Wine Country Without Wine

On a recent road trip from Oregon traveling south into the redwoods of Northern California, we made a last minute choice to head out of the dampness of early spring continuing further south into the warm & beautiful Sonoma County California. It was a great choice for an awesome drive through incredible countryside and lots of sunshine. We knew the area was a great destination for activities involving wine, but what other things could we experience in Wine Country without wine? Yes, you heard that right. We got strange looks from everyone we asked along the way. Wine Country without wine??!! It’s not that I don’t enjoy a great glass of wine, but in the past couple of years I have become very sensitive to what I eat and drink and the affects on my body – sleep, weight gain, and overall sense of energy and well-being. So it becomes a trade off weighing the balance of how I’ll feel later. Anyway for those of you  who may choose not to drink the wine due to health, spiritual or personal reasons there are still plenty of reasons to head to Wine Country. North of San Francisco and adjacent to Napa Valley, Sonoma County is home to […]

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Spending a Week in Yachats, Oregon

We recently enjoyed a wonderful week in Yachats, Oregon. Nestled between the lush forested mountains of the coastal range and rhythmic waves of the Pacific surf, the little village of Yachats is the ideal place for a peaceful retreat and outdoor adventures. Yachats, pronounced YAH-hots, is a word derived from native languages. According to Wikipedia, Native Americans in this area of Lincoln County, Oregon were hunter-gatherers who migrated between summer camps and winter residences. Archeological and linguistic evidence support the existence of a southern Alsea village known as the Yahuch band, located on the coast at the Yachats River. By 1860, the Yahuch band was extinct, many having succumbed to European diseases such as smallpox and tuberculosis.[13]”  In order to open up land in the Coos Bay area for homesteading in the early 1860s, the U.S. Army forcibly marched the Coos and Lower Umpqua Indians 80 miles north over rugged terrain to the Alsea Sub-Agency reservation in Yachats where the peaceful Indians, treated by the Army as though they were prisoners of war, were incarcerated.[14] In Yachats the hunter-gatherer tribes were forced to learn to make a living by agriculture. Crops planted near the ocean failed, resulting in many deaths from starvation. Approximately 300 Indians died in just 10 years. Twelve years after the Alsea Sub-Agency had opened, the Indians were […]

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Traveling – Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Traveling from our home in Traverse City, Michigan by plane is not always easy in the winter. Last year we were delayed three days with separate trips to the airport before finally hanging out over 6 hours and even sitting on the runway unsure if the flight would go (it did!) and we made it to Chicago near midnight. Of course, by that time we had missed our connection and had to spend the night before catching another flight, but at least we were on our way. Looking for cheaper, easier, alternative modes of transportation on our recent trip traveling out west, we tossed around several ideas before deciding to literally go the route of planes, trains, automobiles, and busses. The first leg started with a cab ride to the bus station, and a bus from Traverse City to Lansing, Michigan. Overall the ride was great – aside from a couple who had to be removed from the bus halfway there – interesting characters to say the least. After a lovey evening visiting with family near Lansing, we headed to the train station the next morning. A long, but relaxing 10 hours later Amtrak arrived in St. Louis, Missouri with nice views traveling through the midwest countryside along […]

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Best Road Trip Ever!

In November we decided to combine a trip to visit family in Oregon with a Pacific Coast Road Trip. This drive should be on every person’s bucket list – it blew us away! It really was the best road trip ever! Our adventure started with a flight to Portland, Oregon. We were so happy our itinerary included three days to explore the city. Check out Ten Reasons to Visit Portland here. From there it was an easy and enjoyable bus trip to visit family in Eugene before renting a car and embarking on an incredible 15 day journey down the coast. Plan ahead then let it go We mapped out an itinerary in advance using internet research, books from the library and an amazing little ap called Roadtripper.  Each day began with a list of more ideas than we could accomplish. Picking and choosing from the list along the way worked out perfectly. The total trip for 15 days was 1008 miles, averaging 60-200 miles per day. When planning keep in mind this is not a freeway route so going 22 miles can sometimes take well over an hour, not counting extra time needed to explore and breathe in the beauty! So with that in mind, plan ahead, […]

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Eugene, Oregon

Our transportation from Portland to Eugene was a very enjoyable ride on the Amtrak Thruway Bus. The seats were very comfortable and roomy. To be completely transparent, I have to say the best part of Eugene was visiting my beautiful daughter and her family! But for those of you interested in visiting Eugene for others reasons, I’ll share a little about spending time in and around Eugene. One of our favorite stops was for lunch at  The Lane County Farmer’s Market. I had a delicious stir fry of locally grown veggies along with an awesome cup of coffee. They made the coffee one cup at a time similar to the way they pour it over the grounds in Costa Rica – best coffee ever! From the market we went hiking at the Fox Hollow Trailhead, a part of the Ridgeline Trail System. We didn’t even mind the raindrops – it made the greens that much more vibrant! What an amazing trail system right within the city of Eugene. The next day we drove about one hour outside Eugene to hike along the McKenzie River past Sahalie and Koosah Falls. It was so beautiful we hardly minded the rain. Driving back to Eugene we took a moment to drive through the Good Pasture Covered […]

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Ten Reasons to Visit Portland

Here are just a few of the reasons why we enjoyed our two day visit to Portland, Oregon. 1 – Airfare – You can get great deals and direct flights into Portland International Airport which is why our Pacific Northwest adventure began in Portland, the largest city in the state of Oregon. 2 –  The People – The slogan “Keep Portland Weird” seems fitting as you stroll through the city – it’s a great place to people watch! What was really cool was how friendly and engaging people were. They seemed so present, looked you in the eye, smiled, said hi, and anytime we were the least bit confused about directions or how the transit system worked, there was always someone quickly asking if they could help. There are a lot of homeless in Portland who are cared for by the people in the community. It was not unusual to see someone giving a hot meal to someone in need. There are many funded services to provide shelter and meals. Some thoughts are that because of the care they receive in Portland, it’s an easy place to be homeless. Whatever the reason it is hard to accept seeing people living on the streets, no matter […]

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