Time to move on; the car was packed and we were out of our driveway in Monterey by 10 am with the goal of reaching Eureka, CA in time to have dinner with Amanda and Jim. We stopped in Mountain View to drop off a few more things with Lyra, exchange hugs, and pet Pandora, then blasted off for Northern CA. We saw a lot of beautiful trees, which is what the northern part of the state has to offer. Arrived at our hotel at around 6:30 pm, having stopped for gas a couple of times. We connected with Amanda, stopped by Siam Orchid to collect our Thai dinner, and settled in for a family evening. I admired home improvements and the recently acquired “rodeo fish,” Quentin McWhorter, named after the winning cowboy at the recent rodeo in Fortuna. The evening passed quickly as we ate dinner together, chatted, and watched the Olympics.
We returned the next morning to share hugs and pet the dogs before setting out for Cowhorn Vineyard and Gardens outside Jacksonville, OR. This meant heading inland from Eureka and across the Oregon border, driving through miles of pine forest, beautifully green on this sunny day. Our substantial detour was an adventure to pick up wine for my sister and have a wine tasting in beautiful surroundings. It was a perfect half-way stop. Cowhorn is best known for viogniers, though it produces rose, grenache, and syrah. The tasting room looks out over sun-heated meadows and mountains–we were happy to sit in the A/C, taste, sip, and spit for a little while. Courtney was the host for our visit, friendly and helpful.
It was a few more hours drive to our motel in Eugene, but there is an advantage to stopping overnight in a major university town. (U of Oregon is in Eugene.) Good food. Our dinner came from The Taste of India, near the campus. Our shrimp korma and lamb tikka masala each came in delicious preparations.
Coffee from Cafe Roma the next morning got us on the road, with Bainbridge Island in our sights. We did not drive into Seattle and take the ferry. Though scenic, it would make the day a couple of hours longer, so we opted to turn north at Tacoma and loop around to the north end of the island and across a short bridge over the Agate Passage. Our house this month is toward the north end of the island, and it was convenient to arrive this way. We had no trouble finding the house or getting in. Our host emailed us the code to the door lock a day or two back, and we walked right in. Such a pleasure to arrive easily.
Two nights on the road, stops with family and tasting wine, and now we are at our destination, settling in for the month. Our house is mid-century, with an effort to match the decor to the architecture in the public areas. Colorful, comfortable, surrounded by woods; so far so good.
Here’s the complete view from our living room windows.