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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Oct 132014
 

(You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here.)

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Again I want to commend Grand Cru Catering. The food was absolutely amazing. I got nothing but compliments from everyone. Dinner:

Slow Roasted Beef Shoulder Tender with Chimichurri Sauce

Cedar Planked Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon with Walla Walla Sweet Onion and Tomato Relish

Basmati Rice Pilaf with Orange, Saffron and Pistachios

Grilled and Marinated Vegetable Display (grilled, raw and pickled veggies)

Romaine, Baby Spinach and Rogue River Blue Salad, Toasted Hazelnuts, Apple and Honey-Sherry Vinaigrette

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The salad was so amazing! My favorite thing I think. Everything was so good too.

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I should have eaten a little bit more than I did because one thing I realized later…I was going to drink a lot! It’s not like it was a conscious thing, it’s just that someone was always handing me a glass or bottle of beer. I never actually went to the bar or asked for it. Maybe it was the wait staff keeping tabs to make sure Michael and I always had a drink, but it was all a blur so I don’t really know where my drinks appeared from. LOL Definitely drank more than I normally do and so I should have eaten a little more.

Before the cake cutting, we had the speeches. I think this is the part of the wedding that had me choked up the most (besides our first dance). It was so touching and amazing what our best friends said about us. I was particularly impressed with the best man’s speech. He did a fabulous job. I wanted to share my dad’s speech because it was amazing and touching and I got so many compliments from friends later on his speech.

“Good evening and welcome Ladies and Gentlemen,

For those of you who don’t know me I’m Don, Lisa’s Dad and on behalf of my wife Marsha and I, Judy and Denny and Geoff and Gayle, I would like to welcome all of you here today to celebrate the marriage of our daughter Lisa to Michael.   I know that many of you have traveled along way to be here. Thank you all for coming to help celebrate this special day.

I must admit that I am the proudest dad in the world to have accompanied Lisa today. I think that you will all agree with me when I say she looked beautiful.

When I first thought about organizing all of this I was quite worried about getting everything right……actually I have found it all very easy……You sit back and everything just happens….. It was just like my own wedding in 1971!   I really don’t know what all the fuss is about.

Today, I look at my daughter and I see an independent, attractive, elegant, stunning young woman……. She obviously takes after her mother. Of course she inherits other traits from me…… We’re both short.

In Michael I believe that Lisa has met her perfect partner and I think he is everything one could hope for in a son in law. Michael has many good qualities, not least of which is an ability to get a tee time set up for us when we visit Portland. 

Marriage is the meeting of two minds, of two hearts and of two souls. It is clear that Michael and Lisa are a perfect example of this. I wish them enjoyment for today, the fulfillment of all their hopes and dreams for tomorrow and love and happiness always. Finally, I would like all of you to raise a glass for the health and happiness of the bride and groom…Lisa & Michael.”

The speech meant so much to me. After the speeches was the cake. It was nothing special–I didn’t really care about getting some fancy wedding cake that cost hundreds of dollars. Here is the cake and topper:

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During the cake cutting, we had the song “This Guy’s In Love With You” (Faith No More version). Michael picked it. :) After the cake cutting my dad and I had our dance. He picked it. I went back and forth for like a year between five different songs and couldn’t decide. And don’t try and google “Father/Daughter Dance” it is the same 10 songs on every single website. There was nothing original or creative. I didn’t want something cheesy or sappy or overdone. The song I finally decided on was “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – New Orleans Style Guns N’ Roses Cover ft. Miche Braden. I thought for SURE my dad would love it. I mean it’s a cool blues-y version! But he said it sounded like stripper music. ;) That’s when he suggested Skipping by Eddie Vedder. I wasn’t familiar with the song but when I listened to it and read the lyrics I was sold. Immediate tears to my eyes and the fact that my dad picked it was even better.

Michael and is mom danced to Hey Jude by the Beatles. Michael kept it a secret from his mom to surprise her. It’s her favorite song and Michael said she cried when they danced. Awww!

We had a photo booth for about 3 hours of the event. I’m glad we did it because it was fun but I’m disappointed that Michael and I never made it over there! I wanted to get some good funny pictures and was just too busy trying to say hello to everyone (and failing). But here are a few of my favorites (yes we got copies of the pictures!!!):

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And probably my favorite one of them all…yes, that is my 93 year old grandmother in the photo booth!! I’m getting this one framed! Apparently she thought it was a Queen Elizabeth hat…little did she know she was wearing a pimp hat. ;) Doesn’t she look great?

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Seeing how much fun everyone had I wish I had made my way to the photo booth. BUMMER. :( Anyways, it was so difficult trying to see and talk to everyone! Michael and I ate our dinner fairly quickly and then got up to mingle. We started working around the room from one side, visiting each table. But then we would get interrupted for things like the cake, the speeches, the dances, etc. And before you knew it, the evening was almost over and we’d only made it about half way around the room!

I truly wish I had been able to talk to everyone that came and thank them. There were so many people that traveled a long ways to celebrate with us. One of my very old friends my Seattle came down and I barely got a chance to chat with him! I did get to dance with him though!

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Then dancing! I danced A LOT. I probably should have bowed out on some of the songs in order to see and talk to everyone but it was hard…I just got sucked into the dance floor. My family definitely likes to party and they were dominating the dance floor most of the evening. I think this picture was of us doing the YMCA–a very special request for my cousin Peter. :D And there may or may not have been a performance of the Time Warp…like I said, it was a blur. ;)

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There were large chunks of the evening where I never even saw Michael. We were both so busy trying to talk to people! I didn’t toss my bouquet. There wasn’t an official “send off”. We stayed for most of it and my parents and brother packed up our car with all the stuff to take back to our house. Then my dad drove Michael and I to our hotel!

That’s it, that’s our wedding. :)

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