Happy Birthday Oregon!

Today is Oregon’s 159th Birthday! If you have never been to Oregon, it is a must see. There are so many things to do and see. The scenery here is absolutely beautiful!

Portland is Oregon’s largest city and is listed in the top 10 of foodie cities in the US. And I have to agree. The food here is amazing! So is the Wine and Beer.

Most of the restaurants in Portland have a farm to table mentality, using mostly local and seasonal ingredients.

There are many beautiful things to see within the city. Check out Pittock Mansion and it’s amazing view of the downtown area.

Or the Rose Garden and Japanese Garden. Also providing a beautiful view of downtown

There is also a Chinese Garden and tea room right in the heart of China Town. As well as several downtown parks.

Portland also has a wonderful Zoo, OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) is a must see, a bird sanctuary, Powell’s city of books (the largest independent, new and used bookstore on the planet) and a plethora of endless hiking trails.

Just a short drive outside the city is the scenic Columbia Gorge and Multnomah Falls area.

And home to several other waterfalls.

About an hour and a half drive west of Portland is the Beautiful Oregon Coast.

Central and Southern Oregon are home to many beautiful sites as well. Like the amazing Crater Lake, Wildlife Safari, The Oregon Vortex, Oregon Caves, Big Cat Animal Park and some more amazing wineries.

Check out the central and southern coast as well. And the sand dunes! My favorite place to go as a child.

No matter where you travel in Oregon there is always something beautiful and unique to see.

Oregon Facts and Trivia

(from 50states.com)

  1. Oregon’s state flag pictures a beaver on its reverse side. It is the only state flag to carry two separate designs.
  2. Oregon has more ghost towns than any other state.
  3. The Columbia River gorge is considered by many to be the best place in the world for windsurfing.
  4. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and is formed in the remains of an ancient volcano.
  5. Oregon and New Jersey are the only states without self-serve gas stations.
  6. Eugene was the first city to have one-way streets.
  7. Pilot Butte, a cinder cone volcano, exists within the city limits of Bend.
  8. At 329 feet the Coast Douglas-Fir in Oregon is considered the tallest tree in the state.
  9. At 8,000 feet deep Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America.
  10. The hazelnut is Oregon’s official state nut. Oregon is the only state that has an official state nut. The hazelnut is also known as the filbert.
  11. Oregon’s state birthday is on February 14, Valentine’s Day.
  12. The “Oregon Pioneer” statue that tops the capitol building is a work by Ulric Ellerhusen. This heroic figure represents the spirit of Oregon’s early settlers.
  13. The state park system has 159 yurts located in 19 parks. Yurts are a circular domed tent suitable for camping.
  14. Navy blue and gold are Oregon’s official state colors.
  15. The Chinook salmon is Oregon’s official state fish.
  16. The Willamette River was discovered in 1792.
  17. In 1858 the richest gold find in the Cascade Mountains was discovered in the Bohemia Mining District at Sharp’s Creek near Cottage Grove.
  18. Dorris Ranch in Springfield became the first commercial filbert orchard in the state.
  19. In 1876 the University of Oregon opened in Eugene. Deady Hall was the first building on campus and still exists.
  20. In 1880 a sea cave was discovered near what is now known as Florence. Sea Lion Caves is known to be the largest sea cave in the world.
  21. The nation’s most photographed lighthouse is the Heceta Head Lighthouse located in Lane County.
  22. Darlingtonia Wayside is Oregon’s only rare plant sanctuary.
  23. Oregon’s second highest waterfall is Salt Creek Falls in the Cascade Mountain range. It drops 286 feet.
  24. The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest is one of the largest long-term ecological research sites in the United States.
  25. Eugene is rated by “Bicycling Magazine” as one of the top ten cycling communities in the United States.
  26. There are nine lighthouses standing along the coastline. Five are still being used; the others are designated historic monuments.
  27. Portland is an example of outstanding urban planning. The city is known as The City of Roses.
  28. High above the city of Portland the International Rose Test Garden features more than 500 varieties of roses cultivated continuously since 1917.
  29. At 11,239 feet Mount Hood stands as the tallest peak in Oregon. Mount Hood is a dormant volcano.
  30. Silver Falls State Park is the Oregon’s largest state park. It features 10 waterfalls and contains a wide variety of forested hiking trails.
  31. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. It was formed more than 6,500 years ago. Its crystal-blue waters are world renowned.
  32. Discovered in 1874 the caves located in Oregon Caves National Monument are carved within solid marble.
  33. The world’s largest rosary collection is exhibited at The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center. A local resident collected the exhibit.
  34. The Carousel Museum contains the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of carousel horses.
  35. Fort Clatsop National Memorial contains a replica of Lewis and Clark’s 1805-1806 winter outpost.
  36. The small village of Bickelton is filled with bluebird houses seen on the posts of every house.
  37. The Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area is a spectacular river canyon cutting the only sea-level route through the Cascade Mountain Range.
  38. The Ries-Thompson House is the oldest remaining residence in Parkdale. Built circa 1900 the home and area offer a commanding view of Mount Hood.
  39. Tillamook is home to Oregon’s largest cheese factory.
  40. Florence is known as Oregon’s rhododendron capital.
  41. The Oregon Legislature designated the Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) as the Oregon state flower by resolution in 1899.
  42. Oregon’s capitol building is located in Salem. Earlier capitals include the cities of Oregon City and Corvallis.
  43. The Columbia River forms most of the northern border between Oregon and Washington. The Snake River forms over half of the eastern boundary with Idaho.
  44. In 1905 the largest long cabin in the world was built in Portland to honor the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  45. A treaty between the United States and Spain established the current southern border between Oregon and California. The treaty was signed in 1819.
  46. The Oregon Trail is the longest of the overland routes used in the westward expansion of the United States.
  47. The Tillamook Naval Air Museum is housed in the world’s largest wooden clear-span building.
  48. Haystack Rock off Cannon Beach is 235 feet high and is the third largest coastal monolith in the world.
  49. The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, built in 1880, is currently used as the site of the final resting place of up to 467,000 cremated individuals.
  50. The Seaside Aquarium was the first facility in the world to successfully breed harbor seals in captivity.

