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Weekend Walk in the Woods

Last Friday ended up being an unexpected holiday. I am pretty impressed with my workplace, a lot of companies in Oregon and soon the state of Oregon will be recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday. I know it doesn’t undo a lot of the damage that has been done for so long, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.

It turned out to be a very nice day. 85 degrees in Portland. Logan was in daycare and Michael and I had the chance to have a kid-free day! We decided to go for a hike. Originally, I wanted to do Mirror Lake but we got a late start and if you want to do Mirror Lake, you must get there very early in the morning, or there is no parking. I assumed, even during pandemic times, the parking lot would be full. So…we did a hike near Vancouver, WA instead. It’s one we’ve never been to before.

LaCamas Lake Trail Hike

It’s a pretty easy hike, with side trails that are a little more steep. It’s a good kid-friendly hike. We’ll probably take Logan there someday this summer.

It was such a beautiful day! The hike ended up being kind of short.

We finished up and planned on doing another hike just down the street but when we got there, the gate was closed. Bummer! So it ended up being a short hike.

Which was ok. It was getting to be lunchtime anyways. So we drove to Vancouver, picked up taco salads to go and went to a park and had a picnic lunch.

It was a nice day. Sunny, warm, relaxing.

Then for Father’s Day, we went to this hike:

Hopkins Demonstration Forest

It was out in Oregon City, but in the country part of Oregon City. We drove through farms, ranches with horses and goats and sheep, etc, to get there. It was a really nice park!

Despite lack of funding, etc during pandemic times, the main trails were well maintained. The off-shoot trails were overgrown with nettles and blackberry bushes, so not very traversable (especially not with a toddler). But most of the hike was very nice.

There were bathrooms (open but not maintained right now), garbage cans throughout the hike (which is nice when you have a dog), poop bag dispensers, maps and clearly marked trails.

From the parking lot it was all downhill. Then there were various trails and roads you could take. Some were not finished yet. One went around a pond. Logan was very excited to look for frogs!

Bella was in heaven! And got VERY muddy (she got a bath when we got home!).

We did about 2 miles. The hike back to the car was all uphill! We were tired and sweaty. Home for lunch and showers and naps!! It was a good father’s day and a good day–a good couple days in the woods!

Hoppy Birthday

On Saturday night we had Michael’s mom and stepdad over for her birthday dinner. I opened a bottle of the Stoller Chardonnay and I prepped a little bit of the veggies while Michael prepped the chicken.

I found this recipe.

The recipe needed a little tweaking, which we figured out after the fact. But I think it’s a good idea. The execution was just a little off.

What attracted me to the recipe was that it sounded refreshing and good for a spring dinner. The asparagus was great and I loved the zucchini in it, too.

Michael marinated the chicken thighs in the lemon juice/garlic/herb mix. Then he cooked the thighs in the skillet, then put everything in the Dutch Oven and baked it. I still don’t understand how this recipe was “Greek”??

The flavors were all great. But like I said at the start, the recipe needs to be changed. First, we’d cook the chicken entirely in the skillet (like usually do). Doing it in the skillet then the oven made the skin not crispy–which is the best part. The veggies were good in the oven, but the cook time in the recipe for the oven portion was not correct, either. We had to bake it longer.Β So next time, all skillet!

Dessert was Baskin Robbins ice cream! Yum.

On Sunday I went swimming and took care of some stuff around the house and then Michael and I got to have a little afternoon date. A friend had offered to babysit for us and we finally were able to take her up on it!

We got pedicures first. It was nice to just relax back in the massage chair and be pampered. Michael commented that he didn’t understand why more men didn’t do this because it’s a luxurious, relaxing experience. I laughed and said I know. It’s not really about getting your nails done! πŸ˜‰

Then we went to happy hour for dinner at Hop Jacks in Happy Valley.

We’d never been before but I’ve seen it a million times on our way home from Mount Hood and was curious. They bragged about the coldest beer in town. Michael got a Long Island Iced Tea (what?!?) because he hadn’t had one in years. (I think it’s been at least 15 years for me.) and I got a Boneyard RPM and yes–it was very cold!

We got some nachos and queso for dinner. It was pretty good! The place felt kinda like a Red Robin I guess? We got there about 4:30 and it wasn’t very crowded but by the time we left an hour later it was packed with a line out the door. They have happy hour every day from 4-6.

It was a nice way to unwind after a busy weekend!