Monday, October 25, 2021

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Celebrating Lee's Birthday and more

Morgan, Daniel and Lee came over on Sunday night. We had a triple celebration: Lee's birthday on Thursday; Morgan and Daniel's wedding on Friday; and Daniel's birthday on Saturday. We facetimed with Drew before dinner.

Daniel made his mother's enchilada recipe for dinner. Sharon got a great cake from whole foods to commemorate the trip to the Zoo.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

2021 Fall Dinner Party

Sharon and I have made it a tradition to host a fall dinner party [2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 20112010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]. We skipped last year due to the COVID pandemic. We did hold a fall dinner party Zoom cocktail hour last year, but it was a poor substitute for the real thing. With the Sanborns moving to South Carolina and Janie moving to Oklahoma, we decided to go with a smaller group this year. The group included the Larkins and the Gainsleys.

With the smaller group, we used the Garden Room for dinner for the first time for a fall dinner party. Sharon is planning to use the tablescape through Thanksgiving.

The theme this year was Adventures in Oregon. While we have typically organized the fall dinner party around a trip we had taken. This year was unique. We sourced a number of the ingredients for the dinner as we traveled Oregon on our anniversary trip. This included the wine, cheese, hazelnuts and pork.

We started the evening with a blind vertical wine tasting of Anderson Family Vineyard Chardonnay. Sharon put together a great meal. It included hazelnut crusted salmon, wild mushroom soup, butternut squash ravoli and pork loin chops. The full menu is here.

After dinner, we ended up watching episode one of season one of Ted Lasso. This was followed by Dinner For One. Everyone was clammoring for the Lonely Plant skits, but I couldn't find them on the AppleTV. Like two years ago, I was got a little flatfooted trying to tee up this content.

It was just about 11 pm when we walked everyone to the front gate to catch an Uber. With the earlier 5 pm start time for the dinner, it was a long evening!

Friday, October 22, 2021

2021 Kings versus Jazz

For the first time in twenty-one (21) months, I went to an in-person Kings game. Larkin and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Utah Jazz NBA game. It felt like a very competitive game. With the Kings leading for most of the first three quarters, the Jazz outscored the Kings 29 to 21 in the fourth quarter and won the game by the score of 110 to 101.

Harold Barnes was the Kings leading scorer. He had 25 points on 9 for 20 from the field, 2 for 6 from three and 5 for 6 from the free throw line. Barnes added 15 rebounds.

De'Aaron Fox had an off shooting night. He was 5 for 19 from the field and 0 for 5 from three. As a team, the Kings were 8 for 36 (22%) from three.

The leading scorer for the Jazz was Donovan Mitchell. He had 27 points on 9 for 25 from the field, 6 for 14 from three and 3 for 4 from the free throw line. I was surprised how big Mitchell looked; he is listed as 6' 1" and 215 pounds.

Three other random notes. After getting a DNP in the first game, Marvin Bagley played 10 minutes. Utah's Joe Ingles was ejected in the first quarter after being charged with a flagrant-2 foul on a Davion Mitchell dunk attempt. The Kings are playing a three guard set a lot in the first two games; It will be interesting to see how this works over the course of the season.

Larkin and I visited with Snipes and Keith before the game and with Snipes at half-time.

The Kings have one loss in games that I have seen in the 2021-2022 NBA season.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Ranking the 25th Wedding Anniversary Trip Dinners

During our eight hour drive home on Thursday, Sharon and I ranked all of the meals that we had on our 25th Wedding Anniversary Trip. The ranked list of dinners includes:

