Aug 262014
 

My besties planned my bachelorette party. I had no idea what they were planning. My maid of honor, Rachel, set up a private Facebook account for her and the other ladies involved to discuss and plan in secret. Even when the day finally came, I had NO idea what was planned other than it wasn’t going to be your typical party–doing shots, staying out all night, going to clubs, etc etc. I was a-okay with that. I am getting older and the idea of doing shots sounds awful and even more awful? Trying to stay awake until 2am! Gawd I’m old. I’m not a huge fan of surprises because I am such a control freak, but it was kind of nice not being involved in any of the planning and just anticipating the event. Rachel said it was going to be a “day of shit Lisa loves”.

I did a quick mini workout at the gym Saturday morning, had a small breakfast and Michael drove me downtown to meet up with friends. It was Rachel (maid of honor), the bridesmaids: Erika, Robyn and my cousin Anna, as well my friend Samantha who is doing a reading at the wedding. We all arrived and we got in the tour van for EverGreen Escapes. It was driven by Dylan, who was very fun and nice and a great tour guide! He asked if I wanted to know what the day itinerary was and I said no. It was kind of fun being surprised! We drove towards the Gorge and he told us some historical and ecological things about the area that I hadn’t known before, as well as some of the Native American legends surrounding the “origins” of landmarks. Then we came to our first stop.

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It was a view point up by Vista House that I’ver never been to. We all hopped out and he took a few pictures for us then the girls decided it was time to deck me out with my outfit for the day. :)

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Then we got back in the van and went by Vista House and then down the old highway to the Bridal Veil post office! Remember, the one I was going to mail my invitations from? It was so cute in person!

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After seeing that Dylan drove us down a hidden road and we all got out in the middle of nowhere. It was weird and then he said that Sam had brought a bottle of champagne so she opened that up and he poured glasses for all of us and there were cookies too! Little macaroons. They were so tasty.

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We hiked a little ways up a hidden path and then we were at the Bridal Veil Falls. I’m surprised Michael and I haven’t hiked this one before. It was really pretty and quiet.

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After that we stopped by another waterfall along the highway and he said the next one was usually Multnomah Falls but we all said to skip it. We’ve all been there and done that and on a weekend in the summer? It’s a nightmare with no parking and too many people. As it was we sat in traffic for a bit trying to get through it all to get past the Falls! So instead he took us to Starvation Creek. Another hike I hadn’t known about!

It was lunch time so we drove to Hood River and stopped at this restaurant/deli. I don’t remember the name of it now but we got everything to go because it was so crowded and loud and Dylan drove us up to a viewpoint in the Fruit Loop. That was a much better idea! We sat outside in the sunshine and had like a picnic lunch, complete with a bottle of Pinot Grigio. There was a gorgeous view of Mount Hood behind us.

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When we finished up lunch they asked me if I knew what were doing yet. I said it was probably wine tasting. :) I was right! Dylan drove us to the first winery, Wy’East. It’s in the “Fruit Loop” in Hood River and they have really nice wines. Michael and I have been there once before.

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It turned out we had a private tasting and were seated on the patio underneath a big umbrella and vines of wine grapes. They brought out a snack plate of gouda cheese, crackers, toasted hazelnuts and salamis. We did the wine tasting and I really enjoyed all the wines we tried, even the Chardonnay (which I’m not really a fan of normally). I ended up buying a bottle of their Pinot Gris.

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I was not a fan of the Port so I poured that into Robyn’s glass. :) We made it work sharing stuff we didn’t like. The patio was so nice and there was a cool breeze. The day was warming up but it was just wonderful drinking wine outside in the sunshine. There were even a few cute winery puppies! Here was one that apparently loved cheese and salami. :)

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After Wy’East we went over to Cathedral Ridge, one of my favorites in the Gorge. I was a little worried because the weekends in the summer time are kind of a nightmare for wine tasting. Too crowded, too busy. But we were ushered to a back patio, shaded, for a private tasting!

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There was one white wine, that I loved and almost bought a bottle of. The rest of the flight was red wines. This is what happens when you go wine tasting with my cousin Anna:

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Usually when Michael and I go wine tasting together we split tastings. It’s more affordable AND I’m a lightweight so I don’t totally sloshed by sharing a tasting. But yeah, this day? I definitely got drunk!

