Tag Archives: wine

Weekend Recap

Going into the weekend we didn’t really have much on the radar but somehow it turned out to be a really fun weekend. We squeezed a lot in and had a great time!

Jackson and Alex playing in the backyard! The grass is finally starting to fill in and it looks like a fluid yard now.

Jackson and Alex playing in the backyard! The grass is finally starting to fill in and it looks like a fluid yard now.

We kicked things off on Friday. I started the day being tormented by the puppy and managed to break away to go for my first five mile run down along Lake Washington. My time was 54 minutes {stay tuned to see how many minutes I cut off of today’s 5 mile run!}. I felt great the whole time!

5 miles!

5 miles!

Once Alex got home from work on Friday we walked down to the Farmers Market and grabbed a few things. One of our favorite parts of the Farmers Market is the Mexican food stand. I usually get a pork quesadilla and man is it good!! We ate our Mexican food at the market then came back home and had some wine while we played outside with Jackson.

Jackson is getting so good at just hanging out on the front porch with us. We are so lucky!

Jackson is getting so good at just hanging out on the front porch with us. We are so lucky!

Saturday was a long, but great day. We woke up early {thanks Jackson!} and hung out with our furry friends. Alex and I had a great breakfast together, cleaned up and then he took off for a 65 mile bike ride around Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. I was left to fend for myself and the little pup, but we had a great day together.

Photo op with Jackson.

Photo op with Jackson.

Date night was Saturday night where Alex and I had a fantastic dinner at Harvest Vine. The food and ambiance made me so nostalgic for Spain and we spent the whole time talking about our upcoming trip to Europe. We were able to narrow down the countries we’ll be visiting next year {Spain, Italy, England and Switzerland, and hopefully a long layover in Amsterdam} and some things we’d like to do and see while we’re there.

Jack decided he wanted to be involved in emptying the dishwasher.

Jack decided he wanted to be involved in emptying the dishwasher.

Sunday morning was kind of a hoot in our zoo. It started with Oliver presenting me with a bird that he had recently caught. He quickly moved on and I watch him catch a second bird – he is such a good hunter! After Alex and I grabbed a cup of coffee, all three of our four legged creatures decided to hang out together in the backyard. Oliver was doing sprints along the fence while Jackson was running alongside the fence on the ground. Meanwhile, Henry had climbed a tree in the backyard. By the time he had gotten down, Oliver decided he needed to climb higher than Henry had gone, so he ran up the tree, only to be followed moments later by Henry. They are so good at climbing!

Henry and Jackson playing together.

Henry and Jackson playing together.

We were hosting Jackson’s first puppy play date on Sunday afternoon so I ran out to the store to get some stuff to make guacamole. On my way to the store I was enticed by a garage sale sign, so I decided to stop. Good thing I did because I found a coffee maker with a grinder for $10 that retails for nearly $200. It’s in great shape and I can’t wait to use it.

New coffee maker with grinder!

New coffee maker with grinder!

The guacamole turned out great! I sure do love a good guac.

Yum.

Yum.

Jackson was in absolute heaven during his play date with Gram, who is a 15 week old Duck Tolling Retriever. Alex’s colleague, Nolan, and his wife Natalie are Gram’s owners. Gram and Jackson weighed the exact same amount and Gram looks smaller but that’s only because Jackson is so fluffy. Gram has Jackson beat in the coordination department, though!

Gram (L) and Jackson (R)

Gram (L) and Jackson (R)

The two puppies were a great match for each other. Neither one was dominant and they both had their moments of being more aggressive and then times where they’d submiss to just be bitten in the ear. It was so fun to watch Jackson run around the backyard having such a good time!

Puppy play time.

Puppy play time.

Roughhousing

Roughhousing

After Nolan and Natalie left with sleepy Gram, Jackson passed out and we decided to run up to the Bottlehouse to take advantage of a beautiful evening and we had a couple glasses of new wines. We are so lucky to have the Bottlehouse so close to us! We got there so late and stayed for more wine than we had intended on that we didn’t end up eating dinner at home until after 9:00 — preparing for our Europe trip, I guess!

