First – the flight. New feature at the Alaska terminal in LA – Monet’s California Deli. How can anyone think of French Impressionism without thinking of a pastrami on whole wheat with mustard and sprouts?
The town itself is very charming. Population: 30,000. The Jewish population doubled when I arrived. Now that it boasts 150 wineries Walla2 has gotten very trendy in spots. Picture Carmel with grain elevators.
One winery -- Cayuse – is so snooty there’s a waiting list just to get on the mailing list to let you know if you’re maybe eligible to join their wine club. This is not a joke. Unless their Edith Grenache Rose is also the Fountain of Youth, an orgasm with every sip, and can cure eczema, I for one would tell them to stick their waiting list where the grapes don’t grow and make do with the other 149 spectacular vineyards in the area.
Former NFL quarterback, Drew Bledsoe is the owner of one. Doubleback. Everyone is welcome to join his mailing list except Tom Brady.
All of Walla Walla’s historical figures fought for peace, were then brutally slaughtered, and now have statues. TV’s Batman, Adam West hails from the area. If reviews count, Adam deserves a statue too.
Nice touch on the wall behind me – a fly swatter.
City charm extends to the maximum security prison. It looks like a racetrack. They even call it State Penitentiary Grounds. Lovely white picket fences and serene rolling lawns. Alas, “backstretch”, “in the money”, and “pick three” mean very different things.
I was there during Release Week, which thank goodness didn’t mean all the inmates were set free. It meant the wineries released their spring lines. And Cayuse deleted their waiting list.
Jacobi’s is an Italian restaurant in a train car (Mussolini promises that all entrees will be delivered on time). The night I was there one table of nineteen people all wanted separate checks. Yeah, we’re the cheap ones.
Eighteen times I drove by Popular Donuts and there was never a single car in the lot. Just how popular can they be?
I imagine the road to the Cayuse tasting room is unmarked. If you can’t find it in the dark with your lights off you’re not the type of person worthy of sampling their vintage Merlot.
Thanks to Mr. Great Big Radio, Bonnie of Bonnie’s Survival Cookies (kicking Popular Donuts' ass), Zach, the Walla Walla Sweets, and of course, the Tidy Bowl Man for reminding me again how terrific small town living can be. No traffic. Free parking. Only one Starbucks downtown. And everyone is friendly… well, almost everyone.
Hey, if any of you convicts from the prison are reading this blog, do me a favor and apply for the Cayuse wine club. Say: “Although many of us in cellblock D find your Armada Vineyard Syrah lacking in nuance, some of the murderers enjoy it at mealtime. It especially compliments Sloppy Joes.”