Local Adventures with Lena

My friend Lena is back in town. Lena and I have been friends since fifth grade when Mrs. Lau put is in the same group and she drew a colored spider web for our group project. I remember seeing the spider web. It didn’t creep me out; I thought it was cool. We became friends and became the best of friends in high school. Most of my fun friend memories from the four years at DHS have her in them.

Once we all left to college, we’d catch up back home in Dayton. If one of us was visiting home, we’d check in to see if the other would be around. And then we’d do something fun.

Lena is one of the few friends I have that has been an actual legitimate pen pal. When I write letters, she writes back. We spent one summer in high school writing letters to each other every few days because the two of us didn’t have cars to drive to see one another. Plus, we were never really those phone-talking kind of friends; we either hung out in person or wrote letters.

When Lena called me up the other day, I was ecstatic. I had just found out that I got a graduate teaching assistantship for the fall. With her calling, I was super-stoked. Nothing could have made my day better. We decided to hang out Thursday (which was yesterday) and do something cool since she hadn’t been around in a while.

After I listed off a bunch of stuff we could do, Lena told me she was up for “whatever.” So I made a list. And here’s what it included:

• Soup at The Sage – The Sage is this cute café upstairs in the old 1893 building on Third Street in McMinnville, OR. It is famous for the creamy broccoli soup which was the purpose of our visit. They also have fantastic sandwiches and tasty homemade apple cider (not hard cider, but the Cracker Barrel sort of country cider). Lena had never been to The Sage so it was definitely a good stop.
• Pix with 3 Statues – Downtown McMinnville has a bunch of statues now. I love statues so I always take pictures with them. We’ve actually taken quite a few pictures of the Ben Franklin statue next to U.S. Bank (we seem to head downtown Mac every time she’s in town) and so we went to see the Abraham Lincoln statue by the Community Center. (Note: Lena is in all of these pictures because I forced her to pose and also because I was the one taking the pictures. One of these days, I’ll remember to get my picture taken as well!)

Lena w Abe

• Pie in Amity – Blue Raeven Farmstand has been in Amity for eight years. I only discovered it last Tuesday on my way back from Corvallis. I figured we’d want dessert mid-afternoon and drove us out to the farmstand for a sweet treat.

Lena by Blue Raeven

• Lavender – There are lavender fields out past Amity on the way to Corvallis on 99W. I have passed them several times in the past few months. I have never stopped. Since Lena was in town, I figured, why not make her go with me. She ended up making a bouquet for her mom with the U-Cut basket. I made my own scented lotion. This place was cool. I sort of want to visit it again even though I’ve purchased several lavender plants to plant in my parents’ garden.

Lena cutting lavender again

Unexpected things we added to our journey were:
• The Farmer’s Market in McMinnville – This happens every Thursday in downtown McMinnville. The number of vendors varies, but the quality of each vendor is definitely top notch. My favorite vendor: the lemonade lady.
• The Granary District in McMinnville – McMinnville, Oregon is really becoming a pretty amazing place. The Granary District used to host the McMinnville Public Market until some crazy drama and financial circumstances killed the market. Now, the Granary District is home to a number of wineries and at least one cute little bakery. I’m sure in the next few years, the Granary District is going to come alive and I can’t wait to see it.

The day was definitely a success, mainly because I got to see my friend and laugh continually. Old friends really are the best, especially when they’re the ones that you can be a total dork around and it doesn’t matter.

friends lena and rece

Tata for now.



2 thoughts on “Local Adventures with Lena

    • She’s in town for a little bit and then she’s escaping to Mexico again. She let me have a half-day appointment after I got off work yesterday at ten.

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