Looking to Yakima to restore my sanity

So, I’ve been a little bit scarce lately because I started a new job a few weeks ago.  I am enjoying it a lot more than my previous job, and have more responsibility and authority and not to be minimized  – fun.  But that means that I haven’t had much time to write and unfortunately, it also means that I don’t have any time off accrued here.  Now that is a bummer, and hard to stomach.  One of the nice things about the old job was my large PTO bank.  And since I rarely get sick, I was able to use it all for vacations.  I got used to being able to be away when I wanted to be away, within the confines of my payroll schedule.

Now, eventually I’ll have a lot more flexibility to be away because I no longer have to run the payroll on a schedule, but for now I have no time built up.  I know that there are lots of people out there who neither have the time off nor the money to take a vacation and you may be reading this and seething about my expectation for lots of time off, but I went and got my Master’s degree to afford myself a bit of luxury.  To put it succinctly, this is trying my sanity.  My last official vacation (not counting some weekend trips to see family), was in August 2010.  That is almost 6 months!  Add that to the fact that it is dark, cold and rainy here at home, and I am in need of some serious therapy.

Jon and I decided that since we cannot yet remedy the vacation situation, we would take a long weekend to the Yakima Valley.  We are going to splurge on a nicer hotel than we usually get, which I am looking forward to.  Neither of us has been to the Yakima area for wine tasting, but we have tried several of the wines that are produced there and have been quite pleased with what we have had.  We are currently in the process of deciding what will be on our list of places to visit, since we know we won’t have time to go everyplace we want to.

Some of the items on our list of requirements are: wineries that have a mix of whites and reds, affordability, and wines that are not easily obtained at home.  The general rule is that if I can buy a lot of your wines in the grocery store at home, then I’m not very interested in making a special trip out to see you.  Others may disagree, arguing that a winery may have premium wines that aren’t available anywhere but the winery.  That is a valid point, but with hundreds of Washington wineries on the list, we have to have some criteria to narrow it down.  Perhaps when we have a lot more wineries under our belt, we will relax on that particular rule.  Of course, by then, there will be hundreds of new wineries to visit.

And on a different wine topic, last night Jon and I cracked open a bottle of a local red wine called Harbor Light.  It is produced by a winery in Blaine, Washington called Glacial Lake Missoula.  GLM is extremely small production, and they pretty much only sell from the winery, but don’t let that fool you.  The wines are amazing.  I have said before that I tend to steer clear of Cabernets because so many of them are very oakey and overpowering.  GLM’s wines are all Cabernet Sauvignon based (that will be changing in 2011 with the release of a Marsanne with a twist – they are adding the leftover red skins to make a red wine with a white varietal), but they have a talent in making the wines appeal to all.  The Deluge, which is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc, is dry and delicious, and the perfect accompaniment to a steak or pasta with red sauce.  Perhaps we will have to head up there this weekend for the mini-est of getaways.


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