January. T-shirt weather on the Oregon beach! Went for a hike this morning and had to take our jackets off ’cause it is so warm! Amazing.
We are lucky to have a glorious week here. No problem with driving and now we are basking in spring-like weather.
We love Oregon and come to our little house near the beach as often as we can. Which is not often enough.
When we go to Oregon, this is our Top Ten of things to do:
10. Leather work – a store in both Depoe Bay and Newport where everything is real leather and under 20.-! I have bought an office bag on wheels here. Kees buys new belts and his signature cowboy hat.
9. Used bookstores – especially Smith Family bookstores in Eugene. With stacks and piles on floors, and isle after isle of book mazes, we love getting lost here among great titles.
8. When we are in the Eugene area, we love the cozy pubs and restaurants. Our favorites are McMenanin’s and Mazzi’s. The first one is a chain of quaint buildings with great micro brew pubs, i.e. one with Dutch streetname signs in Corvallis, a converted brick school in Portland and many others (http://www.mcmenamins.com/).
Mazzi’s is unchanged since we went to school in Eugene in the ’70’s – great Italian food in the perfect atmosphere: http://mazzis.com/
7. Wine/beer. Where else can you buy Mount Hood Riesling or a big bottle of Lambrusco for 8 dollars! Kees enjoys the Black Butte Porters and other micro dark beers.
6. State parks. Oregon can’t be beat for its gorgeous abundance of state parks that offer hiking, beaches, nature, camping, even yurts.
5. I’m not really much of a shopper. But whenever we come down, we visit stores like REI (outdoor clothing and equipment), Goodwill (amazing array of household items, clothing and more), Ross (brand names at a fraction of the price) and – my favorite – SAS. These handcrafted shoes are the most comfortable and durable. I wear them every day, some pairs I’ve had for 8 years and they still look like new. http://www.sasshoes.com/
4. Crab burgers in Newport. This is our favorite meal here. The Crab Shack has crab burgers and fries, which we pick up and eat sitting on a log on the beach! Beats the most fancy restaurant!
3. Music. Oregon has some fantastic music places and events. There are regular Opry’s with musicians coming out of the hills and valleys to perform old time folk and blues. Florence has an annual Folk Fest with impressive bands. Last night we saw The Brothers Four in concert!
Nothing beats a classical concert in Eugene’s Hult Center. And then there is the Drift Inn in Yachats with live music every night of the year: http://www.the-drift-inn.com/schedule.php
2. Friends! We love catching up with friends dating back to our university days in Eugene. So special that we still often meet and get together!
1. And best of all: walking on the beach. We walk for hours to the Alsec River, to the Seal Rocks, listening to the breaking surf, picking up shells and marveling at the ever changing beachscape.