My experiences with Walla Walla up until a few weeks ago have been nothing short of creepy.
My 95 year old grandfather (still alive! and not a great-grandpa, we’re talking my dad’s dad) is a WWII Prisoner of War veteran. For his benefits, he has to travel to the Veteran’s Administration in Walla Walla once every few years to have his eyes and ears checked. Back in my college days, I would drive him over there.
Let me tell you, it’s a sad thing when the heros of your country have to go to that horrible place to get benefits. The Veteran’s Administration is a large compound with an expansive, well-groomed landscaped road leading into it. We would arrive around 8:00 a.m. At that point, you check in and wait 2 hours for your first appointment. Then, they poke, they prod, and send you to the next building.
That second building was always the worst. Every light seemed to have a bulb burned out, and fixtures would buzz. The walls were yellowing and everything smells like mildew. I would bring Harry Potter books to keep myself afloat while waited long hours for his various appointments around the compound. Three appointments would take 9 hours of waiting.
You can imagine when Bryan told me about his Grandma Jean’s 80th birthday party in Walla Walla, I was not excited to go.
But damn, that town is actually a lot more than it’s Veteran’s Administration.
When we arrived Saturday, we went to a sandwich shop Bryan read about online called “Graze”.
Oh so cute! Farm to table food. Simple, delicious.
Bryan had the Pastrami, since he loves him some good sauerkraut and salted meats.
And I had the roasted pear, bleu cheese and turkey sandwich. I ALMOST forgot to take a pic before I devoured it.
And the outside of the shop? Such a cute mural.
After lunch, we went to Bryan’s Grandma’s house where his WHOLE family was hanging out (mom’s side). I held new baby Brogan and met a lot of the cousins and aunts and uncles that I haven’t met yet. Then, after beers and snacks, we all headed to Phoumy’s for thai and the birthday celebration!
Phoumy’s is HANDS DOWN the BEST thai restaurant in the Northwest. Okay, so I haven’t been to every thai restaurant in the Northwest, but damn it was good. And afterwards, as we all gushed over the spicy peanut sauce and the heavily poured glasses of wine, our waiter pointed out that Phoumy, the woman in charge, wasn’t even cooking that night. I have to go back when I know she’s there, because I can’t even begin to understand the epic-ness of when she cooks.
After dinner and after we got the birthday girl home, we all met at the hotel bar (aka beer and wine store) to hang out. This lounge rocked because they don’t close until people aren’t buying drinks, and they also pour serious “Jill Glasses” of wine (that’s what my friends call it, to the brim!). It was so much fun and now I can’t wait to go back to Walla Walla, which is something I NEVER thought I’d say, especially if I was still heading to the Veteran’s Administration.