Urban Hikes

Lavish & Lovely

Our weekend started pretty well. Daycare had a “date night” for parents and held a Halloween party for the kiddos so Michael and I got to go out to dinner just us. I think the last date night at daycare was back in June. Michael made the reservations for Laurelhurst Market a month ago and we were both really excited!

The place was packed. Glad we had reservations! We had a drink in the bar area while we waited for our table. The wait wasn’t very long. It was a cool space. We’ve been to Laurelhurst Market a few times but it’s been years for me. So this was a nice treat.

Laurelhurst Market is a very nice restaurant with a meat market attached to it. One of these days I’d like to get some stuff from the market.

Okay–the food. SO GOOD! We started with a few appetizers. The first was the bone marrow. Michael has been raving about it–he had it a few months ago when he was there for a work dinner and has been talking about it ever since. I’ve never had it before.

It arrived on a plate with a horseradish sauce (I usually hate horseradish but this was really good). It also came with a pretzel cut in half to share. The bone marrow was in the bone and there were some pickled radishes and celery on the side.

You used a tiny fork to get the bone marrow out and spread it on the pretzels. The flavor was really rich. If it sounds creepy, I understand and I can see where someone would be apprehensive. But it wasn’t creepy. It wasn’t amazing, but it was flavorful and went well with the other things on the plate.

The winner for me was the deviled egg appetizers. They were topped with thin slices of prosciutto. These babies were soooo good and I could have eaten a dozen of them.

I got a second glass of the delicious Sauvignon Blanc wine and then our entrees arrived

Michael got the Rib Eye steak with avocado puree and cowboy candy (I love cowboy candy!). I had a few bites of his steak and it was fantastic. Perfectly seared with a little crunch and rare in the middle. The flavors were outstanding.

I got the seared scallops. It came with raw fennel and caramelized onions, plus an egg yolk that you were supposed to swirl around in everything on the plate to kind of “cook” it. So the menu had said the dish came with some sausage. I kind of forgot about it and then realized that they made the sausage to look exactly like the scallops!

So there were two “scallops” in there that were actually sausage. The (real) scallops were absolutely perfect. I love scallops and haven’t had them in ages. So this was a really great dish for me. I loved my meal. It was so unique. I also had Brussels Sprouts on the side.

The sprouts were sautéed and a little crispy with jalapeños, maple syrup and radishes on top. It was slightly too sweet but I still loved the sprouts.

After our meal, we had some time before we had to pick up Logan from the party so we stopped at Papa Haydn’s to get some dessert to go. It was that time of year–pumpkin pie cheesecake! I really wanted to get that but Michael wasn’t into the idea (his loss). Boo! We ended up with a slice of New York cheesecake to go.

How good do these desserts look, though? Yum!

Our cheesecake was amazing, as usual. Papa Haydn’s never disappoints.

We picked up a very sleepy Logan who had had a fabulous night! Pizza, cupcakes and Halloween games. His face and fingers were stained blue from decorating cupcakes. So adorable!

The next day we went for a family hike.

It was a nice fall day, almost 60+ degrees pretty early and by noon it was about 70. The sun was out, it wasn’t foggy or cold like it usually is early in the morning. We decided to do Saltzman Road. It’s close to the city, so not too far to drive to. We needed something closer in town, so this was it.

We’ve done this hike a bunch of times. It’s a deceptive workout. It doesn’t feel all that strenuous and sometimes I kind of think it’s not worth a hike because the calories won’t be in there. But sometimes it surprises you and you do get a decent workout from it.

There were beautiful fall colors everywhere. It was a nice day for a hike. The trail wasn’t too busy, which was nice. Logan was doing well so we kept going past where we usually turn around.

We ended up doing the whole hike! I’ve never done it before–Michael did it once before without me. It was just under 6 miles round trip. Towards the end of the hike we let Logan out of the pack and he “hiked” for almost a mile. 😉

So we ended up hiking 5.75 miles! It might be the longest hike we’ve done in a long time. Like I said–this was deceptively hard. I ended up burning a pretty good calorie number.

My shins and calves were SO SORE afterwards.

After the hike we headed home for lunch, naps and showers. Logan was wiped out and fell asleep in the car on the way home. Unfortunately, when he woke up from his nap he was sick and we ended up spending a few hours at urgent care. 🙁 He’s ok, it’s just a virus, but it made for a bummer for the rest of the weekend. We left urgent care at like 8pm and got drive-thru burgers for dinner. Boo–so much for the diet for that day.

