Monday, October 26, 2009

Les Petites Noirs 8

This is one of the two owners of Les Petites Noirs. Unfortunately I did not catch her name, but she is very knowledgeable; Not only about chocolate, but also about wine and coffee. She apprenticed with a candy-maker in New York for a few years to learn her chocolate craft. Now, obviously, she runs a successful chocolate shop in a small town in Oregon. It's nice to have people from all over the world in our little valley.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Les Petites Noirs 7

Here is the promised non-truffle chocolate display. Here they have toffee and chocolate bark. The toffee is flavoured with rum, coffee, and other selected items such as nuts and fruit. The chocolate bark has pistachios, walnuts, craisins, and perhaps some other things I'm forgetting. I taste-tested some coffee bean toffee and enjoyed it immensely. Les Petites Noirs allows for taste tests, so make sure you take advantage of that!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Les Petites Noirs 6

This picture I took just for the brilliant combination of colours. This sitting area is behind the display of non-truffle chocolates, which I will show you tomorrow. What a cozy area to enjoy some of the shop's specialty hot cocoa with friends in front of a roaring fire.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Skywatch Friday

This is the Marcus Whitman hotel in downtown Walla Walla. It's probably the most iconic building in the valley, and is quite recognizable. I loved the colours behind this well-known landmark and was fortunate enough to get a red light and time to snap a decent photo. For more information on this hotel, check out these other posts:

Looking Up
The Corner

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Les Petites Noirs 5

One of my favourite parts of the chocolate shop Les Petites Noirs is the white piano used as a display area. It looks as though at some point it might actually be used as a piano, since there is a bench provided, but I don't know when/if it has been. Perhaps for a wine and chocolate event at the shop? That sounds like fun...if you drink wine (which I don't). Again, the colours are stunning.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Les Petites Noirs 4

An example of the chocolate shop's recommended pairings. This set, including a Pinot Noir (I didn't notice the date) and 24 truffles, sells for around $70. Not a bad deal in my book.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Les Petites Noirs 3

Their display case is small, but it houses some interesting truffle flavours: Oak Chestnut, Lavender Vanilla, Chili Pepper, Apple Pie, and - no I am not making this up - Beet. Les Petites Noirs creates its chocolates to pair with wines. They taste local wines and pick up flavours in them that would make interesting truffles. They are happy to recommend wines to pair with their chocolates.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Les Petites Noirs 2

Upon entering the chocolate shop Les Petites Noirs, one is immediately greeted by a beautiful shade of turquoise. The shop's signature colours are this blue and the red you see on the boxes. as you might notice, this shop used to be a house and was renovated to become the chocolate shop. The shop itself is quite small; the rest of the house is used, I believe, to make the chocolate.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Les Petites Noirs

Les Petites Noirs is a gourmet chocolate shop in Milton-Freewater. It was featured in a Northwest travel magazine (I can't remember the name of it!) last year, along with chocolate shops in Spokane, Seattle, and Portland. I've visited this shop twice: once over a year and a half ago, and the second time just last week. This time I took pictures. It's a beautifully colourful shop located on Main Street (aka Highway 11) in Milton-Freewater. I hope you enjoy your tour of Les Petites Noirs this week.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Bakery

Recently I tried a new bakery in town. It opened in Walla Walla around 4 months ago and a friend of mine works there, so I had to go check it out. It's the Walla Walla Bread Company and I highly recommend it! They do fresh-baked pastries and bread items, such as bagels, muffins, cupcakes, scones, and more, as well as loaves and rolls. It not only tastes good, it smells amazing when you walk past the door. It's even better inside. The prices aren't bad, either. I got a large loaf of white bread for $3.75. And it's wonderfully delicious. This bakery is located on East Main Street downtown. If you're ever in town, check it out! I'm told they will soon be offering caramel apples and hot apple cider to celebrate the season. And when you're there, make sure to tell Melissa hi!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Skywatch Friday

Fall is here! I love it when I see the trees changing colour for the first time of the season. It makes me smile every time, because autumn is my favourite season. This lovely tree resides in the Wal-Mart parking lot...but you wouldn't know it from this picture! (And yes we only have one Wal-Mart, so it is THE Wal-Mart.) I had to snap a shot of the early fall sun shining through the beautiful colours of this little tree.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

For the Dogs

This is the valley's only animal shelter, the Blue Mountain Humane Society. My husband and I got our dog there, and my sister adopted a cat from them, as well. I am one of those who will never buy a purebred dog because I don't understand 1) why someone would pay that much for a dog, and 2) why someone would pay that much for a dog when there are thousands of dogs that are going to be put to death because people won't adopt them. And yes I feel strongly about this. Though if you really must have a purebred dog, one in four dogs at Human Societies is purebred. The Humane Society does much good for the cause of dogs and cats across the country, and as a dog person, I appreciate any organization that does what it can to save the lives of adorable canines whenever it can. Support your local Humane Society: Donate cat and/or dog food, and adopt from them. They can only handle so many animals, and those that they have are in dire need of a loving home. Stop by today!

