Jun 162015
 

On Saturday we met up with some friends at the Sandy River Delta park. I’ve seen it on our drives out to the Gorge to hike but we’ve never been there before. It’s a humongous dog park! 1400 acres of trails and off-leash dog fun! If you live in the Portland area and have a dog, definitely check it out.

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It’s a big park and it looks like all the trails connect. It’s really flat so more of a nature walk than a hike. We saw so many different breeds of dogs out there. It was pretty cool. One was a Pharaoh Hound, which I’d never seen or heard of before but it was a neat looking dog. We walked along the trail with our friends who had a 2.5 year old daughter and a dog and their friends with a dog joined us. The troop went down to the river to let the dogs go nuts.

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Bella is such a water baby! And it was a hot day (hotter than was expected) so the dogs were super happy to splash around and cool off. It was fun just watching them spaz out in the water. Bella was hopping in the water and having a blast. I took a short video you can see it on my Instagram.

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Bella was having a grand old time playing with her new friends. Getting filthy dirty and covered in sand. She was one ripe puppy! We spent a few hours with them at the park and then it was obvious the dogs were tiring out so we left. I went to the gym for a quick workout and then home to clean up. Then our friends invited us over to their place for dinner.

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We sat outside on their lovely patio in the nice summer evening. They had some really tasty sushi as an appetizer (I think it had mango, tofu and something else in it). It was really good!

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Dinner was grilled Korean short ribs (which we’ve never had before and loved!), brown rice and grilled broccolini with kimchi. Everything tasted so great. I wonder if Korean short ribs are easy to do? I kind of want to experiment on our own after trying them.

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It was such a lovely evening and we talked late into the night until it was dark and time to head home (after grilled peaches for dessert). I love late summer nights!

Sunday

On Sunday we had just enough time to do a quick hike in town before some friends were going to come over for dinner. I chose Marquam Trail to Council Crest Hike. We’d done part of this hike before and started at a different trailhead last time.  This time I think we picked up the trail about half way up Council Crest.

The trail was a bit steep in places and got my heart pounding. Bella was practically running up the trail when we first started out! We set a fast pace and in no time we were at the top, which I think was Council Crest Park. I’ve never been there before and it was a cute little park with fantastic views of the city in all directions!

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We stopped in the shade underneath a tree for lunch and to give Bella some water. Lunch for me was some curry chicken salad and broccoli salad. Michael had a sandwich. It was a really nice park. And it was only around a mile to hike up to it from where we parked.

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I didn’t realize how short the trail was (since we didn’t start at the beginning of it), so after lunch we decided to hike back down and then turn around and do it again. We saw a ton of other hikers, hikers with dogs and a fair amount of trail runners. It was a really popular trail and it connected to the Wildwood Trail, which is part of Washington Park.

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It was nice for a hot day because a lot of it was shaded and it felt cooler than it really was. We stopped a lot for water breaks for Bella. We ended up hiking just under 4 miles. I burned 609 calories.

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Sunday afternoon our friends Stu and Christi came over for dinner. She brought this gorgeous salad–strawberries, blueberries, hazelnuts and bleu cheese. It was a fantastic Oregon summer salad. I need to make this sometime. So light and refreshing.

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For dinner I made this recipe, PALEO BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN STRIPS. It was pretty good but of course mine didn’t look like the picture! Next time I made this I will broil it for a few minutes at the end. I also made a cucumber salad.

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We sat outside on the deck with some music and the fairy lights. Christi brought some tasty wine and a bottle of champagne. She also had this liqueur. A little splash of it in the champagne was really good! Not too sweet. But darn it, it was dangerous!

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We ended up playing Cards Against Humanity until it was so dark we could barely read the cards and the mosquitoes were starting to eat us. Then it was time to call it a night. But I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard! It was such a fun night and the kind of evening where you feel like summer will never end.

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May 042015
 

So yeah, my health has not been great lately! The cold I had that turned into a sinus infection, came back last week. Just when I thought I was feeling better and ready to get back at things I felt like I was WORSE. I went back to the doctor after spending an entire night up with a sore throat and she tested me for strep (negative) and made sure I didn’t have pneumonia. She said that it could either be viral, and in that case the antibiotics I took didn’t work (they didn’t work, and usually they kick in pretty fast when I take them) or I didn’t take the antibiotics long enough. She said that they used to prescribe them for 10 days but recently changed that to the standard being 5 days (which is what I took) and that’s often not long enough. So lucky me, I got a second round of antibiotics–and a different kind. This time for 10 days. Ugh. I am so over it!

By Friday I was feeling a lot better and I even went for a swim. I was able to swim like normal and didn’t feel like taking 2 weeks off made it a tortuous activity.

On Saturday I slept in really late (like seriously late, 10:30!) and then went to the gym. Since my back is still in recovery I’ve been taking a break from weight lifting. But the last physical therapy session she gave me the okay to do SOME. No squats, nothing that could aggravate my back but things like biceps, triceps, chest press, etc, could potentially be ok. I did a minimal weight lifting session and then ran/walked 2 miles on the treadmill.

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I can tell that I’m still not 100% recovered because that calorie burn is pretty high for what I did. That’s the norm when I am sick–my heart rate is higher and I get worn out easier. I was feeling pretty good and energized, though. It was such a nice day that I decided to do some work in the yard. I pulled weeds, trimmed back some of the blackberry bushes and then discovered that the rose bush I planted last year was actually blooming!

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The photo doesn’t really do it justice, it’s a gorgeous salmon-orange color. I was told it might be 2 years before I’d get flowers on it, so I’m pretty excited that it’s already blooming. Check out how many calories I burned doing less than an hour of yard work:

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I always forget just how much work it is. The day was filled with chores and errands and grocery shopping but it was so nice that we wanted to enjoy the weather and BBQ. So we invited some friends over for dinner. Michael picked up some pork ribs from Costco and got busy grilling. I bought some BBQ sauce at Trader Joe’s that you MUST BUY ASAP! The Sriracha and roasted garlic sauce is AMAZING. So so good. It might be my new favorite BBQ sauce. I can’t imagine using another one after trying this one.

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Our friends brought the side dishes: some raw veggies and hummus, a mediterranean vegetable salad and a delicious bleu cheese and bacon potato salad (that was so good). I had some wine with dinner and we relaxed outside on the deck in the nice weather. It was the first grilling of the season! I can’t wait for summer.

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I had three ribs and a little too much of that amazing potato salad. On Sunday I woke up and was feeling the weight lifting and gardening I had done. Boy howdy was I feeling it. Thankfully none of it was PAIN and I didn’t aggravate my low back. But I was incredibly sore and feeling it. I knew the perfect remedy/activity for a sore body: hiking in the sunshine!

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