August has been one of the busiest months ever! It seems like everything has happened at once and I’ve done so much this month. So much that I haven’t had time to blog! I promised a Door County update but I never had a chance to do it. I will have to find time to do it cause it was a lot of fun, just like it is every year! 🙂
Right now I’m on vacation in Eugene, Oregon. M and I flew out to Oregon to visit a couple friends. One of our good friends, Dan, lives in Eugene. We flew to Portland on Friday, spent the day exploring Portland and then drove down to Eugene where Dan lives. While in Portland we had lunch in the large lunch cart district and then proceeded on to shop in some of the awesome stores. We hit up an amazing bookstore called Powell’s. It has to be the biggest bookstore I’ve ever been to – it takes up an entire block! They sell new, used and rare books. I spent a lot of time perusing the health, nursing, art and yoga sections while M spent his time shopping in the running and finance section. Both of us would have walked out with a cartload of books if we had any way to transport them home. I wish they had one of these back in Appleton! In addition to the bookstore, we stopped at a music store and whole foods for a bottle of ‘buch (aka kombucha). I also found a LUSH store and bought two soaps! 🙂 Later Friday night we had dinner at a fantastic pizza place where the three of us split two amazing Sicilian pizzas.
On Saturday we started the day with a 4+ mile run on the famous Pre’s trail. It was a little more than a 4 mile loop running along the Willamette river and near the University of Oregon football stadium. The weather has been perfect. Warm, but not too warm, sunny and dry. Excellent for running! M and Dan are much faster runners than me so they had to slow it down quite a bit and I still lagged behind, but it was a lot of fun to run around the famous trail in Track Town USA! On the way back from the run we stopped at Voodoo Doughnuts – probably the most amazing donut shop I’ve ever seen. To give you an idea about this kind of shop, they are open 24 hours a day with a large post-bar close crowd of customers. You can buy donuts such as bacon maple bars, donuts with cereal sprinkled on top and donuts in the shape of voodoo men and (pardon the crudeness) ‘cock-n-balls’. We really scored with a giant box of probably 3 dozen assorted donuts for $5!!!! We’ve been working on eating all the donuts but there is no way that the 3 of us can finish them before they become stale. After heading home for a shower and gorging ourselves on donuts, we headed out to explore Eugene. We stopped at a farmer’s market and an arts and crafts market as well. I got feathers put in my hair at the market! M picked up a cool carved, wooden bracelet and we bought some fresh produce to use in dinner that night. Then we toured a beautiful rose garden. Oregon has the right climate for growing roses so there are several rose gardens in the state. In the afternoon, Dan showed us around the U of O campus (he’s a grad student there!) and we visited the famous Hayward field. M was really in his element! Unfortunately the track was closed for resurfacing but we could still take pictures outside of the gate. For dinner we cooked the Seb Coe pasta dish that M and I love. Dan enjoyed it even though I added a little too much red pepper – it was spicy! Later that night we met up with some friends who happened to also be in Eugene (what a coincidence!) for a drink downtown. It was a busy day!
Yesterday, Sunday, M and Dan went for a run along the Willamette river on the river path. When they got back we went to a cool coffee shop called Perk where Dan played his saxophone with a bassist while we enjoyed delicious coffee. It was a really relaxing way to start the day listening to awesome jazz played by a good friend :). Later in the afternoon we headed up to King Estate winery. The drive to the winery was very winding and scenic. At the winery we took a tour and enjoyed wine and appetizers out on a patio overlooking the vineyard. The three of us split three appetizers – crab cakes, scallops and a crudite platter. We tried the signature pinot gris from the winery. Everything was to die for. The wine and appetizers were some of the best I’ve ever had – and not cheap either! After licking up every last morsel of our phenomenal meal, we had a wine tasting which featured 6 of the winery’s best wines. Everything was wonderful. It was a beautiful afternoon to spend at a winery, enjoying good wine, good food and great company. After the winery, we stopped at a great bakery in Eugene. We were pretty stuffed after eating at the winery, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to eat delicious cake at the bakery. The three of us shared two kinds of cake – a chocolate mousse cake and marionberry cheesecake. Both were fantastic. I had never heard of marionberry before coming here, but from what I understand, it’s kind of like a sweet blackberry. Whatever it is, it was very good! After having our fill of delicious foods, we headed back to Dan’s place to hang out and watch a movie.
Today we got up early to hike up Spencer’s Butte. It was a little more than a mile climb to the summit. Today was the only day that has been cloudy since we’ve been out here and when we got to the top of the butte we were surrounded by foggy clouds that blocked our view of the valley below. It was very cool to see the mist rising around us, but it was a little disappointing not to see the great view. Not a big deal, we still ended up getting some cool pictures! We came back to Dan’s place and he cooked us an amazing brunch of sauteed italian sausage, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and eggs. I shredded a little pepper jack cheese on top for a little extra zest. Mmm! We spent the afternoon exploring downtown Eugene and stopping at the Nike store. Dan and M are on a group run right now and when they get back we are going to eat dinner at Cafe Yumm!
So far the trip has be so much fun and I don’t want to come back. Oregon’s climate and social scene are so great. There is such a focus on organic, local, sustainable living out here that it’s never hard to find fresh, healthy food. M and I really enjoy it! Tomorrow we are packing into Dan’s car and heading down to San Francisco along the coastal highway to visit another one of their friends from college. It’s going to be so fun!
I promise to update as much as I can, but I probably won’t be able to write again until I’m back home. There’s a lot of other news going on aside from the vacation too which I will explain as well. I’m not trying to ignore blogging, but it’s been tough to find time this month. Thanks for reading and I hope you are having a great day!