The beautiful trip to Corvallis

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Due to the flu, I had to cancel my appearance at the Women’s Show in Portland. I felt terrible, especially after they shifted my cooking demo so that it would not overlap with the Fireman’s Fashion Show. (Really.) The organizer was gracious and said they would invite me back again next year.

I did decide to press on with the event days later in Corvallis, Ore. I took the 7:30 a.m. Amtrak down to Portland on Sunday, then hopped a bus to Albany nearby. There’s something different when friends are involved. Mike’s longtime friend Craig had helped set up the event that started as a house party but shifted into an event at the wine bar Enoteca. Not to mention, Mike had flown across the country, Tampa to Portland, to meet me there — for the Corvallis event. Good wives know when to get on a train…

Even though I was in an OTC-cold med haze, I’m glad that I went. The ride on the train was nothing short of breathtaking. “Riot of color” may be a tired cliche, but that’s what I kept thinking as I watched the blazing spectrum of colors of leaves on the trees, with the jagged blue outline of the Olympic mountains as a backdrop. I love the Northwest.

The show of color continued in the postcard-worthy home to Oregon State University. Are they the ducks? I asked Mike, who picked me up at the bus station. “No, here, you’re a ‘Beaver Believer.’ “

There’s something just Pleasantville-like about Corvallis, a small town in Oregon wine country. We watched Craig press grapes and he took us through his whole wine-making setup. (Mike has promised to post his pictures on the subject.)

About 45 people turned out for the event. I struggled sometimes to talk. At one point, Mike had to take over reading. It was terrific, all lovely people and the fine folks at Grass Roots Books sold out of their stock. It was worth the trip.

Not sure that wine and cold medicine mix, though. But if you try it, I suggest a nice chardonnay.

About katflinn

Kathleen Flinn is the author of "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry," "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" and "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good." All are published by Viking/Penguin.

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