  1 - 10/08 - Painted Lady - tasting menu
  2 - 10/13 - Ariana - Rabbit/Scallops
  3 - 10/02 - Tu Tu’ Tun - Rib Eye
  4 - 10/09 - Joel Palmer House - tasting menu [food good; service very bad]
  5 - 10/03 - Tu Tu’ Tun - Stripped Pacific Bass
  6 - 10/01 - Amuse - Grilled Steelhead/Pork
  7 - 10/10 - Carson’s American Kitchen - Elk Meat loaf [best meal loaf ever!]
  8 - 10/06 - Jory - Wagyu striploin
  9 - 10/12 - Open Door - Halibut/Lasagna [with the Martins]
10 - 10/05 - Fathoms - Pacific Salmon with Wild Rice
11 - 10/07 - Jory - Burgers
12 - 10/11 - Twisted River Tavern - Salads
13 - 10/04 - Salishan Provisions - Ancient Grains Salad/Vegetable Chopped Salad

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Eileen and Will's Wedding

Saturday afternoon, Sharon and I went to Eileen and Will's wedding at the Julietta Winery. Sharon was the officiant. She did a very nice job with ceremony.

Sharon and Brun are Eileen's godparents. There is a picture of the three of them here from Eileen's first communion and another picture here from Eileen's high graduation.

At dinner, we sat with Eileen's parents Tim and Kathy, Jim and Tom. It was a very nice evening. We left just as they were calling last dance and closing down the bar about 9:50 pm.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 14 - Heading Home - 25th Wedding Anniversary

Up at 5:20 am, I let Sharon sleep until about 6:10 am. We had the car loaded and were on the road by 6:57 am.

We took 97 to 5 to 80. There were some great views of Mount Shasta from Highway 97. With stops for a fast food breakfast in Klamath Falls, gas in Weed and driver changes in Red Bluff and Zamora, we were home just before 3 pm; almost exactly eight hours.

In total, we covered 1,860 miles in fourteen days. It was a great trip!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 13 - Benham Falls - 25th Wedding Anniversary

Moving a little slow, we had breakfast at the Cafe Sintra in the Sunriver Village. I had a FETA CHEESE & PROVENÇAL OLIVES omelet [with fresh basil and sweet peppers], while Sharon had the SPINACH EGG CREPE [Filled with scrambled eggs, goat cheese, sautéed spinach and mushrooms with a side of fruit].

Sharon had originally wanted to drive northeast to hike. With a long drive planned for Thursday, I talked her into staying local. We drove to the Benham Falls East Trailhead. We hiked north to Benham Falls and then continued along the Deschutes River Trail. In total, we hiked four miles in about an hour and fifty minutes.
Visually, it was an interesting hike. There is a section of the river below the falls that was running hard. The other side of the river is the Lava Lands.

Afterwards, Sharon did some shopping in the Sunriver village and at the lodge. We picked up some ice, crackers, cheese and meat at the market.

For the rest of the afternoon, we hung out at the room. We had a comfortable two story room looking out on the 10th fairway and green. We had a light lunch and a couple of glasses to champange to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary and exchanged gifts. We sat for a while on the deck, but it has been cold the last couple of days with highs only into the 40s.

We finished the day with an anniversary dinner at Ariana in Bend. Passing on the seven course tasting menu, we shared HAMACHI CRUDO [passionfruit-habanero kosho, avocado, radish] and BONE MARROW [king trumpets, roasted bone jus, parsley salad, grilled bread] for appetizers. We split the SOUP DU JOUR [butternut squash]. For entrees, I had SCALLOPS [seared wild jumbo scallops, sea urchin risotto], while Sharon had RABBIT [bay cream braised leg and thigh, potato gnocchi, chanterelle confit]. The meal was very good.

As part of the card that I gave her for our anniversary, I included a list of things that I appreciated about her that I had written more than twenty years ago. The list is still very apt today.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 12 - Crosswater Golf Course - 25th Wedding Anniversary

Sharon slept very late; after 8 am. We had a quick bite at Brewed Awakenings in the Sunriver Village.

The plan for the day was playing golf at the Crosswater Golf Course. Due to single digit temperatures overnight, there was a frost delay. We had a 10:15 am tee time, but it was pushed until 11:27 am.

We ended up playing with Ryan Wigley. I asked him what he did for a living about the twelfth hole. It turned out that he is the first assistant Golf Professional at Rogue Valley Country Club. I was glad that we didn't know that he was a golf pro until later in the round.

