Etcetera - 08/22/11

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There's no place like home: Jill Zagelow subscribes to "Where to Retire" magazine, with the idea that maybe it will reveal the perfect place to relocate for her and husband Bob.

They can stay where they are, according to the September/October issue, which touts Walla Walla as one of "8 Places to Pursue a Passion in the Arts" as a participant or spectator.

Walla Walla is featured under a culinary arts and wine subheading, because as most of you know, this area is teeming with about 130-plus wineries and 115 tasting rooms and a bounty of restaurants.

Article writer Van Sheridan notes that "Walla Walla has turned into a grape escape for foodies and retirees." And we appear to be more laid-back and affordable than Healdsburg in Sonoma County, Calif., according to the article.

Many retirees have come to the area, too, taking advantage of the $164,900 median sales prices of area homes as of 2010's first-quarter statistics. Sheridan also highlights the restaurants and influx of chefs migrating here from places such as Seattle and San Francisco.

Sheridan interviewed Earl Blackaby, who said this area is "a secret place, but more and more people are discovering our secret place."

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Dive into this tour and you'll not only enjoy visiting 10 private Walla Walla-area gardens with water features but you'll be raising funds for the nonprofit Walla Walla Community Hospice.

Hospice's 10th annual Pond and Garden Tour will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 10.

The fundraiser is a self-guided tour of unique, creative gardens that incorporate ponds, creeks and other water features.

The $20 tickets include a tour map and provide entrance to all the gardens. There will also be a raffle for pond and garden accessories, featured vendors of garden art, musicians and "Artists in the Garden."

As a special incentive for early purchasers, those buying tickets before 5 p.m. on Friday will receive a complementary ticket to be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to Birchcreek Plant Factory.

Hospice is committed to providing quality hospice care to adults and children facing a limited life expectancy. No patient is denied hospice services for financial reasons.

All proceeds from the Pond and Garden Tour will be used toward providing quality hospice care in Walla Walla, Columbia and Northeast Umatilla Counties, said Laurie Klicker, marketing coordinator.

Tickets are limited, and must be purchased in advance. Outlets are Bright's Candies Gifts, 11 E. Main St., or the WWCH office, 1067 E. Isaacs Ave. For more information, call 509-525-5561.

More details about the Pond and Garden Tour are available at www.wwhospice.org or www.facebook.com/wallawallahospice.

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