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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lavender Escape

The View from the Fields

If you’re trying one of the new “staycations” this year and next year feel flush enough to go a bit further afield you might want to try the Oregon Lavender Festival. The thirty-odd lavender farms are located south and east of Portland and while it would be difficult to see them all even in two days time, a leisurely drive through the Oregon countryside and walks amongst the lavender can certainly be a balm to the spirit provided one has brought plenty of liquid refreshment, a hat, and sun screen. The temperatures down here in Oregon got to as high as 102.

Having a friend who lives in the area is certainly a boon so Friday I arrived in Mt. Angel, Oregon to begin our lavender weekend with dinner at Mt. Angel’s Glockenspiel Restaurant. Since she is providing the bed and doing the driving, the least I can do is provide for our food so after a wonderful German repast we got plenty of sleep to begin our lavender adventure.

If you're in downtown Mt. Angel at 7 PM you can be treated to the music and action of the glockenspiel from which the restaurant gets its name.

On Saturday we visited five farms. Some we gave points to as to cuteness, beauty, and difficulty to find. One was up a one lane gravel road and proved not to be worth the drive. It will be crossed off the list for future tours, but hey, you can’t know if you don’t give it a go, right?

We started out at the actual festival at Yamhill as well as the Wayward Wind Lavender Farm store which is located in Yamhill. The sniffing and cooking had begun. The farms offer lavender products and lavender food. We had cookies made with lavender, lavender lemonade, and lavender sorbet. Finally I was sugared out and we dined on a picnic lunch we’d brought from home at a table provided by the farm.

We arrived back in Mt. Angel tired from the heat and dirty from our days adventure and very, very relaxed from all the lavender. And the fun is not over. The tour of lavender farms runs though Sunday.


Kim Thompson said...

Oh, this sounds WONDERFUL (even in the heat). Lavender sorbet? How cool is that! The restaurant you describe sounds quaint. Stephanie, how many miles did you guys log in the tour? Just curious.

My favorite lavender products are soaps, lotions, beauty stuff. I find the smell so RESTFUL and soothing. And that's the point, right?

Hey, I need to ask you about some cool Long Beach locales (lodging) for tourists. The family and I might head on down next month.

JosephMcG said...

Love travelling with you... the landscape field and building you beautifully captured in your pictures) and the pleasure you brought to my imagination, my ear, and my taste buds made my reading your post absolutely delightful...

Keep enjoying yourself... keep permitting us to travel with you

Stephanie Frieze said...

Kim, the lavender sorbet was VERY cool.

Thanks, Joseph. Besides Mt. Angel Abbey there are a couple more abbeys in the neck of the woods where I've been. One makes fudge and the other fruitcake. Perhaps someone needs to organize an abbey tour!

Stephanie Frieze said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lorraine Hart said...

I definitely second the motion of you writing a local travel column!!