Washington Part I: Walla Walla

We had a one-day gap between the end of our reservation in Boise and the beginning of our reservation in Walla Walla, so we divided our trip in half. We drove from Boise to La Grande, Oregon on Thursday. We enjoyed the hospitality of Walmart and camped at the edge of their parking lot until the next day when we finished our drive to Walla Walla. We both slept well in our boondocking location. We turned on the DirecTV Satellite after we were parked and watched the Olympics for the rest of the afternoon and evening. There were about 4 other campers around us, and a couple of families that slept near us in their minivans. We set our alarm for the usual 7AM hour, but our phones did not change when we passed into the Pacific Time Zone – so it was an hour earlier when we started our day. We only had about two hours of travel to get to our reservation at the RV Resort Four Seasons so we took our time getting ready and pulled back onto the interstate around 9:30 on Friday, August 12th.

The drive was good except for one steep pass over the Blue Mountains as we were coming into Pendleton. The warning signs about a steep grade for 10 miles started well in advance and I was a hot mess by the time we actually started the descent. Mike endured my comments about braking and going too fast and how the Lord should help us until we got to the bottom. Of course, he had the coach under control the entire time, and the hoopla was just in my head.

The RV Park we found in Walla Walla was small but nice. Walla Walla is a small town, and we were in a good location where we could walk to city parks and ride our bikes to downtown. The sites were paved with asphalt and we had a sliver of grass to enjoy. We also had several trees that helped provide shade. After our dusty and sunny spot in Boise, we appreciated the change.

W² (as the locals call it) was a fun stop. The Walla Walla were Native Americans that ended up bartering with fur traders in the area before the landscape evolved into the agricultural community that is it today. Wine is big business there. The downtown sidewalks were bustling with tourists on wine tasting expeditions. There were dozens of tasting rooms in the historic buildings of the town center, so it was very convenient to sample a bountiful variety of local wines without driving all over the county. There were plenty of vineyards out along farm roads in the area too, and visiting those locations included the extra perk of scenic drives out of town in every direction. We visited a couple of wineries during our stop. We also enjoyed a couple of dinners in some excellent restaurants. Mike played disc golf and hit some regular golf balls at a local driving range. I had a facial at a downtown spa. The dogs got good regular exercise because of the park paths we could reach on foot from our front door. We all enjoyed our stay in this part of Southeast Washington.

We left Boise on I-84, traveling north and west through Eastern Oregon.

We left Boise on I-84, traveling north and west through Eastern Oregon.

The Snake River along the highway in Oregon. Idaho is on the other side of the water.

The Snake River runs along the highway in Oregon. Idaho is on the other side of the water.

We had a one day delay between the end of our reservation in Boise and the beginning of our reservation in Walla Walla so we decided to cut the drive in half. We drove from Boise to La Grande and spent the night in the Walmart parking lot.

Our Walmart Parking spot. Only the driver’s side slides were opened because we didn’t want to stick out any farther than we needed.

The next morning we made a quick drive to Walla Walla. Our route kept us on I-84 until exit #216 outside of Pendleton. Then we drove north on a farming Highway 11 until we reached our campground. Just before we reached our exit to Hwy 11, we drove down a long steep grade of the interstate that runs through the Blue Mountains. I'm sure you can imagine Mike's pleasure in hearing the babbling coming from the passenger chair the whole on the way down. It was lively.

The next morning we made a quick drive to Walla Walla. Our route kept us on I-84 until exit #216 outside of Pendleton. Then we drove north on a farming Highway 11 until we reached our campground. Just before we reached our exit to Hwy 11, we drove down a long steep grade of the interstate that runs through the Blue Mountains. I’m sure you can imagine Mike’s pleasure in hearing the babbling coming from the passenger chair the whole way down. It was lively.

The RV Resort Four Seasons was small and the spaces were tight, but the location was great, the park was clean, we had some grass and some shade, our spot was level, the utilities functioned properly, and the price was reasonable. All in all, it was a good place to stay.

The RV Resort Four Seasons was small and the spaces were tight, but the location was great, the park was clean, we had some grass and some shade, our spot was level, the utilities functioned properly, and the price was reasonable. All in all, it was a good place to stay.

The RV Resort was adjacent to a city park and a wildlife refuge area. This momma turkey and her babies spent most of their time up near the campers instead of in the actual wildlife flora. I guess they were urban turkeys.

The RV Resort was adjacent to a city park and a wildlife refuge area. This momma turkey and her babies spent most of their time up near the campers instead of in the actual wildlife flora. I guess they were urban turkeys.

Fort Walla Walla Cemetery.

Fort Walla Walla Cemetery.

We passed through Fort Walla Walla during our daily walks. The U.S. Army Fort was first established in 1856 and closed in 1910. It is now a museum and park.

We passed through Fort Walla Walla during our daily walks. The U.S. Army Fort was first established in 1856 and closed in 1910. It is now a museum and park.

Wine tasting limo spotted at Walmart.

Wine tasting limo spotted at Walmart.

Full occupancy at our RV park.

Full occupancy at our RV park.

Night time view of the Monaco.

Night time view of the Monaco.

The historic Carnegie Library in Walla Walla.

The historic Carnegie Library in Walla Walla.

The 1893 Queen Anne Victorian Sharpstein Manor is a home and apartment house. They say it is famous during the Christmas season because of all the lights and figurines that decorate the outside.

The 1893 Queen Anne Victorian Sharpstein Manor is a home and apartment house. They say it is famous during the Christmas season because of all the lights and figurines that decorate the outside.

Another charmer in the Walla Walla Historic District.

Another charmer in the Walla Walla Historic District.

Whitman College is a private liberal arts college adjacent to downtown.

