Sep 192014
 

You are forewarned…this post is picture heavy!

Wednesday

I am really glad I took most of this week off from work! Not only was I recovering from being sick, I had a lot to do. Wednesday I slept in a little bit and then went to the Warrior Room for a morning workout. I hadn’t worked out in 7 days. I’d been sick for 5 of those. I was on the mend and the sinus infection cleared up but I still felt tired. I probably should have taken one more day off but oh well…I went. And realized about half-way through the workout that it was going to be a struggle! I just didn’t have the stamina or endurance. I took a lot of breaks.

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The rest of the day was spent cleaning the house in preparation for guests and doing laundry. I felt okay and then the afternoon came and I could use a nap!

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Wednesday night I met Michael and his dad at Trifecta for dinner:

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It was the epitome of Portland Hipster but the place was great and the food was outstanding! To start, we got the bread plate with homemade churned butter. Probably the best butter I’ve ever eaten. Michael asked me if I would start churning our own butter after we get married… :P

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We shared two appetizers. The first was the homemade pickle plate. It was pickled asparagus, pickles, beets and cauliflower. I loved it. Michael and his dad thought it was too sweet. The cauliflower and beets had a very smokey flavor, though, so they liked those. I’m a fan of anything pickled. :)

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We also shared the deviled egg plate. Two deviled eggs topped with smoked salmon–probably the best deviled eggs I’ve ever had–and two that had an eggplant tapenade on top. I wish the photos had turned out a little better because the food looked like art!

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Since I’d been sick all week I’ve had zero appetite but have been eating because I know I need to, whether I want to or not. I ordered the house salad with buttermilk dressing and their cheesy grits (one of my favorite food groups). The portions were pretty small, so that was good.

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Even just having a salad and some grits I was stuffed. I ate half of the grits and took the rest home for breakfast. :) Michael and his dad both got the double burger with pimento cheese on it. I had a bite of Michael’s and it was good! The fries were crispy and salty and perfect, too.

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What a cool restaurant. Casual, hipster vibe, several patrons with handlebar mustaches (no joke) and great service! This place was definitely a winner and I will be back for sure. Michael dropped his dad off at the hotel and I was home and in bed by 9pm. I could not wait to sleep!

Thursday

Unfortunately I tossed and turned until 2 am when I finally fell asleep… :( I was very tired on Thursday! Thursday morning I hit the gym for a quick workout. It was short and I took it easy, even though I was feeling better. I did 40 minutes on the elliptical and then spent the rest of the time in the sauna and steam room trying to sweat out my illness!

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Then my brother and his wife and my parents arrived! Most of the day was free. We had some last minute wedding stuff to finish, so they helped with that. Then we just hung out for a little bit. Played with Bella, took them to Powell’s Books. :)

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Thursday evening we took them to Podnah’s Pit for dinner. My brother and his wife live in Philadelphia and he’d seen the restaurant on TV (maybe Diners, Drive-ins and Dives?) and asked if we could go. I was happy to oblige considering it’s the best BBQ in Portland and almost as good as Franklin’s BBQ

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I got the brisket, coleslaw, cornbread with honey and collard greens that were cooked in bacon fat. To die for. Thankfully there was a ton of leftovers so that was going to be my lunch on Friday! Everyone had a great time and enjoyed dinner.

They all went back to the house and I met my friend Christine. I hadn’t seen her in a few years, not since Michael and I went to Tucson on vacation and I was able to meet up with her. She and her fiance met me at Bailey’s Taproom for a drink after they flew in to Portland. It was so good to catch up! Especially before the wedding when I knew I’d have limited time to spend with everyone.

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By Thursday evening I was feeling a lot better and getting my appetite back but I was still not 100%. I had a half pint of the IPA on tap and called that good. I ended up staying at the bar almost two hours catching up with them. It was so great! Bailey’s Taproom was a cool place and had a humongous rotating beer list that was on a big screen TV. Like super digital. Impressive!

Friday

Friday morning I slept in (thankfully) AND slept like the dead–apparently I needed more rest still, then I went for a short run/walk in the neighborhood with my brother and his wife!

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It was nice to spend the morning with them and catch up a little. :)

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Next up: mani/pedis! My mom, my sister in law and cousin/bridesmaid Anna went to the spa and got manicures and pedicures (they were desperately needed too). It was nice to just relax and be pampered. Then off to the venue for the rehearsal! So that was my week. This time tomorrow I’ll be a married woman. ;)

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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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