September 8, 2006

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by Christy

We're starting to settle into our new home in Corvallis. Much has happened since last we wrote, but we will be brief here and let the pictures speak for themselves. For now, here are a few things we've learned about Corvallis.

As we noted when we were here for Ted's interview and for our house hunting trip, the downtown is very lovely and lively. There are lots of great restaurants, the riverside park with the children's water fountain, and tons of great locally-owned stores. Corvallis doesn't have a mall, and it shows. People gather and enjoy the downtown area, keeping it really quaint and vibrant. The little things really show, like the one-ways and slow traffic, public art all around (we just noticed a big bronze frog on the side of a brick wall tonight--cool!), and planters overflowing with trailing flowers on top of the garbage cans. We look forward to exploring the restaurants and shops more (note to Margie--there are at least 2 shoe boutiques!)

The farmer's markets are outrageously wonderful. On Saturday they block off a large section of the street next to the downtown riverfront park and every kind of produce imaginable is bursting from the farmer's booths. They can grow so much more than we can in the Midwest--you have to try the fresh peaches and every variety of melon! We were blown away by the huge, fresh blackberries. They begged for some vanilla ice cream to accompany them, and who were we to deny it. So delicious! And there is a bustling Wednesday market too, just in time for refilling your fridge after the weekend produce runs out. Anders and I enjoyed a Wednesday outing there, and got as much produce as we could carry and a few other treats like kettle corn and a big pretzel for about $17! Honeycrisp apples fresh from the tree and juicy pears for only $1 per pound! I love it.

We've been out for 2 hikes in the hills and forests just minutes from our house. We are looking forward to a couple of hikes a week with Anders in the backpack to whip us back into shape. It's a special experience to be out in the tree cathedrals. There are old-growth areas with trees that are over 200 years old. There is much to explore.

Our neighborhood is pretty quiet and our neighbors are very friendly. We have made fast friends with our next-door neighbors, Heather and Tim and their son, Henry, who is only 3 weeks younger than Anders! They are getting along great, and so are we. We have lots of the same interests and values, and they have been here only about 6 months too so they are happy to have new friends to explore the area. We've seen them about every night in our yards and chatted. I was very sad to leave our fabulous Minneapolis neighbors, Kim, Dionne and Emily, so it is great to have neighbors here that we really like too.

The weather has been just perfect. Clear blue skies and 80-90 degrees everyday, but it is only really warm right in the sun. There is always a cool breeze, and it cools down quickly at night. It's even a bit chilly in the mornings. Perfect way to ease into fall, but we are wondering when the rain will start and what it will be like.

Our house is feeling like home. We went shopping for a new chair, and came home with a whole new sectional sofa and matching chair and ottoman. It fits the room much better than the old couch. We have most things in place, and have made great progress on our to-do list, so we look forward to less house-work and more time enjoying the area. It's still a pretty small house, with a teeny-tiny yard, but it feels like enough. Biking is easy and the weather is good, so the world is our playground right now.

Please email us when you get a chance, and plan your next vacation here! We have a guest room!

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