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Have you ever renovated the interior of your house? Seeing the old, outdated elements peeled away and replaced with new paint, flooring, etc. can leave you feeling refreshed and even excited. Well, I get to do that with outdoor spaces, assisting clients with already established landscapes, create an updated look. The key to this is NOT to tear everything out and begin from scratch – instead, it’s a delightful puzzle deciding what should remain and what is best removed and replaced.

I get so much satisfaction helping people create an attractive landscape, and even more when I get to see them several months later once the plants have a chance to begin to grow. Last week, I was invited to re-visit a new landscape that I designed, exactly one year after it was completed and was very pleased with the results.

I’d love to show you photos of the finished product, but first, let’s look at what I had to work with.

As you can see, the interior of the house was also undergoing renovation when I first visited. The front yard consisted of two palm tree stumps, a few agave, overgrown gold lantana, and boulders.

The landscape rock was thinning and mixed in with the river rock while the asphalt from the street was crumbling away.

The parts of the landscape that I felt could be reused were the boulders and the gold lantana. Also, the river rock could be re-purposed. All of the rest was removed.

To create the structure for the new landscape elements, additional boulders were added, and the existing contouring was enhanced by elevating the height of the mound and a swale in the front center. The circular collection of rip-rap rock serves to mask the opening of the end of a french drain which helps to channel water from the patio.

A saguaro cactus and totem pole ‘Monstrose’ (Lophocereus schottii ‘Monstrose’) were placed for vertical interest and the gold lantana that were already present were pruned back severely to rejuvenate them and others were added to create visual continuity. Along with the cactuses, other succulents like artichoke agave (Agave parrying var. truncata) and gopher plant (Euphorbia biglandulosa) were incorporated to add texture with their unique shapes.

The existing river rock was removed, washed off and replaced along with the crumbling edge of the street, helping it to blend with the natural curves of the landscape.

Anchoring the corners with a grouping of plants is a very simple way to enhance the curb appeal of a home. This collection of volunteer agave and old palm tree stumps weren’t doing this area any favors.

This corner was built up slightly, creating a gentle rise in elevation. A large boulder joined the existing one, and a beautiful, specimen artichoke agave was transplanted here from the owner’s previous residence. Angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) will add year-round color as they fill in. ‘Blue Elf’ aloe were planted to add a welcome splash of color in winter and spring when they flower.

Moving into the front courtyard, the corner was filled with an overgrown rosemary shrub. The dwarf oleander shrubs were also taken out as they were too large for the smaller scale of this area.

Mexican fence post cactus (Pachycereus marginatus) helps to anchor the corner and will grow at a moderate rate, adding more height as it grows.

Year-round color is assured with angelita daisies and ‘Blue Elf’ aloe, which won’t outgrow this area.

Moving toward the front entry, this area is somewhat underwhelming. The natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa) adds a pleasant green backdrop and is thriving in the shade, so should stay. However, the Dasylirion succulent should never have been planted here as it needs full sun to look its best.

The solution in this area is quite simple. Pruning back the natal plum to a more attractive shape makes them an asset. A lady’s slipper (Pedilanthus macrocarpus) adds height and texture contrast and will grow in the bright shade. We kept the trailing purple lantana (Lantana montevidensis), for the color that it provides. Rip rap rock was placed to add some interest at the ground level.

Moving toward the backyard, another old rosemary shrub was removed from the corner in the background and replaced with ‘Blue Elf’ aloe and angelita daisy, repeating the same planting from the corner area in the courtyard, helping to tie these separate areas together.

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) were added along the shady side of the house where their spiky shape creates interesting shapes. The key to keeping them attractive is to remove new growth around the base as it occurs.

The corner of the backyard is a very high-profile spot and faces the golf course. The homeowner’s wanted to get rid of the dwarf oleander hedge to improve their view. Clumps of agave look slightly unkempt as volunteer agave were allowed to remain and grow. The gold lantana does add ornamental value as does the small ‘Firesticks’ (Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’) and can be reused.

One of the clumps of agave was removed, which opened up this area and allowed us to add two aloe vera, which will decorate this corner with yellow blooms in winter and spring. The existing gold lantana provides beautiful color spring through fall. The centerpiece of this group of plants is the water feature.

