Titian, Tao of Tea and Double Dates

I took a few days off for my birthday this year. I slept in, I went to the gym and enjoyed a swim too. I loved splitting up my workout. I did about 45 minutes on the elliptical and then went for a nice swim. It was great!

Gym Stats:
Time: 1:26
Calories Burned: 700

Thank you to all of my readers and friends who sent me birthday wishes! My Twitter, Facebook, blog and phone was flooded with well-wishes all day. It was nice. 🙂 I even got a shout out from the Mayor! (Shameless, I know! LOL)

Michael and I had lunch at home (leftovers) and then headed downtown to the Portland Art Museum. I bought a Google Deal last month for the museum–2 tickets for super cheap. We went to the Museum and spent a leisurely afternoon enjoying the latest exhibit. I couldn’t take photos for the Titian (which was gorgeous, by the way) but everything else was fun to look at.

Van Gogh - I LOVE this one
Monet - Water Lilies

I’ve probably never mentioned this before but my major in college was going to be Art History. I loved it. I still remember a lot of the stuff I learned. It’s funny how reality steps in and you realize “What kind of job can I have with this degree?” Anyways, here are just a few of my favorite works of art from our adventures in the Museum:

by James Vibert


And one of my favorite paintings of all time:

The detail in the feet are absolutely breathtaking and you MUST see this painting up close and personal to really get it. The first time I saw this painting it was in a traveling exhibit and I remember standing in front of it, mesmerized by the tiny lines in the baby’s feet. They were exquisite.

My New Outfit

We had about an hour to kill before our dinner plans, so we stopped in at the Tao of Tea on SE Belmont. It’s an amazing teahouse with the best tea I’ve ever had in the States, and really good food. We relaxed in the serene atmosphere and enjoyed our tea and biscotti. The biscotti was ginger and vanilla flavored with dried cranberries and drizzled honey on it. It was delicious. The tea I ordered was the Ayurvedic healing tea–I chose Shanti (supposed to be good for immune systems and I’ve been fighting off a head cold for about a week now).

Then Michael and I met my friend Ember and her boyfriend at our favorite pizza place for dinner. The last time Ember and I hung out together we planned to double date and she said she had never been to Apizza Scholls before. I told her how hard it is to get into the restaurant on the weekends, and suggested that we all go together. Since Michael knows a guy. Well that guy was just featured in the local paper here! Our secret is out.

I enjoyed a glass (or two) of wine with pizza. We ordered one sausage and peppers pizza and one of the “white” pizzas. We’ve never tried the white pizza before but it was amazing! No red sauce, just cheese and truffle oil. It was fantastic and probably by new favorite kind of pizza.

It was such a fun day! Michael surprised me with chocolate, a sweet card and Adobe Lightroom. It was very generous of him and I am sooo excited to learn how to make my photos better.

QUESTION: What was your major in college? Does it have anything to do with your current career? How did you spend your last birthday?

Blogger Date Night

Last Saturday night Michael and I met up with Tiffany and her husband Chris. We saw their new place in Portland and we took them to two of my favorite places in Portland. The first stop was the Sapphire Lounge for a round of drinks.

I ordered the “Sleep Over.” It had Strega, Aperol, Grapefruit and bitters. It’s been AGES since I had Strega–not since I was a hippie camping in the woods and passing around a bottle of Strega…The drink was lovely; crisp and refreshing but not a punch in the face with sweetness.

After our round of drinks we walked a few blocks to Apizza Scholls for dinner. Chris and Tiffany were both excited to try it and since Michael “Knows a Guy” and can get us in without a wait, we offered to introduce them to the best pizza in Portland. The four of us bypassed about 20 people in the waiting area and got a table. Sweet! (Ironically, when we were finishing up our pizza over an hour later, we saw the people that came in behind us finally being seated. That’s a long wait!)

I ordered a glass of the house red. Michael got a Fred Beer (aka “Kick You On Your Ass Beer”).

Since they stop making the doughs after a certain time, Michael called ahead and reserved 2 for us. After much debate on toppings, the four of us settled on one pie with capicola and kalamata olives and half sausage and peppers. The other was half Margarite pizza and half pig and pineapple (my favorite).

I’m glad they loved the pizza! It was so good. We both got leftovers to take too, because the pizzas are so huge. I had one slice of the pig and pineapple, one slice of the sausage and peppers and split a slice of the Margerite with Tiffany.

(Courtesy of Carbzilla)

I was in such a food daze that I completely forgot to take photos once the second pizza arrived. Thanks to Tiffany for remembering!!

I’m totally a restaurant pusher when it comes to visitors. I love being able to give out of town guests a good food experience in Portland. A bike ride, good food with friends and hanging out at home…it was a pretty great weekend in my book!

And a note to all the Portland bloggers out there: Tiffany and I were talking about putting together a little blogger meetup in a few weeks. Comment or email me if you are interested in dinner or drinks!

QUESTION: Do you have bloggers in your area? Have you met each other socially?