date

Playing Hooky

For an anniversary gift, Michael surprised me with suggesting we book a couple’s massage. I looked around for something in Portland and found a stellar place! But first, a lunch date!

We played hooky and took off half the day from work and went out to lunch. We went to Stella Tacoย on SE Division. There are a ton of cool new restaurants on SE Division that we’ve been wanting to check out but never have the opportunity.

Stella Taco was a cute, hip place with “street” tacos on the menu. It was a casual joint, with the order-at-the-bar and bus your own table model (which I’m not usually a huge fan of, but…it was ok). It was cheap, so that’s nice.

I got one of of the fish street tacos and one carnitas. There were small, like three or four bites worth.

Michael got the carnitas, beef and chorizo street tacos. Everything was really fresh. I liked my tacos a lot but they weren’t spicy. The carnitas was pretty flavorful but I wished that the fish taco had a little more flavor, it was a tad bland. But I think with some spice they could have been great!

Michael said the chorizo tacos were spicy. We had lunch and then went to a dive bar nearby for beers. We had about an hour and a half to kill after lunch before our massages. Boneyard RPM! Our favorite beer on tap! It was nice to just chill in the quiet bar, not rushed or anything.

Then we walked around SE Hawthorne for a bit. We had no destination, just wandering. We stopped in Red Light (a funky, hip consignment store) that had a ton of retro clothes and halloween costumes and we hung out a bit. I was super excited about the cheesy 70’s pantsuits! Sadly, I didn’t find anything that really spoke to me enough to buy for Halloween. ๐Ÿ˜‰ There were some real gems, though!

On a whim we stopped in at Blue Star Donuts and Michael bought a blueberry bourbon basil donut–apparently Blue Star is something pretty amazing. I wasn’t all that impressed after a few bites.

Then it was time for our appointments. I had looked around and found a place called Laurelhurst Massage by Laurelhurst Park. It was SO great! We both agreed they were some of the best massages we’ve had. It was a really relaxing and wonderful experience.

Rick and Greg have a massage studio in a space behind their house. It’s a cute space among nice, old Portland craftsman houses. The studio downstairs had a bathroom and a decent sized spa that we got to use before our massages.

The sauna was so nice! We’ve been talking about wanting our own sauna at home someday…Anyways, the sauna was great and so relaxing. The door to the sauna had a really pretty glass etching, too, of Multnomah Falls. Very cool.

After about 10 or 15 minutes in the sauna, we used the double spa shower that had like 6 shower heads, dried off and then had our couple’s massage upstairs in the massage room. (They had big fluffy bathrobes and nice towels for us.)

They were fabulous massages! So good and relaxing. I fell asleep halfway through my massage. Michael got a pretty deep sports massage and was pretty happy with his. We had a great time and will most definitely go back to use them again. If you are in the Portland area and looking a luxurious afternoon spa getaway, I recommend it!

After our massages we melted outside to the car ๐Ÿ˜‰ and then went to pick up our little dude from daycare and head home.

It was a good change from the routine!

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…. ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 Creekย 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…