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When my sister, Courtney, and her family moved from San Antonio to Ashland, Oregon in the late Summer of 2014, it never occurred to me that she, my brother-in-law, nephews and niece would ever love their new home. I secretly imagined them missing Texas, longing for Mexican food, the sweet grass smell of our father’s pastures and most importantly wishing we were a mere 5 1/2 hours by car from each other instead of 5 1/2 hours by plane. She could never love anything as much as home…

Guess what.

I was mistaken.

And I am so grateful!!

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To say that Ashland and the Burkholders have embraced each other is an understatement. The Burks introduced their new friends to an authentic San Antonio Fiesta complete with true Mexican salsa, margaritas, homemade guacamole and picadillos.

Ashland introduced them to the famous Shakespeare Festival, Pinot Noir, hiking, apple orchards and 50º Junes.

Just check out these hiking sandals!!!

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#never

*truth be told I found my brother-in-law’s hiking sandals while in Ashland and hid them…secretly hoping he never wears them again.

We woke up at 3:00 AM (1:00 AM in Oregon) hopped on a plane, layover in San Fran, many moving sidewalks and about a jillion dollars in airport snacks and bottled waters, another plane and at last we made it!

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We arrived in Oregon at about 10:30 in the morning and had an early lunch creekside in downtown Ashland…just near beautiful Lithia Park. James, Caleb and Abby played and talked and played and talked and played and talked. It was AWESOME getting to see how happy they were to see each other.

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My newphew, Taylor, is headed to The Citadel in Charleston this Fall. Super proud of this 6’5″ 18 year old!

On Monday we headed to Red Lily Vineyard for a little picnic and a glass of red. Beautiful scenery and fantastic wine.   I tried the 2012 Tempranillo and would definitely recommend. We packed our own picnic but food is served there and seemed to be very chef-driven. The menu looked divine!

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Can I note that I packed completely wrong for this trip? It was between 50º-60º the entire time we were there, and I packed like we were visiting Texas in June. We were freezing. No coats. No long pants. Epic mom fail. Also, I’d like to mention that on the very first day I dropped my BRAND NEW iPhone and the camera no longer works. Awesome. And no I didn’t opt in for insurance. Awesome again.

(Thank goodness for the new Destination Scarf–I used it as a full functioning scarf/blanket many times!!!)

Twice we hiked up the mountain through local jogging trails which was certainly an adventure for these Texans used to completely flat terrain. Seriously, both boys fell twice before we even got started. It was beautiful, though, and very invigorating to hike in the chilly temps.

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Coco took us to the Ashland Farmers Market which honestly rivals our own in downtown McKinney. It was freezing and started raining, but homemade donuts, fresh baked breads and the sweetest strawberries known to man made the weather a little less of a factor.

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Coco also introduced me to an interesting new line of skincare made with dozens of organic oils as well as silk. Isn’t that crazy?  18 different Amino Acids are found in silk which have many properties beneficial in skincare such as: inhibiting lipid peroxidation, antibacterial, UV resistant, tightening and anti-wrinkle effect…the list goes on and on.

Sharla’s Skincare is still my all time favorite that I will use forever, however I love that I found the Oil of Tamanu and Revitalizing Facial Serum to add to my routine.

(I smell a Skincare post in the works!)

We shopped around darling downtown Ashland and of course visited my favorite store Prize. I LOVE THIS STORE and can’t wait to visit next time we are in Oregon.

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Because I’m so old, it is very refreshing to have teenage nephews who introduced me to the inner workings of Snapchat. Obviously I’ve heard of it but have never created an account and I spent probably 5 minutes crying from the hysterics of face swap. Honestly,  I couldn’t breath.

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Could Taylor and I be any uglier with swapped faces? I think not!

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Last time we were in Oregon was over Thanksgiving and we made the kids cinnamon rolls that looked like turkeys. We copied the snail idea from one that James had at a sleepover. #wearesuchpinterestmoms #not

On our last night Matt and Courtney treated me to a fantastic dinner at a restaurant called Cucina Biazzi. INCREDIBLE and loved the atmosphere!

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Beautiful patio outside Cucina Biazzi

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The boys and I entertained ourselves on the 5 1/2 hour plane ride home by taking pictures on their iPads using PhotoBooth. I’ll admit we snapped a few pix of our neighbors and had a good laugh at their expense as well…anything to entertain us on that long flight!

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Until next time Oregon!

-ciao for now-

Lauren

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