We’ve lived in good ol’ Eugene for about 2 years now, and my parents finally got to come visit us for the first time at the beginning of July. I was so excited to see them, since we only get to see each other about once a year at this point (Oregon and Michigan are rather far apart). My parents roadtripped out here, so while we wanted to show them a lot of Oregon, we also wanted to keep them in the car as little as possible. So we spent quite a bit of time in the Eugene area.
But before I share our adventures, it should be noted that my parents are the absolute best. They brought along SIX CASES (!!!) of Ale-8 (Kentucky’s soft drink) for us to enjoy. We are forever in their debt.
Anywho, let’s get to the highlights of the time we spent in Eugene.
It’s summer, so it’s glorious fruit season here in the Willamette Valley. We went to Detering Orchards for a little U-picking blueberries, raspberries, and peaches. We pretty much killed it in the blueberry picking department, but the raspberries were a bit sparse, and most of the delicious-looking peaches were a bit too high up in the trees for us to reach. But we still made it out with a pretty impressive haul. And then spent the rest of the week eating blueberry muffins and scones, fruit pizza, and salads covered in fruit. Summertime is the best.
Anyone who visits Eugene should certainly have a picnic on the patio at Sweet Cheeks Winery (and either buy a bottle of wine or enjoy a free tasting), even if it’s chilly and cloudy. The glorious thing about Oregon is that it is just as beautiful on gloomy days as it is when the sun shines.
Since Eric just finished his masters degree at the University of Oregon, we took my parents for a stroll through campus. Eric recently realized that he’d only really been in 2 or 3 buildings on campus during his program, so it was all pretty new and interesting for him, as well.
We had another picnic (are you noticing a theme here?) at Mount Pisgah. We couldn’t remember if we’d ever seen picnic tables there, but we took a chance, and it turns out there are plenty of tables, perfectly shaded on a hot day. We also enjoyed a nice little stroll down the path by the river, and checked out the frogs in the wetlands area.
And since my family was in town during the 4th of July, we had to watch a fireworks show. Eric and I are both crowd-haters, so we opted to skip the big party at Alton Baker Park, and watch the fireworks from the top of a parking garage at the corner of 8th and Willamette in downtown Eugene. It turned out to be a pretty spectacular decision, as we had a great view, no loud fireworks sounds, and a small crowd. We could even see a few other shows happening around town. And we learned that most parking garages (along with street parking spaces) are free on Independence Day! Hooray for America!
Stay tuned for our adventures on the Oregon coast, Bend, and Portland!