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After the wine tasting we had some time before we had to head back to Portland (I am glad we only went to two wineries). Some of the girls pitched in for a bottle of red and we all shared it while we sat on a couch near the gorgeous view.

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It was such a gorgeous day! The weather was perfect, the wineries were gorgeous, the food was good. I had so much fun with my ladies and it was definitely something I needed after some of the UBER STRESS I’ve been dealing with lately. There was so much drama and stress and disappointment with a wedding vendor but I was able to completely forget about all that stuff and just enjoy my day. I was grateful I had such wonderful friends to help with that.

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And I was grateful that my friends chose the PERFECT day for my bachelorette party. They know me so well. This was a memorable trip and something that I probably wouldn’t have thought of myself. It was out of the ordinary for a bachelorette party and I loved it! Our tour guide, Dylan, was also a rockstar. Great sense of humor, wasn’t freaked out about a bunch of cackling hens drinking a lot of wine. ;) He drove us back to Portland and dropped us off at Rachel’s hotel downtown and gave us each a big hug and me a congratulations. What a great tour!

Sam had to take off and the rest of us ladies went up to Rachel’s room to freshen up before dinner. We walked a few blocks to Henry’s Tavern where we had reservations. It’s funny, we ran into two other bachelorette party groups. One of them asked to take a picture with me because part of their bachelorette scavenger hunt was to get a pic with another bride to be. ;) Thank god I didn’t have to do any of that stuff!!! Hahaha!

I definitely did not need any more alcohol but I ended up getting a beer with dinner–Boneyard RPM. I saw my beloved Boneyard on the menu and just HAD to…! Thankfully we’d all been drinking a lot of water all day and I drank like 8 pints with dinner, too!

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We all shared an order of Henry’s famous onion rings and I ordered their small burger with a side of Caesar Salad. LOVED their Caesar. It was just a bunch of romaine lettuce that they grilled, drizzled Caesar dressing on and then salted. It had a wonderful salty, smoky flavor.

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Dessert was on the house! That was very nice of Henry’s Tavern. Even though I was SO STUFFED I couldn’t think about eating anything more, I ordered the chocolate brownie sundae. It had ice cream, whipped cream and salted caramel. Thankfully everyone helped me eat it!

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After that we made a quick trip to the Spartacus store and then back to the hotel. Thankfully I was home and in bed by 10:30. No 3am here! I am really glad we didn’t do something traditional. It was a very long, very wonderful day and I could not wait to go to sleep. :)

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Aug 042014
 

My weekend started with this:

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Unapologetic IPA from Stone Brewery. After a swim on Friday night I met my friend Robyn at N.W.I.P.A in SE Portland. It’s a beer bar/store that carries mainly IPA’s (my favorite). It was a good beer, of course it did not compare to my beloved Boneyard…I love this beer bar but it was insanely hot and stuffy in there. They did NOT have AC. I probably sweated out the beer! I left with a large bottle of Firestone Union Jack IPA and a bottle of Burnside Brewing Sweet Heat, for later.

Then Saturday morning I woke up to have my ass kicked at the Warrior Room Boot Camp:

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I’ve been trying to hit a Boot Camp class for awhile now and one was cancelled and then I had to cancel one that I had signed up for. So I finally made it. It was an exceptionally hot morning and the sun was beating down on us the whole time. There were some guys practicing soccer on the other end of the field and there were some older people walking around the track (and watching us with horrified expressions).

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We met at the Warrior Room, got our kettle bells and a plate and then walked a few blocks to the nearby school football field and track. We did a warm-up of jumping jacks and squats and then ran once around the track.

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Time to start the workout. We did a LOT of sprinting. I’m not really a sprinter. I’m a slow runner but I recognize that sprinting is beneficial (and burns more calories). I was feeling a little rusty as we did sprints from the goal line to the 25 yard line and then back. Then we did walking lunges holding the plate (15 pounds) to the 20 yard line where we left it. This was the hard part. We did burpees with the plate weights. So you go down, do a pushup, jump up with the plate and then do it all over again. We did sets of 5 of this, then sprinted back to the goal line, then back to the 20 yard line for more burpees. Yikes. This was HARD.

