Pine State

My physical therapy appointment last week went really well. My therapist said that my quad strength and IT Band flexibility was a +4 out of 5! Woohoo! Sounds good to me, right? I asked him about the snowshoeing and he said that I needed to start doing squats on the bosu ball, as well as a few other exercises, to get prepared for snowshoeing. He seemed positive about it happening, which made me feel hopeful. All this time I’ve been wondering if I’d be able to do it ever again.

At the gym on Saturday I added two of the exercises he asked me to do. I hadn’t done squats in at least four months so I went easy the first day. I didn’t want to do too much too soon. I have one month to get ready for snowshoeing! I also ran another mile on the treadmill. This time was just okay–I had to walk a little mid-mile because my left knee was bothering me a bit. The knee pain wasn’t too bad and it didn’t last, so that’s good I guess.

I had a quick lunch of leftovers at home and then Michael and I went to BikeCraft. It’s the first time we’ve been but we’ve wanted to go for a few years and things always got in the way. Bikecraft was at a cool studio in NE Portland with tons of crafty people selling their things for the weekend. I was just going for fun, but Michael was on the lookout for a small bag to hold his electronics in his messenger bag–kind of like those tool rolls you can get for cycling tools.

Had the weather not been so ugly, we could have ridden our bikes–tons of people did, which was cool. While Michael is okay with riding in the rain, I am so not interested. Yes, I am a fair-weather cyclist and I’m ok with that!

It was fun looking at all the crafts. Some of them were really extraordinary, some were beautiful art that was outside of my budget, and some was clearly amateur-craft. It was a cool event and I hope we can go again next year. I saw lots of cool gift ideas. Michael found his gear bag that he wanted and also ended up buying a seat cover made of gortex so he doesn’t have to use plastic bags anymore. I ended up getting a t-shirt and a necklace with the same bicycle design as the plates below:

My good weekend continued with some quality (if not short) time spent with my brother! Andy was in town with his wife for her sister’s wedding over the weekend. Because of their wedding festivities, the only time I got to see my brother was for breakfast the morning of their flight home to Philly.

It was so good to see him and spend some time together since we don’t get to see each other too often.

We went to Pine State Biscuits. It’s one of those “we must go there someday” restaurants because it’s such a popular place, but we’ve never been because of the notoriously long wait. I’m not really willing to stand in line for a restaurant for more than maybe 30 minutes and there are too many Portland hipster places that are least an hour wait (ahem, Pok Pok, Tasty n’ Sons, Toro Bravo, Broder, Screen Door….to name a few).

I got some time off at work on Monday so that I could go out to breakfast with Andy and I figured that was the perfect time to try Pine State! The four of us went to the one on SE Belmont and thankfully there was no line.

I ordered their biscuit breakfast sandwich–egg, cheese, sausage patty between their famous biscuits. The biscuits were flaky and light and tasted like butter and reminded me of Texas for some reason. The egg and cheese part were ok and the sausage patty had a little zip to it.

My sister-in-law got the biscuits and gravy and said it was amazing. I was glad we got to catch up AND try a restaurant that had been on our list for a long time. What did I think of Pine State? It was good but not “wait for an hour” good.

The restaurant was also small and didn’t have very many tables so we were sitting at the bar. After we were done eating we ended up going to some divey hotel restaurant near the airport to get coffee and just hang out for an hour until they needed to be dropped off for their flight. It was a much better environment to chit chat in! My brother is receiving his master’s degree in history next week and we talked about their lives in Philly. Finally, it was time to go and we dropped them off before going into work. It was such a nice weekend. 🙂

QUESTION: How long are you willing to stand in line for a restaurant?

East Coast Invasion

After our delectable dinner at Toast, my brother Andy and his wife arrived! They flew out to Portland from Philly. My sister-in-law (also named Lisa, yes it causes quite the confusion in the family) is in medical school and my brother is getting his Masters Degree in German history and socialism. They’ve been living in Philly for a few years now and desperately miss the Northwest. Their first comment was “It’s cold here.” Which cracked me up. It’s been in the high 70’s all week! Andy’s comment was that he’s finally “not sweating 24/7”. Poor guy! I’ve never been to the East Coast so I can’t relate.

