Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights Review

umpqua valley festival of lightsOver Thanksgiving weekend, Art and I went back up to Oregon to visit his parents.  One of the things they were most excited to show us while we were there was the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights in nearby Roseburg.

We were really not sure what to expect, as the only description we were given was that the festival boasts the world’s largest nutcracker.  But we were game, so the Saturday after Thanksgiving we loaded up in the car and drove to Roseburg.

Art’s dad wanted us to drive the backroads, since the festival takes place in River Forks Park, on the far west of town.  Unfortunately, he did not quite remember how to get there, so we got  a tiny bit lost before we turned on the GPS and got back on track 😉

Upon entering the park, we turned  into the first driveway because it had a cute lighted display:

umpqua valley festival of lightsIt turned out we had arrived at the Holiday Village, a cute little house that is run each week of the festival by a different charitable organization.  Entry to the Holiday Village is free, but donations are graciously accepted.  There was a line to see Santa, nutcrackers handing out free cookies and hot cider,  nutcracker ornaments for sale, and a wonderful display of all different kinds of Santas.  On the way out, we were asked to pause and watch the light display on the front lawn, which changes with the music.

After leaving the Holiday Village we finally made it to the entrance for the Festival of Lights:

umpqua valley festival of lightsThe entrance fee is only $10 a car.  Proceeds go to the Rotary Club of Roseburg for their charitable scholarships and community projects.  When you pay, the attendant will tell you which station to tune your car radio for music that accompanies the light displays.

Here were some of our favorites:

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As an alternative to driving the route in your car, there is also the option take a horsedrawn wagon ride through  the display. Cost is $5 per person.

My photos do not at all do this event justice. Art and I both thought the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights was AMAZING!!! It was a great kickoff to the Christmas season.

For more information, visit the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights website.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler Book Review

Title: Yes PleaseYes Please Amy Poehler book review

Author: Amy Poehler

Genre: Humorous Biography

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Release Date: October 28, 2014

Format: Kindle/paperback

Pages: 328 pages

About the Book:

Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy’s one-liners?

If your answer to these questions is “Yes Please!” then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend,” “Plain Girl Versus the Demon” and “The Robots Will Kill Us All” Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.

AmazonMy Review:

When I first started reading Yes Please I wasn’t sure if I would like it.  I didn’t think Amy Poehler and I would have anything in common.  What if there was nothing in the book I could relate to?

I was pleasantly surprised to find that we have more in common than I thought.  We were born only 3 1/2 years apart, so we have many of the same childhood experiences.  We both read Judy Blume and obsessed about scoliosis.  We both wore silk blouses, jodhpurs and stirrup pants.  We both curled our hair and used lots of hairspray (although Amy preferred White Rain and I used Aqua Net). We both slow danced to Faithfully by Journey.

We have some of the same favorite authors (Anne Lamott, Stephen King, David Sedaris). We both fear large crowds because we are small people.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

Now that I am older, I am rounder and softer, which isn’t a bad thing.


I find that, in general, the amount of sharing men do with each other in one year is about the same as what I share with my female friends while wait or our cars at the valet.


Telling me to relax or smile when I’m angry is like bringing a birthday cake into a ape sanctuary.  You’re just asking to get your nose or genitals bitten off.

I really enjoyed this book.  Since it is a collection of essays, you don’t have to read it all at once (in fact, I would recommend against it).  Poehler’s sense of humor is both sweet and salty, so you won’t be bored, no matter which humor style you prefer.

I give Yes Please four stars.  A fun, fun read!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review through Birchbox.  All opinions are 100% my own.