I felt solid on the driving range, but I continue to be very inconsistent. Most of the day, I drove the ball pretty well. On the first three par threes, I actually had a chance at par. My short chipping was off again. Additionally, the greens were very difficult; they were extremely fast and sloped back to front.

I fell apart on the par three 17th. It was a 190 yard shot across a wasteland. I now count this as the worst I have played on a hole in forty years.

I ended up shooting a liberally scored 116. The scorecard is here.

Dashing back to the room, we got changed and headed to Sisters. We drove to Bill and Carol Martin's house. They moved from Sacramento to Sisters in June of 2020. Sharon and I worked with Bill at Farm Credit. Sharon also has some history with them before she and I got together. We had dinner with them and the Wongs in 2017.

After a cocktail at their house, the four of us went to The Open Door for dinner. The Martins had reserved a small greenhouse in the back yard; it was very cool. After an appetizer of BACON & ROASTED BRUSSELS [served with balsamic glaze drizzle & Parmesan], Sharon and Bill had WILD HALIBUT [WITH BASIL PESTO WITH SHAVED PARMESAN SERVED OVER HOUSE-MADE MASHED POTATOES], while Carol and I had ITALIAN SAUSAGE LASAGNAS [Italian sausage layered with ricotta and mozzarella and parmesan]. It was a very nice evening.

By the time, Sharon and I drove back to Sunriver and crashed, it was after 11 pm.

Monday, October 11, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 11 - Sunriver - 25th Wedding Anniversary

After grabbing breakfast at Starbucks, we drove to the Pro Shop for the Crosswater Golf Course. Sharon wanted to look for some warm golf pants. We will be playing the course on Tuesday.

The plan for the day was bike riding around Sunriver. We rented a couple of bikes at Village Bike and Ski. We ended up riding about twelve and a half miles in two hours. A map in here.

It was a little cold and windy, but I enjoyed exploring the area. I only got us lost once, but we recovered quickly.
After returning the bikes, we headed into Bend. Sharon wanted to shop in the Old Mill District. This turned out to be a huge disappointment. The area was no different than an outdoor mall that you would find anywhere. We grabbed some pot stickers and nachos at Greg's Grill.

While we were eating, I started looking at the Ale Trail app. We ended up heading into Old Town. This was more to Sharon's liking. It had a number of small boutiques and restaurants. Sharon shopped for a while. We stopped for a beer at the Bend Brewing Company.

We finished the day having a light dinner at the Twisted River Tavern. We watched the Giants beat the Dodgers by the score of 1 to 0. Have I said recently how much I hate the Dodgers?

Sunday, October 10, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 10 - Silver Falls State Park - 25th Wedding Anniversary

Moving day.

After packing up the room, we had breakfast in the Jory Restaurant at the Inn. We both had huevos rancheros [crispy tortilla, two fried eggs, avocado crema, black beans, ranchero salsa, house chorizo].

Loading the car, we rolled from the inn about 10:15 am. With the wine purchases in the Williamette Valley, the car is very loaded down.

A litte over an hour from Newberg, we stopped at Silver Falls State Park and hiked the Trail of Ten Falls. We ended up seeing seven of the waterfalls. We covered about 5.75 miles in two and a half hours. A map is here.
It was a spectacular hike!

Back in the car about 3:30 pm, it was three hour drive from there to Sunriver. We rolled up to the Sunriver Lodge just after 6:30 pm. We are spending the last four nights of our trip at Sunriver Resort.

After unloading the car, we drove back to the lodge. We had dinner at Carson's American Kitchen. I started with CLAM CHOWDER [cream, Yukon Gold potatoes, bacon lardon, mirepoux, Manilla clam], while Sharon had an ICEBERG WEDGE [bacon, tomato, bleu cheese crumbles, and bleu cheese dressing]. We both had ELK MEATLOAF [Topped with bacon, caramelized onions, Sunriver's signature coffee BBQ sauce and served with broccolini and butter whipped mashed potatoes]. Sharon said that it was the best meatloaf that she ever had!