It’s been over 20 years that I’ve been doing this, and I never get tired of seeing the transformation. I love being a part of it and combining the old with the new for a seamless design.

Thank you for allowing me to share this particular project with you!

 

Creating an attractive garden in the desert can seem overwhelming with our dry climate and intensely hot summers that seemingly last forever. Can anything green and pretty grow in a barren, brown landscape covered in rock?

The answer is YES!

Yes, the desert is a very different place to create, grow, and maintain a garden, but it can be done and you DON’T need to settle for a yard filled with rock and spiky cactus.

I’ve done it and you can too, and it’s much easier than you think! I help individuals like you learn how to create, grow, and maintain a beautiful landscape that thrives in the desert climate. 

As a horticulturist and landscape consultant, I’ve been helping individuals like you learn how to create, grow, and maintain a beautiful landscape that thrives in the desert climate for the past 20 years.

As you might expect, there are a lot of people who need my help, and my work calendar is overflowing with appointments with individual consultations.

This got me to thinking of a better way for me to reach a larger group of people, like you, who struggle to create an attractive landscape in a hot, arid climate. I’ve been working on a special project for the past three months to address this problem, and I’m almost ready to tell you all about it!!!

I’ll be honest; this is the biggest thing that I’ve done since I launched my blog 9 years ago and I am feeling both excited and nervous at the same time.

The official launch date is Wednesday, September 5th. I will be releasing all the details via the blog, social media, and through email to my subscribers.

HERE IS A SNEAK PEEK AT MY NEW LOGO:

My close friends and family have heard me talk about little else the past few months and it will be a relief to finally share it with all of you!!!

P.S. If you haven’t already, sign up for my subscriber list (located on the top of the sidebar) for the latest updates.

Do you yearn to create a beautiful outdoor space that thrives in the challenging low desert climate? Or maybe, you want to inspire others by sharing your experiences gardening in the desert? Whether you are a recent transplant to the desert or an experienced gardener, I’ve created a Facebook group just for you!

As many of you have come to find, the low to mid-desert regions of the Southwest (Coachella Valley, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, among others), that are located in USDA Zones 9-10, are often overlooked in traditional garden literature. This a great opportunity for us to band together and ask questions, provide answers, and share our victories (and failures) to inspire each other toward creating beautiful landscapes that thrive in the low desert.

New Gardeners: You will find help and inspiration here – what plants work best, how to maintain, water, and where to plant.

Experienced Gardeners: Please share your adventures in low desert gardening, especially your successes!

This is a group that values mutual encouragement and support, and I encourage you to take an active part. I’ll see you there…


After a seemingly endless summer, we have finally made it to the finish line.  This is the season where we experience a ‘second spring’ and venture out into the garden again.

Soil is ready to be amended, citrus fertilized, and some light pruning can be done.

Un-pruned lantana on the left.  Two light pruned lantana are to the right with a pile of clippings.
September is the gateway to a busy time in the garden, but there are a few things that it is still too early to start on yet.

I’ve made a video of what you should do and shouldn’t do this month:


What is your favorite season of the year?

Do you use any power tools to keep your landscape looking its best?

If you are like me, you may have a hedge trimmer and perhaps a leaf blower, or both.  

When I was contacted by the folks at Troy-Bilt to review their newest line of garden equipment that is powered by CORE technology, I was very excited to partner with them and I was provided with the products free of charge. Each piece of this equipment uses a rechargeable battery.  Their equipment line includes a hedge trimmer, leaf blower, string trimmer and a lawn mower.

Due to my previous experience with the quality of Troy-Bilt products, I have high expectations for these new tools will share my experiences with a video.

 
CORE technology means that the “power comes from the motor and not the battery.”  
 
According to Troy-Bilt, “the controller communicates with the CORE motor to monitor how hard it’s working and senses when the motor needs more power and automatically calls for more energy from the battery. So when you need maximum power, CORE answers. The controller efficiently manages the transfer of energy from the battery to the motor to deliver maximum runtime from every charge”.
 
The equipment is simple to put together, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.  I couldn’t wait to use both of them on a particular problem area in my landscape.
 
 
I have an informal hedge of white gaura growing in my front garden, but within its depths lurks an infestation of bermudagrass.  The grass was left over from when we renovated the landscape and took out the lawn.  As usually happens, sometimes grass can re-emerge, which is what happened here.
 