Check out the great pictures of Alex I managed to get:

How handsome is he?!

How handsome is he?!

Loving his white wine, which he never drinks.

Loving his white wine, which he never drinks.

Great way to end the weekend.

Great way to end the weekend.

We’re always looking forward to the weekend – hopefully we’ll be able to take Jackson out and do something fun this weekend. Until then, we’ll just enjoy the beautiful weather!

Date Night at Harvest Vine

About a year and a half ago Alex and I instituted a weekly date night as a way for us to ensure we set aside some time each week to just spend together. We did really well at keeping that up until a few months ago and then we let it become a bit more sporadic. At our date night yesterday we had such a great time that we decided to reinstate our weekly date nights and alternate who plans the outing each week.

Cheers to fabulous food!

Cheers to fabulous food!

Last night we had dinner at Harvest Vine, a Spanish restaurant in Madison Valley, which is the neighborhood right next door to us. We had been to Harvest Vine a few times but only for wine and we were dying to go for dinner since it’s such a highly rated restaurant. Usually Spanish food isn’t my favorite, but honestly, this was one of the best meals both of us had ever eaten.

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We started off with a fantastic bottle of Priorat wine, which is one of our favorite wine regions, along with a plate of jamon serano, a trio of cheeses, then moved onto a plate of seared duck breast with a soft boiled egg. We grazed on our starters for a while and then took our waiter’s recommendation and ordered one of their house specialties, Pluma Ibirico, a dish from the pata negra pig, which our server explained is a special pig that is only fed acorns. The pork was served over soft potatoes and had a rich, nutty sauce. It was heavenly. We basically licked the plate clean and wished we would have gotten 4 orders of this.

Jamon Serano and bread

Jamon Serano and bread

Since everything we ate was relatively light and small in quantity, we both had enough room to get our own dessert. Alex, of course, got a chocolate cake with almond pastry and I got three different flavors of ice cream that was served with hazelnut cookies.

We had a wonderful evening out together. Not all of our date nights will be spent at nice restaurants, but I’m sure they’ll all be just as fun.

Sammy and Amy Came to Visit

Last weekend one of Alex’s friends from college came to visit us with his girlfriend. Alex and Sammy lived next door to each other during our sophomore year of college and became great friends once they learned that they both share a similar sense of humor and a love of beer and video games. Sammy had come to visit us during our first full summer living out here and had a chance to do the touristy stuff before, but Amy had never been to Seattle and wanted to soak it all in.

We spent a lot of time eating and drinking. Come to think of it, that’s about all we did! Once they arrived on Friday, we met Sammy and Amy for lunch at the Hi Spot, a restaurant in our neighborhood. From there, we went back to our house to get settled before going on a little walk down to Lake Washington. We scooted back up the hill, grabbed a quick happy hour glass of wine at the Bottlehouse and then hopped on the bus to go check out Capitol Hill.

Checking out the new German bar in Capitol Hill called Von Trapps

Checking out the new German bar in Capitol Hill called Von Trapps

The sun poked its head out right as we were leaving Von Trapps, so we decided to go back to our house and grab some Thai food to eat out on our patio for dinner instead of going to a restaurant somewhere. It was a wonderful evening.

Saturday morning Sammy and Amy decided to be overachievers and went for a run while Alex and I sat around in our pajamas. We had a great breakfast casserole before we left for the day to go out to Woodinville to the wineries.

Washington is the third largest wine producing state in the country, which is obviously amazing. The grapes are grown over in Eastern Washington between Yakima and Walla Walla, generally known as the Columbia Valley. Many wineries have tasting rooms at their Eastern Washington production sites, but there is a darling town just about 30 minutes east of Seattle called Woodinville that is exploding with new tasting rooms that keep popping up everywhere. It sure makes for a fun thing to do when friends come to visit.

We started our Woodinville excursion at Red Hook Brewery where we took a beer tour.

Red Hook Brewery

Red Hook Brewery

From there, we walked up about 2 blocks to Patterson Winery, which I had been to a few times. There is a cute little pizzaria called The Station next door so we were able to grab a pizza and sit outside to do our tasting and just hang out.

