West Coast Trip Part I: Eugene, OR

The West Coast is so incredibly beautiful. Sean planned a really fabulous trip that gave us a taste of so much of the West Coast. I explained the itinerary to a colleague yesterday and she very correctly said, “ah, from the serene to the ridiculous.” We covered Eugene, OR, the Redwood Forest, Eureka, CA, Napa Valley, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Seems a bit like a whirlwind to cover all of this in 10 days, doesn’t it?  I thought the same thing looking at the itinerary before we left but living it was much different.  Much of our tour involved driving for hours at a time or walking all over a city, both of which really helped slow things down and allowed us to enjoy so much.

Again, my wonderful husband planned a fabulous trip that very sweetly began with a visit to my parents in Eugene, OR.  They are new to Oregon and this was our first trip out to see their new home.  Oregon greeted us with this beautiful view from the plane.

mountain

Like Sean, my mom planned a great itinerary that gave us quite a taste for all that Eugene has to offer.  We attended the NCAA Track & Field Championships our first day, which corresponded with the event’s last day.  The event was held at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, which held the Olympic Track & Field trials recently.

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There’s nothing particularly exciting happening here in terms of track and field, but look at those mountains rising up in the background!  So beautiful!  And the perfect example of Oregon mountains because they are fuzzing with fir trees!

In all honesty I wasn’t sure how spending an afternoon at the NCAA Track & Field Championships would go.  Not a single person in our party has ever competed in track and field anything ever in our lives.  But it turned out to be really fun.  I think it helped that KU had quite the presence and were the women’s 2013 National Champions.  One of their women won the heptathlon!  That’s 7 events one has to excel at.  Incredible.  We already love KU for basketball, but who knew they rocked at track and field as well.

Eugene has wonderful parks with plenty of space for picnicing, biking, walking, and enjoying the river.  After breakfast and a walk around Eugene’s Saturday Market on our second day we visited a park with my parents in the morning and in the afternoon Sean and I borrowed their bikes for a ride.

In the park we met this family of geese.  I was afraid they would bite me, but they were still cute.

ducks

It doesn’t really snow or get very cold in Oregon, which I didn’t realize.  Because of this, there’s amazing growth everywhere.  The park’s rose garden is a good example.

rose 2

rose 1

rose 3

rose 4

As is my parent’s backyard, which is beautiful.

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Sean really liked the fish.

On our last night we headed to King Estate Winery for dinner and a tasting.  We were lucky enough to get a table on the patio with beautiful views of the mountains.  The food and wine were great.  We found a new favorite dessert wine.

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We of course wanted a picture of ourselves with these beautiful views but the best view was right behind where my dad was sitting.  My mom asked him to get out of the way.  Getting up was just too much, so he thought he’d solve the problem by putting his head on the table.

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Not so much.  🙂

My flash wasn’t working so the group photo of us inside worked out better anyway.

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It was a wonderful visit with my parents and a great way to kick off our trip.  More to come about the remaining stops on our West Coast trip.

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