Unfortunately, I am now at the point that where the grass is threatening to take over my gaura, so drastic measures need to be taken.
 
To solve the problem, I have to prune back the gaura severely so that I can get to the base of the grass and dig it out.  So, I will use the hedge trimmers to prune the gaura back severely and then the leaf blower to help clean up the area afterward.
 
 
Troy-Bilt’s CORE hedge trimmer is effective and not too heavy for me to use comfortably.  I am impressed at how easily it cut through the old stems without getting tangled up.
 
 
I have had the opportunity to test over five different Troy-Bilt blowers over the past few years and this one is my favorite.  It is very powerful, easy to hold, and simple to use.
 
Battery-powered technology paired with Troy-Bilt’s CORE engine creates powerful garden equipment that is easy to use. The power of their tools rivals those with gas-powered engines.  Now, I don’t have to worry about messing around with power cords – no more rolling and unrolling electrical cords, accidentally cutting the cord, or having to constantly move the cord out of my way.  I also don’t miss having to fill gas engines up with fuel.
 
One thing that is important to note is that the battery should only be charged at temperatures between 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  So, for those who live in areas with extremely cold or hot climates, the battery will need to be charged indoors.
 
All of the CORE power garden equipment operate off of the same battery.  Each tool comes with a battery and charger, but you can order additional tools without the battery if you  have one from other CORE products.
 
To learn more about Troy-Bilt’s line of CORE products and how they work, click here.
 
*I was offered the hedge trimmer and blower free of charge from the folks at Troy-Bilt with the expectation of an honest review.

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the television camera?  



What we often see is just a small portion of what goes on behind the scenes as I have learned during my occasional appearances on television.

Today, I thought that I would let you see what goes on behind the scenes getting ready for a gardening segment on television. I documented what went on behind the scenes of my television appearance last Friday.

You may be surprised to find that appearing on camera is the easiest part.  Here is how it all happens…

– Typically a week ahead of time, I am contacted by the producer of the show I am being asked to appear on.  They give me a general gardening topic and then send me a guest sheet to fill out.  On the guest sheet, I list general questions for the host to ask and send in photos for them to use in the segment as well.

– Two days before my scheduled appearance, I visit my local nursery to get the plants and other ‘props’ that I will need.

– The day before, I am busy ‘cleaning’ up the plants – removing any dead leaves and/or flowers and wiping down the nursery containers with a wet rag to remove any dirt.  Often, I plant some of the plants in decorative pots.  Believe it or not, I have a stash of ‘props’ that I only use when I appear on television, which I will show you later.



The next day begins with an early arrival at the television station.  Plants are unloaded onto large plastic carts located in the television station’s lobby for transporting props.

I usually bring someone with me to help me set up.  For me, it’s usually a family affair with various members of my family accompanying me. This time, my nephew came along to help.  He recently graduated from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences and I thought that he would like to experience the workings of a television studio.


There is security in the lobby and only those on the list are allowed to enter.  Guests are expected to arrive 1 hour before the show airs.

After entering, you are shown to the ‘green room’ where you wait with others who will also appear on the program.


Most often, I bypass the green room as I am shown directly to the outdoor area in back of the studio where I will set up.  Along the way, we pass the newsroom.


In the outdoor area there is typically a rectangular table set up for me and I get to work on setting up my props.


When selecting props, color is an important element, so I always try include colorful flowers whenever possible.  


In this case, I was asked to talk about what to plant in winter, so I picked out the most colorful annuals that my local nursery had – in this case, primrose.

Earlier, I mentioned that I have a stash of ‘props’ that I use when I am to appear on television.  Well, I used three of them; a hand shovel, a hand rake as well as a galvanized steel container.  I don’t use them in the garden so that they will always look nice and I’m not having to clean them.  A nice pair of leather garden gloves usually appear alongside my other props as well.


Setting up my props is called ‘staging’ and I must admit that it’s not my strongest suit.  In general, tall plants go in the back with smaller ones in front.

My sisters and mother are very good at staging and have been especially helpful when they have come with me when appearing on television.


However this time, I was on my own when it came to arranging my plants and props.


