Cheese and Whine

A recent getaway once again confirmed that the Pacific Northwest boasts beautiful wine country that easily rivals Napa Valley, California. Located in the east end of the Yakima Valley, Prosser, Washington is home to several dozen wineries. Vintner’s Village is a concentration of nine wineries—including our favorite, Airfield Estates Winery—connected by sidewalks, making for a wonderful wine walking tour.

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Endowed with a slight control-freak-streak, if I’m not heavily sedated in charge of my travel environment, I tend to slam on non-existent brakes, lean away from sheer drop offs, and whimper and whine as I white-knuckle the passenger grab bar. So much so, that Len pointedly asked, “Do you want some cheese with your whine?”

I’m absolutely confident that each of you is a model passenger so I won’t ask about your travel phobias. Instead I’ll ask…

Where did you go on your last getaway?


70 thoughts on “Cheese and Whine

  1. The last real get away that Ailsa and I had was a trip down south to Bluff via our wee farm in the Catlins, then back up through central Otago.

    Ailsa’s only real phobia is that we stop travelling.

    Earlier this year we went up Skippers Canyon, and she was hanging out of the sunroof on the 4WD taking photos over sheer cliffs. It was my job to get her as close to the edge as my terror of heights would allow.

    Ailsa has learned to stop and look at all the things she wants to see as we travel away from home, because as soon as I’m pointed back towards home I just drive non-stop until I get there.

  2. The end of last month, I traveled to the S.F. bay area, (my true ‘home’) and visited friends and my son and his family before my guy and I drove up the beautiful Sierra’s to Lake Tahoe, where ALL of our family from the east to west coasts celebrated the wedding of our handsome talented adored nephew. Love, joy, beauty surrounded us, even though we had a number of white-knuckle rides climbing up narrow, curvy roads throughout the mountains.

  3. On Sunday mornings I work with 2-year-olds in the preschool department at our church. When they get fussy, one of my co-workers asks, “Do you want cheese with that whine?” The little ones immediately stop fussing because they know we are introducing them to the finer things of life.

    Getaway: Great Smoky Mountains in NC. I love your description of the white-knuckled response. I do all of that + curl my toes because it helps the brakes work better.

  4. Laurie, your description of control freaks traveling as a passengers reminds me of the old saw that goes something like this….. “I See the train! I want to Ride on the train! I want to Drive the train! I want to BE the Train!”. That is me. I don’t like riding shotgun, I want to be the one calling the shots. On a recent trip to Panama City, Florida, my husband-to-be cajoled, asked nicely, asked un-nicely, insisted on and finally begged me to let him drive my truck, Miss Daisy, on the 300 mile journey back to Atlanta. Although I had previously said yes to his request, I had trouble relinquishing the steering wheel to him. “I want to drive now. ‘Nope’ Okay, I can take over now. ‘Nope’ C’mon! Let me drive! ‘No’ You said I could! ‘I know, but not right now.’ ” After all, he had been a school bus drive for the Los Angeles school system while studying for his degree….he could be trusted not to send us crashing. I could see the makings of a period of dark sulk emerging in the close atmosphere and weighed the pros and cons. Pro – at least he would fold his arms and give me the silent treatment (yes!). Con – it would make for an long,uncomfortable trip home. I gave in, wishing Miss Daisy had a good, tight Jesus strap to hang on to. The one attached tightly to the ceiling right next to the windshield. The one that when the wheels go rattling off on the shoulder of the highway you clutch in panic, shouting “Jesus!!” Sometimes it’s better that you consign your soul to your Higher Power and travel in Faith. It was no surprise that we made it safely home, only that I did it without a major meltdown. BTW, I love the Kestrel Sign! I hope you stopped there!

  5. I tend to panic when I don’t know my way around places and you wouldn’t like to be my passenger then. Thank God for Sat Nav!
    Our recent adventures took us to France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia: an 8 1/2 week trip to remember! I hope this memory will see me through the darkness of winter!!!

  6. It’s been far too long since my last get away. Last year was focused on being with my mom on her last journey on this earth. That certainly brought many lessons on how to travel well through fear.

    My favorite get away was a kayaking trip with a group of women off the south coast of the Big Island in Hawaii. I am not a seasoned kayaker so there were many challenging moments even though we were all in 2 person kayaks. Kayakers most often travel only a mile or so from the shore. Traveling across the span of lakes or oceans undertaken with a great need to be observant to other traffic (especially those bigger than you) and being able to ride the waves.

    We also need to learn to self-rescue! So many sports teach great lessons on life don’t they?

    • Audrey — The kayaking adventure off the south coast of Hawaii sounds breathtaking; not only for the beauty, but for the bigger traffic you had to be on the lookout for. Probably not only for the ships, but I imagine their wakes can be pretty powerful as well. My hat is off to YOU! 🙂

      • I saw the Y-Tube video of that whale breaching and falling on that couple. It could have been deadly. When we were kayaking off the Big Island we only saw a whale at some distance. The next week I went solo in Maui. It was also quite beautiful. I went on a small tour boat looking for whales. The tour guide saw some organization out doing whale research and pointed out a male “escort” whale with a female and a younger whale. Great watching them. Soon the male escort whale started over our way. Ultimately, he came over and dove under our little booth. It was breathtaking. He was so close under us as we looked over the sides of the boat we could see his barnacles! I’ll never forget it. The guide said it happens only a few times a season. The male escort whale was just checking us out! So grateful for the adventure.

  7. Ha! I see you as fearless, Laurie. Nice to know you whine sometimes too. Last getaway was Long Beach Island with all kids and grandkids. But Sunday was the Hershey Reunion. We drove four hours to PA, stayed five hours, and returned the same day. Hardly a vacation, but a very enjoyable day nonetheless.

