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Joie De Vivre Tuesday #19: The Small Town Cafe

Posted by Shannon on 06/01/2011

Memorial Day Weekend was a three-day weekend…

So will you forgive me for posting this JDV “Tuesday” a bit later than usual? Things sometimes slide when I travel and have an extended weekend. But as you can see from my last two Foodie Photos… drinks were potent and the desserts were delicious.

I was in Corvallis in the first place for my at-least-yearly visit with my favorite Oregon couple — Scoop  & Karen. Scoop has been a friend and mentor since 2005 & Karen and I became fast friends in 2007. She’s my Corvallis mom and our love of shoe shopping at Miss Meers, Hello Kitty, a good lemon drop martini (or three…), and similar sense of humor/no-nonsense view of life makes me her Cali “daughter-from-anotha-motha.”

Saturday morning we stopped at Coffee Culture for a much-needed perk me up latte after our night of dinner and drinks with Taylor at the Villa the night prior. We ran into a friend of Scoop’s before we even we walked in. He and his wife were exiting and when Scoop playfully said he wasn’t used to seeing him in non-business attire, he freely admitted to a late-wakeup time and just rolling out of bed. We laughed and he then questioned Scoop’s sunglasses on an unquestionably overcast day. Knowing grins exchanged, we bid them a good extended weekend and headed inside.

This was my first visit to a Coffee Culture and I felt an immediate warm vibe upon entering: the warm tones of the walls and decorations, the hand-drawn signs and the non-L.A. snootiness from our barista.

This is an Oregon-only business that now shares a spot in my heart alongside Dutch Brothers‘ & their butterscotch lattes!  My pick that Saturday was a nonfat almond mocha. When it arrived at the pickup counter, I smiled when I saw a little chocolate covered coffee bean resting atop the lid (see pic below). A sweet start to a delicious and smooth cup of java! I thoroughly enjoyed it and the little details that larger chain coffee shops don’t bother to offer these days.

As we were about to walk out, I experienced another reason I love small town cafes and cities: they are small enough to continuously see friendly faces you know and love! We saw Tat and Katie walking up with books in hand. Running into a friend I first met my senior year of college at SDS (Student Development Seminar) and a new friend I met that weekend… it was one of many refreshing moments from the trip when we heard, “Hey you guys! That is so weird we were just talking about you!”  Tat (or T@) is a mathematics doctoral candidate and Katie had a dictionary-sized anatomy/physiology in both arms.  We left them to their intellectual work as we headed to enjoy the Saturday Farmers’ Market.

Stepping back into the fresh Oregonian air, I was happy to relish in the moment of being back in my “green zone.” Everyone has (or should find) a safe haven where you go to retreat. Be it the badgering of everyday hustle & bustle, passive aggressive co-workers, or general stressors of your everyday life beating you down. I love the small town coffee shop, and the shared sense of community it’s space/existence creates for those who meet there.  I too, love the small town weekend with life-long friends (my Family of Choice.) They renewed my spirit, brought back smiles to my face, shared laughing spells so intense our cheeks hurt the next day, and reminded me there are different environments and people to bring me joy. You need only to take time away to seek it.

Go OSU Beavers!

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