This is the perspective from where I will stand when talking in front of the camera.  The small TV shows a live feed of what is currently being broadcast and is helpful when being interviewed since I can see what the viewers see – especially when the photos I sent in are shown on screen so I can speak directly about them.

About a half-hour before my segment, a producer comes out and sets up my mike, which is threaded through my clothes and clipped to my collar.


After a busy morning of getting up early, loading plants, driving to the studio, unloading plants and staging plants and getting ‘miked’ – it’s time to sit and wait until it is time for my segment to go on.

Since my segment is being filmed on the back patio and not inside the studio, I usually spend my time in the break room waiting until the television host comes to find me to talk about the upcoming segment.

It’s interesting to note that I never know before I get to the station, when I will be on.  I’ve been on at the beginning, middle and end of the show – I prefer to be on at the beginning instead of waiting.


Shortly before my segment, a ‘teaser’ is shown with close-ups of my plants being shown after which, a commercial is shown.


During the commercial, the host talks to me about what I brought and we both go over what I will talk about.

Finally, it is time for my live segment.  At this point, everything goes very fast.


My four minute garden segment feels like it only takes one minute to do.  I admit that this is the part that I like best – helping people learn how to enjoy their garden and hopefully inspiring them to try something new.  In this case, we talked about adding lettuce and other leafy green alongside colorful annuals in pots.

If being on camera makes you nervous, it helps to just talk directly to the host and try to ignore the camera.  I do that most of the time, but I do try to talk directly to the camera a few times as well.

After the segment is over, I load my things back onto the plastic cart and leave.  Sometimes, I make it home before the program is over.

Later in the day, I receive an email from the producer with a link to my garden segment.  I don’t like to watch myself on TV a lot, but I do watch it once to make sure that I didn’t make any mistakes.  Every time I go on, I find myself becoming a little more comfortable with the process.
And so, that is a behind the scenes look to filming a garden segment on television.  I hope that you enjoyed it.  

**If you would like to view this particular garden segment, click here.
January is off to a busy start.  We have gone from a house bursting at the seams to one that seems suddenly spacious after my two oldest daughters left for home with their children.  While I do miss them, I must admit that I never thought a house filled with 3 teenagers would seem quiet.

Enjoying last minute cuddle time with Lily before she flew back to Michigan.

As I drove my oldest daughter and her family to the airport, I felt that familiar tickle in my throat and knew that I was getting sick.  I wasn’t too surprised with all of the busyness of the holidays that my resistance was low.  

A few days later, I was due to make an appearance on the television show, Arizona Midday, which airs on our local NBC television station.  The topic was to be about winter gardening tasks.

While I have been on television a few times before, this was my first time on this particular program.  

As with the other times, I made a trip to the nursery for plants and other things for the television spot since the producers like a lot of props to make things look more interesting.

I came away with a bare root rose (my favorite Mr. Lincoln red rose), leaf lettuce and kale, parsley and cool season annuals for color.  Other props included different types of frost protection including frost cloth, old towels, and sheets.

Unfortunately, as the date of my television appearance neared, my cold got worse and evolved into a full-blown sinus infection.  


So on a brisk winter morning, loaded up with cold medicine and a pocket full of kleenex, I loaded up my plants and other props and headed to the TV station along with my mother who came with me to help me stage the table and provide moral support.  

We spent a delightful time waiting to be escorted to the studio in the green room with a pair of chili cooks who were talking about an upcoming chili cookoff.


Finally, it was time for the gardening segment, which went quite smoothly – I didn’t cough or sneeze once.  The host was kind, gracious and most importantly – laid back and relaxed.

After returning home, I got on my favorite pair of sweats and got back into bed.  I am determined to kick this cold!

If you would like to see the garden segment click here.

I hope that your January is off to a great start!

Do you write a family Christmas letter telling people what has been happening in the past year? I confess that I have never done this before.  But today, I thought that I would write one for you that talks about our Christmas celebration and what the coming year holds in store.

Christmas was spent with a house filled with my 5 children (including my oldest daughter from Michigan and my second-eldest from California), my son-in-law, 2 grandchildren, my husband, me plus our 4 dogs.  So that makes 10 people, not counting the dogs.




