Since becoming a member of the AR Community, I’ve done things I never thought I would do! I’ve learned to cook better; I’m learning to navigate my way around a computer better
(which includes blogging), I’m discovering my creative spirit again and I’ve met some of the greatest people in the world in very unconventional ways. I'd love to share how each person I’ve met has influenced me or had an impact on my life, but THAT is another
blog. For now, I’ll share about the time we had when Marianne came to Oregon on vacation and was kind enough to add
us to her itinerary.
Unfortunately, Avon, Pattycakes’ Evil Twin (I finally heard that story over dinner) couldn’t get time off work to join us for our daytime romp. So Christine NICU RN and I
decided we would show Marianne how very beautiful Oregon can be in the Fall via an afternoon road trip. Oregon is really very pretty all year long, but is especially breathtaking in Autumn. Marianne was to arrive at my humble home in our small-ish town midday.
I was most excited and the weather was nice. That’s Oregon speak for not raining….. (I’d had a long talk with the weather gods before Marianne arrived asking for just ONE more day without rain to show her around…and they obliged.)
After “phone navigating” her to my house, we greeted each other with hugs as good friends do. I took Marianne into the house and introduced her to my best half, Orangezest
who was most pleased to meet her. Christine NICU RN had just arrived with this gorgeous floral centerpiece for my dining room table.
I still have the centerpiece on the table and it’s still beautiful. Thank you Christine!
Marianne, being the gracious guest, presented me with 6 large, beautiful Avocados. I quickly hid them away to eat later. She also brought a box containing Drommer Cookies
and Chocolate Almond Hazelnut Biscotti. (see Avon’s blog for the recipes. Blog link below) More on those delicious goodies later.
Then, the three of us hopped in my little car to begin our sightseeing adventure. At Christine’s suggestion we stopped to pick up sammiches from “Side Kicks,” a quaint little
coffee/sandwich shop in the old part of my town near the historic homes district. Once back into my little car, we headed out for our countryside tour to see 3 out of the 9 covered bridges in Linn County. I was hoping Marianne would enjoy our afternoon road
trip through, what I think is God’s Country. We ate our picnic lunch off the back of the car, oohed & aahed at the almost fluorescent green fields, took pictures, read country road signs, chatted and continued on our way through the winding and gently sloping
landscape we call home to see the selected Covered Bridges on the tour. The plan was to end up at the now world famous Willamette Valley Vineyards to do some wine tasting.
Our lunch spread out on the back on my car.
Notice my fancy table clothe…A giant Costco grocery bag.
Eating Chicken Salad Sammiches at Covered Bridge #1
A single lane road through the bridge. One vehicle at a time please.
Me taking a picture of you taking a picture of me…
Along the way, we met some new friends too. A couple of nice young teen boys stopped at bridge #2 and asked me to take a picture of himself, his friend
and his truck. A completed project of he and his father’s, you could see just how very proud he was. I will not soon forget Tyler and his buddy Max, and that bright orange truck he lowered and raised hydraulically before our eyes.
We all giggled as we drove away continuing our trek.
Tyler with his friend Max
Standing proudly alongside his very truck
Lowered to the ground. Is that not cool.
Suicide Doors Too! Very Cool.
2nd Covered Bridge where we met Tyler and Max
Our new “friends” took our picture too.
Covered Bridge #3 still has a wooden floor for the road. Very interesting.
Marianne, the tourist.
At the Vineyard, we enjoyed sipping on 5 different wines courtesy of Marianne. Purchases were made and soon we headed back to my house for our Dinner Party. Avon and Ivon
would be there soon.
Willamette Valley Vineyards
Now, I know Avon posted a blog about the EVENING’S festivities, but I must add my two cents dontchaknow…
The first thing I’d like to add is that Ms. Avon is a pretty amazing gal. She works full time, is a very devoted, present parent to 4 kids, one of which is the smart and witty
Ivon; she's a fantastic cook and a great friend! I prepared the main dish (a special request made by my daughter, Christine NICU RN, who btw is one of MY best creations) and the desserts.
Avon with her very busy schedule made the delicious sides. (All the recipes are listed in her blog. The blog link is located below.) And, those eyes of Avon's! Big, brown
The beautiful, funny and gifted, Avon
Look at those lovely ladies with their beautiful smiles.
From left to right: Marianne, Ivon and Avon
Ivon is Avon’s youngest daughter and as smart as they come. Beautiful, quick witted and funny like her Mama, she fits in easily with us older folks. I just love to talk with
her. And, because I dig that kid so much, at her request I made her some of my “No Ice Cream, Ice Cream” (recipe link below) that she loves so much to go along with our other desserts. Marianne brought Drommer Cookies because Ivon is especially interested
these days in Swedish cuisine. She also made the Chocolate Almond Hazelnut Biscottis that are so good dipped in coffee.
Marianne's Chocolate Almond Hazelnut Biscotti
And, what Avon didn’t mention is that Marianne’s Sweet Vanilla Cupcakes were made with Avon's homemade vanilla. That stuff rocks!!! At the end of the evening there were enough
Drommer Cookies, Biscotti and SV Cupcakes left for me to package up to take to Portland Sunday where we would spend the day with Magnolia Blossom…. Another blog to come on our time with Lora.
Meahwhile, back at the house….. Glasses of wine were poured, the food was served and well, the rest, as they say, is history. Our time together that day and evening will be
cherished for a long time to come. Thank you Avon, Ivon, Christine NICU RN and Orangezest for your part in the memories we made. And, thank you Marianne for the time you spent with us and the gifts you brought.
Next time, please bring Russ and plan to stay for a few days. We’ll drink some good wine, eat some good food (I’m sure “my girls” will lay lots of eggs for you. And, I kinda
feel I owe Russ a good meal) AND we’ll laugh and laugh and laugh.
No Ice Cream, Ice Cream recipe