Whitman College is a private liberal arts college adjacent to downtown.

Beautiful landscaping was everywhere in the Historic District.

Beautiful landscaping was everywhere in the Historic District.

Pioneer Park was developed by a plan suggested by John C. Olmstead, brother of Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed NYC's Central Park.

Pioneer Park was developed by a plan suggested by John C. Olmstead, brother of Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed NYC’s Central Park.

Taking a break at Pioneer Park.

Taking a break at Pioneer Park.

Silly selfie.

Silly selfie.

Walla Walla is the only city I recall visiting that had its own municipal aviary.

Walla Walla is the only city I recall visiting that had its own municipal aviary.

The Sharpstein School was built in 1898 and is the oldest operating elementary school in Washington State.

The Sharpstein School was built in 1898 and is the oldest operating elementary school in Washington State.

My sidewalk patio view on downtown Walla Walla.

My sidewalk patio view in downtown Walla Walla.

I always post pictures of the fish Mike catches, but I realized I never show the end product. Delicious!

I always post pictures of the fish Mike catches, but I realized I never show the end product. Delicious!

We went to the Canoe Ridge Tasting Room and ended up buying a bottle of 2015 Cinsault Rose to take home.

We went to the Canoe Ridge Tasting Room and ended up buying a bottle of 2015 Cinsault Rose to take home.

I found a pet store that had a self service dog washing room. Cessna wasn't thrilled with the consequences of my discovery.

I found a pet store that had a self service dog washing room. Cessna wasn’t thrilled with the consequences of my discovery.

Cheers from a delicious Mediterranean dinner at Saffron in downtown.

Cheers from a delicious Mediterranean dinner at Saffron in downtown.

The horses across the street from our picnic on the lawn of L'Ecole 41 kept Piper and Cessna entertained (or preoccupied) for the duration of our outing.

The horses across the street from our picnic on the lawn of L’Ecole 41 kept Piper and Cessna entertained (or preoccupied) for the duration of our outing.

The L'Ecole No 41 Winery Tasting Room is located in an historic school building in a community called Frenchtown, just west of Walla Walla.

The L’Ecole No 41 Winery Tasting Room is located in an historic school building in a community called Frenchtown, just west of Walla Walla.

Family picnic on the lawn of the L'Ecole No. 41 Winery.

Family picnic on the lawn of the L’Ecole No. 41 Winery.

Picnic selfie.

Picnic selfie.

Grape vines across the street from our picnic in Frenchtown.

Grape vines across the street from our picnic in Frenchtown.

A few chickens tried to join our party and Piper went BERSERK.

A few chickens tried to join our party and Piper went BERSERK.

I finally found the farmer's market in Walla Walla and it was great! I bought one dozen of the best beef tamales we have had since we left Texas.

I finally found the farmer’s market in Walla Walla and it was great! I bought one dozen of the best beef tamales we have had since we left Texas.

We took Natalie and Steve over to the Canoe Ridge Tasting Room after enjoying a fun lunch on the patio at Wingman Restaurant in downtown.

Back in a former life, I experienced a twilight zone marriage for about a year and a half. During that chapter I had two step-children, Natalie and Josh. Twenty years later, my former step-daughter and her new husband are thriving in Boise. Busy schedules prevented us from getting together for a visit when we were in Boise, so they drove to Walla Walla to see us instead! What a fun treat. It was great to see them and we were so appreciative of them taking the time to make the trip. We took Natalie and Steve over to the Canoe Ridge Tasting Room after enjoying a fun lunch on the patio at Wingman Restaurant in downtown.

I discovered an Italian market in Walla Walla called Cugini Italian Import Foods. Oh My. This family -owned and operated market was amazing! I ordered a chicken pesto panini to take with me for lunch, and then I bought some treats for our freezer. The Beef Ravioli and the Sausage/Broccoli Ravioli were scrumptious. I also bought some pesto and a bag of meatballs, but I haven't cooked them yet.

I discovered an Italian market in Walla Walla called Cugini Italian Import Foods. Oh My. This family -owned and operated market was amazing! I ordered a chicken pesto panini to take with me for lunch, and then I bought some treats for our freezer. The Beef Ravioli and the Sausage/Broccoli Ravioli were scrumptious. I also bought some pesto and a bag of meatballs, but I haven’t cooked them yet.

I defrosted some of my own meat sauce from the freezer and heated it up while I boiled the ravioli. We had an amazing dinner in about 20 minutes!

I defrosted some of my own meat sauce from the freezer and heated it up while I boiled the ravioli. We had an amazing dinner in about 20 minutes!

This welded band at Melody Mufflers made us happy.

This welded band at Melody Mufflers made us happy.

One of the baby turkeys in the tree.

One of the baby turkeys in the tree.

We also visited the aMaurice Cellars.

We also visited the aMaurice Cellars.

Inside the tasting room at aMaurice.

Inside the tasting room at aMaurice.

Does this scene look inviting or what?

Does this scene look inviting or what?

A W2 vineyard with the Blue Mountains in the far distance.

A W2 vineyard with the Blue Mountains in the far distance.

Our bill at Whitehouse Crawford was presented in an old ledger from back in the day when the building was a lumber mill.

Our bill at Whitehouse Crawford was presented in an old ledger from back in the day when the building was a lumber mill.

This lovely couple sat next to us at the bar at Whitehouse Crawford. They were celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary. It turns out that her best friend owns the salon where I got my hair cut in Rupert, ID. The place was called Tease and it was a great cut!

This lovely couple sat next to us at the bar at Whitehouse Crawford. They were celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary. It turns out that her best friend owns the salon where I got my hair cut in Rupert, ID. The place was called Tease and it was a great cut! Go figure.

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