The Palouse
(09/07/19 - 09/12/19)

Roadtrip Nicole and Assana are going on their very first girls’ trip together! Exciting! Destination: Portland, Hood River & Columbia Valley, ending in Walla Walla for some wine tasting. Interesting anecdote: Nicole has never been on a domestic road trip!

Swift Nicole has planned our activities. We happen to be in Portland during Portland’s annual Swift Watch. According to the Audubon Society:

During the month of September, head to Chapman Elementary School in Northwest Portland to see an incredible sight. One hour before sunset, thousands of Vaux’s Swifts gather overhead as they prepare to roost for the night. Migrating swifts often use chimneys as roosts (places to sleep), and they are likely to return to the same roost year after year. One population has been returning to Chapman since the 1980s, and is one of the largest known roosting sites of migrating Vaux’s Swifts.

It is a magnificent site to see. We spend a couple of hours in awe of this amazing event while being geeked out by a bird lady. Bird watching is followed by an amazing dinner.

Waterfalls We meander our way through Columbia Valley on our way to Walla Walla for some wine tasting. Neither one of us has ever been to Columbia Valley. Nicole is a great navigator and we work our way along the Hood River, visit waterfalls, have lunch along their river in Hood River — the town — steal some fruit, etc. A fun day of driving!

Kitty Walla Walla is very humble and unassuming. We are staying at an adorable B&B with an even more adorable Maine Coon kitty. The kitty loves Nicole, to Nicole's chagrin: basically as soon as Nicole sits her butt down on the chair, the kitty is right on her lap! Good kitty!

Take the cat away from me! stays!

Poutine We visit vineyards and do some wine tasting. Honestly, coming from California, nothing really tastes amazing.

As always, Nicole has done a great job picking out great places to each. We love Hattaway's on Alder so much that we eat there twice!

Another favorite is Andrae's Kitchen, a diner inside a gas station store! We have the most amazing poutine and sandwiches.

Nicole braving the hay!

Calendar We are flying out of Spokane and as we work our way over, we follow Google Maps’ suggestion. The start of the route takes us through some industrial areas of Walla Walla, including a concrete plant! But then all of a sudden we find ourselves driving through what seems to be an American West calendar! the golden rolling hills, with quintessential grain silos and barns; the bluest sky, and absolutely no one around, and of course, no service! Good thing we had a tank full of gas. We are baffled and pleasantly surprised. Turns out we are accidentally driving through The Palouse, one of Washington State's seven wonders (yes, there is such a thing).

An afternoon walking around Spokane followed by yummy drinks and dinner at our hotel ends our trip. Nicole goes off to New York, and Assana back home, looking forward to another girls’ trip in the future.

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