Last September for dear husband's birthday, we decided to have a different celebration - who needs more stuff? I think after the age of 10, experiences are always the best gift anyway.
We took the day off and headed east on Scenic Hwy. 14, past Vancouver, WA. Our first stop was Dickey's Farm Store, which is like an old fashioned hardware store where you can find just about anything! Garden, pet supplies, one-of-a-kind items, produce, you name it, they had it.
I'm a nut for pumpkins (and fall decorations), so had to photograph them from every angle. We were planning to be in Europe in October, so I resisted the urge to stock up!
After checking out this cool place, it was time for lunch, so we continued further east near the Bridge of the Gods. It was so much fun heading off for a day with no real agenda.
We stopped at a place called Andrews Pizza on the Washington side, and had a delicious lunch. They are
famous for their pizza, but I have to say their chili soup and sandwich were yummy too.
On our way down the highway, we stopped at Maryhill Winery http://www.maryhillwinery.com/, and were treated to a stunning view of the Columbia River Gorge. Maryhill Winery has some lovely wines, and some big name summer concerts. We especially enjoyed their Malbec and Merlot.
There's plenty of lovely scenes like this along the way. You wouldn't think land this rugged would be good for wine grapes, but amazing reds come out of this region.
Our next stop was Maryhill Museum of Art, http://www.maryhillmuseum.org/2013/ which looks like an English Castle, and houses a diverse assortment of treasures from paintings and sculpture by Rodin, American Indian Baskets, to Palace furnishings and personal items once belonging to Queen Marie of Romania. There's a fascinating story of how these items were acquired and her friendship with Sam Hill who built the museum. It's my favorite museum, next to the Frick Collection in New York...OK, the Legion of Honor Museum in SF is right up there too! But, Maryhill is definitely amazing!
I took this shot through glass in a room when these busts were stored.
We then went to this beautiful replica of Stonehenge, http://www.allmounthood.com/history_museums/stonehenge_memorial.php which commemorates the dead from WW 1. This monument was also built by Sam Hill who was a pacifist. Sam Hill is also buried here.
The way the late evening light passed through these openings was pretty amazing!
We drove along the Historic Columbia River Highway past Crown Point and had amazing views of the Gorge. Unfortunately, smoke from Eastern Oregon forest fires presented a lot of haze.
Finally, we met our son, who bought us pizza and beer at the Double Mountain Brewery in Hood River. All in all, it was a pretty spectacular day, and a great new tradition.