I know that I just shared an apple picking post, but it's apple picking season here and u-pick is Ben's favorite pastime (quickly becoming mine, too!). All together that means we've been in, and will be in the orchards (first it was blueberries, then cherries, then peaches galore, then pears, some gravensteins, gala apples. Come October, it'll be pippins) for the entire summer.
We just shared one of those crazy perfect Northwest summer weekends that seems to fill my whole body with light and love. Ben had an exam on Thursday which meant that he had an entirely free weekend to spend with me. It's a rarity in medical school and insanely appreciated. On Friday night, I had an event at Sweet Jayne with Portland Fashion Week and got to style a model in Sweet Jayne attire. I actually won the styling contest and took home a sweet prize bag and bragging rights.
On Saturday, we woke up and lazily made our way to the Farmer's Market for a biscuit with homemade strawberry jam from Lauretta Jeans and filled our market basket to the brim with fresh tomatoes, ears of ripe, yellow corn, sweet peppers and jalapeños, giant sweet onions, and a baguette from the lovely Pearl Bakery. Armed with such fresh food, we set off on our Saturday adventure and packed the baguette, a tomato and cheese, and made our way into wine country. We drove through the rolling hills of wine grapes in the 85 degree day and sipped Pinot after Pinot (with a smattering of buttery Chardonnay and last-of-the-season Rose) on porches overlooking the entire Willamette Valley (photos to come this week). That night, Ben made a spaghetti from scratch using the San Marzano tomatoes we picked up at the market as well as market zucchini, onions and peppers, and we drank delicious, rustic Italian wine.
Sunday, we eased our way into the day by lazing around the house watching the orange sky (filled with smoke from Southern Oregon forest fires) and finally put on some summery attire and headed into Hood River. The drive was magical as always and the cliffs, rock faces, basalt, waterfalls and pines didn't disappoint. We stopped at our favorite Hood River cidery, Fox Tail Cider, and our favorite local farm stand, Cody's Orchards, to pick apples and ate some ripe honeycrisps and galas in their orchards as we filled our baskets full of fresh fruit. We snagged a ton of Bartlett pears, to pair (ha!) with some chianti and cheese, and are eating apple after apple this evening with leftovers. On the way back to Hood River from the windy roads of Mount Hood, we stopped at an organic winery tucked down a gravel road and split a 15-wine tasting course with some homemade dips at the winery. It was lovely to take a second in from the sun to put our noses in a glass of wine.
All in all, we drove back to Portland sleepy with happiness and full of fruit (both ripe and fermented). Total magic.