Jun 262017
 

Michael and I lucked out and got TWO date nights this weekend!! The first was Friday night. Daycare had a “parents night out” and they were open until 10pm. We took advantage of that and got dressed up (sort of) and went to Chart House for dinner.

A coworker has been talking about how this is their date night spot because happy hour lasts until 7pm. So we decided to take advantage of that. We got there and it was valet parking only (free) and the bar is downstairs of the restaurant. It’s perched on a hill in SW Portland with amazing views!

The picture above was the view from our table, right by the window. It was a nice view of the river and downtown Portland. We could also see Mount St. Helens and Mt. Hood in the distance.

We got drinks–I got a white wine and Michael got a beer.

We got the calamari with kim chee (and it had deep fried veggies in there, too). It was really good and flavorful! And who doesn’t like deep fried veggies?

We shared the mahi mahi fish tacos. They were pretty good but needed some spice or something. They were a little on the bland side.

We shared the lettuce wraps. It was chicken with cucumber and carrots and a soy sauce glaze. I thought they were pretty good. Very messy to eat!

Lastly, we got the prime rib sliders (they had cheese and caramelized onions in it). Michael wasn’t a fan of the sliders but I thought they were really good! I loved the caramelized onion flavors and gooey cheese (and let’s be honest, the bread!!!)

We split a piece of cheesecake for dessert. It had caramel, crushed macadamia nuts and a little bit of Heath Bar crumbles. It was REALLY good but very, very decadent. Thank goodness we split it!

It was a really nice experience. We hadn’t really been on a real date night and been to a nice restaurant since February when we went out to sushi. 😀 It was definitely time for us! And it was perfect timing because this week was our 9 year anniversary. Hard to believe 9 years ago we had our first official date. <3

Then Saturday it was time for date night #2: my cousin’s wedding. My parents drove down from Seattle and got to spend some time with Logan and then we left Logan with Michael’s mom and drove to Ridgefield for the wedding.

It was at Bethany Vineyards. I’ve never been there before but it was a really beautiful wedding venue! It was off the freeway in Washington near Vancouver, amongst countryside and farms and lots of trees. I guess there was a brewpub nearby, too.

Her flowers were gorgeous!

The wedding was outside. It was a sunny, bright day, but unfortunately it was also 100 degrees (not exaggerating!). Here are a few photos of the venue:

It was too bad they didn’t have some kind of tents set up for the tables because we were in direct sunshine, no shade, and it was very very very hot! Thankfully they had tons of ice water.

The ceremony was kind of off to the side near the vineyards and there was a bit of shade over there, so that was nice.

And we got to spend some time with another cousin and her husband, whom we don’t get to see very often but it was a really fun night hanging out and catching up.

Since it was at the vineyard, they had plenty of the wine for drinks or tastes. I tried the Pinot and it was really good so I ended up buying a bottle. 🙂 My other cousin and her husband and I snuck into the tasting room for about 15 minutes after the ceremony because it was air conditioned and SO NICE in there (LOL) so we did a small taste and their Cuvee was excellent!

almost bought that bottle, too, but decided to be an adult and just buy one.

The signature drink for the wedding was a white wine spritzer, which I had never had before but it was quite lovely! It was the Bethany Vineyard Riesling with tonic water and fruit. In 100 degree weather it was very easy to drink those!

Very refreshing! I drank a ton of water and tried to stay hydrated as much as possible.

My cousin looked gorgeous in her dress and guess what? Her aunt HANDMADE the entire thing for her! It was absolutely stunning! And what a cool heirloom to pass down to your daughter or granddaughter someday. The ceremony was lovely and the food was really excellent! It was heavy Hors d’oeuvres –fruit and veggies, pasta salad, green salad, meatballs and these really yummy cold sandwiches. It was actually the perfect food for a hot, outdoor wedding.

There were these little chicken salad sandwiches on croissant rolls that were to die for! So good! Then it was the speeches and cake cutting and they had cute cupcakes, too:

I had one of the cupcakes. They were really good. By then I was pretty stuffed. So the homemade macarons that my cousin made as favors came home for later…

I’d like to say it was starting to cool off by then, but it was still nearly 100 degrees when we left at 6:30. We had to get home for Logan. It was a really nice wedding and it was nice that it was an afternoon wedding. I remember when Michael and I were planning our wedding we considered a Sunday brunch wedding (we loved the idea!), a vineyard wedding, or an afternoon wedding. I’m very happy with what we did but it’s still fun to experience other weddings and think about what it would have been like if we’d done that.

Jun 202017
 

On Saturday we drove out to the Gorge to go for a family hike. We intended to do Dublin Lake Hike but I think we ended up doing Tanner Butte, or part of it anyways. The trailhead was Tooth Rock, right of I-84 at the Bonneville Dam, and it was a huge parking lot and apparently there were several hikes that started at that trailhead. You can read about it here.

We left the parking lot and walked about 1/4 of a mile on the Gorge bike trail (paved) and then there was a side trail (that we almost missed!!) for Tanner Butte. It was pretty overgrown at the beginning.

It started out as a pretty strenuous climb right away.

About 1/4 mile up the trail we came to several downed trees (why do we keep going on hikes that have fallen trees blocking the trail?!?). The first one was the only difficult one to get around. I crawled underneath it and then took Logan in the back pack while Michael crawled under. The other fallen trees (like the one above) were easy to get around.

It was a really great hike! It was quiet and peaceful and really pretty. Once we got away from the highway you couldn’t hear the cars at all and we only saw two other hikers on the trail.

The trail kept climbing up. We got to a clearing that had a view.

Then we got to another fork in the trail. It was kind of a maze of different forks. I tried to follow the instructions for the hike we wanted to do but I am still not sure if I did it right! We went up on this fork:

Bella having a blast:

We got to some switchbacks and then we got to the end of the hike–landslide! The trail was gone. So we had to turn around and go back down. It was too dangerous with the dog and baby to try and traverse the landslide, washed out part of the trail.

The climb back down was pretty easy.

We didn’t see anyone else on the trail. I’m surprised because it was such a nice, quiet hike.

Back down to the fallen trees:

And then we were back to the paved path. I saw this cool little plaque:

And there were lots of wildflowers blooming.

Logan did great on the hike! Not fussy at all. I think our hike was a little over an hour, so it was the perfect time and distance.

We got back to the parking lot area and let Logan run around on the trail and explore a little bit.

He was loving it!

Then we sat at the picnic bench for a picnic lunch. This was really nice! It was quiet, the sun was out, we were able to just relax and eat and Logan had fun too. 🙂

Here are the stats:

We hiked about 3 miles total.

It was a great hike! It’s free, 45 minutes drive from Portland and a good workout. (FYI there is no bathroom at the trailhead.) We plan on going back again in a few weeks to check out the other fork in the path.