We crashed about 11 pm watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 9 - Champeog State Park - 25th Wedding Anniversary

Grabbing breakfast and coffee from Starbucks, Sharon and I headed to Champeog State Park. We hiked 3.8 miles in just under an hour and a half. The area has some interesting history; we passed one Oregon Historical Marker. A map of the hike is here.

Heading back to the hotel, the plan for the afternoon was a couples massage. We have only done this once before. It was definitely better than the first time that I did it... We hung out with a bottle of champange in room for an hour after the massages

We grabbed a late light lunch at the bar in the Inn. I had a heirloom beet salad [arugula, goat cheese panna cotta, fried onion threads], while Sharon had garden tomato salad [pesto, olive tapenade, pickled peppers, burrata, finissimo basil].

After a nap in the room, we headed to the Joel Palmer House for a late dinner. While the food was solid, the service was bad. The person who greeted us [Levi] introduced himself as the floor manager and sommelier. When we tried to order a couple of wines by the glass, he couldn't be brothered. When Sharon asked about the Pinots, he said "they are all good." The table next to us got a ten minute discussion of the wines by the glasses from a different "sommelier." We had a number of other odd experiences with the servers. I don't recommend this restaurant.

For the first course, I had Heidi’s Three Mushroom Tart [Slippery Jacks, Porcini (Boletus edulis), and Button Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)], whie Sharon had Joe’s Wild Mushroom Soup [purée of Slippery Jack Mushrooms (Suillus luteus) with a sunken quenelle of mushroom risotto].

For a second course, we both had Escargots [with truffle garlic butter, Black Trumpet Mushrooms (Craterellus cornucopioides), and lemon-lime emulsion].

For a third course, I had Sturgeon [marinated in cilantro and lime juice, with chanterelle mushrooms and served over curry quinoa & cayenne aioli]. Sharon had Beef Stroganoff [with wild mushrooms over seasoned rice].

For a fourth Course, I had Duck Breast [Chinese 5 spice scented with Marion Berry & foie gras purée, and seared apple]. Sharon had Mushroom & Elk Wellington [sautéed leeks & Iraqi tahini painted Elk NY over portobello wrapped in puff pastry with seasonal mushroom purée].

For dessert, we split Candy Cap Mushroom Crème Brûlée (Lactarius fragilis) and Chocolate Mousse (Mushroom Hunting on a plate).

We finished the night watching Bill Maher on the AppleTv.

Friday, October 08, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 8 - More Wine Tasting plus... - 25th Wedding Anniversary

Sharon and I started the day with a thirty minute walk on the street near the Inn. Afterwards, I did a couple of Peloton strength classes.

After an agressive Thursday, I was thinking that we would have a more low key day; I was wrong. It turned out pretty active, including:
  • Breakfast at the Red Hills Market in Dundee - Sharon had chilaquiles [tortilla chips, salsa verde, pickled red onions, carnitas, cotija, lime crema, cilantro, two eggs], while I had a grande breakfast burrito [carnitas, eggs, queso fresco, avocado, salsa verde].
  • Wandered downtown Newberg.
  • Tasted at the Rex Hill Winery.
  • Tasted at the Rain Dance Vineyards - The tasting room was walking distance from the Inn. It is owned by the same people that own the Inn. I really enjoyed this tasting.
  • We drove out to Tabula Rasa Farms in Carlton. Sharon wanted to shop for the main course for the fall dinner party.
  • We stopped for a quick beer at the Wolves and People Brewery. We had driven by it a couple of times and it looked interesing.
  • We finished the day with a three hour plus fixed menu dinner with wine pairing at The Painted Lady Restaurant. The menu is here.
We watched the cold open for Saturday Night Live and crashed about 11:30 pm.

Thursday, October 07, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 7 - Wine Tasting - 25th Wedding Anniversary

Moving slowly, Sharon and I had breakfast at the Jory Restaurant in the inn. We both had steel-cut oatmeal with brown sugar & cinnamon. Afterwards, we walked for thirty minutes around the grounds.

