Mississippi Street Fair

Mississippi

On Saturday I hit the gym early for some reason. It wasn’t crowded, which was nice. I did weights (I’ve been adding pull-ups and chin-ups to my routine lately!), my physical therapy exercises and body weight exercises and then went for a run on the treadmill. It was one of those runs that was FABULOUS. Where I didn’t feel the need to walk, that I felt like I was too slow and sped up the treadmill and my legs just wanted to RUN. It was a fantastic 2.75 miles and then I walked down the stairs in the gym and all of a sudden my knees were like “we are not HAPPY!!!!” It wasn’t good. 🙁 Despite that my knees were doing okay, as long as I didn’t go down any stairs…I burned 646 calories! Wowza.

Michael and I went to the Mississippi Street Fair next. It’s been about two years, I think, since we’ve been. Of all the street fairs in Portland it’s my favorite. I like the vibe and there’s a bunch of different stages with different kinds of music playing. It’s always crowded, so be prepared. This year it wasn’t quite as crowded as it was in the past, so it was slightly easier to walk up and down the street checking out the booths.
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First stop: LUNCH. We decided to bag street food and went straight to a restaurant. Little Big Burger. It’s been a really long time since I’ve been there. I like that the burgers are not ginormous. I got a cheeseburger and we split an order of their AMAZING to-die-for truffle fries.

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We wandered around and saw some of the booths (lots of arts and crafts and jewelry) and there was music everywhere. I’m not sure what this instrument is but it was fascinating to watch.

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Does your cat need a bowtie? I think it might! I almost got Fat Kitty a bowtie (this photo kinds of looks like him!) but I knew he’s never let me put it on him and would either a) give me the grumpy cat face or b) immediately take it off and destroy it in a rage. 🙂

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We walked around a little bit and met up with some friends. Our friends that came over for the 4th of July were hanging out doing the kid stuff (bouncy house) so we hung out with them for a little bit.

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Michael got two t-shirts and I got one (I will wear the shirt soon and post a photo–it’s so Portland). I ALMOST got a Sasquatch bumper sticker. Almost.

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We left our friends and met up with some other friends, who also have a daughter the same age as Rowan (2.5). It’s such an adorable age. We walked up and down the length of Mississippi with them and looked at the booths (she got a Kimchi Hot Dog for lunch which really fascinated me–I might need to try that combo soon). I bought a jar of kimchi from the hot dog vendor (can’t wait to eat it!). Then we ended up at Ecliptic Brewery.

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It was a cool, modern, high-ceiling and concrete floor and walls kind of a place with a ton of outdoor seating. Our friends ordered some food and drinks. The Orbiter IPA was a really smooth, balanced IPA. It SMELLED like a super strong, hoppy, intense bouquet of citrus and it smelled like it was going to be a face punch IPA, but once you took a drink it wasn’t like that. It was very mellow, which was kind of odd. Our friends shared their appetizer order of deviled eggs with us. They were topped with a sardine, which I didn’t eat. They assured me that it was the best part but…yeah, no thanks. I love deviled eggs, though!

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After hanging out drinking and talking at Ecliptic we realized it was pretty late in the day and walked back to the cars. Check out Charla’s super awesome cobalt blue shoe in this picture:

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Somehow it seems fitting with the Willy Wonka quote and I don’t know why. 🙂

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Sunday

I went back to yoga!!!

I hadn’t been since March when my back went out. One of the moves that hurt the WORST with my whole back issue was downward dog. As I continued with my healing and did physical therapy, downward dog was still something I couldn’t do at all. It was a benchmark for me. I periodically checked to see if I could do the stretch and for months and month, not at all.

I decided recently it was time to give it a try again. I tried downward dog at the gym one day as a stretch and didn’t have the immediate, searing pain in my low back so thought hmmm, maybe it’s better? I decided on Sunday I’d give it a go, with the caveat that if it hurt, I’d leave the class. I warmed up with the elliptical and then went to yoga class.

I spent the majority of the class subbing child’s pose for downward dog. I did to downward dog a few times in class, and it was just fine!! But I defaulted to child’s pose just to be safe. The rest of class went really well and I was able to do most of the stretches in class and I was SHOCKED to find that my balance hadn’t decreased after months off. I’m guessing that the combination between doing the One Leg Romanian Deadlift for my knees and all the core work I do with physical therapy for my back have maintained my balance (thank goodness!).

There were a few rotations in a lunge that felt not fabulous but overall it was a great class.

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After class Michael and I went and saw Jurassic World! I was so looking forward to seeing it. I knew it wouldn’t be as good as the original, of course, but I had high hopes. Then…I started hearing from people it wasn’t great. I was disappointed and dragged my feet in seeing the movie but we finally had a free afternoon so I caved.

