ravioli

On The Lake

I had the pleasure of a girl’s weekend with my bestie, Rachel! Last year we rented an Airbnb on the water in Shelton (very remote, very peaceful). This year we rented a place on Lake Steilacoom in Lakewood, Washington. It’s between Olympia and Tacoma. I’ve honestly never been–I’ve just seen signs off the freeway. πŸ˜‰

The place we rented was the basement apartment of a house right on the lake.

I arrived a little before Rachel on Friday afternoon and after unpacking, I sat outside in the sun and read my book next to the lake. It was peaceful and quiet and beautiful.

When Rachel arrived we got some food at the nearby Trader Joe’s and then cooked dinner while catching up. We made goat cheese ravioli topped with Autumn Pumpkin Alfredo sauce–sounds a bit weird but it was tasty! Not too overpowering in either direction.

We drank wine, we talked late into the night, we ate the homemade popcorn the owners gave us and then went in the hot tub. It was a really nice, relaxing evening!

Saturday we both slept in (amazing!) had breakfast and lots of coffee:

And then I went for a run. The place we rented was right on the water and the neighborhood was very nice, but the streets were narrow and windy and not safe to run on. I asked the owner if there was any where I could go and she recommended Fort Steilacoom Park.

Apparently it’s a nice place for all kinds of activities and when I showed up there were tons of people doing stuff. There was some kind of event going on, then there was a soccer tournament and there was a huge dog park area, which looked cool.

There were a bunch of trails. I ran on the gravel/dirt trails a bit until I found the paved path:

It was a beautiful fall day, slightly crisp but not too cold. The sun was out, the leaves were turning. The paved path went around the lake and it was flat and clean and very nice. There were lots of other walkers, runners and bikers. It kind of reminded me of Greenlake in Seattle.

 

It was a nice run. I felt pretty good. I wasn’t in a rush, either, just enjoyed the scenery. Rachel was going to the store to get a few things and she said no rush, so I looked around a bit and found a cool old ruin:

I did a little more running and then headed back to the car. I did just under 3 miles and felt great!

I stretched and then drove back to the house (about a mile or so away), showered and then we kicked back with Pandora tunes and played board games a bit. Then Trader Joe’s honey goat cheese on crackers and some soup for lunch. We played a few rounds of Ticket to Ride.

Then chick flicks on Netflix! We decided to order takeout for dinner and picked up Italian food at Casa Mia. It was pretty close to where we were staying, so that was nice. Rachel got the mushroom risotto and I got spaghetti noodles with pesto and Caesar Salad. The portions were pretty big so we had lots of leftovers. It was a weekend full of carbs!

Then more hot tub time:

And bed. Sunday I hit the gym and then drove home to Portland. It was a fantastic weekend! I really needed the girl time and time to catch up with Rachel (and time to relax and do NOTHING) but I was feeling a little homesick. I missed my boys! I got home just in time for Logan to wake up from his nap!

It felt good to be home. πŸ™‚

Beer Tour

Michael’s dad came to visit for a long weekend.Β He’s been in the beer business for decades so of course we wanted to show off some of the Oregon beers! I turned him on to my favorite beer–Boneyard IPA–a few years ago and he agrees it’s one of the best tasting beers he’s had. πŸ˜€ One of the local Fred Meyer grocery stores has a growler filling station and they have Boneyard on tap! Of course I had to go and fill our growler for Michael’s dad to enjoy at home during his visit (and for me too LOL).

The first night he was in town we went to Gino’s in Sellwood. It’s a really good Italian restaurant without the hassle of going downtown. It’s an old Portland institution that is always packed, no matter what time of the week you go. Thankfully we got a table pretty quickly. We shared a Caesar salad to start and I got a glass of the Pinot Grigio wine. I got the ravioli special. It was ravioli with goat cheese in it and a butternut squash sauce on the outside of the pasta. It was a really interesting take on butternut squash ravioli! It was topped with some red pepper flakes and toasted hazelnuts. It was very rich but so delicious! Considering we eat pasta like 2x a year it was a real treat.

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Monday was a holiday. I slept in a little bit and then went to the gym while Michael and his dad hung out at home and had breakfast. I did my weight routine–lots of kettle bell exercises and some ab work–and then did 2.25 miles on the elliptical. It was a good, sweaty session, that came no where close to burning off the pasta from the night before!!

