ahead to our favorite Yakima restaurant, Miner's for lunch. If you are ever in Yakima, I strongly recommend stopping by for one of their huge Miner's burgers or delicious shakes. I had a cheeseburger and shared some curly fries and a Snickers shake with my sister. It was insanely delicious. Not only do they put chunks of Snickers in there, but extra peanuts, peanut butter, and chocolate sauce. I think it's also so good because they start with chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla with chocolate sauce added. I don't even want to think about the calories in that shake.
After Nick and Beth finished their lunch, we headed first to a winery called Piety Flats. It is operated inside an old-fashioned mercantile. They have lots of fun wine related products, like cute wine glass coasters, wine glass charms, bottle holders, things of that sort. We tried several wines there including a Black Muscat, which I purchased on our last wine tasting trip a few years ago- very good, but I think I'm starting to like drier wines now, this was a bit too sweet for me. Hey, maybe my tastes are maturing! My mom and dad bought a bottle of the Black Muscat there.
Next we went to Silver Lake- a favorite of my mom's. I went to this winery on our last trip a few years ago, before reading the Twilight series, so for some reason when I read New Moon, I pictured the vampire city of Volterra to look something like this winery. There's something kind of Italian looking about the vineyards, plus it's up on a hill, and the first time I went it was hot and very windy, so this probably contributed to my mental picture of Volterra. Maybe I'm just silly. My parents bought a bottle of Roza Rose there, it was a couple dollars more than it might be in the store (which seems screwy to me, since purchasing straight from the winery cuts out the middle man) but they got it anyway because they haven't seen it in any store for a long time. I think Beth got something there too, but I'm not sure what.
We called a couple vineyards next before we went anywhere because my mom was looking for a wine barrel to make into a table and we didn't want to have to drive to all these wineries if they didn't have any. We didn't have any luck, so we drove to one of Beth's favorite wineries next, Eaton Hill Winery. We spent the most time there, tasting about 12 different red and white wines. We also purchased the most there, too. I bought a bottle of their silver and bronze medal winning 2004 Reisling. Mom and Dad got two bottles of the same, along with a bottle of their Sun Glow. Tawnya got a couple bottles, I'm not sure what of, as did Nick and Beth. Since we were getting so much, Tawnya decided to get a passport, which would give her a 10% discount on bottles and a 15% discount on cases on wines at any of the participating Rattlesnake Hills wineries. All of our purchases together were a case, so we got a 15% discount. Pretty sweet. The passport was only $10, so it paid for itself right there. It doesn't expire either, so we can use it again next time.
Since we had gotten kind of a late start on our wine tasting and most of the wineries close at 5:00, we decided to drive out to Prosser to Chukar Cherries before heading home. I'm not a big fan of cherries, so I just bought some chocolate covered ones for my mother-in-law as a thank you for watching Juliana. Then we headed back to Yakima to go to one of my favortie fast food restaurants, Sonic! It was just as wonderful as I remembered it. I had a junior breakfast burrito, a small chili cheese tots, and a small cherry slush. Heaven. After dinner, Nick and Beth headed for home in their car, while Mom, Dad, Tawnya, and I went to Tahoma Cemetary to pay our respects to our various grandparents and great -grandparents there. We placed flowers on my Grandpa and Grandma Barrett's, Great-Grandma and Grandpa Mears', and Grandpa Nordberg's graves. We decided to skip going to another Yakima cemetary where my Grandpa Gerhardt is buried because it was getting late.
Then we drove home to good old Western Washington. I missed my Jellybean so much! It was weird, I'd been away from her for longer periods than that, but it was something about knowing that distance-wise I was farther away, that was just way harder. Not planning on traveling that far away from my baby again any time soon, it's just too hard! So all in all, we had a pretty fun day of wine-tasting, fast-food eating, and general family fun. Yakima wineries have tastings all year round, so I would absolutely suggest heading over there sometime. If you're not someone who likes the intense heat, though, I would suggest waiting until the fall sometime =) It was pretty sweltering.