Home > Uncategorized > Significant Other’s (SOs) Law School Reunion – Eugene

Significant Other’s (SOs) Law School Reunion – Eugene

September 13, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

First of all, I feel guilty for not writing or blogging for a few days. I think I should at least blog every day. That is something I can commit to, not because the general public is reading my blog but because it is good for me and forces me to try to think about interesting subjects to write on. And, I’ve had some feedback – people like my blog. So thank you people for the feedback.

Ok. I went to my SOs law school reunion in Eugene this weekend. I was really looking forward to the time that I knew we would get to spend together. Reunions are like that, in my experience, unless you somehow manage to really stay in touch with a group of people and keep those friendships going. Anyway, in this case, I was right. I met some really interesting people, not necessarily in his class, but we mostly were able to spend time just being near each other while activities happened around us. The beauty of not having to be the planner and essentially just showing up. Ah, it was lovely spending that time together.

But onto Eugene, which I’d never been to before. Sure, I’ve driven through plenty of times on my way to and from California, but this was different. What a sad downtown area. It had kind of been sold to me as being similar to Missoula and/or Boulder. But not so much in my opinion.

Boulder, where I lived for several years and so have some real experience in, is a weird combination of a place I used to visit in the 70s with my mom and sister when we lived in Denver, and upscale boutique-land. The former is my preferred vision for Boulder. Let’s face it, boutique-land is for people whose main goal in life is to accumulate possessions and/or wealth and to ensure those goals are obvious to the world at large. A 70s vision is more about people who are interested in experience and  life. The clash! And, sadly the boutique-land lifestyle is more and more what seems to drive this country and could even be the precursor to the downfall of our economy, even though, I would say that most people do not have the means to live the boutique-land lifestyle…still in cities at least, they aspire to it. So, that’s Boulder, in a nutshell.

Missoula, which I just recently visited on the way back from Glacier National Park, seemed interesting. Of course it’s hard to tell what it might have been or would be like in a strong economy. But still, there’s this sort of secret potential that exists there, if you walk down certain streets, where old houses with beautiful flowering gardens exist, or you head into certain restaurants like Biga Pizza, or the famous ice cream parlour – Big Dipper, which actually has non-dairy ice cream as an option, Yay! It kind of reminded me of what I thought Boulder was like in the 70s. Go, Missoula!

Eugene was just sad. Ok, maybe that’s not totally fair. But Eugene tried to do this walkable street mall in the 70s, similar to the Pearl St. Mall in Boulder. That failed and then they turned it back over to automobiles. But by then it had been ruined – according to my SO. Now, it is just mostly abandoned-Don’t I wish I’d taken a photo to post here! So there are pockets of shops and cafes that are interesting. And then across the river is the typical mall-land (Valley River Center) …you know Starbucks, Borders…etc. Yep, yuck, because it makes you feel as though you could be in Anywhere, USA. But on the upside, when I went to my favorite began online resource: Happycow to check on vegan restaurants, which is my general gauge for how progressive a city is, I found that there were 17 entries for Eugene consisting of totally vegan, veg friendly, and health sotres (7). So my spirits lifted. As Eugene was somewhat redeemed and I felt like maybe there was something I was missing or hadn’t seen. So, another trip to Eugene is in order sometime in the future.

Now, a brief synopsis on the wineries we visited: I just put this in here as a codicil. We visited four wineries as a group in 2 limos.

Description of each and recommendations:

1. King Estate Winery – When we arrived, they took us outside on their patio, put a number of glasses on a table and poured us their Pinot Gris – nice wine, in fact probably the best Pinot Gris I tasted all day. Then, the rest of the wine-tasting at King Estate was totally disorganized. I never saw any literature on the wines, and I was only able to taste their Pinot Noir, by pushing through the people to get to a different table where 3 people were pouring wine at random. The Pinot Noir was decent and their dessert wine was sweet but not interesting in the slightest – not that I am a dessert wine connoisseur. Oh, and very attractive building, and the lunch looked delicious!

2. Sweet Cheeks Winery – the name says it all. This wine was mostly sweet, especially their rose. I have never had a sweet rose, ever. I travel to France every year, never purchase the same wine twice, and usually really like the wines I buy at the supermarket. This wine = yuck. The others were very average. Don’t bother with Sweet Cheeks. In addition, my lunch was completely screwed up. First of all, the limo service, as it turned out, had the lunches in plastic containers in the back of the limos. Mine was supposed to be vegan but was a salad – as opposed to a sandwich wrapped in saran wrap, which is what everyone else had – with strips of lunch meat (turkey and ham) and a dressing that obviously had some kind of dairy product in it. Hmm…what can you say, how exactly is that vegan? Luckily Sweet Cheeks was able to remedy the situation, they made me a very nice salad and added some whole grain bread on the side, so then everyone on the tour was jealous of my modified vegan lunch. I’m pretty sure the limo service was responsible for the screw up and Sweet Cheeks was responsible for the fix…that was about all Sweet cheeks had going for it. Sorry.

3. Silvan Ridge – Hinman Vineyards – Ok, nothing outstanding here. All good wines and excellent delivery in the wine-tasting process. I opted to purchase the Pinot Gris (even though it wasn’t quite as good as the one at the King Estate), the Syrah, which ended up being a reserve wine and had this delicious smoky flavor to it – kind of reminded me of Penfolds, and the Muscat because it had some sparkle in it and an interesting flavor. Oh, and the chocolates they sold there were pretty good, TCHO.

4. LaVelle Vineyards – Now, here’s a winery that is reminiscent of a yoga retreat center, or something of that kind. And, who knew they had a Labyrinth? (Something I just noticed on their website). The wine was unusual. I particularly liked the rose, especially after the Sweet Cheeks disaster, so I bought two bottles. The Viognier was nothing special, though it was my first time trying this type of wine,so I don’t have anything to compare it to. This was the only place that actually had cheese, crackers and chocolate available to try with your wines,yum. I am told, that the cheese really enhanced the flavor of the Riesling, which I found a little too sharp, but of course couldn’t try with the cheese. And let’s face it, by the time we reached this winery my palate was pretty shot. I wish we’d had more time to sit outside in the lawn chairs, soaking in the 90-degree heat while sitting in the shade of fir trees. Nice.

So, that was my trip to Eugene for Sos law school reunion at University of Oregon School of Law.

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