The Maiden Voyage of the Atomic Lounge

As I mentioned a week or so ago, we are now the proud owners of a 1961 Aljo vintage trailer. This past weekend we joined a number of other vintage trailer owners for a rare nice weekend in April for a gathering in Oregon. This was our first trip out in the Aljo. I spent all of Thursday frantically sewing curtains for the trailer so that we’d be ready to take her out.

Our "new" 1961 Aljo trailer
We're transforming her into the Atomic Lounge
This bed is more comfortable than our one at home.
All of the comforts of home.
A rare Airstream
Isn't it beautiful? You should see the inside!
Look at the combo vintage car and trailer!
An Aloha trailer built right here in Oregon
Another Aloha trailer
This is one gorgeous Roadmaster
It had a full size range and refrigerator inside
Kendall loves that she can see out the windows when on the bed now
Kendall's new trailer
Who wants to go camping with me?



When it snows to the valley floor in the Portland area, it’s a big deal. It doesn’t happen that often, and when it does it pretty much shuts things down. We don’t have the snowplows or the deicing equipment to handle anything. Usually, if we want to see snow, we head up to the Cascades and Mt. Hood or Mount Bachelor. Yesterday was one of those days where they had the special news crews doing special reports about the snow. You’d have thought we were expecting a blizzard, but no. We had some snow showers.

It was beautiful as it fell, but it didn’t stick to the roads. Our friends at Apolloni Vineyards posted some beautiful pictures that they’ve given me permission to share with my readers.

Snow in the vineyard


A beautiful view

We first discovered Apolloni Vineyards when we spent the day in Oregon wine country doing the Canines Uncorked tour. Then, not an hour after I got an email with permission to post the pictures, we walked into one of our favorite restaurants, Decarli, and what’s on the wine board – Apolloni Vineyard’s Conti di Yal Seriana Soleggio. I had to have a glass. According to their web site, “the Soleggio, which means sunshine in Italian, represents the sunshine-ripened grapes, which make up this Super Tuscan style wine. Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon provide structure and brightness as Merlot adds balance. This wine opens with a burst of figs and bright cherry while the structured tannins tie the black pepper, toast and coffee notes into a lasting finish. Enjoy this wine with flavorful dishes, including cheeses and roasted meats.” Enjoy it, I did! It was the perfect ending to a beautiful day in Oregon.

A Beaver Dam in Greenway Park

Kendall’s favorite place to walk is the Greenway Park in Beaverton. It’s wide open, so passing other dogs, bikes, and people is no problem, and the smells must be great. The other day we were walking along, and I noticed something unusual.

This looked a little odd.

We walked a little farther down the path and saw some more small trees that were obviously chopped down by something other than an axe or a saw.

You can't mistake this for a saw.

I didn’t notice the teeth marks until I imported the picture. A bit farther down the path I noticed that the water was a lot higher than it normally is.

The water above the dam

This is Fanno Creek, which normally runs pretty low and is a fairly narrow stream. The beavers built themselves a nice little dam. It’s close enough to the trail that it can be observed without people trampling things and disturbing the area too much. It’s a great learning experience.

The back side of the dam

The dam does a pretty good job. There’s a small amount of water getting through and you can see some trickling around the sides. I wonder what problems this will cause once it starts raining.

What a fun and unusual sight to see during our usual, uneventful walk. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. We are the Beaver State.

Did you notice there’s no Kendall in the photos. Apparently my “nature girl” side came out, and I completely forgot to get her in the pictures. Just imagine her sniffing away on the side.

If you’re stopping by from the blog hop, welcome! If you’d like to see other fun pet blogs that are out there, click on the button below to see what it’s all about.


A Quick Trip to Oregon Wine Country

We are lucky to live within a half hour’s drive of Oregon wine country. Last Sunday, after a long week of business travel, we decided to head out to wine country to pick up our fall wine shipments from a couple of the wineries to whose wine clubs we belong.

Visiting Kramer Vineyards

Our first stop was at Kramer Vineyards. It was great to see the Kramer girls and the Kramer wine dogs. The harvest starts this week. I sure hope the weather holds out for them. It’s been a rainy, wet year, which isn’t good for wine makers.

If I remember right, these are Muller-Thurgau grapes just about ready for harvest.

Our next stop was at Elk Cove Vineyards just down the road from Kramer Vineyards. We’d never stopped there before. We didn’t have any wine to pick up here, but that didn’t stop us from doing a little tasting and taking some pictures. They make a great Pinot Noir that is available in most states.

Elk Cove Vineyards

They have a great deck that overlooks the vineyards, and it’s dog friendly.

I just loved these purple flowers. It was like a breath of spring in the middle of fall. I found out that they’re called Naked Ladies and they’re part of the crocus family. Their leaves come up in the spring like most crocuses, but they die back during the summer. Then, in the fall, these beautiful purple flowers emerge.

Naked Lady crocuses at Elk Cove Vineyard

As we made our way down Oregon 47 through Yamhill and Carlton, we stopped at another new place for us, Cana’s Feast Winery. I’ve always been intrigued by all of the outdoor seating. Turns out that this place is a bit different from many of the others in area. They get most of their grapes from Eastern Washington and most of the wines they produce are big, bold reds. We did some tasting while Kendall hung out in the car. There’s a restaurant there and the outdoor dining area is dog friendly.

Bold reds at the Cana's Feast Winery in Carlton, OR


Bocce courts at Cana's Feast Winery


Outdoor dining at Cana's Feast Winery

From there, we headed down to Sokol Blosser Winery. It was much more crowded there, but we were able to get a seat on the deck where we enjoyed a nice glass of pinot noir. We picked up our wine shipment and a few extra bottles and headed home.

