Folks, one of the things I will have to get used to with this move is living in a small town. There are both pros and cons. For a con or two, the nearest bike store is 25 miles south. And, with only one Starbucks, the drive thru line, at noon is backed up to the road.
Pros are many. No traffic noise outside our window, friendly people everywhere we go to eat, we can hear the waves at night from the bedroom, and we have two, not just one, kind of hummingbirds.
Sunday was the last day in Walla Walla, yes, sadly, all vacations, long or short, must come to an end. I thought for the Part III, I’d concentrate of some of the stranger people and things we saw and experienced.
Since it was Mother’s day, we figured everybody (and their Mom) would be heading for breakfast. So we got up early to avoid the rush. I made a run to Starbucks and did a Recon Mission looking for the Maple Counter Cafe. I’d seen it on yelp as one of the best places in town for breakfast, and Creepy Bob at Sapolil winery recommended it as well! Turns on it was only a block further down the road from where we gave up the day before.
However, it also turns out it was mobbed at 8:00 when we were looking, so we may have been helped by the breakfast gods by not finding it Saturday..
As we parked, we were again treated to a show by the Hot Air Balloon Stampede! This was hellacool and we were just lucky to be there the weekend it was going on
We got there when they opened at 7, and were shown to our table by a woman who looked like she would give birth ANY Second. That’s a helluva a way for her to spend Mother’s Day. Sure didn’t slow her down though! Everyone in the place, except for the sole male who worked there, moved like the wind!
Everything on the menu said it came with a “side” of three pancakes! For me, three of those is meal on its own! Lucky we could substitute hash browns! Perfect with my ham & cheese omelet!
So, the people behind us ordered something called an apple pancake. OK, sounds pretty good, but then he ordered a diet coke with it. However he was very particular on how he wanted the diet coke. Now remember, I come from the land of the long coffee orderer. When my friend Angie orders coffee I swear they start writing it on the side of the cup, and then have to move to the bottom to finish order! But I have never heard this before. He ordered his diet coke but first “fill the glass with ice, then pour the diet coke over the top of the ice!”
Then the “apple pancakes” arrived. I am telling you, they looked just like full-sized, deep dish apple pies! Them I looked at these two guys, and seeing them I realized why everything came with pancakes! I guess the diet coke makes it healthier?
My omelet by the way was HUGE and damn good! However we were seated next to 4 Whitman College sorority girls. They did not stop talking for the 20 minutes we were eating! During the time I must’ve heard the word “like” (he’s like OK, and a “like” a nice guy, but I don’t “like” like him in that way! (By the way she said this about 4 or 5 different times, each about a different guy…)) 100 times! And OH yeah, this one plans to be a doctor. I can see it now “You like have a terminal disease, that means you are going to Like die. Do you like like my nail polish?”
Now you may wonder why I was listening to them. Well folks, I am NOT a quiet cowboy, my voice carries in crowd… but each of these chicks could drown me out!
They did remind me of 8 ladies we saw Saturday doing a “bridesmaids” scavenger hunt. Getting pictures taken reenacting scenes from the movie of the same name. How do I know this? because I was drafted to be in a picture reenacting a scene! (evidently there are extra points for including strangers in the pictures.) I was happy to help but did they REALLY need to call me “sir” at LEAST 12 times. “sir would you mind” “Sir stand here” ” Sir pose like this….” sheesh!
This game is cutthroat though! the two teams were running through town in high heels. At one point they both spotted an ugly dude with tattoos, smoking and sitting on a bench. They were yelling at each other across the road “Stay away!” “We saw him first!” “Dont take a picture with them!” Wow, we guys never do that prior to weddings….
I’ve mentioned creepy Bob a couple of times. He is the owner of Sopalil winery, and has lived in Walla Walla forever. We walked in his winery and he herded us to a table and say with us the whole time. Being a dumb guy, I didn’t notice he never looked at me. The whole time, he stared at Michelle (well the man has taste, she is hot and I stare at her too.) Luckily for him, she said he wasn’t really checking her out, or “talking to her boobs” he just sorted stared at her mouth and throat area. (Otherwise I woulda had to track him down and punch him!)
He did have one redeeming quality (and it sure wasn’t his wine!) his tasting room used to be a bike shop so he left this in place to remember it.
We took a quick walk through Whitman College after breakfast to walk off the meal. Pretty campus, but I have to say it smelled like day old fish! Seemed strange, but then, many things did that day!
Finally it was time to leave and load the stuff in the rental car. Now I requested 4 wheels and a steering wheel, just a compact car. What we were given was a full-sized Ford Expedition! This thing was huge! It has a camera in the rear for assisting while backing up, and it practically drove itself! If it wasn’t for the 4MPG fuel economy, I’d love to have one! And we got it for $20/day!! Gotta love working for an insurance company.
What was funny was the drop off instructions. Since the rental place was closed Sundays. I was to:
Go to the airport
Park in short term parking
Put keys under drivers seat
Do not lock the door…
This would ONLY happen in a small town in eastern WA!
Turns out the airport was only 4 miles away, had just one gate, and no food… When I travel I stick to the 2 hours early rule at airports. Yeah we coulda been 2 minutes early and been fine…. I’ll remember that next time.
Got to Wallpark to get our car, paid the bill and she said “Have a nice day!” “Um, where’s the car?” said I. “It’s not there?” said she? (We valeted it, since I had a Groupon!) I think there was a bit of panic in her eyes, but then she found the key and sent someone a runnin for it! Yep it was there, all clean, and vacuumed.
On the way home, stopped at Safeway and got ready for the week, then came home and mowed the grass! Productive I tell ya!
All in all a great weekend. Good food, good wine, relaxing time, lots of walking, weather was HOT but I survived. We, especially Michelle deserved a weekend like this. My legs are fully recovered from last weekend’s century and the commuting last week. I will get on the bike again Tuesday, and will be ready for the Reach the Beach on Saturday!
Hey, if you ever get the chance and even semi-like wine, head for Walla Walla! We hit 8 wineries and barely scratched the surface! Sadly, time to be back in the real world!