The plan for the day was a wine tasting tour. Sharon had arranged with Oregon Select Wine Tours to drive us. Jeff Petersen picked us up at 10:45 am. We tasted at four wineries, including: We got dropped off back at the Inn about 5:15 pm. I really enjoyed the day!

I wandered down to the hot tub and pool. Eventually, Sharon and I had dinner in the lounge of the inn. We both had the wood-grilled “pinot” burger [tillamook cheddar, house-smoked bacon, charred onion relish, dijon aioli].

We crashed early.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 6 - Allison Inn - 25th Wedding Anniversary

After an ambitious day and a late night, we were moving slowly. Eventually, we wandered down to the Provisions Market again for breakfast. I had a breakfast bagel, while Sharon had avocado toast.

Today is moving day. We packed up the room and loaded the car. We were in the car and moving about 10:15 am.

We made a quick stop at The Alder House. Sharon bought a glass pumpkin to add to the ones that she got in Vermont. We also stopped briefly at the pottery shop next door.

Heading into the Williamette Valley, we made a stop at Bernards Farm. Sharon wanted to get some hazelnuts for a potential recipe for the fall dinner party.

We had lunch at the Two Dogs Taphouse in McMinnville. I had Greek Veggie Wrap [House made garlic hummus, red onion, tomato, feta cheese, and mixed greens]. Sharon had a House Salad [Mixed greens with cucumber, tomato, and choice of house made ranch, blue cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, citrus poppy seed, or cilantro lime dressing].

At lunch, Sharon worked to find somewhere that we could wine taste. After calling a couple of places, we ended up at Domaine Senere. It was a spectacular hilltop tasting room. Sharon often complains that tasting rooms don't take advantage of the view; this one did. Pictures wouldn't do the view justice. The wine was very good. It is a winery where we would consider joining the wine club. We had a leisurely hour and a half tasting sitting on the patio.
We rolled up to the hotel just after 4 pm. We are spending four nights at the Allison Inn. After getting settled in the room, we explored the hotel and grounds. There is a fairly extensive set of walking trails around the hotel, including a fair amount of outdoor art pieces.

We had dinner at the Jory restaurant at the Inn. We split a tomato salad [pesto, olive tapenade, burrata, pickled peppers, finnisimo basil] and oysters on the half shell [raw with horseradish crème fraîche and whitefish roe]. We both had a 9oz. australian wagyu striploin [yukon gold potatoes, oregon bleu, braised lobster mushrooms, broccolini, steak jus] as an entree. The meal was very good; I liked the steak better at the Tu Tu' Tun.

We finished the night watching the last three innings of the Cardinals versus Dodgers wild card game. The Dodgers won the game by the score of 3 to 1 with a walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth. I hate the Dodgers...

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 5 - Salishan - 25th Wedding Anniversary

With few options on site, we had breakfast at the Provisions Market. We both had steel cut oatmeal.

The original plan for the day was golf. Unfortunately, it was raining hard. After stopping briefly at the pro shop, we decided to pivot and head North.

We drove to Tillamook. I have been there once for work. We stopped at the Blue Heron Cheese Company. It was a tourist trap; I don't recommend it. We did end up buying some cheese for the fall dinner party.

From there we drove to the Tillamook Creamery. This was more professionally organized and intellectually interesting. You have a chance to see the factory floor. I bought some ten year old cheese that might make it to the dinner party...

For lunch, we headed to Schooners in Netarts. We had a very nice lunch that included chowder, oysters and a Crispy Calamari Salad [Calamari, cabbage medley, cilantro, mint, peanuts + sweet chili vinaigrette].

Sharon drove the next leg. We followed the Three Capes Scenic Loop to Pacific City. We stopped and had a couple of beers at the Pelican Brewery. We bought some beer for the fall dinner party.

With the weather clearing up, we decided to head back to the golf course. We ended up playing the front nine at the Salishan Golf Links. It is a beautiful course. We had no one in front of us or behind us. Without a warm up, I struggled initially, but struck the ball well as the round went on. The greens were treacherous. Although they were wet, they were cut very short and were very fast.

