My first trip on my summer adventure was Eugene, Oregon. My best friend Sarah has just had her second baby and I wanted to see more of her life. Eugene is a great place for people who love the outdoors. Her husband Greg is an avid cyclist and disc golfer, and their whole family loves to hike in the mountains and valleys of their adopted home.
One of our first stops was Riverplay Discovery Park where Norah enjoyed some playtime in the mud puddles. This gigantic park features an old fashioned Western town scaled to kid size, complete with a stagecoach. There is also a mini river and water mill that kept the kids busy as beavers damming things and then watching it all overflow. A giant jungle gym done up to look like an amazing fort in the forest is the topper. The park is obviously a favorite with families in Eugene, though Sarah says she will enjoy it more when Norah is older. It's so huge (and popular!) it can be difficult to keep tabs on a toddler.
We popped in for lunch at The Hideaway, a bakery tucked into a chalet style building on a corner and featuring a wood burning oven and some serious baked goods.
I enjoyed a grilled ham and gruyere sandwich with a pop of mustard, a perfectly made latte and a molasses cookie. Sarah had the tempeh salad which was a glorious riot of colors full of shredded purple cabbage, carrots, mixed greens and all doused with a delicious cashew sauce.
One of Norah's friends came over for a princess dance party (Can you guess which Abba song was the favorite?) and a good look at baby Charlie.
Our evenings were pretty quiet once the kiddos were asleep. Most nights Sarah and I popped open a bottle of wine (or a bottle of port!) and sat talking well into the night. It's a special thing to see an old friend settling so contentedly into motherhood, marriage, life as an adult. I could tell by the quiet, calm way she manages her home and her two kids that she is enjoying each moment of watching them grow.
We did manage a few more highlights in Eugene, and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you. Oregon was a great way to start off this trip.