Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The beautiful trip to Corvallis

Due to the flu, I had to cancel my appearance at the Women's Show in Portland. I felt terrible, especially after they shifted my cooking demo so that it would not overlap with the Fireman's Fashion Show. (Really.) The organizer was gracious and said they would invite me back again next year.

I did decide to press on with the event days later in Corvallis, Ore. I took the 7:30 a.m. Amtrak down to Portland on Sunday, then hopped a bus to Albany nearby. There's something different when friends are involved. Mike's longtime friend Craig had helped set up the event that started as a house party but shifted into an event at the wine bar Enoteca. Not to mention, Mike had flown across the country, Tampa to Portland, to meet me there -- for the Corvallis event. Good wives know when to get on a train...

Even though I was in an OTC-cold med haze, I'm glad that I went. The ride on the train was nothing short of breathtaking. "Riot of color" may be a tired cliche, but that's what I kept thinking as I watched the blazing spectrum of colors of leaves on the trees, with the jagged blue outline of the Olympic mountains as a backdrop. I love the Northwest.

The show of color continued in the postcard-worthy home to Oregon State University. Are they the ducks? I asked Mike, who picked me up at the bus station. "No, here, you're a 'Beaver Believer.' "

There's something just Pleasantville-like about Corvallis, a small town in Oregon wine country. We watched Craig press grapes and he took us through his whole wine-making setup. (Mike has promised to post his pictures on the subject.)

About 45 people turned out for the event. I struggled sometimes to talk. At one point, Mike had to take over reading. It was terrific, all lovely people and the fine folks at Grass Roots Books sold out of their stock. It was worth the trip.

Not sure that wine and cold medicine mix, though. But if you try it, I suggest a nice chardonnay.

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Anonymous Lisa said...

I prefer Benadryl and limoncello.

The Willamette Valley is one of the biggest secrets of the Pacific Northwest. The area is beautiful, no other word for it. Mountains, rivers, the ocean, farmland, a major metropolitan city 30 minutes away. The wine production is thrilling- my wine epiphany happened with a Domaine Drouhin Lauren pinot noir. It' a foodie oasis, too. So much care and honesty about everything that you can put in your mouth makes for a community that has high standards without the pretension that surrounds an area like Napa. August and October are Exhibits A & B for why we tolerate the 10 months of drizzle and grey a year. And choose your weapon: of any city in the country, Portland has the highest concentration of churches and strip clubs.

October 30, 2008 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

We loved having you here! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you guys and I'm also enjoying reading your book. It's even better having met you.

I hope you guys come back soon!

November 1, 2008 at 6:00 PM  
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