Feb 182015
 

Michael’s dad came to visit for a long weekend. He’s been in the beer business for decades so of course we wanted to show off some of the Oregon beers! I turned him on to my favorite beer–Boneyard IPA–a few years ago and he agrees it’s one of the best tasting beers he’s had. :D One of the local Fred Meyer grocery stores has a growler filling station and they have Boneyard on tap! Of course I had to go and fill our growler for Michael’s dad to enjoy at home during his visit (and for me too LOL).

The first night he was in town we went to Gino’s in Sellwood. It’s a really good Italian restaurant without the hassle of going downtown. It’s an old Portland institution that is always packed, no matter what time of the week you go. Thankfully we got a table pretty quickly. We shared a Caesar salad to start and I got a glass of the Pinot Grigio wine. I got the ravioli special. It was ravioli with goat cheese in it and a butternut squash sauce on the outside of the pasta. It was a really interesting take on butternut squash ravioli! It was topped with some red pepper flakes and toasted hazelnuts. It was very rich but so delicious! Considering we eat pasta like 2x a year it was a real treat.

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Monday was a holiday. I slept in a little bit and then went to the gym while Michael and his dad hung out at home and had breakfast. I did my weight routine–lots of kettle bell exercises and some ab work–and then did 2.25 miles on the elliptical. It was a good, sweaty session, that came no where close to burning off the pasta from the night before!!

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It was such a nice day out in Portland! 60’s and sunny! The perfect spring/summer tease that comes every mid-February right before the rains starts. The three of us went out to lunch at Hopworks in SE Portland. It’s a cool restaurant/pub with a bike and beer theme. How can you go wrong with that?? I ended up getting the Thai Peanut Wrap with chicken (instead of tempeh) and it was really tasty. It came with red cabbage, quinoa, broccoli and peanut sauce. It didn’t sit too heavy, either, which was good. Michael got a chopped salad and his dad got the chicken tenders. Everything tasted really great! (Sometimes the food can be hit or miss.)

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We also shared a tasting tray of 15 beers! I think the favorite for Michael and I was the Abominable Winter Ale, which was rich and smooth and hoppy like an IPA, which was odd for a winter ale. Those are usually darker beers. But it was really good! Of course I also liked the IPA’s and the double IPA’s, those tend to be my favorites. The hoppier the better. There were a lot of beers that I skipped (I’m not a fan of dark beers).

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Surprisingly, I also LOVED the Radler–which was a lager (40%) and lemonade (60%)! It was SO good. I could see myself drinking WAY too many of those lovely ladies on a hot summer day. Michael’s dad told the story of how the Radler got started. Apparently in the 1920’s some German town was full of thousands of cyclists one summer day and Radler was running out of beer in his pub so he started mixing the beer with a lemon lime soda that didn’t sell very well on it’s own and everyone loved it! Hence, the beer/lemonade combo was born. I googled it when we got home and found this ad:

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Too funny! After lunch and beer tasting we hit one more local brewery, Burnside Brewing. It’s one of my cousin’s favorites and I’m a fan of their Sweet Heat, but haven’t tried any of their other beers. It was a really nice day and they had a covered patio that was partially in the sun so we got to sit outside while we did a sampler tray.

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I LOVE their logo. It’s a little artistic devil and it’s so cute. Anyways, we sat in the sun and enjoyed our sampler tray of mostly IPA’s, a lager, a stout and of course the Sweet Heat (which is made with Louisiana Scotch Peppers). The boys weren’t a fan of that one but I like it. :)

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That yellow one on the forefront is the Sweet Heat. Normally I’d take one look at that beer and be like, “I won’t like it” but I really do…it’s unique! So we enjoyed the sun and beer and wished it were summer then called the beer tour over for the day. I haven’t been drinking alcohol except for my birthday weekend and then the holiday weekend because Michael’s dad was visiting. Just having some samples was a doozy for me!

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After that the boys dropped me off at home to hang out with Bella and do some stuff while they went computer shopping and then hit another brewery (Breakside Brewing). I’d had my fill of beer for the day (or weekend, really) and ended up watching some Gilmore Girls, cuddled with Bella and did some yard work in the sunshine.

When Michael’s dad comes to visit from Texas he usually wants seafood so we take him to his favorite spots (Jake’s or Ringside). Monday night we went to Jake’s Grill downtown. It’s a classy, gorgeous restaurant with impeccable service and it’s always a good experience. I always forget just how great dining out at Jake’s is.

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We got all gussied up and headed downtown for an early dinner.