I ended up with a very, very liberally scored 55. The scorecard is here.

Getting cleaned up, we headed to dinner at Fathoms Restaurant at the Inn at Spanish Head. After more oysters, chowder and a salad, we both had grilled wild pacific salmon with wild rice.

We finished a long ambitious day watching the movie CODA on the AppleTV.

Monday, October 04, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 4 - Cape Perpetua - 25th Wedding Anniversary

After packing up the room, we had breakfast in the lodge. We both had Seasonal Garden Vegetable Frittata with spinach, mushroom, sweet pepper and feta cheese. It was served with potatoes, homemade toast and Northwest Peppered Bacon.

We rolled from the Tu Tu' Tun about 9:15 am. We had a number of stops planned for the day. We broke the day into four one hour hops.

The first stop was Bandon Dunes. When we first started planning the trip in May, we tried to book a couple of nights there. It was already completely booked. We decided to stop there and check the place out. I am intriguted. Maybe we will come back with the Wongs or the Gainsleys for a golf trop.

The second hop was the Dean's Creek Elk Viewing area. This was a little of a kerfuffle; they were sealing the road. Regardless, we got a chance to see a number of elk.

The third hop was a lunch stop. We had a nice lunch at the Luna Sea Fish Market in Yachats. Sharon had halibut fish and chips and I had a halibut sandwich. Sharon said that it was the best fish and chips that she had ever had!

The last stop for the day was Cape Perpetua. We parked at the visitor center and hiked the Captain Cook Trail down to the ocean. The area includes Thor's Well and the Spouting Horn. Looping back to the Visitor Center, we hiked the Giant Spruce Trail out and back. In total, we hiked a little over three miles in an hour and a half.
We finally rolled up to the lodge about 5:45 pm. We are spending two nights at the Salishan Coast Lodge. This is a large rambling property with a number of buildings spread across the hillside.

Sharon was not very happy with the room. It is a little dated. Apparently, the property has changed ownership recently.

We walked back to the main lodge. One of the struggles is going to be finding somewhere to eat. Most of the restaurants on the property are closed on Monday and Tuesday. We knew this ahead of time.

After some discussion and research, we ended up getting dinner at the Provision Market in the lodge. I had a Vegetable Chop Salad [romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, corn, red onions, carrots, poblano avocado ranch dressing], while Sharon had a Ancient Grains Saiad [quinoa, arugula, tomato, carrot, almond, green goddess dressing]. We split Vegetarian Dumplings.

We finished the night watching episode eleven of season two of Ted Lasso on the AppleTV.

Sunday, October 03, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 3 - Rogue River - 25th Wedding Anniversary

<Up and moving at 7 am, we had breakfast at the Tu Tu' Tun Lodge. I had blueberry pancakes, while Sharon had eggs.  My breakfast was good, but I don't anything will top the Ashland Creek Inn.

The plan for the day was a jet boat trip on the Rogue River. We drove into the port in Gold Beach to Jerry's Rogue Jets. We took the 930 am boat. Sharon had signed up for the mail boat tour. We ended up on one of the smaller boats that they use for the whitewater tours.

It was a nice day. The tour travels thirty-two miles up the Rogue River to Agnes. We stopped there and had lunch at the Cougar Lane Lodge. Sharon and I split a caesar salad and a veggie burger. Along the way there and back, we saw a large family of River otters, bald eagles, a seal and lots of other birds.

There were a lot of drift boats on the river fishing for salmon and steelhead. Sharon and I talked about coming back and either fishing or hiking the Rogue River. I am starting a formal list of trip ideas for the future.

The boat driver was the grandson of the founder of the company. Much to Sharon's initial chagrin, due to the fact we were in one of the smaller boats, he did several spins along the way.

We were back at the lodge about 2:45 pm. Sharon wanted to go to the pool, but once we got there decide it was too cool.

Pivoting we took our books down to the lawn chairs and read for a while. Back at the room, we spent some time planning Monday. We are going to make a number of stops along the coast.

