So I spent almost a week visiting my parents in Oregon… First of all, people who haven’t been there tend to think of the entire Pacific Northwest as a rainy, foggy bog. I’m from Eugene, which is smack in the middle of the Willamette Valley (pinot noir country), and we are actually protected from Seattle-style weather by the coast range. The winter is wet, sure, but I think it’s the same number of grey days as we get out here on the East Coast, but without the sleet and ice. And in the summer…Oh, the summer. Normal summers are almost completely dry, June through October hot and sunny with no humidity. Usually it’s in the 80s during the day (at the height of summer, though there are heat waves) and then drops to the 50s at night. Without humidity there aren’t bugs unless you’re near a river or swamp. At my parents’ house, that means we can eat on the patio and not swat a single mosquito away.
Here is a view of the Valley as I flew into Eugene:
I took a series of photos of the Cascade foothills (the Coburg Hills) dropping abruptly into the valley, posted at Flickr.
I had gotten up at 4:15 for a 6:50 flight, then ended up bumped to an 8 something flight, then my flight from Denver was delayed because the computer on the plane couldn’t tell that the door was closed. So I got in about 4 hours late, and was quite low-energy. My mom had rented Mostly Martha, the wonderful german film that was remade as No Reservations, and we made nice big salads with tuna for dinner to eat while watching it.
Kalamata olives, Sungold cherry tomatoes from the garden, red onion, red pepper, basil from the garden, feta.
All mixed together, with the tuna (the wonderful spanish kind from an oval red and yellow tin, packed in olive oil):
Bad photo of my salad (left) and my mom’s (right)–she doesn’t snack between meals!
BTW, I haven’t seen No Reservations, but Mostly Martha was really, really good. Very quiet and low-key, but all excellent actors and a really beautiful food movie.