Another Tasting Experience

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During my Oregon trip we went to the Rogue Brewery in Newport.  I actually have had Rogue beer, here in the midwest.  The one that I have had is Rogue Dead Guy.  I’ll admit that I ordered it because of its name the first time… I like it!

I really don’t know much about beer in comparison to wine.  I think I don’t like beer that tastes really “hoppy,” if you know what I mean.

We were each able to taste 4 different beers.  Well… we made sure that we ordered different ones, so we actually tasted way more than four.  For example, I ordered the Chocolate Stout while my sister ordered the Mocha Stout and we tasted each others.  She tried a smokey ale that you literally could be drinking the smoke from a camp fire.  My sister-in-law ordered a Chipotle ale.  That one was another one that wasn’t completely finished.

I like beer, just not as universally as I like wine.  I can drink practically any wine.  Not so with beer.  I keep trying to find a darker beer that I like.  The 3rd glass had a hazelnut ale that was actually pretty drinkable.

Just another note about beer…  I remember when I first tasted the stuff and hated it.  Then one summer I was at some outdoor festival thing and had a beer in the hot weather and liked it!  I was so excited that I actually liked beer!  I wasn’t going to be one of those wimpy girls that couldn’t drink a beer.

I still am much more apt to drink wine at home.  But a beer is always good on a Friday after a long week at school!  Rogue Dead Guy may be one of my choices very soon.

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Newport Beach

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This is one of my favorite pictures from my Oregon trip.  It’s of my incredible sister on Agate Beach.  She has a wonderful family with three fantastic kids, but rarely gets time to herself.  Her solitary figure on the beach is just an interesting perspective to me.

I’ll admit, when I first devised the idea for this mother/daughter trip I had thought of her need to get away and have some alone time, as well as time to share with our mom as we’re all in different stages of life.

I’m really lucky that I like to spend time with my family.  Not everyone can say that.  I truly enjoy spending time with my siblings, parents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

Crater Lake

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Have you ever been here?  It’s great!  Crater Lake National Park is a gem in our national parks system.  It is absolutely gorgeous!  The blue of the water is amazing!  If you’re ever in Southern Oregon, you need to make a special trip.

Part of the enjoyment was the drive.  Really!  We were staying in Ashland, Oregon.  It took us a few hours to get to Crater Lake, but we stopped and did a few little hikes along the way.

The Oregon license plate has a pine tree on it.  Now I realize why.  The Douglas Fir trees are amazing!  They are giant pine trees that grow everywhere! The picture below is of my cousin hugging one on them – just so you have some perspective.

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On the way to Crater Lake we drove on a road through a forest of these Douglas firs.  It was just a cool drive.

When we got to Crater Lake, we found a place to park and then did a little hike.  We left my mom and aunt at the Crater Lake Lodge.  They had a glass of wine while we hiked.  So no matter if you’re in your 20s or in your 70s, you will enjoy Crater Lake.  The other thing that was nice is that it wasn’t so incredibly busy.  I’ve been to other national parks and this one is just more low key than the biggies.

Before we left, we drove over to the Pinnacles.  They were formed way back when the volcano erupted.  They are pretty cool looking…

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Crater Lake was definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

Closer to the End

I believe that’s a song lyric…  I guess it’s Closer to the Edge (30 Seconds to Mars)  anyhoo…

My bathroom project is almost done.  All that is left is to install the counter top, put back the toilet, install towel bar, tp holder, mirror and a towel hook.  I was waiting to pick the paint until the enhanced sealer had been applied.  The color of the tile is a lot more vivid.

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Today Mr Contractor brought by a piece of the granite so I could confirm my paint choice.  I went with Hirshfield’s 3am Latte.

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I must say, it was so much easier to paint without the toilet or towel bars installed.  Plus, I had Mr Contractor’s drop cloths so the prep work was much less.  And he removed the door to make it easier for me.  Gotta like a man with common sense and skills!

I’m anticipating the end of this job to be by Wednesday of next week.  Mr Contractor is going bear hunting.  How’s that for an incentive to get it done?  Final photos should be coming in the next few weeks!

By the way, here are the towels that I got.  There was one possible paint color that was in practically every tile.  But I didn’t go with that one because it would have been too dark and too much of the greenish color.  Mr Contractor suggested that I bring the paint samples when I get the towels.  Great suggestion!

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More Grapes!

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Yes, while in Oregon we went to a few vineyards.  We didn’t do a marathon tasting day this time.  We did four different ones throughout the week.

In Southern Oregon there is an area called the Applegate Valley.  It’s between Medford and Grant’s Pass.  It’s a beautiful area and there are several vineyards.  In Oregon it’s not quite as touristy as California.  Don’t get me wrong, there are tourists.  It just seems more relaxed.

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One of the vineyards we visited was Troon.  I have a teacher friend that recommended this one to me.  Troon has a tasting room in Carleton which she had been to.  The vineyard is in the Applegate Valley.  They have a blend wine called Druid’s Fluid that I liked.  It’s actually one of those wines that was originally a mistake.  They have a white, red and rose version of it.  The cheese plate and hummus that we ordered with the tasting were super yummy!  They had free shipping on a case – so my mom, sister and I are splitting it.

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The day before we left, we visited Willamette Valley Vineyards.  This is the vineyard that is probably the closest to where my aunt and uncle live.  (Steve‘s parents)  I really liked their wines.  I asked who their distributor is in my state and which ones you can find here.  While I was out looking today, I found two of their wines.  I was hoping for a white, but they only had two Pinot Noir types.  There wasn’t free shipping from here, but we have our own version of it.  When my aunt and uncle next drive out here (within a few months), our wine will come with them.

I probably would have liked to do more wine tasting than what we did.  But that’s fine.  We also did our share of tasting cheese, chocolate, beer and coffee too.  I’d love to explore more of the Applegate Valley and the areas closer to Portland.  I guess that will have to be another time…

The Last Hurrah

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This photo is from the International Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.

I’m back from my last summer trip.  We traveled the length of Oregon and over to the coast.  More to come…

When Politics Gets in the Way of Kids

Today I did my summer teacher thing of going out to lunch with a few colleagues.  Both of these friends worked summer school this year.  One as an Assistant Principal and the other as a Reading teacher.  We had a very enjoyable, leisurely 2 hour lunch, which included dessert – as opposed to the 25 minutes we usually have when we’re working.

We kept our conversation off of school topics for the most part.  We’re all still in denial that we have to go back to work in a few weeks.  But we did talk a little about it.

The reading teacher is one that really does a good job with students.  Whenever I hear a student talking about her, it’s always in praise.  They’re always talking about what an awesome teacher she is.  She does a really good job getting kids ready to take the test that they have to pass to graduate for reading.  Well, guess what happened this summer?  She got the kids all prepped to take the test.  But there was no test.  The state was shut down.

These kids know that this is a high stakes test.  They wanted to take it.  They need as many chances as they can get.  But because of the state shut down, they couldn’t take their test.  What a shame.

Here it is, another consequence of when adults get in the way of kids.  Too bad it’s the kids that always suffer.