The best staff ever!

We love our staff! It’s because of them and their hard work that we are able to bring you our delicious food. To say thank you, every year we close the café and treat everyone to an employee retreat!

This past year we closed a little early after a busy Sunday morning, and loaded everyone up into a van destined for The Eagle Crest Resort near Bend. We ate a delicious lunch along the way, but made good time and arrived just after night fell. We sorted ourselves into rooms and spent the evening drinking beer (at least, those of us who were old enough did), soaking in the hot tub, and hanging out. Not out of our brunch habits, we woke up early the next morning for another morning soak in the tub and fancy mimosas! We dined at Pilot Butte Drive In for lunch, and a few brave souls took on the Pilot Butte Burger, an 18 oz patty on a massive bun. While some of us gorged ourselves, Maya stuck with a mini burger…she may have been a little jealous.

With bulging burger bellies, we made our way to our next adventure—escape rooms. We randomly divided the staff between two different puzzle rooms, each with its own theme. Team one was assigned to a mad scientist’s laboratory where they had to complete circuits and fill beakers to find their way out. Team two was in the office of a shady business mogul who was wanted on suspicion of embezzlement. They had to uncover evidence of his crimes in his office before he returned. Unfortunately, none of us are Sherlock Holmes, and neither team escaped their room before time was up. Not all of us handled it so well.

We decided that bowling was more our game, and after a brief stop at the last Blockbuster in America (how could we resist?), we set off for the family fun center to get our Dude on! Some of us proved more accomplished bowlers than others, but a fun time was had by all. Especially Chubz, who mounted this mighty steed for a joy ride!

We then returned to the house for a steak dinner and a frantic game of Saran Ball. Charlene painstakingly wrapped lottery tickets, snacks, movie tickets, and cash in layers of plastic wrap and packing tape. The group passed it around, trying to free the prizes from the ball before the next person rolled doubles. The energy tensed as the ball shrank and everyone scrambled to get their share of prizes. In the end, we were all happy with our bounties and exhausted from the day (and the massive amount of beef we devoured).

The last day of our trip happened to be Mike’s birthday! Charlene baked two types of cake to celebrate and the staff serenaded him with a wonderful (if slightly off-key) rendition of Happy Birthday. He managed to blow out all eighty two of his candles ;-), if only barely.

The finale of our trip was a much needed SPA DAY! Each employee had an hour long full body massage, as well as access to the jacuzzi and relaxation areas. This was definitely the staff’s favorite of all of our activities. We lounged and drank tea and lavished the last moments of our vacation. When it was time to go, we folded our limp, lazy bodies into the van for a long drive back to Portland. We already can’t wait for next year!

A great big thank you to Gary and Linda Susak for letting us stay in their beautiful home!