Friday, October 30, 2009

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area, Jewell, Oregon

On your way to/from the Oregon Coast from Portland, and if the weather is cooperating, you might want to take a detour (about 20 minutes) to Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area in Jewell. Jewell Meadows is home to about 200 Roosevelt Elk, as well as other wildlife, and has three turn-outs where you (hopefully) can see the elk grazing, resting, cavorting, and doing basically whatever elk do.

The best time to see the elk is in the cooler weather and either early in the morning or dusk - at other times during the day they tend to hang-out at the tree line. When we were there this time, we saw many mother elk and their adolescents, as well as quite a few male elk. The middle turn-out has restrooms, an interpretive display, as well as picnic tables.

Be sure to bring your binoculars, a camera with a good zoom lens (we only had our "baby" camera), and listen closely.....we heard some males bugling this time! Oh yeah, it's FREE! :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cranky Sue's of Cannon Beach. Oregon


Well, you know we like to eat, and one of the places we always go to when we're in Cannon Beach is to go to Cranky Sue's for some great crab cakes! We happened upon Cranky Sue's a few years ago, and now many more people have found it (not difficult to do since you pass it driving into town). There is small restaurant with both inside-seating and outside (dog-friendly) seating. Now, just like most coastal restaurants, it's not an inexpensive place, but if you like crab cakes, then this is the place for you ~ enjoy!

(Remember ~ if you like crab and are a bit further down (south) the coast, go to the Riverhouse Restaurant)

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Visit to Cannon Beach, Oregon

The Oregon Coast is one of the most beautiful in the world, and that includes Cannon Beach, easy access from Portland along a scenic 1 - 1 1/2 drive. We spent Saturday there enjoying the sun and warm weather, which was a nice break in the rain that began last week and continues throughout this week as well.

Cannon Beach is a very popular destination - there are many art galleries, craft shops, restaurants (more on where we ate in our next post), clothes stores, and more. If you have a dog, it is a very dog-friendly town, with water bowls and many merchants welcoming dogs in either their store or their patio.

Cannon Beach is also beautiful - incredible flowers bloom along the sidewalks, and it has easy access to the beach - just a short beach walk to the famous Haystack Rock - the third largest coastal monolith in the world, and home to incredible tide pools (when the tide is out) and shorebirds. If you're in the mood, continue walking for miles along the beautiful Oregon Coast......

Cannon Beach is a definite "must do" when on the north Oregon Coast ~ have fun!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

We Went to Oprah!!! Chicago, Illinois, Part 3


Guess what! The second Oprah show we saw taped last month will be on this Tuesday, October 20th ~ Sex As a Deadly Weapon: Five Victims Speak Out. To read more about our Oprah experience and this show, click here. We're looking forward to watching it!

We'll let you know when the other show airs........


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

We Went to Oprah!!! Chicago, Illinois, Part 2



Well, unfortunately this is our last post for a while, but we will post again, so do check back. Thought we’d end with some insights and tips into our Oprah experience…….and how you can see a show (or two) as well.


  1. If you’re in the Chicago area, be sure to check the Oprah audience reservation website – there are often last-minute shows that need audience members.

  2. Again, if you’re in the Chicago area, you can go to Harpo Studios and get in the stand-by line ~ often times, and we were told in especially cold weather, people do not show-up for their seats, and seats open. Be sure you get there early, by 6:30 am for the first show, and by 9am fort he second.

  3. If you won’t be in Chicago anytime soon, but still want to get tickets and go, check our post about how to get reservations – if you’ve tried before, it was much easier with their new online system then how we had to call, just a year ago.

  4. There is an Oprah Store (of course)! You do not need to have gone to a show to go to the store, and all proceeds benefit charity. Suzanne, not the most enthusiastic shopper, bought two pairs of socks with an “O” on them. Brad stood with the other 4 men trying to hold their ground.

  5. Have fun! Even though we didn’t love the topics – it was still amazing to see Oprah work in person – it’s a much different experience than watching her on television.

  6. Diet before you go to Chicago ~ the food was incredible and we both fit a bit more snuggly in our clothes when we got home! :-)





Sunday, October 4, 2009

Abraham Lincoln Presidential LIbrary & Museum ~ and~ Lincoln Tomb SHS, Springfield, Illinois

One of the extra benefits of heading to Chicago for a few days, to catch an Oprah Winfrey show taping (or two), was the opportunity to visit Brad’s brother Brian, who lives outside of Springfield, Illinois, about 4 hours south of Chicago. While visiting Brian and his family, we went to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum and to the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum contained a changing gallery of Illinois history (currently agriculture in Illinois over the last couple of centuries), a replica of the Kentucky home where President Lincoln grew-up, a replica of the White House during Lincoln’s time, and some original artifacts from President Lincoln himself. In the White House replica, there is a fascinating 4-minute video showing how the lines of “free” vs. “slave” states changed over the civil war, as well as dioramas of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and his assassination.






In addition, there were some artifacts from The President himself – including one of the three hats he wore, as well as gloves he had on him the day he was assassinated ~









The Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site was unfortunately closed when we were there (Monday), but was nonetheless a fascinating place to wander around, and had we the time, we would have gone back to go inside – Brad’s brother Brian said it was fascinating.





One thing we did do when we were at the tomb – rubbed President Lincoln nose – seems as if it brings luck to those that do so. As you can see by the picture, it’s a popular superstition!






Friday, October 2, 2009

A Tour of Chicago, Illinois

While staying in Chicago for a couple days to take in a taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show, we took some time to walk the city and enjoy the culture of Chicago.

Our first place, Magnificent Mile ~ the shopping area of some very high-end stores – perhaps the place for an Oprah sighting! We didn’t do any shopping, but it was fun to see the high fashion and incredibly jewelry adorning the windows – especially Cartier! Perhaps Oprah herself has shopped there…..

We continued down to Lake Michigan where there is a decent sized beach with palm trees (how do they survive the Chicago winters?), a bike/running path, and lots of very expensive condos with great views (perhaps Oprah lives around here).

Walking back the other way is the Chicago River, which separates the Magnificent Mile shopping area from the business area of banking, commerce, press and the like.


The business section of Chicago is expansive, with ease of access via the “L” and subway ~ the “L” is an elevated rail system which can be seen in movies such as The Fugitive with Harrison Ford. As we meandered around the business district, we happened upon a farmer’s market that occurs weekly on Thursday mornings throughout the summer.

We really enjoyed Chicago – of course, it is September – not January during the frigid cold, nor July during the heat and humidity, but we’ll definitely come back again – perhaps for another Oprah show!

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