Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A very special weekend!

Christmas Lights at the Columbia Gorge Hotel
A week before Christmas, Michelle gave me (really us) a wonderful Christmas gift.  I say "us" because it was time spent with her doing things we love.

She had requested and arranged for me to have the Monday before Christmas off - knowing that this week was going to be busy.  Erma, my boss, agreed (even though she knew I needed the time also to work on the quilts!)  Michelle would not tell me where we were going and only gave me a list of things to pack the night before.  Because warm clothes and  long underwear were involved I started guessing places in my head - the gorge or maybe Leavenworth.  I was pretty close.

We headed out to towards the mountains, driving past the Columbia Gorge Hotel - beautifully lit with Christmas lights and continued on to Parkdale.  A very small town with a wonderful, quaint Bed and Breakfast!  Michelle had purchased a "Groupon" for a two night stay with a bottle of wine and fruit and cheese fondue included!  I felt so pampered.  Michelle and I had talked last year how fun it would be to spend sometime out this way last year and she followed through.

Our B&B was small - only three suites - but the hospitality was huge.  The owner was so gracious and welcoming and her breakfast were tasty and beautifully presented.  We planned on going cross country skiing and brought my skis but were going to rent some for Michelle.  While visiting with the other guests, they had offered to lend Michelle her extra skis and boots!  They were a perfect fit!  Such generosity from strangers - now friends.

It started out a little foggy but as we climbed the mountain the sky opened up to  the brightest blue I had seen in a long time with Mt. Hood standing proudly - gleaming in white snow.  We stopped at a groomed trail head aptly named "Teacup Lake".  All of my daughters and myself love tea so this added to our fun.  The trails were pretty icy and had a lot of hills (which we were not anticipating) so I was pretty timid for a while getting my ski legs under me:) but eventually I conquered my fears and enjoyed the ride.  It was a picture perfect day.

We headed back to our little home and enjoyed our snack of cheese fondue - yummy- and dressed for dinner at the Gorge hotel with a stop in Hood River to walk the sidewalks and window shop.  Lots of outdoor gear mixed with trendy boutique stores - reminds me a little of JH.

One of our goals was to take pictures outside with all the lights.  We enjoyed traipsing through the trees sparkling with lights even though it was very cold.  The hotel dining room was empty (there was a private dinner going on) but we had the room to ourselves.  The waiter was very conscientious giving us a rather ample glass to taste two different wines before choosing the Reisling and Michelle's glass of water was never empty (He was pretty cute).  Dinner was delicious as was dessert.

We wondered outside again to look at the falls and take some more pictures before heading back to the Inn to watch a movie and sleep.

Tuesday morning we headed back - I needed to be at work by noon so reluctantly we headed back to Portland and the busyness of the store.  Michelle in all her sweetness had brought thank you gifts Hood River jam for Erma and Karen for giving me the time off.

Michelle at Teacup Lake

Mt. Hood

Dinner at the Gorge Hotel

This weekend is full of memories that I will cherish forever.  Thank you Michelle with all my heart.

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