Kid-Free Adventure Day

What a busy summer! We were kind of making up for last summer, I guess. Last summer we didn’t do much, we didn’t really go anywhere. We were home-bound in the newborn baby fog of lack of sleep and breastfeeding and just trying to stay alive. LOL So this summer has definitely been full of adventures.

Michael’s mom recently offered to babysit Logan for the day so Michael and I made plans to have a baby and dog-free date day! We had to go Syncline Winery to pick up our wine from our membership, so we decided to do a hike and have lunch, too.

We went to Trapper Creek in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It was fairly close to the other hike we did up there, Falls Creek Falls, about 15 miles north of Carson, Washington. The hike was pretty easy to find, even though the GPS quit at Carson.

It was a really hot day and even in the old growth forest, it was still 100 degrees out. We got a late start to the day, so it was about 11:30 by the time we started the hike. It was a pretty hike in the forest.

There were several other trails that connected to Trapper Creek, so I think you could spend days exploring out there. It was so weird hiking without the dog and baby. For one, it took no time at all to pack the car and then get ready to hike. It literally took 2 minutes to put our boots on and go. LOL Very different than the time it takes to get Bella ready, then Logan, then get Logan in the pack and on Michael’s back…. 🙂

The hike was listed as “Difficult” on the hiking website I use. I can never really tell what that means…like is it a hard hike? Is it classified as difficult because it was long? You can never really tell. This hike started out pretty easy. We discussed whether or not this was actually a “difficult” hike and then all of a sudden, the trail started going uphill and it was most definitely difficult!

Once we crossed the small creek and got to the other side, it was ALL UPHILL. And steep! Apparently we climbed over 800 feet, which doesn’t sound like much but that climb was in less than 2 miles. So pretty steep!

It definitely got our hearts pumping and with the workout and hot day, we were drenched in sweat. (The one time I forget to pack a hiking towel…)

The trail was really peaceful and we didn’t really see anybody else on the hike, except when we first started out. It was a good hike and a good workout.

The trail kept climbing and climbing and finally we decided to turn around at 2.5 miles. It was pretty steep and we were both starting to get hungry. Plus, it was getting pretty late in the day. We turned around and hiked back down the mountain.

We did just over 5 miles total and I burned 730 calories. It was a sweaty one!

I really love seeing the graphs of our hike! So fun to see after the fact. After the hike we grabbed snacks from the cooler (salami, cheese and some soda), cleaned up and changed and then drove to Syncline to go wine tasting and have lunch.

Originally we were going to try and go back to Big Man’s BBQ food cart that we absolutely LOVED but we were running out of time. The hike took longer than we expected. Plus, Syncline had sent me an email the day before saying they were going to have a small wood-fire pizza oven there for Saturday’s wine tasting. Perfect!

We ordered the lamb and pepper pizza for our lunch.

While we waited for our pizza, we did some wine tasting. I didn’t love the Rose they had and there was a white I didn’t really like, but I did get a taste of my favorite white they sell–the Grenache Blanc. Delicious! Definitely brought a bottle of that home.

We played a little corn hole while we waited for lunch. We had both been looking forward to lounging in the hammocks like we did last time, this time without a squirmy baby trying to flip us over! 😉 But unfortunately it was 100+ degrees and laying in the hammock in the sun didn’t sound appealing to either of us.

Finally the small pizza was ready and we were famished. We devoured the pizza. Michael thought it was just ok, he wanted more cheese on it, but I loved it. I thought it was great and smokey and the crust was perfect.

Lunch was good and hit the spot after the hike.

It was starting to get late in the day and we had to get home to Logan, so we wrapped it up and headed home. It was a really nice day away from home just the two of us. I can’t even remember the last time we had a date night. It was a gorgeous day in the Gorge and an excellent start to the long weekend.

On a more serious note, we left The Gorge about 30 minutes before a wildfire started. It started at Eagle Creek because some teenagers decided it was a smart idea to throw fireworks into the forest during the hottest, driest season we’ve probably had in decades. The wildfires started and spread quickly. 140+ hikers were trapped on the trail and had to be rescued. The wildfires quickly spread throughout the Gorge, and even jumped across the Columbia River into the Washington side. More soon…