Remember I gave you this funny map showing our route to my grandparents house?
Well, that was really only the beginning of our peninsula getaway…
After having dinner and visiting my grandma, the boys spent the night at their cousins house (nearby) while Nick and I headed off on an adventure all our own
Port Townsend Getaway
From Silverdale to Port Townsend…
As part of my Christmas present to Nick, I set up a two-nights stay at Manresa Castle in Port Townsend.
We got there late on Thursday night so after our brief check in at the hotel to drop off our things, we immediately headed “downtown” for a quick dinner and a stop by one of our favorite places.
For dinner we chose a sushi restaurant that had good reviews on Yelp. Unfortunately, the sushi was pretty pathetic. For starters, we’re right here on the coast and they were serving artificial crab rather than Dungeness (you could upgrade for $4 a roll…ummm no thanks). Overall, we were really disappointed with Ichikawa – both with the service and the food. Way to high of prices for food/sushi that you could basically get at any teriyaki place in the state. So…next we headed someplace we knew we would be happy with.
Sirens is right on the main drag (Water St) and has been a favorite date location for Nick and I over the years. While we were still in college, Nick worked in Kingston and we’d often sneak away to Port Townsend – about an hour away. Sirens was our go-to spot. Then when I was pregnant, Nick’s mom and I would make trips up to PT to go baby clothes shopping since there are so many wonderful boutiques – even then, Sirens was on our list of places to stop in – grab some food and enjoy the view. I also remember watching one of the preliminary debates at Sirens and playing “Palin Bingo” marking spaces anytime Sarah said one of her wonderful catch phrases: “I can see Russia from my house!”
Anywho…we love Sirens and it was great to be back.
A few drinks and it was time to head back to our hotel. Speaking of which, isn’t this place cool?
Manresa Castle was originally built in 1892 and was the private residence of a local businessman and his wife – as in, this was their house. At the time, it was the largest private residence in Port Townsend. Pretty crazy huh? It has since been added on to (at one point serving as a dormitory for the Jesuits) but man, what a place to call your home. The hotel is now thought to be haunted but we didn’t have anything crazy happen while we were there, even though we were staying on the “active 3rd floor.”
The next morning, we headed out to Fort Worden which is at the very north-eastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula. Completed in 1902 the fort was used as an active military base up until the early 50’s.
Fun fact for you: Fort Worden is the filming location of An Officer and a Gentleman
Check out the old gas station. Obviously not in use in more, the last price on the meter was 17 cents a gallon!
Exploring the fort and the lighthouse was really fun and very interesting but it was incredibly cold! I needed a hot cup of coffee and a hot lunch to get warmed up again.
We chose the Blue Moose Cafe because it was featured in Port Townsend Getaway and had been selected as a top 3 winner for several categories including best breakfast (#1), best coffee (#3), best service (#1), best sandwich (#2), best soup (#2) and also the most food for the buck (#1) – pretty impressive, right?
I decided to go with a cup of coffee and a hot french dip. Man I’ll tell ya, when the food came I didn’t think it looked all that exciting or unique. But it was amazingly delicious – both Nick and I were ooohing and ahhing over our meal the entire time.
Even thought we have been to Port Townsend a number of times, that Getaway magazine turned out to be quite handy. Towards the back of the pamphlet was a map for a tour of historic homes which Nick and I decided to check out.
We drove around to several of the houses and fell in love with a few of the places. Can you imagine how grand these homes were in the early 1900s? These timber barons must have been royalty.
Nick was really enjoying taking photos of the Porsche (his dad’s) in front of all the old buildings.
Seen here – the old courthouse, built in 1892 and featuring a 124-foot clock tower.
We got a little distracted on the tour of historic homes when we noticed we were close to the turn off for one of the wineries on our to-do list. Distractions, distractions
Fairwinds Winery was a really fun stop. Not only was the worker incredibly informative (he took us on a walk through their facility demonstrating the process from de-stemming the grapes all the way through bottling and labeling) but we also met a group of folks from Salt Lake City! How random! As it turns out the one couple was from SLC and had relocated to Poulsbo and the other couple was still living in SLC just visiting the peninsula for the holidays and to see their friends new home. Such a small world.
After our tasting and wine lesson we decided to take home a bottle of one of their reds.
On our tasting adventure we stopped at one winery (Fairwinds) and two cideries – as in hard cider.
The first place, Eaglemount was down this crazy country lane and the tasting room was so small and so quaint (hey! we ran into our SLC friends from Fairwinds!).
I really loved their large selection of ciders. We walked away with two bottles, one pear and one apple.
The second cider was by far our favorite stop of the day. Finnriver Cidery was such a warm and cozy little farm. I immediately fell in love with the woman that was leading our tasting – her and her husband are owners, operators, managers of the cidery and farm. Incredibly lovely, kind folks and we instantly felt at home. And hey, our SLC friends made it here too!
I loved so many of the ciders here – but we decided to get only two bottles since we still had lots of things left to do and didn’t want to spend too much money too early on. I’m sort of bummed that we didn’t get more. If we lived anywhere else, I’d simply sign up for their membership and get some cider shipped out to us. However, Utah does not allow the shipment of liquor and so… the cider I have is the cider I get
Not to interrupt our wine tasting adventure too much – we decided to get small plates and drinks rather than a full dinner. Alchemy was the perfect place – quaint and cozy but with a bit more formal atmosphere, perfect for a date. I opted for a flight of wines to pair with our food – thinking that I’d get three small glasses of wine that would pretty much amount to a regular size glass. Not so, I ended up with three full pours from the series “Running a Red Light.”
Lucky for me all three of those wines were fabulous and I saved the sheet so I can find the wines at the store.
After all that wine and yummy food it was most certainly time to head back to the hotel. Lots to do in the morning!
Stay tuned for part 2 of our adventure
Question of the day: Have you ever gone cider tasting? Where?