We had a later dinner at Lodge. The set menu included:
  • a FIRST COURSE of Potato & Leek Soup [Dill Crackers];
  • a SECOND COURSE of Chopped Vegetable Salad [Organic Vegetables, Sesame Mustard Dressing, Candied Cashews do Kataifi];
  • THE MAIN EVENT of Pacific Striped Bass [Toasted Parmesan, Sauce au Poivre] with White Bean Ragout [Camembert Lemon] and Local Farm Vegetables in Beurre-Fondue; and,
  • the SWEETEST ENDING of Poached TuTu' Tun Pears [Mascarpone, Candied Pecans].

Saturday, October 02, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 2 - Tu Tu' Tun - 25th Wedding Anniversary

We took an early morning walk around downtown Ashland exploring the city and the Shakespeare venues. I was surprised that theaters were located so close to the downtown and Lithia Park.

The Ashland Creek Inn offerred at fantastic breakfast. Sitting along the creek, we had a leisurely meal. We chatted on and off with the owner who was helping to serve the food.

We rolled from the inn about 10:15 am. We made a quick stop at Best Buy in Medford; I forgot to bring an AppleTV.

We headed to the Oregon Coast: 5 to Grant's Pass, 199 towards Cresent City and then 101 to Gold Beach. We split the driving almost exactly in half with Sharon driving first. Although fitting the luggage is a little of a Chinese puzzle, we have Sharon's car on this trip.

We stopped at Secret Beach. This is one of several spots that Sharon had tagged as wanting to stop along the coast in the next couple of days. It was a short steep hike down to an interesting supposedly black sand beach.

From Secret Beach, it was less than thirty minutes to the hotel; we got there about 3:15 pm. We are spending two nights at the Tu Tu' Tun Lodge. We staying in room 5.

After getting settled in the room, we got a drink from the bar and wandered down to the river. The lodge has a lawn chairs on a grassy area along the water.

Skipping lunch, we had an early dinner. The set menu included: a small spicy butter lettuce salad; a broccolini soup; another salad with kale; pop-overs and, rib eye steak with pasta and mushrooms. The food was very good.

We finished the night in a soaking tub on the deck of the room.

Friday, October 01, 2021

2021 Oregon - Day 1 - Ashland - 25th Wedding Anniversary

Sharon and I are off for two weeks to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. Originally, we were planning to do ten days in Paris. In May, we decided to pivot and do two weeks in Oregon. Although we have taken a number of trips, it has probably been almost five years since I took two full weeks off and unplugged from work.

Rolling from the house at 7:45 am, we switched drivers just north of Red Bluff. We stopped for lunch at the Mount Shasta Resort. We had a very nice lunch. Sharon had a Farro Salad, while I had Baja Fish Tacos. This is definitely somewhere we would come back and play golf.

We switched drivers again. I drove to Ashland. Unfortunately, we started to have trouble with Carplay; hopefully, we will be able to get it working on the trip.

We rolled into Ashland just after 2 pm. I had never been to Ashland before. We are staying one night at the Ashland Creek Inn in the Sienna Room. It offers a 2 pm check-in.

After getting settled in the room (including lugging 150 pounds of luggage up four flights of stairs), we took off for a hike. The plan for the afternoon was a hike in Lithia Park. We covered just over three miles in an hour and twenty minutes. A map of our hike is here.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped and had a beer and glass of wine at Oberon's Restaurant & Bar. There is a section of the creek with restaurants that reminds of San Antonio.

We finished the night with an early dinner at Amuse. Sharon and Tom had dinner there before. We had two appetizer specials that were very good: a cauliflower salad and a mushroom dish. For entrees, Sharon had Charcoal Grilled Steelhead [Pole Beans, Concasse Tomatoes, Herbs], while I had Seared Duroc Pork Loin [White Beans, Local Kale, Apple Gastrique]. The meal was very good. Sharon is going to rate all of the meals over the course of the trip. Sharon said that this was a 10.