While things have been busy and chaotic, juggling bedrooms and bathrooms, keeping the dogs from eating wrapped Christmas gifts, cooking dinners for 10 people, picking up stray toys and finding time to take the grandkids on grandma and grandpa dates- I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

The Christmas tree has since come down and most of the holiday decorations are stored away and our house has begun to resemble its former self, which allows time to reflect on the past month and look forward to some exciting things happening soon.

My daughter Ruthie, my twin nephews and my niece, Sofie.
Every year, I host our annual cookie baking day for my nieces, nephews, grandkids as well as my own kids.  The kids look forward to it every year and it is fun to see them decide what cookie cutters they will use and how messy they get decorating their cookies.
My granddaughter Lily, nephews and my son Kai (the tallest one).

While their parents sit and visit, I scramble to keep up with the kids helping them find the right color frosting and sprinkles to create their masterpieces.

After they have finished, each one can pick one cookie to eat and the rest we save to eat together when we gather with extended family on Christmas day.

This is the aftermath of a successful cookie baking day.  After an hour and a half, I am exhausted.  However, each year I am pleasantly surprised that the older kids still look forward to participating and it is so much fun seeing my young grandkids now taking part.



This Christmas was extra special because it was my grandson’s first one.  What also made it especially happy was that my daughter was able to spend Christmas with us for the first time since she joined the Navy.




The kids all enjoyed their gifts, including Gracie who especially liked the ‘sugar’ cereal and chocolate bar that her brother gave her – food that her mother doesn’t buy her 😉




The day after Christmas was a big one for me.  I turned 50 this year and we celebrated with extended family at my sister’s house. 


To be honest, it wasn’t as much of a milestone for me as I thought it would be.  The reason is that I have spent the entire year thinking about turning 50, so I might as well as have skipped over being 49 years old.

I do feel great and am embracing my age and being in the position to have lived long enough to have learned quite a few things and young enough to still be able to do just about anything I still want to do.



I look at my mother as she spends time with my grandchildren and am thankful that I will probably be around when these two have children of their own.




This is my newest wallpaper for my phone.  My husband and I took this picture when we took Lily and Eric out on a date to McDonalds.  One nice thing about little kids is that McDonalds is as fancy as you need to get and they love it.


The coming year is filled with a lot things to look forward to.



I have several test plants growing in my garden, which were given to me by growers who want to see how they will perform in the desert Southwest.  Of course, as a horticulturist, I am interested in seeing how they do as I like to be able to recommend a greater variety of plants to both you and my clients.  It also doesn’t hurt that they were free 🙂




My former side vegetable garden is planted with wildflower seeds, many of which, I am growing for the first time such as different colors of California poppies.



New roses are also on their way, which will also be added to the side garden amongst the wildflowers.  (I still have two other vegetable gardens, which grow plenty of produce for us.)




On the business front, I keep getting busier each year helping others create beautiful, low-maintenance landscapes using plants that thrive in our climate.  In 2015, I had over 85 consultations – I so enjoy meeting with people and helping them with their landscape.


Later this week, I will be appearingon a local television program, Arizona Midday, to talk about winter garden tasks.  Frost protection, planting roses, bare root fruit trees and other winter chores will be covered.  The program will air this Friday (January 8th) between 12:30 – 2:30 on KPNX (NBC) – you can view my garden segment here.

Travel will be another big part of this year with trips planned to Seattle, California, Georgia, and Michigan already planned.  I’ll be sure to take you along with me as I blog from the road.



Speaking engagements are also filling up my calendar with the first one happening the end of January.  Later in the year, I will be a landscape instructor for an upcoming Landscape Design School given by the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs.

Of course, I will continue to write garden articles for Houzz and for other companies as well.  

**I wanted to take a moment to thank you for taking time out of your day to read my blog.  It means so much to me and I look forward to sharing more with you the coming year!

Last week, I had one of my best days at work.  


I had to do some work out in the field, which entailed placing 3 large boulders in a high profile landcape area of a golf course.



While placing boulders may seem rather boring to some, I must say that I always enjoy this job.


Why you may ask?

Well first of all, it can be quite exciting.  Moving very large boulders isn’t without its risks.  There is always danger of damaging nearby structures.  You can also get a sense of how heavy a particular boulder is when the back tires of the backhoe comes off the ground.


But, the reason that I most enjoy placing boulders is that I have several people listening and following my directions as to where to place each boulder.