Happy Birthday Oregon, Cheers!


Road Trip to Seattle: The Eagles, Pumpkin Muffins and Pike Place Market




It seems that as we get older, time just seems to fly by like the wind. A gust (life happens) comes along and before you know it another month has just flown by. Where did it go? what the heck happened? Wasn’t it just October 1st yesterday!??

Since time is definitely not standing still, I have decided to start marking things off that bucket list. My list is quite long so, if i’m going to see and do all of the stuff on my list, I need to get moving on this thing.

The Eagles happen to be one of my all time favorite bands and I had never seen them live. When I found out they were coming to Seattle (about 4 hours drive from Portland) I just knew that this was my chance. I had to go!

I got the tickets, my friend Denise booked the train ride(the train stops right at the stadium where the concert was being held) and here brother just happened to have a place in the city where we could stay. It was perfect!

After a long month of waiting, concert day had finally arrived. We were so excited to get out of town and have some fun. We packed wine and yummy snacks (Cheeses, salami, fruit, crackers and chocolate) for the relaxing train ride.


Yummy Pumpkin Muffins, Delicious with a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Denise made some delicious pumpkin muffins to take, as well. With a stop by the coffee drive up to pick up some lattes, we were on our way. Her husband drove us to the train station and dropped us off. The excitement was booming!


At the station

After about 15 minutes at the train station, we find out that the train was cancelled. What??? Who cancels a train??!! Ok, time for plan B. Denise gets her money refunded, calls her husband, he picks us up, we drive to her house to drop him off, we are now driving to Seattle. Road Trip!


Once we arrived, we dropped off our bags, called a Lyft and made it to the show with 30 or so minutes to spare. Time enough to stop by the Beer Garden before heading in.

We made our way inside and found our seats. The show started shortly after we sat down. Opening act, The Doobie Brothers. I had seen them before, several years back, they were still just as great.

The lights went down and suddenly I hear that impeccable harmony. Seven bridges road was the opening song. It was a beautiful thing.

They introduce Deacon Frye (The late Glenn Frye’s son) he does a beautiful rendition of his father’s song “take it easy”. My eyes start to well up.

A song or two later they introduce Vince Gill ( also singing some of Glenn’s songs). He does a beautiful rendition as well of “Take it to the Limit”. Tears are now flowing.

The great music and tears continue as Don Henley chokes up a bit when he talks about his late friend and the song that they wrote together.

Then they did a showcase of songs by Joe Walsh. Some from the Eagles and some from his solo and James Gang works. This did not disappoint. He looked great, sounded great and rocked the place.

The show was an emotional rollercoaster for me, It was like a tribute of the amazing talent of each individual member, a memorial of a friend that had passed and a comeback story all rolled into one. Needless to say, it was Awesome!

After the show we decided to look for a place to eat. We were famished, since we did not get to have our leisurely meal on the train as planned.

Note to self, eat first next time because everything around the stadium seemed to close at midnight. On a Saturday night, mind you. after roaming the streets and asking several passersby we finally found a pub that was still open and serving food. The struggle was real, guys.

The next day we decided to take a trip over to the Pike Place Market before heading back home.



It was a beautiful day and the market was bustling with people. We walked around a bit before deciding on a little German deli for lunch. Bavarian Meats



Denise had a Brat on a bun with sauerkraut and I decided to be adventurous and try the curry sausage. Beer sausage with a curry ketchup sauce and served with fries. It was delicious and different.

For dessert, after browsing the endless amount of options, we opted for a little French pastry shop and coffee. Le Panier , another amazing choice.



After drooling over the cases of sumptuous pastries, I decided on the Amondine.

Amandine: Criossant with Crème d’amande inside, with toasted almonds and a cappuccino.

YUMMY!!! My life was complete. Time to head back home and mark one off my bucket list. It was a wonderful trip with a wonderful friend. Here are a few more scenes from the Market and check out the Pumpkin Muffin recipe at the link below. Denise added a few chocolate chips to each muffin. Delish!   Pumpkin Muffins.

Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Muffins: (Recipe by Jennifer Segal @ once upon a chef)

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon each: ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-15 ounce can 100% pure pumpkin

For the topping:

  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • heaping 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two standard muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Begin with the topping: Combine the flour, butter, demerara sugar, chopped pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl. The mixture will be quite wet. Set aside.
  • Move on to the muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at low speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; continue beating at medium speed until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary. Turn the speed down to low and mix in the flour mixture until just combined.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to transfer batter to muffin pans, filling each muffin tin about ¾ full. Using your hands, divide the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for about 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool on rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely (use a butter knife to lift them out of pan).

Add a few chocolate chips to each muffin before cooking.