WSU Gnome Rides Again!

Folks, this has been one hell of a long year. Due to work and a fluke in our planning, Michelle and I have not had more than one day off since our trip to Cannon Beach in April. For the record, that is ENTIRELY too long!!

So, with our Labor Weekend trip to Walla Walla in the offing, she and I have been counting down the days! Finally, Thursday rolled around, and we loaded up the rental vehicle for a trip east! Continue reading “WSU Gnome Rides Again!”

Wellllll OF COURSE I DID!!!

Without a doubt, if I picked a time of my life that had the most memories and effect on my memories or the things I say, it would be the years at WSU with Dave, Scott, Jim and I.

The Strohs Bros! I was NOT the tall one, and check out the wall paper

No matter how long its been, there are just times that a phrase, word or saying from these days just want to jump into current conversations. Today was one of those days… Continue reading “Wellllll OF COURSE I DID!!!”

It was a fun Christmas Long Weekend!

I am pretty sure I have let y’all know that I am NOT great at planning days off. Over the years, I morphed into the guy who would come into work on Tuesday, look at the forecast as decide Thursday was the perfect day to go hiking or cycling! (There were some years where every Thursday afternoon was a 3 hour, USELESS meeting of us supervisors. So even if the weather wasn’t perfect, I would still take the day off.)

Luckily Michelle IS a day off planner. Last year, when she saw Christmas was on Sunday, and therefore we would have Monday off, she had us take Friday as well. I am very glad she did!  Continue reading “It was a fun Christmas Long Weekend!”

Cycling Culture

I’ve been going through a bit of a blogging dry spell lately.  I think being busy with real life stuff, and therefore being off the bike more than I have in years, has resulted in a lot lest saddle time.  Now this may not seem like a big deal, but my best thinking time, be it for bloggage or work projects, comes when I am sitting and pedaling the bike!  Makes me wonder where exactly my brains really are….

However, yesterday, why taking the Mom-in-law in search of a new recliner, I discovered a new place that finally jarred my head in gear!  It made me realize, at least up here in Seattle, we have actively embraced the Cycling Culture! Continue reading “Cycling Culture”

Racking up the Miles: August 2014

it is really hard to believe we are in September!  But sure enough, last night it was dark by 8:30, tomorrow they are calling for some rain.  The tomatoes are ripening, the firewood will be delivered tomorrow and it just feels more refreshing out there!

It’s also time to recap the month of miles for August… Continue reading “Racking up the Miles: August 2014”

Darn it People like us!

I describe myself pretty often using four words:  Antisocial and Cold and Callous.  Anyone who works with me will tell you that I will come up with any reason excuse possible to avoid going out for unit lunches, or drinks after work.  I like most of my co-workers, but I figure being ‘stuck’ with each other for 8 hours a day is enough.  More time with each other is NOT needed.

I also avoid all drama, regardless of the origin, by simply ignoring anyone generating the drama.  It’s pretty darn easy when you get good at it, and alleviates a WHOLE lot of stress!

So given this, on days like today when we are out and about in Woodinville, it amazes me how many people like us! I don’t mean just being nice, I mean they seem to really like us!

Continue reading “Darn it People like us!”

Walla Walla Part III

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.

Hot Poop, oldest independent record store in Washington
Hot Poop, oldest independent record store in Washington

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!

English: "Styx" (2002), by Deborah B...
English: “Styx” (2002), by Deborah Butterfield, a life-sized bronze sculpture of a driftwood horse, on the campus of Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington. Photo by Christian Feuillet, available at (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:

  1. Go to the airport
  2. Park in short term parking
  3. Put keys under drivers seat
  4. 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!

Walla Walla Part II

Well we woke up for the first time ever in Walla Walla! We love the little house we rented, but I have  to say, the tiny little air-conditioner in the bed room is just not up to the task! Nope didn’t sleep all that well last night.

Well, as my norm when we are at home or on vacation, I make a Starbucks run each morning. During our first walk through town, I scoped out the location. On my drive home, what did I see?