For more information on the Humane Society and to find one near you, visit their website at You can save the life of an adorable animal like this one.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Autumn in the Country

Sadly, the quality of this photo is less than what I'd like it to be. I was the only one in the car (aside from an infant) and had to take the shot through my window as I was driving. I wanted to capture what the valley looks like at the beginning of fall. This picture was taken in mid-September, looking toward the Northeast. Those hills are the base of the Blue Mountains.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I took a drive with my daughter a few weeks back. We went out into the fields of the countryside surrounding Milton-Freewater, since there is so much of it to explore. I tried to take roads I hadn't been on before, and it seemed to work well; I found this road closer to town that is occupied by houses that are obviously owned by well-to-do families. This one caught my eye, as I thought it was quite beautiful. It has a nice size lot, as well. In order to not raise concern (people taking pictures of houses these days tend to rouse suspicion), I snapped a shot as I drove by the property.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another Winery

Since I don't drink wine, I'm terrible at noticing and remembering the names of the 250+ wineries around the Walla Walla Valley. This one is located near Stateline Road (the dividing line between Washington and Oregon) on the southern (Oregon) side of the road. I liked the colour of their main building, and the fact that it doesn't look overly fancy such as most other wineries do.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blue Devils

This is Walla Walla High School. The locals call it Wa-Hi, hence the abbreviation on the building. I'm not sure why, but their mascot is the Blue Devil. Whoever thought cheering for the devils would be a good idea should be evaluated for mental stability, but here we are. Fortunately I'm not a sports fan (and don't know too many people attending Wa-Hi), so I'm exempt from rooting for the devils. Wa-Hi is the city's only high school, which is a constant cause for debate in the political circles. With over 30,000 people in Walla Walla alone, and another nearly 9,000 in nearby College Place, the need for a second high school is growing by the year. Though across-the-border Milton-Freewater has its own high school, that doesn't cover any of Washington's students. College Place boasts a private high school (Walla Walla Valley Academy - known to the locals as WWVA, pronounced Wah-Vuh), which is associated with the Seventh-day Adventist church. However, many local families cannot afford private school (or don't want to send their kids there for one reason or another) so they are left with only one option. As the city grows and develops, Wa-Hi continues to become over-crowded. Hopefully soon we will have another public high school in Walla Walla.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


This is the entrance to one of the valley's 250+ wineries. I forgot to write down the name of this one, but it is located to the east of Milton-Freewater. As you can see, the grapevines go on and on and on... Maybe one of these days I'll take a drive down this little road and see what the winery itself looks like.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Skywatch Friday

Another shot snapped quickly from the car while going 60 mph down the highway. Not my best skywatch shot, I will admit, but this week I'll take what I can get. I'm tired! The sunsets around here during field-burning and forest fire season are phenomenal...though I wish they could be this beautiful without the smoky air and the destruction wrought by wildfires. Every season we have them throughout the Blue Mountains to the east of the the end of the summer they are worst due to the dry summer and everything starting to dry from the inside and die off for the winter.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Sorry about the title of this post...I couldn't resist. These fields used to be covered with hay. By now all of it has been cut and baled and stacked - just like this. These large bales are, I think, 500 pounds each. They are the medium-sized bales. Other bales are a quarter this size and weigh around 100 pounds; the larger ones aren't bales - they're rolls - and I'm not sure how much they weigh. They are around 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Perhaps they weigh 2000 pounds, I don't know. Can any farmers out there correct me/inform us?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lonesome Road

This really looks like something out of the Arab deserts, doesn't it? No, it's just a dirt field on the east side of Milton-Freewater, with the brown hills in the background. This lone tree caught my eye as I was driving around the back roads. The Little Miss and I were out on a drive in an attempt to lure naptime to her. It worked, sort of. We were out for an hour and she slept for the last half of the drive. It was a nice day, so I didn't regret it. Most of the fields around here are wearing their winter browns by now. Everything has been harvested except the orchard fruits, which are currently being harvested. In this area we have mostly apples, but some orchards yield pears or cherries. This tree, however, is not a fruit-bearing tree. I'm not sure what kind it is, actually. Anyone out there want to venture a guess?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Class in the Orchard

I was driving down a country road east of Milton-Freewater when I spotted this school bus parked at the edge of an orchard. I have no idea why it's there, but it sure caught my attention!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thai Ploy

Last year a Thai restaurant opened in Walla Walla. Over this summer, it closed for three months for renovations and a change in management. I also heard rumours about mismanagement and the second co-owner coming over from Thailand to take over, but I don't know if they were founded in fact or gossip. At any rate, my husband and I went on a date night at the newly reopened restaurant (which had changed its name from Thai City to Thai Ploy), and found that it was in fact new and improved. This is what it looks like now. It's a beautiful restaurant and they serve fabulous food. My favourite is their curry, but everything I've tried here has been delicious.