Last Year's Visit

I love when Andy comes to visit but unfortunately it’s always a short visit. We stayed up late catching up but they were on East Coast time so they wanted to crash soon after they arrived. Thursday we all got up around the same time. Michael started making bacon and I joined Andy for a run around the track.

I hadn’t planned on running but I was feeling pretty good. I joined Andy for a jog/walk. I did more walking than running but that was okay. I was really just out there to spend time with my brother.  I didn’t count the laps, didn’t track my mileage. I just jogged and walked.

Run Stats:

Time: 34 minutes
Calories Burned: 302
Distance: Who knows??

We all cleaned up and ate breakfast together before heading out for the day. My brother rides his bike every day in Philly–it’s his sole transportation. I’m pretty impressed! He’s biking rain or shine, all year round–even when it’s 10 degrees below! He said the only time he won’t bike to school/work is when it’s snowing. Hard core. I’m such a wuss. Even the threat of rain deters me! The first stop of the morning was River City Bikes.

River City Bikes is a great bike store in Portland. That’s where Michael bought his Carbon fiber bike (and got a great deal for it too).  Andy and Michael shopped for bike parts and I bought some arm warmers. Finally!

After that we headed to Washington Park. I only took a half day off from work (I wished I had taken the whole day off) so we had to do things close-in to downtown. We parked at the Archery Range in Washington park and walked along the trails in Forest Park.


It was a cool, overcast morning and it was a nice stroll on the Wildwood Trail.

We were passed by a lot of trail runners, which is very cool and something I’ve always wanted to try. We were also passed by the new soccer team!

The Wildwood Trail looped through the park and up to Hoyt Arboretum. The trees are so pretty in the arboretum.

This tree was a Birch Bark Cherry. The colors on the bark were amazing and it felt like copper to the touch! It was very strange but beautiful.

After about an hour of hiking around we headed back downtown for lunch. The lunch spot: Clyde Common. I’ve been wanting to eat here for ages. I’ve heard nothing but good things. I walk by this place all the time and it’s always packed.

We arrived about noon and it wasn’t full yet. The place is trendy and cool–very typical of Portland. It felt like warehouse space. It’s “family style” seating, where you sit next to strangers.

We were seated right away and the service was so fast. I had to be to work by 1pm and I was worried I’d be late. They have the lunch hour rush to a SCIENCE. The service was super speedy.

Michael ordered the burger for lunch (with blue cheese) and gave me a bite. It was really tasty.

Andy ordered the pastrami panini. He gave me a bite and the pastrami was super smokey and delicious. Lisa ordered the fried oyster sandwich with lettuce, radishes, buttermilk dressing and guacamole. She said it was amazing. It looked huge to me and it smelled fantastic. I’m not a huge oyster fan though.

I ordered the sliced pork shoulder sandwich. It came with a  yogurt, cucumber, za’atar dressing and iceberg lettuce with chunks of cucumber. The bun was a little dry and plain but the flavors of the pork and sauce were really good. It reminded me of a gyro.

The salads were simple with Green Goddess dressing (I must find this recipe!). I love that I can always order a salad as a side dish in Portland Restaurants. I’ve never gotten grief either.

Andy enjoyed a Ninkasi beer and I had iced tea (with real sugar cubes! Oh the memories…).  According to Andy, the liquor laws in Pennsylvania are super wacky and it’s near impossible to get good beer and wine from anywhere else. That made me sad!

We finished lunch and said goodbye. I headed to work and they headed to Powell’s Bookstore (a must stop every visit).

I was sad to say goodbye. I wish they lived closer! 🙁

QUESTION: Oysters–yay or nay? Soccer– a fan or no?