Day 2: Road Trips Aren’t Trips Without Visiting Friends

Ethan works on activities from his activity binder.

Day 2: McMinnville to Medford with a stop in Eugene | Total Time: 7 hours | Total Distance: 273 miles

It was a leisure day and we like it that way.

We enjoyed our early morning at Laura’s parent’s house today. I slept in a bit, Sam cooked up a mean breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon, and the kids gobbled up Grandma and Grandpa’s attention, as they should. After our goodbyes to the grandparents and Skylee, who we’ll miss a lot, we were on the road at 9am. First stop: coffee at Starbuck’s. Brett needed a jolt.

Medford is only a 5 hour drive from McMinnville and not usually a place we would stop, even with kids. It’s a short distance. We easily could’ve made it to Redding and everyone would’ve been happy. But, we wanted to stop in Eugene, our stomping grounds from 2006-2008, where Ethan was born and Brett graduated from the University of Oregon. Specifically, we stopped to visit our friends and former neighbors Pete and Becky.

Last December we planned to meet them in Eugene on December 26. On our drive to see them our ‘ol Subaru with 206K miles died on us  in Salem. Pete and Becky were nice enough to drive up to Salem so we could enjoy a great lunch at Denny’s. Today, with our new car holding steady, we arrived in Eugene around 11am with smiles and no auto issues, just as we planned. Pete and Becky have been great friends of ours ever since we first moved to Eugene. They were our landlords and we lived next door to each other. The yellow house in the photos below is where we lived. Since we moved out, Pete remodeled the entire house and it looks terrific. We were very excited to see all the work he’s done to the place. Those two always have a project going on that we’re excited to hear about.

We visited our street and then picked up some Yumm Bowls from Cafe Yumm before heading to Skinner Butte Park. The kids stretched their legs and enjoyed the playground. Eugene really has some of the best parks that we’ve visited (and we’ve visited a lot of parks in our time). We laid out a picnic lunch and enjoyed each other’s company before continuing south in the early afternoon. It was great to see Pete and Becky and we’re thankful for their generosity and friendship.

The drive to Medford was quiet. The kids slept most of the time (we actually planned this since they just ate, played at the park, and it was early afternoon). When Ethan was awake he was working on an activity from his binder. Laura put together an excellent binder of different activities for him. He has pencils, cayons, pens, markers, glue, scissors, construction paper, road trip map, connect the dots, puzzles, and so much more. He loves his binder.

We made it to Medford around 4pm and checked into our Marriott hotel. I was able to pay for the night using points I earned from all my business travels. That’s a nice perk to all the travel I do with work. First stop was for the kids to check out the beds. Second stop was the swimming pool. If you have kids, you know that you never stay at a hotel without a pool. It’s just wrong. After our swim, we hung out in the hotel room, ate dinner, watched a couple shows. Before bed we grabbed a DQ dessert and visited a nearby park.

It’s been another beautiful day on our trip. Everyone is holding up great. The weather is fantastic. Tomorrow we push through to San Jose where we’ll visit my family. Our highlight tomorrow will be lunch in Redding at In-N-Out Burger. It’s been way too long.

Day 2 and we’re still all smiles
Ethan works on activities from his activity binder.
“Hey…we’re still not there yet!”
Ethan checks out the chicken at Pete and Becky’s house.
Ethan inspects the garden with Pete.
Our old house when I was in grad school. It’s been severly remodeled and looks great (not a lot of similarities to the old house).
Enjoying Skinner Butte Park in Eugene, OR
Yumm Bowls from the Yumm Cafe
Tickle time
Ethan enjoying the playground
Good looking kid right there!
Pumping water at the park
Ethan, Becky, Pete and Autumn
First things first when the kids get to the hotel room.
Enjoying a bite to eat in the hotel room after our evening swim.
Laura reads to Autumn
Ethan and Brett play hangman
Brett and Ethan look through his activity binder for some drawing paper.
Last minute energy burning at the playground before bed time.
Yes, it was a DQ night.


2 thoughts on “Day 2: Road Trips Aren’t Trips Without Visiting Friends”

  1. The pictures are awesome! We loved your visit and the picnic and hope we can do it again soon. Have fun and we look forward to more stories about your trip! Pete and Becky

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