I am a sucker for chocolate and wine. Espcecially when the two are billed together. So when I got the winter version of the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Center schedule and saw that the Jenkins Estate was having a pre-Valentine chocolate, specialty bakery and wine tasting thingy, I marked my calendar in advance.

Of course I am not crazy, I though my husband might get off work early to ride herd on our two under 5 girls, but it didn’t work out that way. So, 4 year old and 20 month year old in hand, me and a couple other Beaverton area moms set off. Yes, it was crowded, and yes the various vendors sometimes gave me looks ranging from annoyed to exasperated (okay, you try keeping a 4 year old’s hands off of plates of free chocolate right at her height and simultaneously try to keep your 20 month year old from getting chocolate on you), but it went okay. There were free balloons, a harpist to occupy the 4 year old while mommy slipped into the Champoeg wine tasting stall, free chocolates, and even a chocolate fountain. (okay, so maybe I am crazy, I let both my girls cover their own strawberries in the chocolate fountain. Big mess. Maybe not do that ever again. But at least I didn’t get my balloon in the fountain like one of my mommy friends….)

So it was okay for three bucks a pop (aged 2 and over).

Then today, I wanted to hit myself on the forehead. My daughter and I stopped by New Seasons market at SW Scholls Ferry and SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy for our once monthly organic purchasing extravaganza. Guess what they were doing? Yep, wine and chocolate tasting. Not only four or five different wines, but Bonny Doon’s Framboise dessert wine, which is to die for paired with extra dark chocolate. Not only was this free, but the chocolates they were giving out samples for were organic and fair trade, including Oregon’s own Dagoba chocolates (which makes a killer dark chocolate and chilies bar called Xocalatl). It’s very important to support fair trade chocolate.

So let’s see, when searching for Valentine’s Day Chocolates or just getting good lush time, a mommy could pay money to go to crowded Jenkins Estate with somewhat attitudinal vendors, or just pop over to New Seasons where the tasting people where extremely nice and accomodating to my 4 year old.

I think I’ll skip Jenkins until my girls are old enough to stay home by themselves.

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