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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Willamette Review

Labor Day weekend was a whirlwind vacation. O and I packed up and headed south, stopping by the Evergreen campus for a little nostalgia. We cleverly stashed the car at Cooper's Glen and walked the old parking lot trail down to the beach, where they've sadly cracked down on public nudity. Half expecting to see some old Evergreen friend, I instead ran into a JFS coworker who was walking the same trail with her daughter (now starting her second year at Evergreen.) Chalk it up to "small world" experience. We also went to the Olympia Big 5 for a shopping spree. O is now outfitted with a new tennis racket and softball mitt, and I finally bought my first pair of actual running shoes. Also picked up a wee present for Diane. Hopefully she'll share before the summer is over.

Since we'd been delayed a bit, we ditched the coastal highway 101 idea and headed back to I-5 for beautiful weather, smooth sailing and good music all the way past Portland and into the Willamette farm country. We stayed for two nights at the Anna Becke House in Aurora. Our hostess Terry has spent the last eight years restoring this historic home and her handiwork shows.

Our lovely room came with a kingsize bed where we got to play all kinds of silly games.

We also enjoyed a wonderful breakfast each morning, shared with another guest couple and featuring fresh fruit from Terry's garden. If we'd gotten up earlier each morning we might have spent more time enjoying the sitting room or the porch swing.

We rummaged around an excellent Architectural Salvage store and checked out the Sokol-Blosser vineyard (beautiful place; disappointing, overpriced wine.) Everywhere we drove, the scenery was amazing. The farmland there is gorgeous; it's more nuanced and irregular than the huge California agro-industrial areas. You get a sense of small scale organic farms, cherished old tractors and wagon wheels lay about, and people are friendly. We walked through a near-endless heirloom rose garden that was clearly someone's labor of love. A local pub kept their kitchen open just long enough for us to get late-night dinner and pints of beer. And one couple there took it upon themselves to welcome us to their town, assuming we were new imports. After looking at the prices on some of the local cottages, it looked pretty tempting.

After our final check out, we drove down past Silverton to Silver Creek Falls State Park. We were too tired to walk the whole 10 falls trail, but enjoyed the first part of it immensely. Olaiya and I played hopscotch across some river rocks:

She slipped once, but made it to shore triumphant. The drive back was serene. No trouble from the "Ford of Many Dollars." And I've wisely arranged to have today off work as well, so I can have a lazy "vacation from my vacation" day. Life is good.



At 9/05/2006 04:23:00 PM, Blogger Diane said...

Does the proprietorship of a J and O B&B loom in your future?

At 9/05/2006 04:28:00 PM, Blogger Jon said...

You came as far as Silverton and you didn't come over to say hi?

WV = wuglt or how I felt when I found out

At 9/05/2006 08:13:00 PM, Blogger Johnbai3030 said...

Sorry Jon, and Portland folks Adam and Jimmy who I would have enjoyed visiting. We were a little selfish with our alone time on this trip. I don't even know exactly where you're at Jon!


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