1. I saw 2 bald eagles, 1 golden eagle, a great-horned owl, lots of antelope, and countless hawks. I always see the best wildlife on the drive from Ontario to Bend.
2. Any given grocery store has a better beer and wine selection than the BEST state liquor store in Utah. Whole foods really was remarkable. Andy was like a little boy in the candy store. He kept running to take a closer look at all of the imported and Oregon brewed beers. It was pretty adorable.
3. The state troopers are super nice. The first question he asked when he pulled us over was if we had a reason for going so fast. I was floored! What a considerate thing to ask. I only wish we had had a legitimate reason for speeding. Sorry, Sarg. We really do appreciate the verbal warning rather than the reckless driving ticket it could have been.
a. Here’s a shout out to the Idaho Highway patrol. I appreciate your professionalism though your reason for pulling us over was completely ridiculous. I can’t believe you pulled us over on the freeway to ask where our front license plate was.
4. Where else can you be accosted by Greenpeace, random Christian zealots, and hippies making/selling hemp hats in one hour? Let’s not forget the teenage addicts who were able to get three quarters for me because he told me his dog needed food. Yes, I know. I fed his addiction. Shame on me.
5. Despite the hippies, it smells better than any other state I’ve ever been.
6. Grandpa Parker was there and he is an absolute delight. He told us stories about growing up in Southern California (way before it was a popular place to live) with his dog Stub stealing watermelons from his neighbor. What a fantastic dude. He skyrocketed into my top five people ever.
7. The produce. Hands down, delightful.
8. Cindy's cooking. She was so kind to think up dishes that I could have (I don't think I announced that I have Celiac disease) and they were always super tasty. Someday I will be gifted in the ways of culinary arts but until then, I will enjoy the cooking of people like my mom and Cindy.
9. Thom’s church. Every time we visit Bend, we have the opportunity of attending Thom’s church. It is always such a wonderful, uplifting experience. I wish we lived closer so we could go every Sunday. Thom, fantastic sermon, as always.
10. The number 10 reason why I love Oregon is because it’s the best state. To all of you from New York and Texas who are hyperventilating right now, I’ve been to your states and they have a lot to offer. But I maintain that Oregon is the best.
On a bright note: being pulled over twice on the freeway has proven that my window is fixed. It successfully went down AND up twice!