May 112015
 

What a crazy couple of days! The weekend started with President Obama visiting Portland for two days. He just so happened to be staying in a hotel nearby where I work! We got to see all the activity with the Secret Service, Portland Police, Bomb Squad, what looked like National Guard troops, and lots of adorable K-9/Bomb-Sniffing Dogs! Then on Friday we couldn’t get into our office in the morning because there was a pretty large perimeter of streets completely shut off around the President. We stood outside and watched as the motorcade came by.

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We saw snipers on the hotel roof, the super long motorcade with about 20 vehicles went by and President Obama even WAVED at all of us as they drove by! I got video but it didn’t turn out great and unfortunately can’t see that he waved! Bummer! But what an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime kind of moment! Like holy shit we saw the President!!!

Anyways, that was Friday morning. Then Friday after work I had a girl’s night with my bff Rachel! She drove down from Seattle to spend some quality girl time together. I think the last time we hung out was my wedding. Way too long ago. I was so excited about her visit.

We went out to dinner at the Savoy Tavern on SE Clinton Street.

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I’ve wanted to try this place out for awhile now and Rachel and I got a seat outside in the sun, which was super nice. It was in the 80’s and just gorgeous weather. We shared an appetizer of the fried cheese curds and each got a glass of wine (I got the Syrah).

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The cheese curds were good, but could have been better. We both agreed they needed some salt, or something…We both got a burger. Mine came with cheddar cheese and bacon on it. I got a side of coleslaw. The food was average. It wasn’t bad but it was just lacking something…the patty was small, which was good because I wasn’t looking for a monster huge, messy burger that is 2,000 calories. It was just the right amount of food. But once again, it was missing something.

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The coleslaw was kind of boring. I’ve had better. Again, the food wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t fantastic. What was fantastic? The shoestring fries Rachel got with her burger. They were to-die-for good. I was kind of disappointed that food wasn’t better, because I had heard some good things about that place. Not sure what happened there.

After dinner we went to a wine bar and spent a few hours gabbing and catching up. I got one glass of the Soave Classico Pieropan white wine from Italy. I’d never heard of it before and so I gave it a try. It definitely had lemon flavors to it. It was okay, but not my favorite white wine. Rachel got a red wine flight and we shared an order of chocolate covered blueberries. Yum! It was so nice to spend some girl time talking about stuff and reminiscing.

Saturday

Saturday morning Rachel, Michael and I went to Sckavone’s for breakfast. It’s a good breakfast joint that never has a line. I got coffee and the smoked salmon scramble that came with amazing potatoes. They also bring out mini scones for the table that are drizzled with honey (so good)!

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Michael got the huevos rancheros and Rachel got a Bloody Mary and the steak and eggs. They even had a Bloody Mary “garnish bar”. LOL Had I not been driving I might have had to partake. I <3 Bloody Mary drinks. 😀

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After breakfast Michael went home and us girls went over to the Hawthorne district to do some shopping. There’s a bunch of cool, quirky, fun shops and several consignment stores. I was looking for a dress for an upcoming wedding I’m going to and we had fun checking out the sometimes awful and sometimes cute clothes. Also saw these shoes:

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So tempted. 😉 After a few hours we went back to the house and Rachel had to hit the road. I was sad that it was such a short visit but I was glad to be able to spend some time together. After she left I went to the gym for some light weight lifting and the elliptical.

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Sunday

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Our dog walker sent me this photo, from Bella of course. 😀

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We hosted dinner at our place for Michael’s family. It was a combo birthday/Mother’s Day party for his mom. It was also a good opportunity for everyone to see the new kitchen counters.

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Since there were going to be 8 people over, Michael decided to make his famous mac n’ cheese since it’s a favorite and feeds a lot of people. I picked up some gluten free macaroni at Bob’s Red Mill for it. It was a huge hit, of course.

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Michael’s sister brought a delicious salad and made her amazing green beans wrapped in marinated steak (they are so good).

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Michael’s brother brought a veggie tray and some spinach dip, plus strawberry shortcake for dessert.

