When most people think of a college student’s spring break, they imagine bikini-clad youths, basking in the sun on the beaches of Miami, or drunken kids stumbling around Cabo holding open Coronas and wearing shirts stained with fresh puke. Now, while a week of drunken mistakes sounds very appealing to me, I embarked on a different journey for my spring vacation. Instead of packing up my bikini, tanning oil, and skimpy clothing suited for warm beach weather, I stuffed my jeans, mittens, and jackets into my backpack, and prepared for a week of storm clouds, heavy rain, and an average temperature of forty degrees. I was going to Oregon.
My journey to the green state proved to a somewhat tumultuous one. After a turbulent flight from San Francisco to Portland, which caused my neighboring passenger to ralph (three times, to be exact), I took an express flight from Portland to Eugene. Actually, it was more like a death flight. The turbulence was so bad that I got ghostly white knuckles from gripping the armrests for dear life. I sincerely thought our baby plane would succumb to the wrath of angry storm clouds, and we were all as good as dead. No, not really, but it felt like being on a rollercoaster that was under construction. I thanked God the puke lady from earlier wasn’t sitting next to me on this flight; it would have been a sight no one wanted to see.
When I finally felt the wet concrete underneath my feet, I knew I made it to Eugene alive, praise Jesus. Then, I saw a sight sweeter than pine trees: my dear friends from the University of Oregon screeching around the corner in Anya’s twenty -year-old Camry. Now that they arrived (twenty minutes late, I might add), my spring break officially began. We were ready to catch up on each others’ lives, venture to Eugene’s most prominent tourist destinations (AKA Super Wal-Mart, the waffle cart), attend some of the UO’s finest fraternity parties, and most importantly, have lots of fun.
My Eugene-tastic week started with a trip to Off The Waffle, the prized eatery home to a variety of delicious waffles, of course. I ordered The Ole Banana Split, which, if you could not guess from the name, is a waffle with bananas, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup. I guess I would say it tastes like the best thing you ever ate while sitting atop a cloud in Heaven. Needless to say, the waffles are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
Throughout the week we journeyed to many of Eugene’s magical shopping destinations: Super Wal-Mart (they sell frozen pizzas AND tights), the Fifth Street Market (home to some of Eugene’s classiest eateries, including an adorable old-fashioned candy store), TJ Maxx (I got a really cute floral dress for only twenty bucks), and Qdoba (it’s like Chipotle only they have cheese sauce, so it’s obviously better). Now we were stuffed and broke with new shoes on our feet, so there was only one thing left to do: party like it’s 2010.
In my opinion, UO parties clash drastically with the weather. Everyone who lives there knows it rains ninety percent of the year, but if you’re a lady, you want to dress up in your cutest outfit, often including brutally short shorts and dresses. Are you going to wear tights underneath? Maybe, but probably not. Of course, we all know the key ingredient to wearing a mini skirt and ruffled front tank top during hailstorms without getting (or at least feeling) frostbite: liquor. Oregon girls tend to get as drunk as possible in the warm haven of their dorms, making sure they are sober enough at least to make it out the door, before braving the rain and bitter cold. Then, after a few hours of wandering from frat to frat, dancing, drinking, and macking (or not, just saying), the ladies typically return home to pass out looking like tired wet puppies with sopping wet shoes, smeared mascara, and hair so drenched by the rain it looks like they just got out of the shower. It’s an endless weekend cycle throughout the school year that I decided to try.
Normally, I’m not a fan of frat parties, let alone frats, but the two parties we attended worked out because at one we avoided sweating to death by dancing on top of radiators, and at the other there was free booze and a spacious dance floor to show off your moves. Fortunately, the weather was in my favor, and it did not rain either night we went out. Thanks, God! I dressed classy, danced it up, had lots of drinks with my lady friends, and had two fantastic nights.
By the time my week ended, I didn’t want to leave. Eugene is a wonderful little college town filled with lush greens, clear rivers, nice people, good food, and fun times. Everyone is incredibly concerned about keeping the community beautiful, and they love their Ducks, despite their defeat at the Rosebowl this year. I had a blast with my girl friends, and I knew once I got back to San Francisco, I’d want to go back in time and do it all over again.
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