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It was such a nice day out in Portland! 60’s and sunny! The perfect spring/summer tease that comes every mid-February right before the rains starts. The three of us went out to lunch at Hopworks in SE Portland. It’s a cool restaurant/pub with a bike and beer theme. How can you go wrong with that?? I ended up getting the Thai Peanut Wrap with chicken (instead of tempeh) and it was really tasty. It came with red cabbage, quinoa, broccoli and peanut sauce. It didn’t sit too heavy, either, which was good. Michael got a chopped salad and his dad got the chicken tenders. Everything tasted really great! (Sometimes the food can be hit or miss.)

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We also shared a tasting tray of 15 beers! I think the favorite for Michael and I was the Abominable Winter Ale, which was rich and smooth and hoppy like an IPA, which was odd for a winter ale. Those are usually darker beers. But it was really good! Of course I also liked the IPA’s and the double IPA’s, those tend to be my favorites. The hoppier the better. There were a lot of beers that I skipped (I’m not a fan of dark beers).

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Surprisingly, I also LOVED the Radler–which was a lager (40%) and lemonade (60%)! It was SO good. I could see myself drinking WAY too many of those lovely ladies on a hot summer day. Michael’s dad told the story of how the Radler got started. Apparently in the 1920’s some German town was full of thousands of cyclists one summer day and Radler was running out of beer in his pub so he started mixing the beer with a lemon lime soda that didn’t sell very well on it’s own and everyone loved it! Hence, the beer/lemonade combo was born. I googled it when we got home and found this ad:

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Too funny! After lunch and beer tasting we hit one more local brewery, Burnside Brewing. It’s one of my cousin’s favorites and I’m a fan of their Sweet Heat, but haven’t tried any of their other beers. It was a really nice day and they had a covered patio that was partially in the sun so we got to sit outside while we did a sampler tray.

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I LOVE their logo. It’s a little artistic devil and it’s so cute. Anyways, we sat in the sun and enjoyed our sampler tray of mostly IPA’s, a lager, a stout and of course the Sweet Heat (which is made with Louisiana Scotch Peppers). The boys weren’t a fan of that one but I like it. πŸ™‚

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That yellow one on the forefront is the Sweet Heat. Normally I’d take one look at that beer and be like, “I won’t like it” but I really do…it’s unique! So we enjoyed the sun and beer and wished it were summer then called the beer tour over for the day. I haven’t been drinking alcohol except for my birthday weekend and then the holiday weekend because Michael’s dad was visiting. Just having some samples was a doozy for me!

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After that the boys dropped me off at home to hang out with Bella and do some stuff while they went computer shopping and then hit another brewery (Breakside Brewing). I’d had my fill of beer for the day (or weekend, really) and ended up watching some Gilmore Girls, cuddled with Bella and did some yard work in the sunshine.

When Michael’s dad comes to visit from Texas he usually wants seafood so we take him to his favorite spots (Jake’s or Ringside). Monday night we went to Jake’s Grill downtown. It’s a classy, gorgeous restaurant with impeccable service and it’s always a good experience. I always forget just how great dining out at Jake’s is.

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We got all gussied up and headed downtown for an early dinner.

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I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, crisp and dry just like how I like my wine! They brought out the famous sourdough rolls which are just too tasty not to eat…

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Michael ordered the calamari appetizer. He thinks it’s the best calamari in town and I tend to agree. It’s never overly chewy or greasy. I only had a few bites though, as I was saving room for my dinner!

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For dinner I ordered the cedar plank salmon that came with basmati rice and crispy leeks. At first I was going to get a salad and soup but the salmon sounded so amazing (and I wasn’t wrong) and when you go to Jake’s you really should order the fish.

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The salmon was perfectly crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. I LOVED the leeks on top. They were kind of like fried onions. The portions were good too–not grotesquely huge, just right. Michael got the salmon with potatoes and kale topped with a lobster sauce. Michael’s dad got the rockfish with green beans, tomatoes and artichokes.

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Everything was magnificent. I love that place! We were all stuffed but not uncomfortably so. There was definitely no room for dessert and we called it an early night.

I love it when family comes to visit and we can show off our lovely city. You can throw a rock and hit a dozen breweries and great restaurants. The weather was perfect for Michael’s dad’s visit, too, which was nice. I will say I will be happy to get back to my normal eating routine and give the alcohol a break again. Back on track!