I’m going to start the day with a positive attitude. Before we checked out this morning, I asked the front desk clerk how old the hotel was, because it has a kind of older motel architecture. It’s been very well kept up, but I had the idea it might be an older building. Turns out it went up in the forties, when Interstate 5, which runs right past it, was still Oregon 99, and it was gravel! They claim to have pictures to prove it. No shopping center, no cloverleaf, just the hotel and a restaurant. You can see what it looks like these days at BW Garden Villa Inn.
Today’s drive was a short one, so whenever possible, we left I5 and drove on the old Hwy 99. It’s paved now, of course, but it still winds through the farmland. We saw quite a few clumps of motorcycles, and one batch of Minis, so it must be a popular drive for fun. Now and again, the Interstate overlays the old highway, and you have to slug it out with freeway traffic.
We went for lunch at the Golden Valley Ale House in McMinnville. We’ve been there twice for supper, I can’t remember if we also had lunch there once before. They do good burgers, but we keep forgetting that we don’t like the German potato salad. The fries are better. People watching alert, I saw a man eat a hamburger in the most fascinating way today. He took the plain meat patty and the bottom of the bun, and wrapped a paper napkin around them to hold them by. No pickles, no mustard, nothing. Just the meat and half the bread. I noticed later that he was eating the lettuce, and presumably the tomato and red onion, with a fork, treating it as a side salad. Okay, that makes sense if you don’t like an armful of thick burger, I guess. Then I saw him take a French fry, dip the tip of it in ketchup and use it like a paintbrush to apply a smear of ketchup to the edge of his hamburger patty. I’m not criticizing the guy’s manners – I had my elbows on the table – I just thought it was unusual, by which I mean weird.
Oh, I almost forgot. The parking lot was full. Of Porsches. Over a dozen of them in the parking lot, and another dozen or more on the adjacent streets. We had to park way over by Panther Creek Vineyard, which was going to be our next stop anyway. So. Yeah, well, after lunch we walked over to Panther Creek for a wine tasting. I mean the car was already there anyway.
We picked the hostess’ brain for where else to go, and decided to do two more wineries before checking in at our hotel in Newberg. From the hundreds around here, we picked the Carlton Winemaker’s Studio. We did buy a couple of bottles of Chardonnay, but they charged us a $10 tasting fee anyway. (most wineries will waive the fee if you buy something) Then we went to WillaKenzie, because we really enjoyed one in a restaurant, but never found one in a store. So this year, we dropped in at the winery, but it was busy. I only wanted to taste a couple of their more modestly priced wines, because some of the others were $50 and up. We did buy a bottle of Chardonnay, but the girl who rang it up reckoned we had had two tastings at $15 each, and gave us one for free but charged us for the other. I probably should have tried to explain, but it was noisy, and only after we left did I realize we had less than seven tastes between us, so one tasting fee would have been right. So I’ll just hold a grudge.
Dinner’s on hold this evening because my CPAP machine just went up in smoke. Replacing it on a weekend is going to be this evening’s entertainment.