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Time for some kettle bell work. We did alternating single arm swings, then squats, then kneeling presses. Then more sprinting. Then back to the kettle bells. Two kettle bell swing, the high pull and more squats. It was SO HOT out. I brought some Gatorade and a bottle of water and was taking a lot of drinking breaks. My heart rate gets pretty high when I do kettle bell work in the air conditioned gym…outside in the stifling heat? My heart rate was insanely (too) high. I had to take more breaks than normal.

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We bent over and pushed the plate weights from the 20 yard line back to the goal line (that was difficult) and then we did a sprint/pushup combo. As a group we sprinted from one end of the track to the corner, all got into plank position in a circle with our heads in the middle and did a “waterfall” push-up. Person 1 does a pushup, then the next person, and so on. We did 3 rounds of that, jumped up and sprinted to the next corner, did it again, then ran to the next corner, and so on.

We ended with some more sprints then abs. I was totally cooked by this point. I wore sunscreen and I took a lot of water breaks, but I was so hot and felt like I was just burning up. It took awhile to cool down, too. My heart rate had been way too high during the class as well.

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Nice calorie burn, though! I felt like I was going to die at the end…Would I do Boot Camp again? Maybe. If it wasn’t 80-90 degrees. I absolutely loved that it was outside in the fresh air and sunshine, I loved that it was a bunch of new stuff to shake things up. I did NOT love how high my heart rate got and how hot I felt. When I got home I took a very long cold shower.

Then it was off to Papa Haydn’s for lunch. Michael treated me to a lunch date and we sat outside on their shaded patio that thankfully had “ceiling” fans. It was nice and cool and just the right temperature. Michael ordered the fried chicken sandwich and I got a Cobb salad. I had a bite of Michael’s sandwich and it was just ok. The fries were fantastic, though.

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My salad was great! I rarely get Cobb salad and I should get it more often. This one had a really delicious, creamy garlic dressing and all the usuals: avocado, bacon, Gorgonzola cheese, tomato, a hard boiled egg and turkey. The salad was so filling! We got two slices of cake to go to test for the wedding.

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Later that evening, Michael’s mom and stepdad came over for dinner. We made prime rib and a tomato, cucumber and mozzarella salad and sat outside on the deck while we ate and drank a very wonderful bottle of Gnarly Head Pinot Noir–it was so smooth and creamy, mild in flavor and just perfect. It went well with the steaks. But before dinner, Michael’s mom had brought over a few different bottles of wine to test for the wedding. They are graciously getting the wine for the wedding and we’ve got a healthy mixture of different varieties, more red than white, but there’s some good Pinot Gris (which I like) that they got, too.

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I’m not a huge chardonnay fan but this one she got was pretty good. The other? Not so much. We all made a “no way” face when we took the first taste.

For dessert we brought out the Papa Haydn’s cake. The first one was a slice of their German Chocolate Cake. The second was their Velvet Gianduja–chocolate truffle cake with hazelnut milk chocolate mousse,¬†almond joconde and chocolate ganache.

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So I put out the two slices on different plates. Michael and his mom started with the Velvet granache hazelnut slice and Michael’s stepdad and I shared the German chocolate and then we switched. Of course Michael preferred the velvet cake and I liked the German Chocolate. I just felt like it was more “cake” and not as much of a torte…the texture was more cheesecake-like and I thought that would be difficult for us to cut and feed each other at the wedding. While I don’t think we can go wrong with either choice, I think we’re going to keep looking…

And my weekend ended with this:

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Thorns game! It was the first one Michael and I had ever gone to and it was crazy and FUN. We met up with my cousin Anna, who has season tickets, and her friend.

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The fans are CRAZY. ;) And apparently you stand the entire game and sing and chant. They all knew the words. Crazy I tell you! There were 19,123 people packed in the stadium. If you were there or watched it on TV and saw these nutjobs holding a sign on the jumbotron? It was us. :)

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Haha! It was for a scavenger hunt one of Anna’s friends was competing it. So hopefully they won something! Anyways, it was a rockin’ weekend. :) And the Thorns won!

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