    • Shirley I just saw a program on Mr. Hershey … new information for me was the school he established for orphan boys. How wonderful it still exists and that their education is paid for. What a great legacy. Not to mention the great Hershey Chocolates!

    • Patricia — Like you, I love to travel via well-written books!

      Speaking of which, I haven’t received any email notices lately about book reviews you’ve done over on your blog. Have you been laying low, or has there been a change and I need to re-subscribe?

      • I have heard from several folks that the emails about books are not coming into email box. I have been writing every week and about some amazing books ….You might need to re-subscribe? I usually get about 3,000 hits on my site but have been down around 1,500 July and August. IT Girl says it is not my site but is working on the slowness of the load (mostly by removing some of the oldest posts?) Sam Juliano has been about my only commenter for awhile Terrill also came by for one review too? I just keep going…

        My hits and comments are so low, publishers have cut back on the number of books I am receiving and that will hurt for November and December this year Hope I can figure this out

  8. At the moment, I’m just outside the little village of Duck, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The territory is flat here and the speed limit is 35 mph so no need for braking, leaning and hanging on. But in mountain country I’m like you, Laurie. I step on the nonexistent brake pad, lean away from the drop off and cling to whatever I can in order to stay seated. And whine? Yes, of course.

  9. Laurie remind me that you and I cannot EVER be passengers together. We would cause a car wreck within the first 10 miles. My last getaway was a two day drive to north central Britsh Columbia to visit with family and friends. Just before that though I was on Vancouver Island in the small fishing town of Sooke for the largest juried Fine Art Show in the Region. There were 375 pieces of work including paintings, sculptures, fabrics, pottery and photography. Two of those paintings were mine. I was extremely honoured to have them included in this rigorous selection of work. The reason I mention it is that the travel from within the art show from one work to another was an intriguing and stunning adventure and it was all within one large room! Which reminds me. Your commentary about one of my paintings “Road to Everyday” will be released tomorrow 🙂 seems like perfect timing!

    • Terrill — I love that you traveled from one work to another all within the space of one large room! CONGRATULATIONS on having TWO pieces selected for the Sooke juried Fine Art Show. Because of my artist friend, Donna Jill Witty ( I’ve heard about what a grueling process that is.

      I’ll be on the lookout tomorrow for my commentary on your wonderful painting, ROAD TO EVERYDAY, so that I can Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ it 🙂

  10. Laurie, this post really resonates. I just arrived back last evening from visiting cousins in southwestern Ontario. Great train ride there and great time visiting and touristing around with my cousins and the big annual cousins dinner at a restaurant (14 of us cousins) in the tiny town of St. Agatha, Ontario. Train trip home turned into another nightmare. I blog about it on my Only Child Writes blog – with some difficulty, as I came home to intermittent Internet connection problems. Here is the link anyway



  11. Rather than looking backwards, I’m looking ahead to two weekends from now. I will be attending Word Vancouver — one of B.C.’s largest literary festivals. I’m looking forward to panel discussions, workshops and author readings. I except to come home with my writer battery well charged.
    Thank you for taking me on your wine getaway. Lovely scenery and interesting company, but I didn’t get a sip of wine. : (

  12. Up Central California (to see my parents), then to San Francisco, and down the PCH. It was a great trip. Hadn’t been back in years, and the coast was even more lovely than I remembered. The PCH (or maybe my son-in-law’s driving?) had me grabbing the handle a few times. Those drop-offs! The sedative effects of wine would’ve been welcome. lol

  13. Gerry and I went to Kohler, WI over Labor Day. It was lovely!

    And like you, I hold on and push that pretend brake when others drive. I’m just starting to be able to ride as a passenger when my kids drive. 🙂

  14. I took a trip to the other side of Lake Michigan so I could see the sunset from the other side of the lake since I have seen the sunrise from my side of the lake so often. It was a great trip although the weather could’ve been better. Lots of beautiful nature! It was my first camping trip in my van!

  15. I think I briefly mentioned to you about our trip on The Brecon / Monmouth canal . I have never been on a narrow boat before always wanted to …it was delightful Laurie . I would recommend it to anyone who wants a slow pace holiday . Do you have canals over the pond ? I am sure you do . All you need is a kindle or piles of books , a journal ( you really must log your journey like any good sailor ) and above all …a good sence of humour .

    • Cherry — Your canal adventure sounds like it was utterly wonderful! On this side of the pond our canals are for irrigation. However, we have some lovely lazy rivers to float down and while away the hours with one’s nose in the pages of a good book.

  16. My last getaways to California and New York also had work or family obligation components, though they were still quite lovely. Our family trip to Europe last year felt like more of a getaway, and still brings a smile to my face, though l always do a bit of whining when I travel. 🙂

  17. Hello…Up the 101 west coast to the top of Washington…beautiful drive up…enjoyed some of the good Washington wine ourselves…LOL and I do all the driving unless the road is straight and flat..I do not make a good co-pilot at all….

  18. My last getaway was my first getaway since a car accident 5 years ago left me too twitchy to travel. My 4,650 mile drive from NC to Monument Valley and points in between was my declaration of freedom. Totally healed I am not, but free of confinement I am at last! It was magnificent!

  19. Wow that looks and sounds like a wine lover’s paradise Laurie, and I don’t have any trouble believing it rivals Napa Valley!! You are sure taking full advantage of that beautiful new location and all it offers!!

    Over the last summer we’ve only had day-trip getaways, the last of which was a trip to Hyde Park, New York and the FDR estate. Prior to that it was Gettysburg, Pa., and Wildwood, New Jersey. Certainly some splendid diversity, but I look forward to the next longer trip whenever that materializes. 🙂

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