Another Walla Walla Weekend

I have a lot of family that lives in Walla Walla. Included in that bunch is my cousin, Abby, who also happens to be a very talented hairstylist. She is so good at what she does that Sidney and my brother’s fiancée, Carrie, travel to Walla Walla frequently to have her do their hair. If this sounds familiar it is because back in August I wrote about a family getaway to Walla Walla that was motivated by Sid needing her hair done.

Since that family trip nine months ago was such a success we did it again this past weekend. Only this time we decided to stay TWO nights and we planned the trip with my brother and his fiancée. It was epic…

Before we hit the road to Walla Walla, we ate lunch at Taco Bell in Downtown Spokane.

In a complete 180 from the last Walla Walla journey, Sloan and Beau were excellent in the car (thank goodness)! The first thing we did after we checked into our hotel was go swimming. You had to reserve the hotel pool ahead of time (COVID) so the four of us had it all to ourselves.

We went for a swim in the hotel pool.

After our thirty-minute pool session we went out to a restaurant called the Red Monkey with Glen, Carrie, Abby, and Abby’s boyfriend. After a long week and nearly four hours in the car, it was nice to relax with some good food and conversation. Once our meal concluded we went back to the hotel and got the kids down.

Carrie ad Glen at the Red Monkey in Walla Walla.

On Saturday morning, the four of us ate breakfast in the lobby and then Carrie and Sidney headed off to Abby’s salon. The moment they left, I loaded Sloan and Beau into the car and we started our park tour. We first went to Pioneer Park, Walla Walla’s crown jewel. We played on the playground, fed the ducks, and admired the aviary. My Aunt Nancy also joined us which was really nice.

Sloan playing at Pioneer Park.

We then ventured to Menlo Park where we had the whole place to ourselves. Sloan dug in the dirt but also checked out the playground and ran around the basketball/tennis court. We then picked up Happy Meals and went to a third park, Eastgate Lions Park. The three of us sat down in the shaded grass and had a picnic. It goes without saying that Sloan found herself on the playground before she finished her lunch.

Sloan and Beau eating Happy Meals at Eastgate Lions Park in Walla Walla.

After the whole morning and early afternoon out in the sun, we met Sid at the salon. Her hair looked awesome! Now it was time for Sloan and Beau to have their turns in the chair. Abby cut both their hair and just like with Sid it turned out great. Glen, Carrie, Abby, and the four of us then met at a Chinese restaurant across the street where we had appetizers and some cold ones.

Enjoying some refreshments after a day in the salon.

It was then time for a return to Pioneer Park! Although instead of just the three of us, there were about 20 Resers enjoying the beautiful and sunny evening. We joined my aunts, uncles, and cousins for cornhole, food, and socializing. My cousin’s daughters entertained Sloan and Beau the whole time while Sid and I got to relax and catch up with everyone.

Carrie and Sidney playing cornhole at Pioneer Park.

Eventually we left Pioneer Park and set out to do one final thing that day. We went to the property that Abby’s parents own and saw her animals and rode her horse. Sloan loved riding Abby’s horse, Pricey, but she may have liked just playing in the dirt even more. Sid and I both took turns on Pricey and then we picked up ice cream and returned to the hotel.

Abby and Sloan riding Pricey.

The next morning we went to mass at St. Patrick’s. It is a beautiful church with a vibrant Catholic community. After mass we went to a restaurant called Clarette’s for breakfast. We met up with Glen, Carrie, Abby, Aunt Nancy, Aunt Judy, and my cousin Cody. It took forever to get our food but perhaps that was a good thing because it just meant I got to spend more time with my family. Besides, once we did get our breakfast it was worth to wait. My granola and pecan-dipped French toast was delicious!

Abby and Beau at Clarette’s.

With full bellies, we said goodbye to everyone and then checked out of our hotel and started the drive home. I talk a lot about how it has been nice moving back to Spokane and being able to do a lot with my brother and sister. Well, it is also nice how much we get to do with my extended family as well. They are all so smitten with Sidney and LOVE Abby and Beau. They all made my childhood so much fun and it is such an honor to be able to now share them with Sid and our children. What a weekend! Don’t Blink.

A Reason to Talk About Pancakes

It pains me to ever mention a stupid, phony “national day of _________ (enter a specific item that has no reason for a day’s worth of recognition)” on One time, I even blogged about how much I hate it. However, when it inspires a blog post I have to swallow my pride. For whatever reason, today is National Pancake Day. It just so happens that pancakes are my favorite breakfast item. Just a few words on this delicious delicacy:

I grew up loving pancakes. From the ages of 9-16, whenever we went out for breakfast I would always order two pancakes and a side of hash browns. Perhaps no place offered better hot cakes than our family Italian restaurant, the Pastime Café, in Walla Walla, Washington. The plate sized pancakes had something special about them, a taste that included a slightly sweet flavor. The whipped butter and old fashioned maple syrup set them apart.

This is me with a plate of banana pecan pancakes in a Myrtle Beach restaurant.

This is me with a plate of banana pecan pancakes in a Myrtle Beach restaurant.

I have other restaurants that stick out in my mind because of their pancakes. A place in Spokane called Frank’s Diner would serve silver dollar pancakes covered in whipped cream, chocolate chips, and sprinkles. A family restaurant in Walla Walla called Clarete’s would whip up great tasting pancakes that happened to be yellow! In Missoula, Montana, I was very fond of a place called Paul’s Pancake Parlor. At this particular restaurant I would order the signature dish, a sampler plate with a chocolate chip pancake, a sourdough pancake, a blueberry pancake, and an original pancake. Other establishments with really good hot cakes come to mind too but I don’t want to bore you.

These are some chocolate chip pancakes I had at Plantation Pancake House in Myrtle Beach.

These are some chocolate chip pancakes I had at Plantation Pancake House in Myrtle Beach.

Of course I grew up eating my mom’s pancakes. Quite frequently she would make pancakes for weekend breakfasts and even for dinners. She would get her griddle out and pour on the batter, making several pancakes at once. Every now and then she would let us make our own pancake! Standing over us, she would let us pour the batter on the surface, flip it over, and then transfer the completed product to a plate.

People sometimes get weirded out by this, but to this day I always have my mom undercook my pancakes. I am talking undercooked in such a way that the pancake pretty much rips apart in doughy shreds as it is transferred from the serving plate to my own individual plate. Actual batter streams out on my plate. This makes some people a little queasy but when it comes to eating pancakes hot, this is my preferred way to do it.

I am also a huge fan of leftover pancakes. My mom would always make extra pancakes and freeze them. I would then eat several breakfasts where I would reach into the freezer, take out a bag of 3-4 pancakes, heat them up just enough so they would unthaw, and spread peanut butter on them. It was a great way to start off the morning!

Now I live in an area that has “pancake houses” on every corner. In Myrtle Beach you will find numerous breakfast restaurants that specialize in pancakes. It really is a little slice of heaven for me. I went through a little spurt where I tried three or four of them in a short span. At one place I ordered banana pecan hot cakes and loved every bite.

Pancake Houses are all over Myrtle Beach. This is Woodhavens Pancake House.

Pancake Houses are all over Myrtle Beach. This is Woodhavens Pancake House.

So that is what I have to say about pancakes. If you know of a place that I have to try, please let me know! As much as I say to hate it, Happy National Pancake Day. Don’t Blink.