Next stop: Corvallis. Lovely collegetown. Like so many of the spots we’re visiting I was reminded a bit of Ithaca. We drove with the top down and it was perfect weather – just the right kind of dry heat and as we drove through fields of fresh mint the enticing smell wafted through the air whipping by our faces. Bonus: I stopped in Powell’s bookstore and exchanged mine for a few new ones.
A bit later we arrived in the hippie town of Eugene, OR. We were a little wary at first as we pulled up to our $65/night motel that was right next to the bus station (Timbers Motel), but it was a solid little place. Nice quiet room, nothing fancy or special, but it had a mattress and a roof and a shower and a/c, so it was luxury for us 😉 We set out on foot to explore Eugene, walked over to U of Oregon (I kept confusing this and Oregon State, Alan thought I was going to get us shot) and wandered around the campus for a bit, then took Pearl St. down to the downtown area where we got a delicious meal at a Vietnamese place. This was the best meal of the trip so far! Alan got the banh mi and I got the spicy beef pho. Oh my oh my.. both were delicious. The bread on the banh mi was superb – not too crusty, not too soft – and we decided that Oregon does their bread right.
We stopped in at Voodoo Donuts and split a Cap’n Crunch donut for dessert. They had some mean flavors in there. While the donut was easily devoured, I’d say the desserts paled in comparison to the decor and experience. Take out boxes are pink boxes labeled “good things come in pink boxes.” Ha.. Ha.. Naughty, clever Oregonians.
We were beat and headed back to Timbers for some more trip planning and a good night’s rest.
Observations on Oregon so far:
- Treat names for coffee shops and TONS of these tiny little coffee shops that are the size of a room just standing alone. Best name: Brewed Awakenings. Close runner up: the Human Bean. Also lots of Dairy Queens and Dutch Brothers coffee chains.
- You can’t pump your own gas. Pretty sure Oregon and New Jersey are the only two states left. Curious what the rationale is behind that…
- Oregonian men have beards. So. much. facial hair. I’m pretty sure they won’t let you get your OR driver’s license if your photo is facial hair free. I was so tempted to snap photos of some of the more stellar bearded men of Orgon, but alas, I left without many shots of the not-so-elusive bearded Oregonian.
- Oregonians bear their bodies with pride. I noticed a number of guts that were worn proudly, even some women with little tellitubbies wearing middrift tops. The contrast strikes me more coming from LA where the people are so beautiful and put so much effort into their appearances. I’d been saying for a while that every time I went home to the Northeast I’d walk around the grocery store for the first time and think, “Why did all the ugly people come into the store at the exact same time?” I imagine that sounds pretty vain. But live in LA for a few years, then leave and trust me.. you will notice the scale of attractiveness of the folks around you has skewed dramatically towards HOT. This is not to say there aren’t beautiful people in Oregon or New England or elsewhere – I’ve got some beauties from all these spots! But outside LA, and especially in Oregon there is way less emphasis put into clothing, shoes, makeup, even bodies. No silicone here folks. No frozen faces either.