Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Weekend Getaway: Willamette Valley Overnight with the Girls

Things have been a little crazy in happy hour honeys land lately, so I decided that my 31st bday would be an excellent excuse to get away for a night.

I’ve had my eye on The Vintages for a while, so when Kel, Dana, and Amanda said they were all in for a celebratory wine country sleepover, I booked the second cutest-looking trailer (the cutest was already taken) and went into planning mode.

The Vintages is a “trailer resort” located in Dayton, about 10 minutes southwest of Dundee. “Resort” might be taking it a little too far though. The Vintages is actually a collection of about 20 restored trailers of different makes and models attached to your run-of-the-mill RV park. The “county store” is stocked with more gourmet items than you might expect and the cruiser bikes and striped umbrellas that come with each rental are cute, but no matter what the rental price might suggest, this really is just a trailer park in the middle of wine country, not any sort of “resort”.

That said, our quick trip was definitely one for the books. Here’s our itinerary from the weekend: 

Lunch at Ruddick/Wood in Newburg
Wood/Ruddick is cute little hipster spot about 50 minutes outside of Portland. Our 12:30 lunch reservations seemed unnecessary when we arrived, but the place filled up more as we ate.

In order to prep for our day of drinking, we all ordered hearty sandwiches with fries plus a bottle of champagne to get the party started.

Meet up with Trish of No Whining Wine Tours
For me, the trickiest part of wine tasting is the driving aspect. Uber and Lyft have pretty much eliminated the need for a DD on a night out in Portland, but ride shares aren’t as readily available in wine country. Kel’s brilliant solution: hire a driver!

Trish was recommended by one of Kel’s mom’s friends and we got an insider deal. Aside from the perk of having a driver, using Trish meant that we had access to reduced tasting fees at the wineries that Trish recommended AND a personal photographer for the day. Trish also introduced us to a new winery that all of us loved and probably wouldn’t have found on our own. Basically, you should hire Trish.

Winery #1 – L’Angolo Estate in Dundee
Chase, Kelly’s third cousin (sister grandmas, sister grandmas!), opened the tasting room at L’Angolo last year and we like to go there to use Kelly’s membership to get a free tasting and to feel very fancy that we know the winemaker.

Winery #2- Lenne Estate in Yamhill
This stop was Trish’s idea and we loved the great view (which would have been even better without all the smokiness).

Winery #3- Fairsing Vinyard in Yamhill
Trish also introduced us to this spot, which I think all of us plan to visit again soon. The tasting room is built so that when you look out from the front lawn (which houses a labyrinth and lots of Adirondack chairs), there’s a visual affect akin to an infinity pool. I was getting some serious Lord of the Rings vibes, especially since Fairsing has Gaelic touches throughout the winery.

We barely made it to Fairsing before closing time at 5pm, but at that point we were ready for some food anyhow.

Supply Stop at Red Hills Market in Dundee
We had packed a snacky dinner to enjoy on our trailer “patio” back at The Vintages, but we decided to stock up on more wine at Red Hills just in case. Picking up a pizza here would also have been a good dinner option.

Dinner + Fun & Games at The Vintages
Trish dropped us back at The Vintages and we got a peek at our trailer, the Boles Aero, for the first time. The Vintages website labeled our trailer as appropriate for 2 adults and one kid, but with the double twin beds and the couch/futon, the four of us fit just fine. The trailer was outfitted with a few special touches like a cute couch, robes with slippers, and updated curtains, bedding, and light fixtures … but once again, a trailer is trailer – so don’t expect anything too luxe.

Following our dinner, we hopped on our bikes and cruised around the park for a bit before setting up Amanda’s ring and flamingo game. I also had a surprise for the girls: matching RV & flamingo pjs that I found at Target.

We spent the rest of the night chatting with our rowdy, Duck-loving neighbors, making s’mores on the BBQ, and hanging out in the trailer before hitting the hay.

Breakfast at Block House Cafe in Dayton
Before heading back to Portland, we stopped for breakfast at Block House Cafe in tiny downtown Dayton. You know you’re in wine country when you get offered a wine list at 9 am!

After our breakfast of cinnamon roll pancakes (Block House’s specialty), huge breakfast burritos, and eggs benedict, we hopped in the car and high-tailed it back to Portland.

Such a fun birthday trip!