My weekend started off with a bang. After work Friday, I went swimming after over a week off from it and it felt fantastic. After that, I met up with some work friends to see “Magic Mike.” I went with low expectations and it was quite a fun movie. Our group was seated in the second row of the theatre because it was PACKED! And the women were hootin’ and hollerin’ as if they were really there. Too funny. Saturday morning I had a kick-ass gym session. I don’t know why some workouts just click and are awesome but this one was.
While I was there I tried a new activity–the battle ropes. I’d seen it a dozen times in videos Michael has shown me of MMA guys working out and I’ve seen it at the gym, but never gave it a try. A guy at the gym was doing it and he stopped to rest after a set and I asked him if I could try. He gave me some pointers and a quick lesson on what to do. It was so much fun but it was HARD. I definitely want to incorporate those into my workouts more often.
There are so many things in Portland that I want to do and yet haven’t tried yet. You would think after living here for 13 years I’d get it together and try new things but somehow…I just didn’t. One of those things was the Mississippi Street Fair. After the gym, Michael and I headed over to North Portland to go to the fair. The whole street was shut down to cars and opened up to vendors–and 30,000 people. No joke.
Do you see how far that stretches? Yeah, there were a lot of people there. It was also a really hot day out. The first thing on the agenda: lunch. Michael and I walked around until I found something that sounded appealing to me. What I really wanted was a catfish sandwich or a catfish taco. What I found was mediocre fried catfish and fries.
I ate half of the catfish and fries and tossed the rest. Later I saw other food carts and vendors that sounded much better and I wished I’d been pickier in my selection. Oh well. Michael’s friend Jeremy was hanging out at the beer garden so we met up with him and his two friends visiting from Ireland.
It was fun meeting new people and chatting. I got a Vaporizer IPA from Double Mountain Brewery (an Oregon brewery I’ve never tried before) and shortly after that my cousin Anna and her friend joined us.
We were all having so much fun just hanging out and talking that we ended up spending several hours in the beer garden. I only had two beers but a ton of water. It was so hot out, I felt like I was melting in the sun (thankfully I had sunscreen with me for when it melted off). The Irish lads were a total riot, too. After awhile, we decided to move on and walk around.
The vendor booths at the street fair were local artists and businesses trying to spread the word about their stuff. There was a ton of homemade clothing, jewelry and art. It was a lot like the local Saturday Market here, just with more people.
Michael was hungry (he’d skipped lunch) and wanted a snack so we stopped at the “Bro Dog” food cart so he could get a bratwurst with sauerkraut and onions. It was epic looking! I had a bite (or two) and it was freakin’ fantastic! I need to get some sauerkraut for when we grill our own.
Michael won the “who ordered the best meal” contest, hands down. I want one of those Bro Dogs.
There were a lot of food options, and a lot of food temptations at the street fair as you would imagine. Everywhere I turned there was something fried, or ethnic (one of my weaknesses, can’t tell you how much I love Indian food or a good gyro), or desserts. You guys know sweets are hard for me to resist. Check out what I saw there:
Luckily, the heat was so stifling I didn’t have much of an appetite and walked right by the desserts without even a twinge of desire. They sure were pretty though.
There were a bunch of musicians playing at the fair, too. Some were just random people setting up their “instruments” for tips (the guy above was actually pretty damn good), some were serious singer-songwriter types, there were a few bands set up on stages. While we were chilling in the beer garden (or melting) the band across the way was playing Stevie Wonder hits.
In the end, I left happy and sweaty, a little tanner than I started and with only one thing.
No, sadly, it wasn’t a puppy. But you should have heard my begging to Michael. (Please please he’s so CUUUUTE ohmygod!) He was a total cuddle bug and just nestled into my chest like he wanted to go to sleep there. No, I didn’t get a puppy, but I did buy some earrings.
Michael better watch out. One of these days it WILL be a puppy! We said goodbye to our friends and headed home–with a stop to a bike store so I could buy a new tube and a patch kit for my bike. We settled in for a relaxing evening watching a movie. It was a really nice weekend and I had a great time exploring what Portland has to offer. Next time, I won’t wait so long to do so.
QUESTION: Do you take advantage of what your city has to offer? What’s the best thing you’ve discovered?