Trip report #4 – Eugene, OR (or now THIS is vacation)
On our second day out – that would be the arduous drive through the Mojave Desert from Barstow to Mammoth Lakes, CA – I asked Scott if we could stop upon finding some kind of Dairy Queen-like establishment. He looked at me with a totally deadpan face and said, “Janie, this is not vacation; this is real life.”
I think what he meant to say is “You can’t have ice cream sundaes every day we’re out on the road,” but all I could do is laugh. Seriously, Scott? Except for the inferno temperatures, I was thinking “vacation” and “real life” were pretty much the same. I mean, really … this sure beats any staff meeting I’ve ever been in, you know?
So, the “this is not vacation” phrase has been an ongoing joke between us. But that said, I don’t think Scott is enjoying it as much as I am 😉
Nevertheless, when we got to Eugene, he relented and said we could consider this three-night stay a vacation as we were out of the trailer and in a hotel room.
And that was a good thing as I had plenty on our agenda while Sutton RV completed maintenance work and enhancements on our Flying Cloud.
First up was a visit to the King Estate Winery, located about 40 minutes southwest of Eugene. Scott and I are big Oregon pinot noir fans and while we’ve been frequent visitors to a number of wineries located outside of Portland in the Dundee Hills area, I’d never been to those near Eugene.
Located atop a hill overlooking acres of grapevines, the tasting room is a sight out of a Tuscany fairytale. As we’d skipped breakfast, we opted to enjoy lunch first and were told we could do our tasting right there at our patio table. Yup, this seems like vacation to me.
Next up: a stop at the Sweet Cheeks Winery. We’d not heard of this winery but had seen their offerings in the Eugene grocery store. They had a nice red blend, and I especially enjoyed the Reisling and dessert wine.
Armed with several bottles, we made our way back to the hotel, just in time to change and get over to PK Park for the Eugene Emeralds game.
The Emeralds are a short-season “A” minor league team in the San Diego Padres farm program. Several notable players in the “bigs” today came from Eugene including David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals, Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies and Chase Headly currently with the Padres.
They play at the University of Oregon sports complex, home of famed Autzen Field and the Oregon Ducks. (Autzen Field is among the sports venues on my bucket list as is the blue “Smurf Field” in Boise, ID where the Boise State Broncos play. While I’m sad we can’t stay long enough in Eugene to see a Ducks game, I am glad I got to see the field.)
We had good seats for the Ems, enjoyed a couple of brews and a dog, and the Ems pulled it out over the Tri-City Dust Devils in extra innings. And while minor league isn’t at the level of the majors, this was a nice baseball fix while I await installation of our Direct TV HD antennae on our Airstream which will enable me to follow my Dbacks wherever the dish can get a signal.
Other highlights in Eugene included a nice walk in a park along the Williamette River and great sandwiches at Albe’s NY Gyros.