Our wedding anniversary rolls around every mid-September. A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated our 9th! We're never sure if we feel like the time has just flown by, or if it feels as if it has been so much longer. Do you know that feeling?
This year, we had a little series of celebrations. First, we started with a night away in Hood River. It's really been one of our go-to spots over the last couple of years. It's close by. The weather tends to be warmer and drier than Portland's. They have wineries and breweries. They have the Fruit Loop. We LOVE the Fruit Loop.
On the Sunday preceding our actual anniversary, we drove out, got settled into the Hood River Hotel, and then headed for the Fruit Loop. Or first stop this time was at the Gorge White House. They have the most wonderful field of Dahlias. We walked through, admiring the view and all of the amazing shapes and colors of Dahlias. We went into the main house and bought a bottle of pear wine and vowed to return the next day on our way home to cut an armload of flowers.
A couple of stops later found us in more flowers, this time lavender. Hood River Lavender Farms is such a very sweet little spot! We wandered through, cut a huge handful, and then picked up some lavender-themed goodies in the tiny little gift shop. You know, I used to really hate lavender. Such a disappointment for someone with romantic tendencies. But the smell used to turn my stomach. It turns out, I had only been exposed to synthetic lavender!
In between flower stops, we visited several fruit-filled farm stands (Smiley's Red Barn, Cody Orchards Farm Stand, Draper Girls Country Farm, Kiyokawa Family Orchards, and Apple Valley Country Store) and loaded up on apples, pears, nectarines, and plums. When possible, we strolled through their orchards.
Our day ended with an excellent dinner at Hood River's acclaimed Celilo. So good. I didn't take pictures 'cause I was too busy stuffing my face.
The next morning, we did stop and cut a huge armload of flowers as we headed back to Portland. Aren't they stunning?!
The actual anniversary fell on Wednesday, the 15th. I had the day off work, so Ryan and I met for lunch at the Wednesday Farmer's Market, held outside of the Portland Art Museum. We had tamales from Salvador Molly's market stand for lunch. I love their Yucatan Chicken tamal, and Ryan is quite taken with their artichoke and cotija cheese tamal.
We had a wonderful surprise at lunch, members of Portland Taiko were doing a free performance on Main Street, right next to the market. So, we got to enjoy their amazing skills while we ate. After we finished, we had just enough time to take a run through a special exhibit at the museum before Ryan went back to work.
It's customary for Ryan and I to go out for a fancy dinner on our anniversary. If you hadn't already noticed, food is pretty central to our relationship. But since we'd already treated ourselves to Celilo over the weekend, we broke with tradition and stayed in, instead. Ryan brought home a pizza, and we turned the 6lbs. of plums we bought on the Fruit Loop into jam.
To cap off our anniversary, we had to choose a gift. Since getting married, each year we've purchased our gifts based on the list of traditional anniversary gifts. We started off buying gifts for each other in secret. A couple of years later (leather) we started working together to choose the gifts (shoes for me, a special key wallet for Ryan). Another year or so down the road, and we were choosing one gift to share between us (a 14" cast iron skillet for the iron anniversary). I may have gone a bit crazy for the wool anniversary. The traditional gift for the 9th anniversary is pottery. At first, we were stumped. Then, I remembered that I've been complaining about our tea pot while simultaneously coveting a Bauer teapot at work. Perfect.
Bauer Pottery is an iconic American pottery manufacturer whose pieces are quite collectible. This special anniversary seemed the perfect occasion to collect our own piece of Bauer. Isn't it pretty? And, it makes me think of honey bees.