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Getaway weekend – Flashback to August

January 4, 2012

We celebrated our 6 year anniversary back in August. After reading good things about Port Townsend and the local cider we wanted to give it a try. We borrowed a convertible (Volkswagen Eos) and it was the perfect car for the weekend. We left our girls with their grandparents for the weekend and took off early Saturday morning. We had a 4 hour drive from Portland and wanted plenty of time once we got into town. We arrived around 10:00 and went to our hotel even though it was way before check-in. We booked room #7 at the Palace Hotel.

We grabbed a few maps from the lobby and decided to check out the farmer’s market. At the market we grabbed a couple baked goods then drove back downtown. Again we parked at the hotel.  This time we walked the entire length of Water St. We bought a board game, some books, and some local soaps. We enjoyed browsing the Celtic shop, an importer of woodwork, and the wooden boat shop at the end of the street. We had lunch at Nifty Fifties, which is just what it sounds like: a fifties diner. The service was quick and the food was good.

After lunch we walked back to our car, ready for a cider tour. We chose to hit all three cideries: Alpenfire (formerly Wildfire), Eaglemount, and Finn River. The hostess (and co-owner) of Alpenfire was very nice and answered all our questions from organic tree growing to her travels in Europe to study cider history. The selection was the smallest (3 ciders) and the tasting fee the most expensive ($6). They also don’t apply the fee towards purchase (the other 2 do and are $5 per tasting). We picked up a bottle of their Spark cider, which was the sweetest.

Next on the list was Eaglemount. The brewer makes both ciders and wines. I think there were 6 cider varieties, all of them were good. We particularly liked their pear and raspberry-apple cider. The ginger was also notable. The host (owner) was again very nice and talked to us about his apple selection and his 100+ year old homestead.

Last was Finn River. Their variety was the largest, having both ciders and brandies. We got to taste them all even though we arrived 15 minutes before they closed. I particularly liked the Apple-Blueberry cider. We learned about their farm and cidery and had a great time. It was easily the hippest of 3 we visited. The owners were young and doing cool things with their ciders and spirits as well as their orchards and farms.

It was getting close to dinner time so we headed back into town. We walked around a little more and settled on a Thai restaurant downtown. The food was good and the service was great as well. We retired after dinner to play our new board game before bed.

The next morning we drove the historical building tour suggested by Richard at the front desk of our hotel. It took about 45 minutes and we saw over 50 locations. It was definitely worth the time. For fun we picked up some flyers from houses for sale and even drove out to the lighthouse in Fort Worden.

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