Saturday, December 1, 2012

Where I've been and what I've seen- Part 3

I know, I know....
It has been a while since my last installment of "Where I've been and what I've seen," and you must've chewed all of you fingernails off in eager anticipation by now.  But you guys, I've been both really busy and lazy.  Despite both of those conditions, I solemnly swear that we have gone on other trips worth talking about (at least in our estimation).  Here's one of them:
Our next visit was "over the hill" to the Medford/Jacksonville/Ashland area for another weekend getaway.
We had no real plans other than to A) get out of town and B) stay and visit with friends...and hopefully eat.
We completed all requirements and quite well, if I may say so myself!
So we arrived in Medford in the late afternoon and found that we were starving (surprise)!
We decided to try a restaurant we had heard a lot about and that was somewhere new to us:  4 Daughters Irish Pub 

It was really good and did not disappoint!  It was as close to an authentic Irish pub on the inside that we have come across so far.

The food was equally as good. We started out with deep fried pickles, and they were SO good
(I haven't stopped thinking about them since...)

Sadly, no other photos were taken as the food was delivered, all conversation stopped and we dove in like the two starving little people we are (obviously...)
I ordered a whisky and coke and "fish and chips"- replacing the fish with jumbo shrimp and choosing sweet potato fries as my chips. Aaron ordered a corned beef burger (with both the beef patty AND slices of corned beef). We both really liked our food and plan to return soon.

But the fun-eating did not stop there.
We ran around and shopped a bit then drove to meet up with our friends and Southern Oregon Brewery.
We sampled a few beers, chatted for a while, then made our way to our friends home in Jacksonville.
But we only stayed there for a short time.
Our friend C. wanted to take us to a newer tasting room that had opened in the Rogue Valley: 2 Hawk.
It was laid back, yet still up-scale.  It had such a good vibe!  The inside was glowing and packed, as well as the outside- with fire pits, a live band and even more people, sitting around, enjoying the wine and surroundings.
Now, I can not tell a lie.  I am by no means a wine connoisseur and am still working on figuring out what I like-  but I did find one wine I fancied.
We spent the rest of our evening there- enjoying the company and our surroundings like many others that night.

As we left, we decided it was a pretty awesome place and agreed we would definitely go back.
We retired fat and happy- ready for the next (food packed) day.

The next morning we slept in and decided we needed to eat. C. suggested another restaurant to try.  Of course we were game.
This time we traveled to Ashland- to Smithfields.  It was yet again, another awesome place to go.
Instead of going on and on about what I ordered, let me just show you the exact description:
"“Neil’s brekkie”: Corned beef, duck fat fried potato cake, bacon-braised collard greens,
fried egg, stone mustard cream, rosemary cheddar, worcestershire sauce."

and Aaron got this:
SF’s sandwich: open faced, corned beef, rye toast, spinach, stone mustard cream, fried egg
Yes...that all really happened.
We all ate as much (if not all of it) as we could.
Then, we rolled down the hill and stopped by a few shops in downtown Ashland, ogling shoes, picking up new beers at local markets to try later and then thrifting (awesome Goodwill!).
However, after the morning's Olympic eating event, we did eventually get "snacky."
Since we were near one of my favorite cupcake spots, Larry's we decided to stop by.
Larry's is amazing.  As you walk down the stairs to the bakery, you are instantly greeted by a case full of 30+  beautiful and different (think beer and pretzel,  tres leches, apple pie )cupcakes to try. 
This time around, I picked out a Vanilla Champagne cupcake and a Chocolate Port cupcake.
They were both so amazing, I passed out....not really, but it was pretty good!
After that we decided to move on.  We hoped in the car and drove to another vineyard: Dancin Vineyards.
Our friend C. is lucky enough to work there and so she showed us around a bit.
Since we were still stuffed from the morning, we didn't eat, but the food looked just as amazing as the vineyard itself.  Outside was a large pond filled with fish (koi?) that lights up at night.  Surrounding the pond is a path to walk around.  It was equally as impressive as 2 Hawk, just in it's very own unique and special way (think Tuscan style).  I would definitely go back there to eat and drink!
Sadly, all good things must come to an end.  Weekend trips can't last forever.
We had to pack up and head home.  But we did so with several new places and good company enjoyed!
(Thanks again C & C! )

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