Petite Provence

Taking The Long Way ‘Round

My commute home Thursday was going to be a little longer because I’m now taking the Steel Bridge to the East Side instead of the Hawthorne Bridge.

I couldn’t wait for the clock to change so I could get outta there. It was technically my Friday and I was chomping at the bit to ride home. I rode through downtown (really easy because I made all the lights) and onto the Esplanade toward the Steel Bridge. The Steel Bridge was up.

I forgot to pause my Heart Rate Monitor for the three minutes or so I was waiting for the bridge to go back down, but that’s not too bad. I remember when I used to run the waterfront at lunch and it was sooo stressful when the bridges were up. I was concerned about my run time. I was worried I’d be back to the office late. Everything had to be timed just right. Lots of stress.

The Portland Spirit Cruise ship was the reason for the delay. I calmly waited on the Steel Bridge while the cruise ship passed and then I was on my way. I biked to the east side of the Esplanade toward the Springwater Trail.

The ride was going well. When I got on the Springwater I noticed that a guy was drafting off me. I’ve mentioned before that it feels weird to me to have a stranger draft on me, especially without asking or saying anything. Maybe I am just extra paranoid because I’m a woman and the line of work I’m in makes cautious around strangers, but it was making me really uncomfortable. I kept glancing back. I slowed down so he could pass me. But he’d just adjust his speed to stay right on my tail.

I was ready to just pull over and stop, let him continue on, when he pulled up beside me and said “Thanks for letting me draft off you.” I glanced over and saw a gentle-looking older man and no longer felt weirded out by him drafting. I said it was okay, that it was kinda weird for me when strangers did it. He laughed it off and then offered to take the lead for awhile. I happily allowed him to pass me and drafted off him. It was actually nice drafting off him because the entire bike ride home was against a WALL of WIND. It was brutal.

I got through Sellwood and back to the car with no issue. Having to carry my backback with all my gear was troublesome but since I had Friday off I had to take it all with me. I arrived at the car happy about my bike ride.

Afternoon Commute Stats:

Time: 42 minutes
Calories Burned: 338
Distance: 8.47 miles

My total mileage for Thursday was 16 miles. Not exactly 25 I’d like to be doing a few times a week but decent. I like my new route. And soon I’ll be biking from further away. My hope is by the end of summer I don’t have to drive at all and can bike from the house.

After I got home Michael and I had some errands and we ended up going out to dinner to Petite Provence. It’s a lovely French restaurant on SE Division. I’ve been there before and honestly, after the lackluster French Onion soup I’ve had lately, it was time for some goodΒ stuff!

Michael and I split the Monte Carlo sandwich. It came with a salad and I had only a few bites of the salad. The sandwich was rich with smoked turkey, oozing pepper jack cheese, tomato and salty bacon. The bacon really made the sandwich!

I loved that Michael was willing to split the sandwich! We are finally back to sharing entrees (yay!).

How much do you want that sandwich? Just wait until you see the French Onion soup!

I also enjoyed one glass of the dry whiteΒ Bordeaux. It went so well with dinner and it was a refreshing treat.

Dinner was a nice treat out and then we were home. I’ve started watching “Nurse Jackie” on Netflix. I love Edie Falco. She’s so great. Not sure how much I like the show yet though.

QUESTION: Do you think drafting off strangers is okay, or should people ask first?Β 

French Food Oh My

For dinner, Michael and I met a friend at Petite Provence. It’s her favorite restaurant and it was her treat for Michael’s birthday. This is what I saw when I first walked in:


Petite Provence is in my old neighborhood. I walked by there a million times living in SE Portland but never went inside. I always thought it was just a pastry shop and not a restaurant. Who knew it was both?


They had freshly baked breads, pastries and of course French desserts.


Oh My! Michael hadn’t arrived quite yet, so my friend and I were seated and caught up a bit. The waiter was quite the Romeo!! I was surprised. I always kind of am when someone flirts with me. Especially that boldly. When I lost the weight and started getting attention from men, I was uncomfortable at first. I wasn’t used to it, it made me nervous, especially since I was a pretty shy person.

Michael arrived. We were seated and ordered dinner. We ordered two cups of the French Onion soup to share. I’ve never had it before and oh my god it was good! Talk about decadent!

French Onion Soup

I got a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc.

French Wine

Dinner arrived. Star got the pork dish with gravy and potatoes. Michael got some fancy turkey sandwich with bacon. And I got the vegetarian quiche with salad. It was delicious!

Vegetarian Quiche

I was so full from the soup and the salad that I only had half of the quiche. I will have that for breakfast tomorrow.


I also had a small piece of their freshly made sourdough toast. Heavenly. Star insisted that we have dessert (since it’s their specialty). We agreed to order one piece of something and split it three ways. Perfect. I didn’t really have room for any more food! I wish I could remember the name of the dessert we had. All I know is that it was chocolate and marvelous. πŸ™‚

Dessert for Three

I am home now and so full I feel like I need to put on sweat pants! Who said French women aren’t fat?!? Goodness. It was an excellent dinner and I had a wonderful time. Too much food, too much exercise this week. I am off to lounge in bed with my book (“The Happiness Project”) and some snuggles with The Cat and The Boy. πŸ™‚ Goodnight!