Mother's Day Weekend :: McMinneville & Emerald Downs

On Saturday morning, Mama Duck and I headed further west to McMinneville to meet up with the Hardersens! Little Duck had her first college tour at Linfield College and I was so happy that we got to be there for the journey!

Linfield is a private, liberal-arts school with over 47 major options through three different programs and has been named “Best in the West” last year by the Princeton Review. Their motto is “The Power of a Small College” and after taking a campus tour, you can really feel the power of that statement.

With about 1,700 students total, it’s definitely a small college against some of the other options in the state, including my alam mater, University of Oregon. The campus is beautiful and although it is a small school, the campus is surprisingly pretty large. The campus grounds were well maintained and you really got a sense that the school was well taken care of, both the buildings and the students. We learned a lot about some of the different programs and history throughout the tour and left with a lot for Little Duck to consider over the next year!

Looking at colleges and prepping for the next chapter of your life was such an exciting time for me and I hope it will be for her too. Although I will say.. I hope she doesn’t drive herself too insane with planning classes for the next four years in high school like I did. At least not alone ;-) That’s what Big Ducks are for, right?! 

After the college tour we headed back to their campsite for the afternoon to cook up some lunch before our next destination. I hadn’t seen the whole family since August, so it was really nice catching up with everybody. Once we had some food in our stomachs, the girls were off to another great part of McMinneville.. Wine country! A bonus for any visitors if Little Duck does end up going to Linfield!

I had been to wine country in the area once before with Kathy for my 21st Birthday and was excited to get back! Our first stop was at a winery we visited on our last trip that has a beautiful vine called Cana’s Feast.

We started out our tastings with different varieties of red wines, sitting outside amongst the green scenery, under the warm spring sunshine. Sitting at the table talking amongst old and new friends, it was so nice to appreciate the moment and just relax!

As if I didn’t think we could spend the afternoon at a more beautiful winery.. then we arrived at Anne Amie.

At the top of a long paved driveway, you stand on top of a hill overlooking the vineyards, followed by trees, and the rolling hills in the background. Truly so beautiful.

The views weren’t the only thing that were wonderful at Anne Amie either, we were pleasantly surprised by their wine choices! This time around, we were tasting whites, some of which have become a few of my favorites I’ve ever tasted.

After a few more tastings, and a bottle of wine for the other girls, I was playing chauffeur and driving us back to the campground for a good old fashioned fish-fry! We ended the night with some light-hearted conversation, laughs, and delicious food before Mama Duck and I had to head back up North to Wilkeson! 

For Mother’s Day, we headed to the races! It’s become a family tradition for awhile (although I’m not sure of the number of years). Sadly I’ve missed out the last 3 years, but I was happy to be there for this one!    Living 2,500 miles away, really puts into perspective how much family really means and I’m so thankful for every minute I get to spend with them.

Such a fun-filled day with family and a great way to close my quick trip home. Looking forward to being back in July for another quick trip for a friend’s wedding! See you again soon NW :)