As some of my long-time readers know, I usually go down to Southern California for a training camp. This year not only was I trying to save money by staying local, it turned out the camp didn’t happen due to the man who usually hosts it getting married and putting the house up for sale. So, there was some discussion amongst some of us of trying to do a local version. (I am still trying to figure out when I’m going to get down to SoCal to see my friends down there, since I counted on that camp to give me an excuse and someone has adorable twins, but I digress… ) After some massive e-mail threads, we picked Walla Walla, WA. I’d never been there before and had heard it’s beautiful, so I was excited.
Packing for these trips is always a challenge. Triathlon is a fun sport but it definitely requires a lot of stuff. Stuff for swimming/biking and running. Plus clothing for non-training time. Then we add in food. You see where I’m going. It’s a lot of stuff. Three of us were carpooling up together and I was feeling embarrassed about how much crap I’d packed while I waited for Jenn to pick me up. Luckily, she was in the same boat and we could commiserate about how much stuff we were bringing. Then we picked up JenHS at the park & ride and she too was bemoaning how much stuff she had. When all was said and done, here’s what the car looked like:
Impressive, no? That’s three girl’s stuff AND two bicycles…
The drive up was pretty uneventful and we stopped in Prosser to meet up with Erin and meet her new dog Lucky – a red doberman who she’d rescued from a neighbor, who’d kept him tied up outside without shelter and usually insufficient water/food. Needless to say, his fortunes have changed for the better and he’s a happy, sweet doggie who was very excited to meet all of us. (Many pictures of him to come.) We split up into two cars and caravanned the last way, with a quick stop at Starbucks to fuel us.
The house was gorgeous and huge. The layout was a little funky, but there were five full bedrooms and a little closet-sized room with a foldout bed for one of the special-guest boys. With the cancellation of one of our “campers,” it worked out that each of us got our own rooms, which was kind of nice. After exploring the house/unloading the cars, we thought it would be good to get Lucky some exercise before heading into town for dinner.
We first went to investigate the emu that Jenn and I saw as we turned into the driveway. (Which, when you aren’t expecting it, is a very shocking thing to see next to a driveway… ) He was unimpressed with us…
And you know you’re a city girl when you and two of your friends are taking pictures of an emu in a pen:
Across the street was this cool grain elevator that we later learned had been converted into a house:
Here’s the house, as seen from the top of the driveway:
The front yard featured the obligatory piece of charming antique farm equipment:
And a very dangerous pipe that Lucky valiantly tried to protect us from:
Erin tried to broker a peace between Lucky & water pipe by smearing peanut butter on it, but he was unimpressed:
(I also imagine the owners of the house will wonder why there is peanut butter on the water pipe in the front yard… ) The backyard was huge and gorgeous and this view was what the living & dining room windows of the house looked out on:
Lucky was a big fan of the yard:
We weren’t always sure if we were glad he was such a fan, as he ferreted out a lot of questionable snacks…
The land went pretty far back, but turned out to be fenced, which was really nice:
Lucky dog ran back and forth like the 8 month old puppy that he is…
JenHS actually tried to get an action shot. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way…
I did get an awesome shot of Jenn:
After our explorations we went into town to meet up with the rest of the group at Saffron, a local Mediterranean inspired restaurant. The food was delicious, the wine even better. During dessert, while cutting up a piece of dessert to share, a piece of nut brittle went flying across the table and landed perfectly on Erin’s arm. It was hilarious, so I had to get a picture:
So far training camp was off to an excellent start!