Monday, 8 August 2011

A weekend in Eugene

Sorry Sarah, I know this photo kinda sucks.  Why didn't I take more?!

I met Sarah at my cousin’s wedding in Massachusetts four years ago and we clicked immediately (to be fair, it would be hard not to click with Sarah as she is just about the friendliest, loveliest person I know), so when I was planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest it was always a given that her hometown of Eugene, Oregon would need to be on the itinerary.  It was such a relief to get out of San Francisco and the wide smiles and handmade Union Jack sign with which Sarah and her son, Seamus, greeted us raised our moods a good few notches.

We packed a lot into 48 hours: a stroll around the Saturday market in downtown Eugene to look at the local crafts (including a good proportion of tie-dye, Oregon being where many of San Francisco’s hippies moved after the Summer of Love); a stop at a great bookstore, which we leave two books heavier; a visit to the beautiful new library for tea in the café; a picnic in the park whilst watching an unintentionally hilarious production of Cymbeline; a hike around the stunning Salt Creek Falls and Diamond Creek Falls; burgers and – joy of joys! – cider on tap at Northwest brewpub chain McMenamins. 

Diamond Creek

Most of all it was nice to kick back and relax for a weekend.  Hotels and hostels are all well and good but it was great to be in a home for a couple of days (especially as Sarah’s house is gorgeous and has left me full of ideas should I ever swap my Victorian terrace for a more modern place: her collection of vintage sixties & seventies furniture is incredible).  I loved Eugene too, which struck me as a very liveable town with a population heavily skewed to eco-conscious, left-leaning independent spirits.  Definitely my kind of place.

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