It’s a long way from New Orleans to the San Juan Islands, by the time you change planes in Dallas and sit for another 3 1/2 hours in flight. So I decided to spend a couple of nights at the Willows Lodge in Woodinville, just 45 minutes from Seattle.
I knew nothing of Woodinville when planning my trip but liked what I saw on the internet . When I arrived, it was better than I imagined. I am told by the “wine educator” at Columbia Winery, one of several around here, that Woodinville is on the same latitude as the Rhone Valley which, for me, explains why this area, with its rich green rolling hills and vineyards, reminds me of France.
I have a great room at the Willows Lodge, which is home to two pigs named Borage and Basil, both in training for truffle hunting. They live in a little pig house adjacent to an herb farm which supplies a very fancy restaurant called The Herb Farm, just a hop, skip and a pig away from here. I am told that eating at the The Herb Farm is a foodie’s delight though my pocketbook sent me to The Barking Frog next door. So me and my chronically barking dogs took a stroll across the way and enjoyed a sublime meal which was gastronomically exquisite. I highly recommend the prawns. To Die For.
The Willow’s Lodge is one big exhale. With colorful gardens and green lawns with plush grass soft enough to sleep on, it is beautiful. When I arrived, there was a wedding just outside my room. Testimony enough to the memories that have been made here.
Oh, wait, this is supposed to be about good places to walk. There is a paved hiking trail right next door to Willows Lodge called Sammamish River Trail. If you are so inclined, this paved trail will take you all the way to Seattle. Truth be told, it is more suited for able-bodied cyclists in racing gear. On the beautiful Sunday afternoon I was there, I got many warnings to watch out on my “left.”
Not one to adapt well to major cultural changes, I am thankful Woodinville is not in Europe, where the rules of the road are very different.