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Dave’s Inadvertent Walla Walla “Staycation”…

April 15, 2011

My brother, Jim, and his son Anthony visited us a couple of weeks ago.  They live just outside of Chicago and they hadn’t been to WW for several years.  A couple of years can make a big difference at certain stages of your life and Anthony is at one of those stages… he’s almost sixteen.

He seemed to enjoy hanging out with his cousins that are ten years older and his Aunt and Uncle who are even older… Jim and Anthony arrived in WW on a Saturday night and left on a Tuesday morning which was perfect.  Shady Lawn is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Anthony, Kellie, Nick and Charlotte in the mountains

Saturday night we had dinner at Nick and Kellie’s house.  Sunday we took a drive up Mill Creek to our cabin which has been in the family since the 1920’s.  It was still late winter in the Blue Mountains and thus there was no new Spring growth but it was still fun to walk around and enjoy the sights.  When we got there, Anthony broke out his digital camera and began taking pictures of everything – this is a new interest that he didn’t have before.  It’s hard to believe but kids grow up!

Anthony in the Blue Mountains

That evening we drove up to Waitsburg and had dinner at the Whoop-Em-Up Hollow Cafe.  The owners are friends and they specialize in Cajun cooking.  We all enjoyed our meals and Anthony especially loved the dinner.  He has grown up to become a bit of a “foodie”.

Jim’s wife Robin (and A’s mother) grew up in New Orleans so he is no stranger to Cajun food.  He said that his dinner was as good as anything that he has had in the Big Easy… the “deconstructed banana split” especially elicited moans of happiness.

Jim kind of likes maple bars and for some  reason they don’t make them in Chicago so we started Monday off with a maple bar.  Jim got the owners of Shady Lawn Antiques to open their store for him on Monday morning.  He even bought a barn wood napkin holder (that he read about in a December blog post) – I think that Jim really wanted a Harvest Table but it wouldn’t fit on the airplane.

I only had one maple bar...

Anthony had never had food from a Taco Wagon so I took him to  the Tacos La Monarca II truck, which is my favorite.  We ordered burritos and you could immediately hear the sizzle of ingredients hitting the hot griddle.  That sound is all that it takes to wake up my taste buds!

Jim and Charlotte at La Monaraca...

My favorite is the Walla Walla Burrito with chicken which is made with (surprise) WW Sweet Onions.  The onions (probably not true WW Sweets this time of year) are caramelized to a firm softness and with strips of seasoned chicken breast, avocado, and cheese you walk away with about a pound of hot melty goodness.

In the afternoon we went downtown to see the ArtWalla “Windows of the Past”.  It is a mural that fills the windows of the old Odd Fellows building facade.  One of the windows features our great-grandfather, Ward Emigh, and his Walla Walla Creamery which later operated as Shady Lawn Creamery (still in the Emigh family).

Dave and Jim at the ArtWalla mural -

We then walked up the street to “Hot Poop”, the state of Washington’s oldest independent record store.  Hot Poop is packed with musical selections, equipment, memorabilia and t-shirts – some are even tie-died!  Anthony got a “Hot Poop” t-shirt – I haven’t heard what his Mom thought about it…

the famous Hot Poop t-shirt

Our next stop was Bright’s Candies, which dates back to the 1930s.  It was a cold damp day and as we stepped into Bright’s we were enveloped by the warm chocolate infused atmosphere.  Anthony immediately (and involuntarily) let out a quiet sigh of delight.  We had dinner that night at our neighbors, the Southern’s – Gary is a great cook and was one of Jim’s college roommates.

Anthony and Jim in Brights Candies

In an attempt to show Jim and Anthony around Walla Walla we also had an inadvertent two-day WW “Staycation”.  I found that I was quite refreshed by touring around, not thinking about normal activities and basically just acting like a tourist without even leaving town…

Those of you that know WW, know that there are enough things to do to fill at least a week – not counting wine tasting.  Those of you that don’t know WW should check us out… you’ll be glad that you did!

The Tourism Walla Walla web site will provide you assistance in planning your visit.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim permalink
    April 16, 2011 5:22 pm

    Thanks to you and Jill for being great hosts. Anthony and I had a great time in Walla Walla, Pullman and Seattle. The highlight of the trip was Walla Walla! Jim

  2. April 17, 2011 1:35 am

    I want to come and have a stay-cation in Walla Walla.

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