Yep, it was the annual hot air balloon stampede! These pics were taken from our porch.

Well we decided to walk to breakfast and we were looking for the Maple Counter Cafe… NEVER found it! More later on his, but we did find these 2 guys:

Marcus Whitman
Marcus Whitman

He is, in essence, the founder of Walla Walla, And

Peopeomoxmox, chief of the Walla Walla's
Peopeomoxmox, chief of the Walla Walla’s

Nothing like a little art and history to keep you hungry while looking fr breakfast! We also found out there is a stream, Mill Creek, going under the town.



We later went to Whitman Mission National Historical site, so I could get my NPS passport stamp.(yep I’ma geek!) It was cool, and we Took the following pics:

Whitman's shaft commemorating the massacre
Whitman’s shaft commemorating the massacre
Closer view of shaft
Closer view of shaft


It was a quiet place to walk around.

Then On to wine tasting! Being a WSU COUG we had to go to Cougar Creat Winery… Take my advice, don’t got there! The wine sucked! I was so disappointed….

We needed, good wine, so we traveled to Dusted Valley! Always a good choice. And we saw a great looking limo in front!


From there we want to Isehower winery, where we met Kelly. Next week she graduates from Whitman College, and then moves to Boston for an internship. The wine was good!

We went back home, dropped stuff off and walked into town. My sexy wife NEVER shops for clothes, so I made her hit up some stores. As long as I have a kindle to read and a chair to sit I can shop,with her all day! Check out the boots she bought!


Afterwards, we went into Sinclair winery, in which Sharon agreed Cougar Crest sucked! Her’s was very good! Our last stop was Sopalil cellars, with Creepy Bill! He was the wine maker, and was enamored with my wife. He whole time we were there, he talked only to her, no matter WHAT I said! He did tell us that our breakfast place DID exist, so we will try tomorrow! Best part, he didn’t charge us for the tasting. The wine was ok 🙂

Dinner at an Italian place and a walk home, all in all a great day!


Walla Walla Part I

Michelle are taking a weekend away from the world, we flew over to Walla Walla Wa for some wine tasting! So I thought I’d bring yall along with me. Fair warning, I have had “some” wine and I’m typing on a iPad…. May NOT be my best post ever!

OK so first off I am never in charge when it comes to travel. I thought we would leave Seattle at 11 AM and head for the airport. But then this morning I looked at the boarding passes and the flight left at 1! OK, we left at 1030! Good thing I checked!

Then Wallypark was full and only taking people who set up reservations in their lot today… Guess who went out and made a reservation on Wednesday! Yep, no worries, we are in!

TSA lines were short, and we got right in. Had time for lunch at Starbucks, and to hang around.

Back in the day I dreaded who would sit next to me on the plane! Didn’t want some huge cowboy that overflowed his seat, or some smelly person! Now I fly with a sexy wife who smells GREAT! Poor guy a few seats behind us got stuck with a lady who would not SHUT UP!! I can tell you about her 3rd grade class, how she found out she was left handed and her entire trip since Columbus Ohio! Poor guy, I m surprised he didn’t pull a DB Cooper and jump out of the plane!

Got to Walla Walla and realized we had NO stinking clue how to get to Enterprise rent-a-car. Luckily I had them programmed in my phone! Called them up and they let us know they had guy at the baggage claim waiting for us!

Turns out that since I set up the rental through Insurance company I worked for, we were given a full sized SUV instead of a compact! NICE! The house we rented was within walking distance of downtown, even better!

We tried out Fort Walla Walla Cellers and loved their Syrah in fact we drank it tonight! Next was Otis Kenyons’s Syrah also yummy and we have a bottle with us.

Dinner was at a DAMN good French place called Brasserie Four. Not 5 minutes after we ordered, the power went out! Thank gawd for gas stoves!! The food was GOOD!

On the way back to our place we met Kelsey, the server at Locati Wines! We fell in love with the reserve Sangioviese and got a bottle of that!

Our goal this weekend is new wineries! So far we’ve tried 3 and found wine we like a lot! Shaping up for a great weekend!