Three years ago, seven of my friends from college and I attended the bachelorette party of another college friend in Las Vegas. We spent a long weekend together, reminiscing about old times, swimming in our resort’s pool, shopping on the Strip and enjoying our time together. Because we are scattered across the U.S., we made a pact that each year we will leave our busy jobs and personal lives to reaffirm our friendships with each other. This year, we’re thinking wine country.

Naturally when you consider wine in the U.S. you probably think of Napa Valley, Calif. However, in this issue of eco-structure, you’ll be introduced to Woodinville, Wash., one of several Washington wine destinations. The Novelty Hill Januik Winery’s wines have been recognized by national publications, including Wine Enthusiast. Now it has an environmentally conscious facility in which to produce and sell its wines, as well as hold events; see the article on page 24. Seattle-based Mithun’s design team seamlessly integrated simple, natural elements to make the winery and its surroundings a lasting experience for wine lovers.

Although we are wine enthusiasts, neither I nor any of my friends would call ourselves connoisseurs. Food, on the other hand, is a different story. Two of my friends have worked in catering and consider themselves fine-dining experts. Under their advisement, we take a time out from all-day snacking during girls’ weekend to enjoy a delectable meal together. The next time we visit the Twin Cities, I will make reservations at the Red Stag Supper Club, Minneapolis. The restaurant’s owner, Kim Bartmann, used reclaimed materials to decorate her elegant space. Read about how she’s improving the energy efficiency of her restaurant in “ecommercial,” page 34.

It’s inevitable during girls’ weekend that we talk about our careers. I’ve made my friends more aware of green building but several of them are involved in the industry in their own right—one is a geologist, another works for a window manufacturer and another works for Habitat for Humanity. A hot topic we’ve discussed is vegetated roofing. According to Toronto-based Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ “Second Annual Industry Survey,” there were 25 percent more completed green-roof projects in 2006 than 2005, representing more than 3 million square feet (278700 m2) installed. You can peruse 14 recent projects across the U.S. and Canada on page 51. In addition, read what not to do when installing a green roof in “deep green,” page 44. The article describes the resurrection of a failed vegetated-roofing project on the M Financial Building, Portland, Ore.

When it’s my turn to plan girls’ weekend, I intend to recommend an eco-tour. I’ve been keeping a list based on the unique “eco-tourist” articles eco-structure has been running on the magazine’s last page since 2004. Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge, Homer, Alaska, which is profiled in this issue, now is on the list. I can’t imagine a more beautiful setting in which to sip wine, eat well and reaffirm what will be a lifelong bond with my friends.