Friday, July 13, 2007
Today 86° F or 30° C

Took me a few days to get used to these new and hot temperatures. The last few days were horrible. We reached a 102° F or 39° C. Not fun, thank god for airco. So no morning espresso under the tree for the first time in a year. The dogs were very confused with this new schedule and kept running to the door to the sun room aka 'thesauna' to go outside. But overnight we went from 102 to 86 again, my joints are killing me because of these temperature switches but the cooler temps are fine with me although 86 is not exactly cool of course ;-)

We had a fun weekend, we went to the Oregon Lavender Festival, a festival were participating farmers open up their farms and share their harvest, you can either u-pick or buy already cut. Of course u-pick is much more fun ;-)
We visited a couple of farms and than went to the town of Yamhill, the center of the festival, there were artisans, music, BBQ, food and drink, and of course a market where you could buy all things lavender. At the food stall we bought a lunch box for a picnic, it contained a sandwich of your choice, veggies, lavender cookies, a bottle of water and a bag of chips.

The drive from our home through the 'boonies' was spectacular, some roads were just dirt roads but the views were gorgeous. We often forget that we do live in a valley and just a few minutes from our home we are in farm and wine country in the hills.
Mt.Hood and Mt. Bachelor were clearly visible from our drive, majestic with their white snowy tops in the clear blue sky.

The first farm we visited was our CSA farm(Community Supported Agriculuture), the farm Gaining Ground Farm of Mike and Jill Paine who provide us each week with wonderful fresh veggies, goat cheese and eggs.

They were on our way so we thought we would stop by to say hello and see where our veggies actually come from. Unfortunately no-one was at home, of course they were all busy in the fields. We did meet the dogs though who were happy to see us ;-)

So off we went to the first Lavender farm a couple of farms up on the road, the Wayward Winds Lavender Farm. We had to park in the field were a lovely young girl provide us with a shuttle up the hill to the farm. There were lovely lavender fields, all different kinds, chairs and tables under the giant trees and we could buy lavender lemonade, lavender ice tea and lavender ice.

Different kinds of lavender

The bees were busy buzzing and doing their job to make lavender honey, the atmosphere was very zen-like and I bought some lavender ice-tea and sat under the tree while W. took it upon him to cut a bunch of lavender. They had tie-wraps and you could cut as much lavender as you could fit in a tie-wrap for $5.
I took a wonderful photo(below) of the result of W.'s hard labor. Click on the image to hop over to my Lavender Festival Album to see them all. Photo's were all taken with my lovely new iPhone. :-)

W. brought 2 lavender ice-cream sandwiches back with him, which tasted very good but not much like lavender. The ice-tea did very much taste like lavender and the combination with the mint was very successful.
After we were rested we took the shuttle downhill to the car and drove to Yamhill to pick up a lunch box and were than off to the next farm on our list the WillaKenzie Farm, which not only had lavender but also Alpacas.

The Willakenzie farm was huge with rows and rows of lavender, the smell combined with the warm weather took me straight back to France, the Provence.

The owners directed us to a shaded area with wooden benches where we ate our lunch. It was so nice to just sit out there and enjoy the beautiful view which did resembled France, we suspected to hear people speaking French and also unpacking their lunches at any moment. ;-)

It was idyllic!

The kind of 'sad' looking trees you see in the front are called Weeping Sequoia's! ;-)

For me this was enough fun, I was getting tired and was ready to go home, but before we went we had to se the Alpacas. They were so gorgeous and funny, they just had a haircut and all looked so happy. Funny things is with Alpacas that you really can see that they all have different personalities and all look different. Their wool is absolutely the softest you have ever felt. One of my big dreams was to have a few acres one day and raise Alpacas, I think they make wonderful farm animals and pets.

Aren't they cute?

We bravely got into the car, which was extremely hot and had a nice drive home. All in all we had been out till 4:00 PM, the dogs were happy to see us and I was happy to be home again and grateful that I was able to go out and enjoy that wonderful day. Unfortunately there are less and less days that I can go out for that long period of time but when I can I'm thankful. Of course I had to pay for it the next days with extreme exhaustion and brain fog and pain but it was worth it.