Paul and Barbara Beard were the leaders for this bus trip to Salem and surrounding area to see the Christmas lights and to have dinner. Twenty-five Obsidians and friends left the Eugene Shopko parking lot at 2pm, and our first stop was at the Capital to view decorated trees in the Rotundra. A magnificent train display under the enormous lighted tree was a trip back to childhood memories for many. The bridges, tunnels and all the traditional Christmas was a sight to see. To top off the experience, we listened to holiday music by soloist Kathy Madden and pianist Paul Beard, giving us a mini Christmas concert in the performance area of the Rotundra. Our second stop was the Mission Street Mill Museum and shops, which were all decorated with thousands of lights. The Mill is still producing electricity for the operations there, from a mill race. The walkways and water ways were fascinating to walk as the lights began to come on about 4:45pm and entirely change the atmosphere of the mill. At a later date, we plan to have an entire tour of the operation there. Our time today, was spent shopping the wonderful gift shop and enjoying the lights. Our emphasis on decorations for the trip was to find as many of the large living trees as possible, decorated from top to bottom. The largest tree, being the Sequoia at Western University in Monmouth. We could see the huge star atop coming out Hwy. 51 from Independence, a truly wonderful sight to see. All in all, 15 living trees were found on the trip. The last tree, being in our own back yard - the huge lighted tree on Coburg Rd. at the Oakway Mall. A family-style Chinese Buffet was enjoyed at the Kwan's Restaurant with a taste of many exotic rices, and wonderful tea to start out our dining experience. Kwan's boasts they are 1 of only 2 restaurants in the U.S. with such a collection of healthy rice. The finale of our trip was at the intersection of Liberty and Commercial as they separate into two, one way streets. The Gatti and Gatti attorney offices are located at this insection. We enjoyed hot fruit wassail and decorated Christmas Tree Cookies as we walked around the almost half a block of buildings and lights. As one member said - this is indescribable - you just have to be here to take it all in.Members: Payne, Barbara, Allen, Ethel, Anderson, Alice, Arthur, Bill, Beard, Barbara, Beard, Paul, Beard, Paula, Cutsforth, Sharon, Etter, Rose Mary, Flanders, Barbara, Flanders, Dennis, Hack, Bette, Kocken, Verna, Madden, Kathryn, McManigal, John, McManigal, Lenore, Payne, Don, Reanier, Liz, Snell, Julie, Speelman, Richard, Speelman, Janet, Ward, Bonnie. Nonmembers: Claypool, Marcia, Nelson, Geri, Pattee, Edith.
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