So Long, Summer!

As summer fades into fall, Oregon is THE place to be. Glorious weather! We scored mid-80s for Labor Day weekend, the temps peaked at 95 degrees (dry, toasty and bug-free) mid-week, and then 80s this weekend. And we made the most of it.

Wine times with Lindsay

Wine times with Lindsay

Before Lindsay and Daniel jetted off to Greece for a wedding and yoga training (lucky bums!), they joined us for some Labor Day weekend wine-tasting. We packed our picnic basket with cheese, bread and other tasty wine accompaniments and set out in the Dundee/Newberg area of the Willamette Valley. Home to 400 wineries, the valley’s bevy of choices make it tough to pick where to go! Randomly we stumbled across Torii Mor Winery, a Japanese garden-shrouded winery tucked off a dirt road. It boasts a ridiculous deck, overlooking rolling hills of vines and Mt. Hood far in the distance. We soaked up the sun and downed a bottle of pinot gris with our picnic goodies.

Next up: Penner Ash Winery, and another priceless view of the countryside. I could’ve relaxed on their patio all day with our tasty chilled 2011 Roseo. We closed the day back in Portland, grabbing dinner at our forever-fave Bunk Bar, walking back downtown over the Morrison Bridge and stopping for dessert at Veritable Quandary – another beautiful outdoor patio! It was our first visit to the Portland mainstay, and we will be back.

Yesterday was our first tailgating excursion in Oregon. Our friends Keeley and Rick are Oregon State grads and football season ticket-holders, so a crew of Nike folks, including my Internal Communications compadre Kristen, spent the sunny, 85-degree day in Corvallis for the Oregon State/Wisconsin game. Rick churned out a grilled feast, I discovered Bud Light Lime-A-Rita mini-cans of deliciousness, everyone enjoyed Kristen’s awesome sausage-salsa-cream cheese dip, I chatted with Rick’s New Jersey-born parents (who reminded me of my NJ relatives)…it was a great time. We watched the game – and got to actually leave at halftime and return to the stadium! – and cheered the Beavers to a victory.

And guess what? More good weather to come, with 88 degrees predicted for Thursday. Keep it coming, Oregon, because I know that rainy winter is right around the corner…

The wine-tasters getting ready for a picnic and some tasting

The wine-tasters getting ready for a picnic and some tasting (check out Mt. Hood in the far distance!)

The vineyards surrounding Torii Mor Winery

The vineyards surrounding Torii Mor Winery

The amazing Torii Mor deck overlooking vineyards and Mt. Hood in the distance

The amazing Torii Mor deck overlooking vineyards and Mt. Hood in the distance

Jeff relaxing on the Torii Mor Winery deck

Jeff relaxing on the Torii Mor Winery deck

Classy folks.

Classy folks.

The Penner Ash tasting room

The Penner Ash tasting room

Ridiculous views of the rolling Newberg hills from the Penner Ash patio

Ridiculous views of the rolling Newberg hills from the Penner Ash patio

Classy wine-drinker Lindsay sitting on the patio

Classy wine-drinker Lindsay sitting on the patio

He loves this place!

Love this place!

Jeff drinking rosé amid the Penner Ash gardens

Jeff drinking rosé amid the Penner Ash gardens

What a perfect day for wine tasting!

What a perfect day for wine tasting!

PBRs and sandwiches at our fave, Bunk Bar

PBRs and sandwiches at our fave, Bunk Bar

Admiring the Portland city skyline as we walk across the Morrison Bridge

Admiring the Portland city skyline as we walk across the Morrison Bridge

Capping a lovely summer night at Veritable Quandary's outdoor patio

Capping a lovely summer night at Veritable Quandary’s outdoor patio

Excited to get our truffles and cookies

Excited to get our truffles and cookies

The guys enjoying their fine cognacs

The guys enjoying their fine cognacs

The tailgate crew at the Oregon State/Wisconsin football game

The tailgate crew at the Oregon State/Wisconsin football game

Keeley photobombing Kristen and me

Keeley photobombing Kristen and me

Go Beavers! Inside Reser Stadium

Go Beavers! Inside Reser Stadium

Jeff and me, next to Cullen

Jeff and me, next to Cullen

Thumbs up for the Beavs!

Thumbs up for the Beavs!

 

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