Thanks for the camping and restaurant input, everyone!
I met my best friend at the Portland Airport and we rented a car and drove to Eugene to visit my brother. We arrived on a Saturday evening at the beginning of August and set out to purchase "supplies." Luckily, I had the list of all Oregon liquor stores and I'd mapquested all of them from the apartment. :) On our way there, we witnessed a terrible bike accident -- a young kid rode right into traffic and (of course) got hit. After than, we definitely needed some libations so we drove on and got what we needed. Next we decided to get take out from Ta Ra Rin. We ordered enough for an army, and it was delicious. I even went back again later in the week!
On Sunday we drove to Cedar Creek to check out the campsites and go swimming. It is near Cottage Grove -- a little over an hour from Eugene. Beautiful area, but be careful because the rocks are very very very slippery. There were not too many people so it was nice, and the water was awesomely cool and refreshing (still a few too many people for sans swimsuit, but one could hike a little further up...).
Sunday night we went to Cornucopia. It was very good. Standard family food, but the people were friendly and, man, those local beers are great. After ditching my mother who'd driven down from Tacoma, my friend, brother and I wandered. We went to some great bars downtown and, again, the beer was awesome. I wish I could remember where we went, but I don't know names. There was a burlesque show going on somewhere, but I could talk the others into checking it out...(I think they were afraid I'd enter).
On Monday we wandered around the U of O campus and checked out the law school where my bro just started. The campus is beautiful!
Monday night we went to Cosmic Pizza (I think that's the name -- something with Cosmic in it). We had a pizza with garlic and tofu on it. So delicious and unique. This is a great place to check out -- they also have great beer and board games that you can play while you wait.
On Tuesday we headed back to Cedar Creek to camp for a night this time. It was great, although the ground was quite hard. :) The campsites are right above the creek so the night sounds are great.
On Wednesday it was time for more Thai and a few last beers. Coming from AZ (born and raised in the NW though), I can't say enough about the beer up there. Not sure the names of anything, but I didn't have a bad one!
I left Thursday early morning with the remnants of good beer and good Thai on my tongue (sorry to all who sat by me on the planes!).
It was a great trip. Eugene is a great town. You can walk most anywhere you need to go, and most people are quite friendly. I am a change-hander-outer (what a sucker), and I did do quite a bit of that there, but it was fine. I felt safe all the time. I definitely hope to go back in the next three years!