No strangers to the art of winemaking, the Wetzel family?s roots run deep into the vineyards that surround their winery. For four generations, they have crafted award-winning wines in Germany, and for the last 35, they have called Oregon home. Chateau Bianca Winery peeks out from the Willamette Valley, where pinot noir grapes flourish across the estate vineyards. These carefully cultivated grapes eventually fill bottles with varietals such as the 2009 Chateau Bianca Estate pinot blanc, a dry, clean-finishing wine that makes a refreshing apertif.
Guests visit the tasting room to sample some of Chateau Bianca?s wines, where each day a rotating selection of six bottles are uncorked for swirling and sipping. On days when the summer sun dapples the fields and shimmers playfully off Bacchus?s lampshade hat, sippers relax on the outdoor patio to enjoy a glass or share a bottle while looking out across rows of vines.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Eight bags. Two platforms. Two six-inch holes. One distinctly American game. The origins of cornhole are shrouded in mystery. Some say it derives from a German game, while others claim it is a descendant of a similar sport played by Native Americans. But one thing is certain?it's serious business. That's why the American Cornhole Organization was formed in 2005. By setting the rules, establishing annual tournaments and competitions, and firmly banning the practice of using trained birds to dunk bags, these referees have codified the sport and elevate it to a professional level.
For 10 years, New Era Computers has taught students to bend computers to their will with software-wrangling classes that congregate in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings. Instructors employ individual attention and hands-on learning to unveil the mysteries behind Microsoft Word (a $180 value), Excel (a $225¬–$275 value), PowerPoint (a $180 value), Access (a $225–$275 value), or the accounting prowess of QuickBooks (a $225 value). Beginning courses impart basic skills, while intermediate courses delve into more complex studies and allow students to build their own scale model of the Internet. Classes meet in two-hour sessions, either twice a week for three weeks or three times a week for two weeks. New Era Computers' schedule lets prospective students peruse a convenient timeslot and teaches them how to introduce themselves in binary.
The picture preservers at A Framer's Touch encase beloved paintings, photos, and keepsakes in artfully constructed wall hangings that have garnered numerous awards at regional and international framing competitions. After art is transported to the shop, certified framers embark upon the 10-step framing process by consulting with customers to decide on the piece's materials, design, and ability to hang. A stockade of approximately 2,500 moulding samples proffers ample aesthetic options for frames' outer boundaries, and a variety of mats, glass coverings, and needlework choices allow for mind-bending levels of customization. Though rates vary as much as each piece's framed-in contents, basic prices range from $39.99 for an 8"x10" frame to $139.99 for a 24"x36" frame with a mat. To ensure professional work and eliminate the chances of frames being lost or damaged while catapulted between store and workshop, all framing takes place in A Framer's Touch's art-coddling shop.
Warmly reviewed by the Oregonian, Kayak Tillamook County tours explore over 800 miles of Oregon's coastal and tidal waterways. After receiving some basic paddling instruction and a review of the water cycle on dry land, each participant gets their own thermos of hot apple cider with a fresh cinnamon stick and a side of a Skout Bar before hitting the water. Kayakers will share the water with up to seven rivermates, paddling in the gentle wake of an expert guide over the course of the two-hour tour. Winter voyages can occur during salmon runs, so keep an eye out for a host of wildlife including eagles, harbor seals, and dads in grilling aprons. Temperatures are warmer on the coast during the winter than in the interior of the state and the tide is at its highest, enabling intrepid paddlers to delve deeper into nature while enjoying the crisp, clear winter skies.