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I definitely ate too much. No secret about it. Everything tasted so great. The evening was a success and we are both happy we were able to entertain a fairly large crowd comfortably. Honestly, I think 6 people is the sweet number for a dinner party. 8 is doable but difficult. Our house isn’t huge and we need a bigger dining table to do that comfortably.

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Doesn’t that dessert look decadent? It was a nice treat. I haven’t had strawberry shortcake in a million years! Homemade is even better. 😀

Hope everyone had a great weekend/Mother’s Day!

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May 052015
 

Sunday morning we headed out towards Estacada/Mount Hood with the goal of going hiking on the Memaloose Lake Trail. I’m not sure what happened but we ended up having to turn around because the directions we took said to go on an old logging dirt road that was blocked off by a gate. We drove a little further up the road to see if we could get the GPS to figure out another route but it didn’t so we turned around. I was bummed. I wanted to check it out! The pictures looked beautiful. So I need to do a little more research and see if I can find out where we went wrong, or if there is another route.

Instead, we ended up going to Milo McIver Park because we passed by it on the road and I remembered awhile ago I’d looked into hiking there. It turned out to be a pretty good backup plan! Here is a pretty good map detailing the park and trails. The only downside? None of the trails are marked or named so once you’re out in the forest, good luck!

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Most of the trails were pretty easy but there were a few spots that I’d classify as “moderate.” Even a little out of shape and getting over the cold, I was able to due the big, steep hills but my heart was pounding for sure!

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There were also parts of the trail that were overgrown. About half-way through the forest my leg got hit by some stinging nettles from the underbrush. I knew what it was right away and it sucked. We got to the top of the hills and hiked past a big silo, then came to an open field.

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We decided it was a good spot to stop for lunch since there wasn’t anyone around there were a ton of picnic tables. I took care of the nettles first. Poured a little water on my leg, wiped the area with an alcohol pad and then used some Burt’s Bees hiking salve that I keep in my first aid kit. It worked really well. The stinging disappeared, there were some red bumps on my leg, but it settled down pretty quickly.

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The benches by the big tree is where we had lunch. We tied Bella up to a post and let her rest in the shade with some water while we ate. Michael had packed us homemade turkey sandwiches and I had brought some sugar snap peas.

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It took about 15 minutes or so for lunch and then we let Bella off her leash so she could go nuts in the giant field.

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Then we went back to the trail. During the hike I saw so many slugs and TONS of snails! I’d say at least 50. They were all over the trails so you had to be careful where you stepped.

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There were a bunch of wildflowers blooming in the forest, tons of blackberry bushes growing wild. There were a bunch of bridges on the trail, some creeks, and then we climbed some stairs in the forest (it was very steep).

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We left the forest and ended up on the Equestrian Trail. It wound downhill and was very wide. There were a few times we had a peek of the river below but mostly the view was blocked with trees. We saw TONS of horses! Bella did really well and didn’t freak out. We stepped off the trail and in the bushes to let them all pass and she didn’t bark once.

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She was very curious about the horses though, and when the last ones went by Bella was dying to chase after them (but we didn’t). We let them go further up the trail before we continued on. After a bit we turned around and hiked back the way we came. A lot of the trails connect but since none of them are marked, it was hard to compare where we were on the map to see if we could loop around.

I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t just do a loop and I REALLY WISH they’d mark the trails! It was a nice park but I can see it being easy to get disoriented. Stubb Stewart was really well marked and that was helpful.

We got back to the car and then decided to check out the rest of the park. There was camping, two disc golf courses, lots of covered picnic areas, volleyball, off-leash dog areas, the trails and then there were two boat launches for the Clackamas River and the Estacada Lake. There were a bunch of kayakers on the lake and it looked so wonderful and peaceful! What a nice place to kayak.

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Here is how we did for the day:

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5.63 miles hiked, I burned 789 calories and Michael burned somewhere around 1200. It was a good little hike and the trails were not that crowded. We didn’t see many other hikers (just a few) on the trail and mostly saw the horse back riders. Bonus: the park wasn’t too far from our place. So while I was disappointed we didn’t make it to Memaloose Lake, I’m glad we found an alternative hiking location that isn’t an hour’s drive!

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