Saturday, October 25, 2014

Oregon Trip | Stadium, Wineries, and Family Time

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Day three of our Oregon trip consisted of visiting Autzen Stadium on the campus of U of Oregon in Eugene, family time, and wineries.  Everyone else got up early to take a one-hour drive so they could go on a hike to waterfalls.  The two of us decided to stay local and go see the stadium.  It was Saturday gameday and the U of Washington Huskies were in town.  It was a glorious fall day with clear blue skies and awesome red & orange trees!

We started out the day by going for some coffee at Dutch Bros Coffee

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After breakfast at the hotel, we drove near the U of Oregon campus and found parking in a lot for $10.  We walked alongside the street surrounding the stadium and checked out the sights.

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Apparently the parking we found was cheap!


We found some early tailgaters.  But in general they did not let people into the parking lots until 4-5 hours prior to game time.  The game was at 5pm that night.


We got some photos in front of the stadium in different places.  In case you did not know, going to stadiums across the country is our THING.  We have been to over 41 stadiums in the USA.

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After checking out the stadium, we drove to Aunt Diane’s house to meet up with everyone after they hiked.  We grabbed some lunch there at the house.  Then we hung out and watched some college football on the big TV. 

It was so nice out on the river, so we decided to go kayaking.  Luke’s brother Travis and his wife Daniela went fishing right on the property.

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Aunt Diane has three kayaks and we hauled them out of storage, pumped them up, and put them on the back of her truck.

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Todd and his dad rode on the back of the truck on the drive up the river to the dock.

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Todd, Tim, and Amy put their life jackets on and got ready to get into the kayaks.

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Off they went!

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I waited for them to come by dock #1 to take photos of them again.

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That house on the right is Aunt Diane’s house.  Could it be at a more picturesque setting?  I don’t think so!

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I didn’t get to kayak because right after the three of them finished, it was time to go to the wineries!  The drive was an hour away.  I told you everything was an hour away!  Our first stop was at Chateau Lorane.  It was situated on top of a little lake.

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Todd and I each tasted three wines.  They pour very little tiny sips of pourings there.  We did not purchase any.

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Our next stop was King Estate Winery, where we had a tasting and our dinner.  The views there were spectacular!


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The wines we tasted were on a table in the courtyard.

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That’s our group!

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Some in our group were more gregarious than others.

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After the tasting we went inside for dinner.  Todd and I sat with Aunt Diane and her daughter (Todd’s cousin) Kim.

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Tuna tartare appetizer.

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I got a beet salad to start, and I shared it with Todd.

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Then I got the pork belly mac & cheese.  Oh my!

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Todd got fish & chips.

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Dinner & chatting was a lot of fun!  Todd’s parents Sylvia & Tim with Sylvia’s sister Charlsie and her husband Dick.


Luke & Amy with Luke’s brother Travis and his wife Daniela.


Todd got an apple bake for dessert.

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While I got a scoop of lavender strawberry ice cream.

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It was a fantastic day and evening with family!  One that we won’t soon forget.


The next day (Sunday 10/19) was our flight back home to San Diego.  But before driving back to Portland airport, we had lunch at Fisherman’s Market in Eugene.

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It was a fish market with a restaurant.  I got a captain’s plate with various fried seafood.

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Todd got a grilled fish sandwich.

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It was pretty tasty as our last meal before leaving.  We drove two hours to PDX, returned our car, and got on our flight back to San Diego.  We didn’t arrive home until 9pm.  We missed our Noodle so much!  And he was so happy to see us, even though Uncle Fred (our next door neighbor) took very good care of him. 

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Oregon Trip | Amy & LUke Got Married

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Amy & Luke got married on Friday, October 17th in Oregon at Aunt Diane’s house on the McKenzie River.  And yes, the photo above is the most epic wedding photo ever.  Amy had seen a similar photo online and wanted to re-created it.  So Todd, Luke, and all of Luke’s brothers played the roles.  Epic.

In the morning the ladies had appointments at Bello Salon for manicures, hair styling, and makeup.  My hair isn’t really this red.  It’s actually medium golden brown, according to L’Oreal, ha ha.  But in some lighting it looks really red, like here.  I had gotten my nails done and my hair done, and was sitting in the makeup chair.

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It was noon by the time we got out of the salon.  The wedding was supposed to start at 1:30 but everyone was running late, so we delayed it to 2:00.  The perks of having a small wedding!

Aunt Diane’s upstairs bathroom served as the bridal room for getting ready.

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Linda and I took a selfie.  Linda is Amy’s best friend since high school, and the maid-of-honor.

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One of the wedding photographers took this photo of me and Todd with our camera.


When your family used to play in a band together, your brother and your dad are handy with the sound equipment, LOL!

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The wedding day was the only day it rained while we were in Oregon!  But despite the rain, Aunt Diane’s deck looked absolutely lovely. 

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A selfie on the river.

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The wedding about to start.  Luke’s family sitting on the groom’s side.


Todd in charge of the music.


The cake on display.

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The groom, Luke, and his brother Sam, the best man, waiting to walk to the front of the ceremony.


The moms walking down the aisle and dispersing flower pedals.


The maid-of-honor Linda walking down the aisle.


I caught this moment of Amy and dad, right before dad walks her down the aisle.  Uncle Les (Aunt Diane’s husband) holding the umbrella for them.


Amy walking down the aisle.  This is one of my favorite photos that I captured during the wedding.  Todd’s dad Tim smiling behind Amy.  Amy’s radiant smile and happiness as she sees Luke.  Precious.


The pastor gave a lovely sermon.  Then there was exchange of vows and rings.


And finally the Kiss.


After the wedding there was a lot of photo-taking with the professional photographers.  We stood around waiting for our turn to be in pictures.  Everyone relaxed.  It was so great to have the wedding at Aunt Diane’s house, because we all just sat around, ate snacks, and relaxed afterwards! 

Todd’s dad Tim prepared a lovely slide show featuring childhood photos of Amy & Luke, and got the parents and family involved in telling the stories.  It was paired with music and it was really great.  I didn’t catch a photo of it, but the slideshow was in the living room and everyone gathered around the couches and chairs and it was quite fun.  Tim really put a lot of time and loving energy into it.

Pretty soon, around 5pm, it was time to make the one-hour drive to Pfeiffer Vineyards in south Willamette Valley for the wedding dinner!  We had a joke amongst ourselves that everything is one-hour drive away from Aunt Diane’s house.  You’ll see in my next post what we mean. 

The winery was beautiful.  Everyone gathered around the fireplace with the owner of the vineyards, Robin Pfeiffer.

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Our party occupied a big long table.



We had either steak or shrimp for dinner.  I somehow forgot to take photos of the food.  Pfeiffer Vineyards are known for their Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.  I had a Pinot Gris with my shrimp dinner.

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After dinner there was cake-cutting.

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And cake-eating.

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Amy & Luke prepared gifts for family. 


Amy & her best friend Linda, the maid-of-honor.  They couldn’t talk about each other without crying.


Todd gave an impromptu speech/toast.


Family merriment.


Amy telling dad Tim how much he meant to her and giving him a gift.  No dry eyes in the house.


Amy giving mom Sylvia her gift.


There happened to be a gypsy jazz band playing there that night.  They were quite good and we enjoyed the music a lot!


Amy & Luke asked them to play the Etta James song, “At Last” for their wedding dance.


It was beautiful.


The splendid wedding day ended and we were all so happy but tired.  We drove back to the hotel and crashed.  Stay tuned for Oregon Day 3!

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