Drinking wine on the patio at Patterson Cellars.

Drinking wine on the patio at Patterson Cellars.

After Patterson we walked across the street to J Bookwalter, an old favorite of Alex’s and mine. They had just added an enormous patio with an outdoor kitchen to their winery, so we lounged in their comfy chairs for quite a while as we lingered our way through the tasting.

Our "s'mores kit" at J Bookwalter

Our “s’mores kit” at J Bookwalter.

Since we had just eaten lunch we weren’t hungry, but once we found out they had s’mores available, we couldn’t resist.

Amy & Sammy toasting their marshmallows

Amy & Sammy toasting their marshmallows

Yum!

Yum!

Once our wine tour was complete we headed back home to drink more wine and grill some dinner with additional friends who came over. Ryan, Mary, Justin and Jamie ended up coming over to hang out and grill up some brats.

Hanging out on the patio.

Hanging out on the patio.

Sunday Alex and I had to get up early and drive down to Oregon to pick up our little Jackson, so Sammy and Amy were on their own to tour the city. Once we all got back we had dinner at our house and hung out with the dog. Alex and I stayed home with Jackson on Monday while Sammy and Amy took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island to check things out. We ended their trip with a wonderful dinner at Quinn’s Pub, one of our favorite restaurants in Capitol Hill.

It’s always wonderful to have friends come visit! Thanks for coming to see us Sammy and Amy. 🙂

Birthday Weekend

What a fun weekend we had! The weather was fantastic. perfect. unbeatable. unbelievable. amazing. did I say perfect? Sunday the high was 68. Saturday the high was 68. Both days were gorgeously sunny with not a cloud to be found; it was icing on my birthday cake!

Sandals and green grass!

Sandals and green grass!

Our weekend started on Friday, which was absolutely gorgeous. Alex had intended on biking to and from work on Friday, as a way to get in some extra miles for his training, but he got a flat tire and didn’t have an extra replacement tube, so he was out of luck. I couldn’t resist going for a run on Friday and I ran my longest distance since I’ve gotten back into it – 3.5 miles! The evening started with a fun dinner at Cactus, a Mexican restaurant in Madison Park, with Jamie and Chris. Alex had a couple margaritas while I had my first mojito of the season. Alex and Jamie went out in Capitol Hill after dinner, but knowing we had a full day of wine drinking ahead of us, I went home early.

The weekend continued on Saturday with our friend Mary’s 30th birthday party! Her husband arranged a party bus that drove us to and around Woodinville and dropped us off at some of the wineries.

Getting our wine education at Brian Carter Cellars

Getting our wine education at Brian Carter Cellars

We started the wine tour at Brian Carter Cellars in the Tourist District, then headed to the newer Warehouse District and tasted wine at Sparkman Cellars, Guardian and Patterson.

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I had been to all but Guardian before, and still loved Patterson, but Brian Carter did grow on me this time around. Perhaps it was their south-facing patio overlooking the valley, Mount Rainier and the sunshine?

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After the wine tour we went back to Mary and Ryan’s and continued the celebration! There were quite a few people who came out for the occasion and it was a nice opportunity to catch up with some of our good friends.

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All day Sunday was spent outside. I lingered on the front porch as long as I could while Alex was out on a quick 25 mile bike ride, then Alex mowed and trimmed the grass and we walked up the block for a couple drinks at Bottlehouse, our beloved neighborhood wine bar.

Birthday coffee in the sunshine on our front porch

Birthday coffee in the sunshine on our front porch

 

I had two Spring Thymes (prosecco with raspberries and a sprig of thyme) and Alex had a Shandy or two and we sat outside on the patio and soaked up as much sun as possible.

Spring Thyme at BH

Spring Thyme at BH

Mary and Ryan came over to our house and we shared a couple bottles of wine on our patio, then went to dinner together at Restaurant Bea. I continue to be impressed by Restaurant Bea every time we go – it is always consistent and fantastic. I think each of us ate every last bite of our meal!

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All in all, it was a wonderful birthday, but the highlight for me truly was the weather. Thanks to my friends and family for making it such a great day!