I talk a lot about the impressiveness, peace, and beauty of the mountains, the variety of city life in Seattle, and the gorgeousness of the waterways of the Northwest, but Washington is unsatisfied to provide only those to me. Oh, no, there's more. It's on the other side of the Cascades.
Immediately over the peaks are flat patchwork farmlands, sporting old and new barns and homes and wind turbines. I love a good wind farm - it makes me feel hopeful about society.
And on the other side of THAT is a desert scrubland of lava rock with low, brushy, dry plants like out of the southwest, and sliced clean through by the Columbia River Gorge.
Cave B Vineyard is planted on Gorge's edge, a dark green spot amid the brownness. The buildings have a ubiquitous rustic Italian style, with a few exceptions (including some really cool units carved into a hillside). Trails wind through the grapes, opening to posh sitting areas and bocce courts, and snaking down to the bottom of the canyon. For a wedding, it was a beautiful setting that provided some great resort food (a personal favorite was breakfast the next day, which was a buffet, which is kind of my ideal eating situation - piles of a wide variety of food I can pick at for hours). We took a wine tasting and the wine was great (I'm no wine aficionado but from that perspective, it was yummy) and they give you a souvenir wine glass to take home (to indicate how not a wine aficionado I am, this was the first true wine glass to enter my house since moving to Seattle - if ever I actually had wine at home, I drank it out of some French picnic glasses from a vintage store in Austin (which, if nothing else, makes me sound even more pretentious than just having a dang wine glass)).
The most fun part, though, was sleeping in a (dog-friendly) yurt. On one side of the grounds is about 30 yurts in a little yurt collective, and each yurt can sleep a single or a couple. They were one bed in the middle of a round room, with a small bathroom in one arc, and a round skylight top center. And I mean - it's a YURT. Just having a yurt option is exciting. It was everything I had dreamed a yurt could be.