Now, lest you think that I may get carried away with my power – there is no chance of that.  After a busy day in the field, I came home and tried my best to get my 3 teenagers to listen and do what I asked.  Needless to say, the ‘power’ I had earlier in the day, mysteriously disappeared  😉


But at the end of the day, I did have three nice-sized boulders to anchor my landscape design.  Plants were ready to go in a couple of days later.

Our second day in Oregon started out with an even greater appreciation of this beautiful state.


The day started out with walking down the street from our downtown hotel for a gourmet breakfast.


Okay, not really.  But we did walk down the street toward Pioneer Square, we ended up eating at McDonald’s for breakfast.


Although our road trips typically find us in a new place each day – there are a few things that we do each day.



The first being, my mother stopping by the nearest Starbucks for coffee.

Sometimes, it isn’t always easy to find a Starbucks, but, in the Northwest, there is just about one on every street corner.

The first stop on our itinerary today was to visit Portland’s Saturday Market, which is the largest continually running arts and crafts market in the country.  


The vendors have to make the items that they sell and each item must be approved.  So, you can imagine that the quality of what was offered was quite high.


There was a unique variety of things to tempt shoppers, including the booth filled with items made from old silverware.  I must confess that I was tempted to buy the hummingbird wind chime, made from old butter knives, forks and spoons.


Another booth offered duct tape wallets, custom made to order, which made a great birthday gift for my son.  I enjoyed watching them make it.

How about a custom-made garden gnome made in your likeness while you watch?


If you are into bonsai, there were several types of bonsai plants you could choose from.


I liked this succulent shadow box, but there was no drainage for the succulents, which would be a problem eventually.


Other items included hand carved children’s toys, beautiful woodwork kitchen utensils, clothing, jewelry and much more.


At the end of one aisle was a florist booth with buckets of fresh flowers.

The florists created absolutely beautiful bouquets and I would have gotten one if possible.
Those interested in henna tattoos, having their palms read or buying bracelets and necklaces made from hemp, also had places to shop.
The Saturday Market was the place to be on the weekend and it was fun to people watch.
Of course, there were street performers and best of all, lots of food trucks.
There was so much to do and see there, that we had to go back to our car and put more $ in the meter.
After a fun morning of shopping, we headed back to our car and passed by the Oregon Duck store…
As an ASU alum, I decided to pass right on by and tried to forget the last game I went to when the Ducks were playing and leveled our team.
It was time to leave Portland, but I could have easily spent a few more days there.  But, the nature of our road trips is to spend only 1 day in each area before moving on.  So we concentrate of a few activities and usually make plans to return at a later date to spend more time there.
Our next stop was the coastal town of Astoria.  On the way, we visited the small town of Tillamook.  Now for those of you who think that name sounds familiar, you would be right.
Tillamook is the home of Tillamook Cheese and they offer free factory tours and cheese tasting.  So of course, we made a stop since enjoying regional food is a large part of our trip.
The factory was large and tourists packed the parking lot in front while trucks delivering fresh milk from the county’s farms were in the back.  You could also see 18-wheeler trucks ready to deliver the finished product to stores.
The factory is a huge draw and I was surprised at how many people were there.  There is a cafe, ice-cream shop and a self-guided tour where you can go and observe the cheesemaking itself.
After watching blocks of cheese coming out, we were hungry and headed downstairs for the cheese tasting.
My favorite was the medium cheddar.
After buying some cheese in the adjoining gift shop, we found ourselves in the long, but fast-moving, line for Tillamook ice cream.  We shared a bowl, which was delicious.  I should mention now, that we leave behind our mostly healthy eating habits whenever we go on our road trips.


We got back on the road for Astoria, where we would be spending the night.  While you may have never heard of Astoria, you’ve certainly heard of a very famous movie that was made there called ‘The Goonies’.
It was dinner time by the time we arrived and we headed for the ‘Wet Dog Cafe and Brewery’ which was located on the Columbia River.

You could see the ships passing by at the windows where we sat.
While I like to eat at breweries, I don’t particularly enjoy beer.
But with names like these, I wish I did!
Tomorrow, we are off to explore the area around Astoria, including a look at the house from ‘The Goonies’ before heading north to Seattle.
We are having a great time!