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I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, crisp and dry just like how I like my wine! They brought out the famous sourdough rolls which are just too tasty not to eat…

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Michael ordered the calamari appetizer. He thinks it’s the best calamari in town and I tend to agree. It’s never overly chewy or greasy. I only had a few bites though, as I was saving room for my dinner!

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For dinner I ordered the cedar plank salmon that came with basmati rice and crispy leeks. At first I was going to get a salad and soup but the salmon sounded so amazing (and I wasn’t wrong) and when you go to Jake’s you really should order the fish.

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The salmon was perfectly crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. I LOVED the leeks on top. They were kind of like fried onions. The portions were good too–not grotesquely huge, just right. Michael got the salmon with potatoes and kale topped with a lobster sauce. Michael’s dad got the rockfish with green beans, tomatoes and artichokes.

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Everything was magnificent. I love that place! We were all stuffed but not uncomfortably so. There was definitely no room for dessert and we called it an early night.

I love it when family comes to visit and we can show off our lovely city. You can throw a rock and hit a dozen breweries and great restaurants. The weather was perfect for Michael’s dad’s visit, too, which was nice. I will say I will be happy to get back to my normal eating routine and give the alcohol a break again. Back on track!

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Feb 042015
 

Monday was supposed to be a rest day for me. On the way home from work Michael mentioned that he might go for a run. What? Go for a run?! He’s not a runner! He ran with me in Hawaii on our honeymoon, which was amazing and one of my favorite honeymoon memories, but it’s never his first choice activity.

The rain had started, and will most likely keep going until summer at this point. No joke, the rain starts in February and ends around July 5th. I hate the rain. But Monday night the rain had stopped, the sun was out, the weather was nearing 60 degrees. Plus, the evenings are lighter again so by the time we got home from work the sun was still out! I decided to switch my rest day to Tuesday and go for a run/walk with my husband instead!

We decided to put the dog/baby gate thing back up in the hallway (which I was a little bummed about because I was enjoying our super big hallway sans gate since we took it down awhile ago) because we wanted to experiment with leaving Bella out to free-roam the house. We were only going to be gone for about 30-45 minutes tops so I figured it was a good time for her first try.

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We walked/jogged down to the neighborhood track and happily found it empty. We started out at a slow jog/run as we warmed up. Here is Michael turning on all his gadgets before we got started running:

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It was really nice that we could run together. It’s something I love to do and it makes me excited that Michael may want to get into it. He said he wants to diversify his fitness this year. That’s his goal. He bikes to work, does kettlebell workouts at home and that’s it. I think the more cross-training someone can do the better. Use different muscles! Move your body in new ways. The only downside to having a really diverse fitness routine is that you never get REALLY GOOD at one thing. But the upside outweighs that I think. Neither of us are striving to be Olympic athletes…

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Since Michael isn’t a runner, we did a lot of walking. The routine we got down was running the straights and then walking the curves of the track. I think that was a good thing for a newbie runner. I think Michael did about a mile and a half. Then I did some running on my own while he walked the track. Finally, I remembered that Bella was running free and loose in the house and started to get some anxiety about that so we turned back and walked back to the house.

track3We did about 2.5 miles total (including the walk to and from the track). We got back to the house, the sun had set and it was getting dark by this time, and Bella was sitting pretty in the window waiting for us! She saw us and then took off, running through the house to greet us at the door. She hopped and jumped around all excited (and spazzy) and then flopped down on the floor for belly rubs.

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Next, review the house. I took a minute to look around and see if she got into anything. Thankfully she didn’t! I think she sat at the window waiting for us the whole time! No mischief like the first time she was left out, or the second time when I got home after she’d been left out and she had destroyed the living room….

I was so proud of my girl! She’s growing up. She’s getting more mature and well-behaved. I think we’ll continue to let her roam free for periodic errands we have to run, etc. The gate is back up so that the cats have a chance to run away and hide if things get stressful for them. I don’t think Bella really bugs them but you never know. My number one concern is keeping the cats safe from a curious and frisky puppy.

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I took Bella for a walk in the neighborhood, although it was now really dark out. We didn’t walk a ton, but a little bit and I used that as my “cool down” from the run. I ran about 2.5 miles total but with the walk it came to 2.93 miles total.

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It was a nice run and I was glad I changed my rest day so we could run together and enjoy the nice winter evening. Anytime I can get a workout in without having to go to the busy, crowded gym is a good a time! My knees felt good and I was a little sore the next day but it wasn’t too bad. Michael seems to be doing well, too. Hopefully we can run again in the future!

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