Monday, June 28, 2010

Walla Walla Lost and Found

Reflection

Monday, today, a sunny 90 degree, kids in the park afternoon. I’m sitting comfortably with a broad view of the Columbia River. After a restless evening, I’m assembling my thoughts about the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. I’ll remain restless until I’ve posted the words and images revolving in my head.

In one of my recent posts, Garrison Creek Cellars, I mention how I lost my palate last year, and to my great pleasure, unexpectedly found it in Walla Walla. What was it doing there?

No one was more surprised than I, that I found myself back in Walla Walla for the 2010 Wine Blogggers Conference last week. This event sold out two months ago, and I was not able to register. Because of a conflict of interest (my High School reunion in Seattle) I asked to be taken off of the waitlist.

All packed for a weekend in Seattle, last Wednesday I received a call from Zephyr Adventures. They said they needed help with the event and could I please volunteer? I told them “No”. That was not an easy, “No” for me. I really wanted to go to the conference. Three hours later, and after a conversation with my wife, I called back and said, “Yes”. The next three and a half days, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon, were a rush of faces, names, wines, food, conversation, technology and excitement.

In my post yesterday, I mentioned that we had a live, speed-blogging session Friday. As I learned, speed-blogging is about tasting wine and then blogging about it, in 5 minutes. Because of the rapid pace, (listen to winemaker, smell, taste, review/post) I neglected to spit and I drank each wine I was presented (that would be 12 wines in 60 minutes). That was my first and last speed-blogging session.

Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dolls amazing band at the Charles Smith Party

No big shock to you, if I mention that the remainder of my evening… is a bit on the fuzzy side. During the speed-blogging session, I was invited to attend a K Vintners and Charles Smith Wines Party. That would be Party with a capital “P”. I have to thank Charles Smith for allowing me to attend his party; I don’t believe I’ve ever attended one like it. Wow. The band was amazing, library wines were flowing, Charles was there in person, I was pre-lubricated and applying more.

At some point in the evening, I came to the realization, that I had no clue how to get back to my hotel. I was lost in Walla Walla. Out the door I shot, looking for someone to guide me back to the Marcus Whitman hotel. Kind souls I found, I have no idea who guided me back, but several compassionate groups of friendly Walla Walla citizens, relayed me gently back to the Marcus Whitman – thank you all.

There was also a speed-blogging session Saturday. I did not blog at that session and I spit each wine I sampled. Lesson learned. Last month I found my palate in Walla Walla and this month Walla Walla helped me find my way back to my room. There’s a connection there.

Cheers!