After spending a wonderful week at my husband’s cousin’s house in Saratoga – where we got to recover from the jet lag, take walks in the local neighbourhood and marvel its houses, and start taking care of the countless practicalities we would need to deal with in the near future – we headed up North to Oregon state.
I must admit that I really didn’t know anything about Oregon state, and very little of its capital city Portland (which we didn’t visit on this trip). Oregon has a population of 4 million people, most of which voting for the democratic party, and beautiful nature including the coastal area, and the inner land with mountains, creeks, and pine forests. The biggest mountains are not just any mountains, but they are part of number of volcanoes, called the Cascades Volcanoes extending from British Columbia to California.
Oregon is also a home to one of the worlds biggest apparel companies, Nike.
We visited just a small part of Oregon, namely the village of Sunriver. Sunriver is known as a ski and summer leisure activity resort. It is located nearby the city of Bend, which is known for its vibrant brewery culture.
We had a privilege to experience the best of brewing and barbecuing in Bend. We were taken to a restaurant called Baldy’s by my husband’s cousin (he has many of cousins all together, and some of them happen to live in the West Coast of the US) and her husband (who happens to be a self learned barbecue specialist) where we tried a platter with four different sorts of barbecued meat and four side dishes, which were all very tasty.The traditional coleslaw salad included some celery, and was very refreshing. Potato salad was a bit spicy, different kind of potato salad from that of the Finnish one, and very tasty as well. Ribs were juicy, and the meet basically fell into your mouth when you touched it. I noticed myself using a lot of hot barbecue sauce, which I really liked (and was thinking whether it could be used for veggies as well).
I managed well, despite the fact that I rarely eat meat and have never tried a proper barbecue before.
We were told that barbecuing is actually a very social thing; the main idea in barbecuing is to share. Thus, barbecuing connects people – neighbours, amateurs, specialists, meet lovers, and travellers – from all over the country in festivals, in yards, and in picnic places. (There are special areas for barbecuing in many rest and a picnic areas).
Sunriver treated us well with a lovely wintery weather, and extremely hospitable hosts. My husband got a chance to go up to Mount Bachelor and spend a day skiing. I visited the lodge area with our kids, and experienced the after ski atmosphere staring at the Mountain.
There were surprisingly many things to do at Sunriver, even in winter time (the resort is especially well known for its summer activities, such like cycling, playing tennis, or golf, visiting the water park, the nature center, or observatorium, and hiking). We went sledging, visited the gingerbread exhibition, visited the wonderful High Desert Museum, and took nice walks in the beautiful scenery.