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How was the movie? It was okay. It was fast-paced and had some exciting moments. There were definitely a lot of cheesy moments that made you groan but they’d switch gears pretty quickly so you didn’t have time to dwell on the cheesy for too long. Overall it was a decent action movie. Just don’t try to compare it to the original too much and you’ll enjoy it.

Mississippi Street Fair

My weekend started off with a bang. After work Friday, I went swimming after over a week off from it and it felt fantastic. After that, I met up with some work friends to see “Magic Mike.” I went with low expectations and it was quite a fun movie. Our group was seated in the second row of the theatre because it was PACKED! And the women were hootin’ and hollerin’ as if they were really there. Too funny. Saturday morning I had a kick-ass gym session. I don’t know why some workouts just click and are awesome but this one was.

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While I was there I tried a new activity–the battle ropes. I’d seen it a dozen times in videos Michael has shown me of MMA guys working out and I’ve seen it at the gym, but never gave it a try. A guy at the gym was doing it and he stopped to rest after a set and I asked him if I could try. He gave me some pointers and a quick lesson on what to do. It was so much fun but it was HARD. I definitely want to incorporate those into my workouts more often.

There are so many things in Portland that I want to do and yet haven’t tried yet. You would think after living here for 13 years I’d get it together and try new things but somehow…I just didn’t. One of those things was the Mississippi Street Fair. After the gym, Michael and I headed over to North Portland to go to the fair. The whole street was shut down to cars and opened up to vendors–and 30,000 people. No joke.

Do you see how far that stretches? Yeah, there were a lot of people there. It was also a really hot day out. The first thing on the agenda: lunch. Michael and I walked around until I found something that sounded appealing to me. What I really wanted was a catfish sandwich or a catfish taco. What I found was mediocre fried catfish and fries.

I ate half of the catfish and fries and tossed the rest. Later I saw other food carts and vendors that sounded much better and I wished I’d been pickier in my selection. Oh well. Michael’s friend Jeremy was hanging out at the beer garden so we met up with him and his two friends visiting from Ireland.

It was fun meeting new people and chatting. I got a Vaporizer IPA from Double Mountain Brewery (an Oregon brewery I’ve never tried before) and shortly after that my cousin Anna and her friend joined us.

We were all having so much fun just hanging out and talking that we ended up spending several hours in the beer garden. I only had two beers but a ton of water. It was so hot out, I felt like I was melting in the sun (thankfully I had sunscreen with me for when it melted off). The Irish lads were a total riot, too. After awhile, we decided to move on and walk around.

The vendor booths at the street fair were local artists and businesses trying to spread the word about their stuff. There was a ton of homemade clothing, jewelry and art. It was a lot like the local Saturday Market here, just with more people.

Michael was hungry (he’d skipped lunch) and wanted a snack so we stopped at the “Bro Dog” food cart so he could get a bratwurst with sauerkraut and onions. It was epic looking! I had a bite (or two) and it was freakin’ fantastic! I need to get some sauerkraut for when we grill our own.

Michael won the “who ordered the best meal” contest, hands down. I want one of those Bro Dogs.

There were a lot of food options, and a lot of food temptations at the street fair as you would imagine. Everywhere I turned there was something fried, or ethnic (one of my weaknesses, can’t tell you how much I love Indian food or a good gyro), or desserts. You guys know sweets are hard for me to resist. Check out what I saw there:

Luckily, the heat was so stifling I didn’t have much of an appetite and walked right by the desserts without even a twinge of desire. They sure were pretty though.

There were a bunch of musicians playing at the fair, too. Some were just random people setting up their “instruments” for tips (the guy above was actually pretty damn good), some were serious singer-songwriter types, there were a few bands set up on stages. While we were chilling in the beer garden (or melting) the band across the way was playing Stevie Wonder hits.

In the end, I left happy and sweaty, a little tanner than I started and with only one thing.

No, sadly, it wasn’t a puppy. But you should have heard my begging to Michael. (Please please he’s so CUUUUTE ohmygod!) He was a total cuddle bug and just nestled into my chest like he wanted to go to sleep there. No, I didn’t get a puppy, but I did buy some earrings.

Michael better watch out. One of these days it WILL be a puppy! We said goodbye to our friends and headed home–with a stop to a bike store so I could buy a new tube and a patch kit for my bike. We settled in for a relaxing evening watching a movie. It was a really nice weekend and I had a great time exploring what Portland has to offer. Next time, I won’t wait so long to do so.

QUESTION: Do you take advantage of what your city has to offer? What’s the best thing you’ve discovered?