Our good friend Guthrie has been very excited, since 1999, about a solar eclipse happening on May 20, 2012. So it was an honor when he asked us to come and watch the show with him! The eclipse was going to be most viewable in Southern Oregon/Northern California, so it was a no-brainer to go to Southern Oregon where Guthrie grew up and where his mom still lived.
We got on the road. It was a 4 hour drive down there. The kids did great and we had 1 stop along the way, at a rest area, where we ran around on the grass and played in the sun for an hour before hopping back into the car.
Finally made it to the Southern Oregon area. It's really beautiful.
Guthrie is in the car ahead, leading the way to his Mom's house late Friday afternoon.
We arrived at Tinker and Gino's house in Medford. Tinker and Gino are both amazing cooks, and were busy preparing an amazing feast for all of us. Quite a lovely way to start the vacation! The boys played in the backyard and explored the house. Tinker found some old toys that used to belong to Guthrie and the boys were thrilled. The little McDonald's Muppet Babies on moving vehicles were really fun, especially making them slide down the board.
The bed situation was interesting. For the 3 nights we slept there, we played musical beds. There was a full-sized guest bed to use. There were also 2 comfortable couches in the living room. The first night we convinced Jake to sleep on one of the couches in the living room, and Guthrie also slept in the living room. Mike, Ryan, and I took the bed. Jake joined us in the bed at 6:30am and we all smooshed together for some morning snuggles. (Night 2 -- Jake, Ryan, and I in the bed. Mike on the couch. Ryan fell off the bed during the night but was okay. Night 3 -- Mike and Jake in the bed. Ryan and I on the floor next to the bed, with about 5 blankets and a sleeping bag under us.)
The next morning we all got up and played in the living room and slowly got dressed. Breakfast was a delicious mix of eggs, feta, tomatoes, spinach. With toast. Before noon, we headed out the door for a day in Ashland.
First we parked downtown and got ready to explore the shops. We walked up the main street first one way and then down the other side. I found a beautiful dress to wear to the Oregon Country Fair this year. We stopped at the drugstore for a toothbrush (I forgot mine) and a few other things. Picked up some amazing chocolates from Enchanted Florist. Stared at the breathtaking costumes in the windows of the Ashland Shakespeare office. Went to the farmer's market and then to a fun "alternative" store with lots of cool toys. Decided it was lunchtime and went to Gorilla Bites and had a delicious spread. After a stop at the crystal store, it was time to play for the rest of the day.
We went to Lithia Park. I'd never been there, but it was amazing! The boys were in heaven.
That night we got both boys into bed in the guest bedroom, and asleep. It was time to play games and have fun! I opened a bottle of wine I brought from home, that my parents had given me as a birthday gift. It was divine, especially paired with the chocolates Guthrie had brought earlier that day. We ended up playing this really fun spinner game (you can see it in the upper right corner of the picture). Then we played the dice game 'And Rollin'. Really fun evening.
Sunday morning it was my turn to sleep in for a bit. I woke up to a plate of waffles. Spoiled, I was, in this house of cooks.
After dressing and getting ready, Tinker, Guthrie, and the 4 Vees headed to Gold Hill to visit the House of Mystery at the Oregon Vortex.
Next we drove around Gold Hill, stopped for a little roadside picnic, and then headed to Sams Valley where Guthrie grew up. We arrived at his old house and got very lucky -- the people who brought the house from Tinker were home and welcomed us onto the 5 acre property after locking their huge dog into the caged area. Guthrie was so happy to be there -- he had not seen the place since they moved out in 2003. Unfortunately, we left our cameras in the car, but had a wonderful time seeing all the chickens, the plants, the pond, the wild sheep and rams, and the 2 horses. One of the horses was extremely friendly, and followed us around. The boys loved petting the horse, and I loved it, too. I went to horse camp 3 summers in a row in the Southern Oregon area, and this horse took me right back to those camp days. We must have been there for at least an hour and a half, being with the animals and talking with the current owners. I loved getting to see where Guthrie grew up.
Then it was back to Medford to pick up snacks and dinner at the Natural Foods store. Then up to the Roxyann peak for the eclipse!!
Jake thought the eclipse show was really cool. Luckily, we had made the smart move of getting our eclipse glasses in Portland at OMSI -- they were all sold out in Ashland/Medford!
Back at the house, Sunday dinner was artichokes, a bean dip, more chocolates, and happy exhaustion from an amazing day.
Monday morning! Tinker had found this huge bear at Costco and brought it home for the boys. So sweet! They just loved it.
After lunch in downtown Medford, we headed back to Portland. At one point, just south of Eugene we were driving through a torrential downpour. It was raining so hard that all I could see was a sheet of white. I could barely see the road in front of me and could only see the taillights of the car in front of me. It was INTENSE. Lasted for about 5-10 minutes, and all my senses were on hyper alert. Was so glad when we got in front of that storm. 10 minutes after we arrived home, the storm caught up to us and we got to watch it from the inside of our house.