As you can see from the pictures, fall hasn’t really arrived here in the Pacific Northwest. The leaves are just starting to turn color. We hope to get back out there in a couple of weeks for more fall wine pictures and to see some of the harvesting going on.



This Scenic Break Brought to You by Oregon

About a week ago, I tagged along on a scenic trip through the Columbia Gorge. No matter how many times I visit the Gorge, I’m always impressed with how scenic it is. So, without further adieu, a scenic break brought to you by the state of Oregon.

The Portland Rose Test Gardens
Columbia Gorge as seen from the Women't Forum. Notice Crown Point sticking out on the right.
The view up the Gorge from Crown Point
Anothe view from Crown Point
The best views are from Crown Point

Multnomah Falls
Happy campers - Cody and Bailey (the dogs)

I hope you’ve enjoyed your Oregon scenic break. Now back to your regular programming.


A wonderful evening at Kramer Vineyards

Last night I was invited to spend an evening at Kramer Vineyards in Gaston with food and wine bloggers and members of the Kramer family. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for an evening in Oregon wine country.

All set for a wonderful evening
Sunset put a golden hue on everything

The sun cast a golden glow over the vineyards as we shared appetizers and tasted wines from the Kramer’s collection as well as other notable wines that some of the guest brought with them. I had the opportunity to sample some very good wines while learning a lot at the same time.

A perfect spot for an outdoor event
Great wine and good company

Guests were asked to bring something to share. Food bloggers brought food and wine bloggers brought wine. although I think some people brought both. Not being a food or a wine blogger, I decided to bring figs with goat cheese drizzled with peppered honey. It’s something that can be made entirely with local Oregon ingredients, and it travels well.

Anna and Justin - Anna blogs over at Banana Wonder
Discussing wines - Lisa Shara Hall, Kim Kramer, and Christopher

In addition to the figs, I also made frozen yogurt, blueberry, and peanut butter treats for the Kramer wine dogs.

Brody - One of the Kramer Vineyards wine dogs

Cosmo – One of the Kramer Vineyards wine dogs
Missy - another of the Kramer Vineyards wine dogs

Becky cooked some wonderful steaks on the grill. All of the food was awesome as were the great wines and the award-winning beer we sampled. Thanks for a perfect evening in Oregon wine country.

Barbecuing some awesome steaks

As promised, here is the link to the tomato jam.

Canines Uncorked – An Oregon Wine Event

Kendall and I are volunteers with the Oregon Humane Society as part of their AAI program (Animal Assisted Interactions). The following information is from the OHS web site. We’ll be there and hope to see you, too. I’ll be sure to get lots of pictures.

Canines Uncorked Wine Tour  – July 30
License to Taste at Seven Wineries!

The one-of-a-kind Canines Uncorked event on July 30 offers a day of complimentary wine tastings at seven dog-friendly Oregon wineries in the north Willamette valley for just $40. Best of all, 100% of proceeds benefit the animals at the Oregon Humane Society.

Your “License to Taste” Passport opens the door to great wines and special dog-related events, food and contests sprinkled among the seven participating wineries (see Google map for locations).

The passport also provides discounts on wines purchased through Aug. 30. Purchase License to Taste Passports online here.

What: Canine’s Uncorked Wine Tour of seven dog-friendly wineries that welcome you and your furry friends with food, contests and special activities.

When: Saturday, July 30, 2011; 11 am – 5 pm

Where: The wineries are in the North Willamette Valley region and include: Apolloni Vineyards, Helvetia Vineyards, Kramer Vineyards, Montinore Estate, Oak Knoll Winery, Plum Hill Vineyards and Tualatin Estate

Tickets: $40 provides you a Canines Uncorked “Licensed to Taste” Passport and Wine Tour Guide that can be presented for a complimentary tasting at each participating winery. The Passport all offers discounts on wine purchases through August 30 (all Passport proceeds go to OHS; $25 is tax deductible). The Passport provides information about each winery and the special events taking place as part of Canines Uncorked.

Activities by Winery:

Apolloni Vineyards Lickin’ Lau: Your pooch can indulge in a special ice cream sundae for dogs, cool off in a doggie pool, and and relax under a shady tree.

Helvetia Vineyards Grapes & Games: Release some energy at this picturesque location; enjoy fun interactive games for you and your dog.

Kramer Vineyards Taste & Train: Meet with an OHS behavior expert
who can help with problems like “My dog couldn’t come today because
he doesn’t like other dogs.”

Montinore Estate Pinot & Pampered Pooches: Get summer grooming tips and have your and your pet’s photo taken . Also see the latest doggie fashions. Picnic lunches available. Meet OHS dogs available for adoption.

Oak Knoll Winery Wine & Wellness: Learn about your and your pet’s health. Visit with animal therapists, experts on pet nutrition, veterinarians, and pet psychics.

Plum Hill Vineyards Kids & Canines: Stop by and see the wonderful dog items the Gaston Elementary School children are selling to raise money for their school. Also receive tips from animal behavior experts on introducing a new pet into a home with children and monitoring interactions between canines and children.

Tualatin Estate Paws & Paint: Create your own artwork with your dog or come view pieces from several local artists
Purchase Passports online here.

Canines Uncorked Passports can be also be purchased on July 30 at the following wineries:

Apolloni Vineyards

Helvetia Vineyards

Oak Knoll Winery

Plum Hill Vineyards