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36 Hours in Eugene

I mentioned yesterday we found some really cool landscape paintings on a recent trip to Eugene, Oregon. I was asked to be the speaker at a benefit for the Volunteers In Medicine Clinic there, as well as sign my book for guests. I was deeply honored and so happy to be part of the luncheon & auction. So off I we went last week, with Heather Smith, my friend who has worked at WK for close to 15 years, who attended U of O. I thought we would have a blast together since she knows the area so well. How right I was! We chatted and laughed and chatted some more the entire trip. 

The super fabulous Kathy Re, the Chair of the One Fine Day event picked us up at the airport and took us right to Autzen Stadium where the luncheon was taking place the next day. I went right to work signing close to 400 books while Heather placed them at each attendees seat. 

Then we were off to a crazy good lunch at Le Bar (French bistro heaven) with our dear mutual friend Jewel Murphy. Jewel was a customer of mine when I had my wholesale showroom down in Georgetown and she has known Heather forever, doing the flowers for her wedding. Jewel was who introduced me to Heather oh so many years back. Let’s just say there was not one moment of dead air time at lunch…

Then we were off for a quick Eugene tour on our way to Jewel’s amazing shop, Passionflower, for a Style & Simplicity book signing. So many lovely folks came to say hi and get a book, as well as Heather’s niece Sarah, who is finishing up at the U of O Law School. Sarah worked at WK for several years, so it was a huge treat to see her as she is part of the family.

Then we were whisked to the uber chic home of designer Jen West, who was throwing a cocktail party in my honor. Fun to meet more cool Eugene folk and sign more books. Jen knows how to throw a swell party, and she had me laughing all along the way. Below laughing as a photo was being snapped.

Jewel had made me a David Austin rose boutonniere from a bloom she had in her shop flower cooler that I was coveting. The cocktail party was just grand and we were then off to a dinner with a group of folks putting together the auction at the stylish and oh so tasty, Marché.

Another off the charts yummy meal was ahead of us. Super sweet that they had our names on the menu for the dinner. Every detail all along the way for the entire event was thought of and executed so beautifully and with such thought. To say my head hit the pillow and I fell asleep instantly would be putting it mildly. It was a fun, full day and I had to get my beauty sleep for another busy day ahead.

The auction was huge fun and a big success. This is the 13th year and they have raised over 3 million dollars for the Volunteers In Medicine Clinic. Truly, truly honored to have been asked to take part. A champagne toast in the sky box overlooking the stadium (first photo at the top) which is a ritual each year after the event by the committee and we said our good-byes and hugs. We had a bit of time before our flight back so Jewel picked us up for a little vintage shopping, which is when Heather spotted the amazing landscape paintings that now hang on the wall in the front window of the Home store. We hung them the very next morning. Then it was off to the sweetest little French bakery for a coffee & treats and then we were up in the air back to Seattle. 36 pretty full hours in Eugene–what a fun time! It had been years since I had been there, but I was reminded why I adore it so much. 



 

 

Eola Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

20151007-073154.jpg Wine Wednesday brings us our first red of the new season. An ‘everyday extraordinary’ as the tag line on the bottle states, highly enjoyable Pinot Noir. This was a gift awhile back from a dinner guest. The graphic label no doubt what helped draw them to the bottle knowing we would love it. They were correct. Adore that oversized “P” which really sets the bottle apart. What is in the bottle is equally yummy. This hits the under 20 dollars I like for house wine. With berry notes, lovely solo drinking vino. I had a glass with chicken Parmesan we had delivered last eve after a long, busy & fun day of display at the Market shop. The wine holding up right along. From our neighbors to the South, Eola Hills Winery in Oregon.



 

 

A to Z Wineworks Oregon Chardonnay

20150225-034544.jpg Yes, I will admit it, the A to Z caught my eye right off the bat. And yes, sometimes a simple Chardonnay is just what is needed with a simple piece of fish. Ahhhh, simple pleasures. Tuna steaks were on the dinner menu at WestWard the other evening, and this bottle caught my eye at the grocer. It ended up being perfect with dinner as well as a glass while I read my book by the fire after. Plays well with food and solo–a true test for many/most wines in my book.
From the makers website.
“The 2013 A to Z Chardonnay nose opens with bright fruit like kiwi and tangerine, pear and stone fruits then deepens to richer aromas of honey toast, rose and wet stones. On the palate, the wine is juicy and round with well-balanced freshness, minerality and structure. The zesty finish is crisp, clean and pure with a lingering mineral nose.”



 

 

Salty Black Licorice by Jacobsen Salt Co.

20140110-064159.jpg I am so happy to report that our order of Salty Black Licorice by Pacific Northwest superstar Jacobsen Salt Co. has arrived. I first read about this licorice months ago, and have been counting the days until it arrived. Black licorice seems to be one of those things folks either really like or either don’t really like at all. I fall into the really like camp, inheriting this love from my Dad who adored black licorice. But this has a bit of a twist. They include their famous flaked sea salt in it, taking the flavor quotient up several notches. This stuff is good! I could not wait to break into a box the moment it arrived yesterday. I posted it immediately on Instagram and within minutes my friend Rita Konig, who is back living in London, responded with a query about it. The love of salty licorice runs deep for fans that crave it. There are 24 individually wrapped pieces in a box. Plenty to share, but plenty to enjoy just for yourself.