Gracie’s Restaurant

Christmas Joys

On Christmas morning I woke up earlier than I was expecting. Michael and had a small snack and opened presents. Bella was super excited about her Santa hat! She got a new squeak toy from her foster mom Jen and Michael got her a new rope to chew on.

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After all that was done, I had some time to kill before my parents were going to arrive.  Michael was in the shower so I figured I’d go for a quick run. It was chilly out but not raining. I had about 30 minutes and that was really all I wanted to do. I just wanted to get a little exercise in to offset some of the calories I’d be eating for the holiday.

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My parents drove down from Seattle and the four of us went to Gracie’s for brunch. It’s our tradition and I enjoy going there. It’s a nice treat and the place is so classy. If you’re ever looking for a really nice meal and want to spend some time surrounded by old world decadence, The Hotel deLuxe is the place to be!

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I love that place. It’s always such a nice experience and everyone is always happy with the food. I was glad we made reservations because the place was packed. We got there a few minutes early and wandered around the lobby while we waited. It’s always decorated nicely.

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I got some coffee and agonized over the menu. There were so many good sounding things! I ended up getting the Belgian Waffle. I never eat stuff like that and it just sounded so good. It came with toasted pecans and banana slices on it. It was so good!

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Michael and my mom both got the Huevos Rancheros (per usual) and I had a bite of Michael’s. Once again I thought I should have gotten that! So next year I will definitely get it. I kick myself every year. My dad got the whole wheat pancakes and said they were fantastic.

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We had a lovely brunch–relaxing and fun. Caught up on things, talked about our honeymoon. After brunch we went back to the house and opened gifts and spent some time together. They were on their way to the beach and we had to get to Michael’s mom’s house. It felt a little rushed this year but I was really glad I was able to see everyone.

We went to Michael’s mom’s house for dinner. She did a roast. She just seasoned it with salt, pepper and garlic but it was so amazing. It was absolutely delicious! She made a salad with pears, walnuts, craisins and goat cheese. There was steamed broccoli and then mashed potatoes with green onions, cheese and bacon mixed into it.

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Everything tasted so great and pretty healthy. It was a nice balance of splurging and healthy food. Michael’s stepsister made her famous deviled eggs (adding some hot pepper flakes to it this time which were fantastic and spicy!!).

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We relaxed and then opened gifts. Michael’s mom gave me new running shoes that I desperately needed! Bella also got some treats and a new bed! My mom got Bella a little lighted key chain thing for when we go on walks in the dark.

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It was so nice to spend time with everyone. Quality time, laid back, socializing and eating and drinking. After opening gifts we all just lounged around a bit before heading home. I missed Bell. I hate leaving her alone at home! Especially on a holiday. But she was so spoiled and she LOVED her new deluxe bed from “Grandma”. 😉 It was a lovely holiday and our first married Christmas! <3

Merry Festivus!

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Happy Festivus! Merry Christmas!

It was a fun one this year! Michael and I woke up Christmas morning and Bella donned her gay apparel and we unwrapped presents! Bella first, of course. She didn’t seem to “get it” but she loved her new rope toy. She immediately ran off to destroy it while we opened our presents.

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It was a leisurely morning. Michael built a fire, we watched A Christmas Story and just chilled out until my parents arrived. They were on their way south–somewhere SUNNY AND WARM (jealous) and they stopped in Portland to take us to brunch before they went on vacation. We went to Gracie’s again this year. We used to go to The Heathman for Christmas brunch and then one year I was too late making a reservation and they were booked so I tried Gracie’s and we loved it much better. That is the new norm now.

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It was such a nice, sunny day out in Portland! We arrived at Gracie’s and had a nice table near the window. I was in desperate need of some coffee. I’ve been so tired lately. Not quite the “run down” tired but more like “I think I’m getting sick and I’m so sleepy” tired. The coffee took the edge off, slightly.

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Gracie’s is in the Hotel deLuxe–a very swanky old-world hotel downtown. It was built in 1912 and was remodeled back to it’s glory. There are old black and white photos from the 20’s–50’s movies all over the hotel. It adds to the 1940’s glamour of it all.

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I’d been craving French toast lately and the first year we went to Gracie’s I had theirs and it was a-mazing!! But when I got there and looked at the menu, I ended up getting something else. I ordered the eggs benedict on top of crab and shrimp cakes. Wow, it was a decadent dish! The hollandaise sauce was surprisingly light tasting and I loved the crab and shrimp cakes. It was cool that they put the poached eggs on that instead of biscuits.

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I think their ketchup was homemade. It was great. Michael got the huevos rancheros. I had a bite; it was pretty spicy. Yum!

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My parents love this restaurant, too, so it’s nice that we can do this. After brunch I asked the front desk if we could see a room. It’s a hotel that I’ve considered booking for our wedding night. The front desk clerk graciously gave us a tour of a few different rooms. The deluxe king suite was super nice! It was huge! With windows on two walls overlooking downtown Portland. There was a humongous walk-in-closet and a huge bathroom. It was a really nice room and I could see us staying there after the wedding. I was glad we got to take a peak.

After that we went back to the house for presents and visiting and then my parents took off for parts unknown in sunny California. Michael and I headed over to his mom’s house for the evening.

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We had lots of munchies there — a cheese and cracker plate, a “everything pickled” plate, a veggie and yogurt dip plate. Plenty of food! Michael’s mom did some kind of beef tenderloin for dinner. It was perfectly prepared. She wrapped it in the cooking twine and then used the Montreal seasoning to crust the outside of the beef.  It was so good. I’d love to try something like that but cooking meat is not my specialty.

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Michael made his mac n’ cheese and it was a big hit, as usual. I had a little but of everything. Honestly, I was still pretty full from brunch!

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(It’s been a lot of eating lately. Like a little too much honestly. I most definitely will not be stepping on the scale until I get back on track. Too many Christmas cookies (delicious ones made by Michael’s sister) and lots of carby-good things.)  It was a really nice holiday with everyone. I was glad we got to see everybody. I wish I’d been able to see my brother. It sucks he lives so far away.

One of the gifts we got from Michael’s mom was a headed mattress pad. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. I miss having flannel sheets in the winter time but Mr. Scrooge hates them and so we haven’t had flannel sheets. But the electric pad is dual controlled! His and hers temperature settings. Finally, one of the gifts Michael gave me was a Kindle. I’m also excited about this but honestly struggling with it. I’m usually pretty tech-savvy but for some reason it’s hard to figure it out! I KNOW there is a way to check out ebooks from my library for the Kindle but I can’t figure it out. Any tips??