Yakima – the Palm Springs of Washington

This afternoon I headed over to Yakima for a work conference. The weather is much nicer here than it has been West of the Mountains. This will be my first conference since I started my new job almost 4 months ago, and I’m getting to travel with a great group of coworkers. Yakima is forecast for highs between 70 and 78 degrees while I’m here, so it sounds like I’ll get the dose of sunshine I’ve been needing so badly. I brought my swimsuit, in case there is any pool sitting time, but outside of the conference I’ll probably be networking and hanging out with my coworkers. The real selling point to any conference in Yakima is the wine. There are several evening hosted bar events, so we will hopefully have the opportunity to try wines that I haven’t tasted before – and all for free.

In addition, Yakima as a couple of tasting rooms downtown, within walking distance of the hotel we are staying at. So it should be fun. One of my younger coworkers has been looking forward to this for weeks (months really) – she’s been plotting and planning every free second that we have, and it will all be consumed with wine (no pun intended). Now, don’t get me wrong – I’ll be listening attentively during the conference sessions. The conference topics are right up my alley, and I’m looking forward to learning from some really good speakers. It’s just that once the workday is done, I’m planning to enjoy myself – the sun, the leisure (no laundry or dishes!), and some great company.

Jon and I were planning to spend an extra couple of days touring after the conference was over. It gets over at noon on Friday, so we were planning to have Jon come over and pick me up in his car, and we could head out for a weekend trip. It seems that circumstances collided to make any long of weekend getaway an impossibility. First, we planned to go to Walla Walla, but then we found out that Walla Walla is having their balloon festival this weekend and all the hotels are booked. We talked about heading down to the Columbia Gorge, and staying in The Dalles. That sounded like a go – but then Jon got requested to substitute teach on May 12 and 13. That would mean that he wouldn’t get over to Yakima until at least 5 pm and we would still have a couple hours to drive before we got to where we are staying.

In the meantime, Biz’s tooth surgery got scheduled for May 4, and ideally I would be doing warm salt-water rinses everyday as the stitches come loose. Obviously I can’t be there during the conference, but coming home on Friday just seemed necessary in order to give him the care he needs. Sigh… It will be cheaper this way anyway – and Jon and I can do something more involved on Memorial Day weekend.

More on my adventures in Yakima soon – once I actually have some!


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