Skipping Away

When the temps begin to drop and the days grow shorter, not to mention the arrival of a thick fog from an inversion layer, the body yearns to be somewhere else. Anywhere else! So it must be time to skip town.

Actually, it’s not all that simple. We have signed up to attend a conference in Yakima tomorrow, so skipping town just came with it. The added bonus is that on the way to Yakima, we drove out of the fog, into the full fall sunshine and into warmer temperatures. The only thing we couldn’t escape was the shorter days.

The conference is for caregivers and family members who are dealing with someone with dementia. We thought it would be interesting to educate ourselves on some of the intricacies of the disease. Living with it may be hard, but not near so difficult as having no information at all about it.

So, we set out this morning at the crack of noon to hit the road. We made one minor stop to pick up some papers from AAA (concerning a future trip) on the way out of town. We marveled at the thick fog and the reduced visibility. It was as if we were traveling in the clouds. Yet not long after, we began to see signs of struggling sunshine as we rose in elevation through the Cascade Mountains. As we reached the summit, the car thermometer read 10 degrees warmer and the sun was shinning boldly. The golden leaves of the forest deciduous trees were beautifully stunning.

We made our usual stop at the Indian John Hill rest stop and then passed through the desert foothills before descending into the Yakima Valley. A quick check in at our motel, and we set out in pursuit of harvest fruits and vegetables.

Washington Fruit Place at Barrett Orchards accommodated us nicely. We purchased a box of Mutsu apples as well as a distinctive mug that reminded us to “Write your own story.” The place was attractively decorated with hay and pumpkins, fruits and jellies, harvest corn and scarecrows. It was a country place in every sense of the word. We enjoyed our visit with the staff and asked them for a recommendation for the best Mexican restaurant in town. There was no hesitation and we took their directions to Xochimilco’s, just eight minutes away.

The interior was dark, but it didn’t keep the staff from shinning. My driver ordered an exotic dish the waitress recommended and I leaned more toward familiar fare. Both were excellent! Yet, at one point before we were finished, my driver bolted from his chair and disappeared. He came back flushed and apologetic. Unbeknownst to me, he had experimented with the jalapeno pepper and burned his lips. While wiping his lips with his napkin, his eyes began to water and he used the napkin to wipe his eye. Unfortunately, that was a big mistake and he ran to the restroom to wash out his eye.

Needless to say, not only was the dinner delicious, it was also eventful. Consequently, only a trip to Baskin Robbins could put the fire out and fortunately there was one only a few minutes away.

So begins our little skipping town experience. There’s so much to remember already, not the least of which was the climate and superb food.