Apr 212015
 

Last week Bell and I were flying solo! Michael spent a few days in Seattle visiting his friend and going to the Faith No More show in Seattle. Bella and I went for walks in the sunshine, rolled around in the grass and cuddled on the couch. :)

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There were only a few times where Miss B moped at the window, wondering where daddy was. πŸ˜› She was a good cuddle partner while he was gone. Then Michael got back Friday and we went to see Faith No More in Portland!

It’s his favorite band. Like of all time. They haven’t toured in like 20 years or something like that, and Michael said he skipped the last tour because he hadn’t liked that current album and he said he’d regretted skipping it all these years. I was excited to go to the concert because I’m a casual FNM fan but I’ve heard they are amazing live and I knew it would be a fun experience.

I took a half day off from work Friday and went swimming and by the time I got home Michael was back from Seattle. We got ready to go and went out for dinner before the show. We ended up at Slow Bar and got a table outside in the gorgeous sunshine.

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Michael got the happy hour fried chicken and hush puppies and I got the curry chicken salad sandwich with a salad. My sandwich was great! It was so tasty. It had onions, grapes, raisins and currants in it. I was not a fan of the herb vinaigrette salad dressing, but I still ate the salad because I was craving greens. The toasted and spicy nuts on the side were a nice addition, too.

I’d been fighting off a cold or something for a few days and it was mostly a sore throat, which sucked, so I stuck with iced tea and didn’t have anything to drink. After eating we drove downtown and met up with some friends of Michael’s. Apparently he’d run into an old high-school buddy at the Seattle show who was also seeing the show in Portland, so we met up with their group. It was funny–Michael was running into SO many people he used to know and hadn’t seen in decades. It was kind of cool.

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The show was at The Keller and it was a really nice venue for the show. The acoustics were amazing and the band sounded great live! I love it when bands sound pretty much the same as their albums live.

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We were sitting with our good friends Mike & Susanna (whom we went to Hawaii with a few years ago). They’d gotten a babysitter for their two kids and were out on a date night! It was fun hanging out with them.

So the show…they played all the biggest hits and some of the new songs, but mostly they played the favorites. I posted a few short videos on my Instagram if you want to check it out. They played a bunch of my favorites (including “Easy”) and Mike Patton pulled up a pregnant woman from the audience up on stage and danced with her while he sang it. Then he made a joke at the end of the song that he might have gotten her pregnant during that song. LOL It was pretty cute and man, what a cool story for that lady! You can see the set list here. And you can see better pictures that mine here.

One thing I was bummed about…they didn’t play “our song” in Portland (but they did play it at the Seattle show and Michael texted me about it from the mosh pit LOL). It’s “This Guy’s in Love With You” (it’s a Burt Bacharach song) and we had the song play at our wedding when we cut the cake. πŸ˜€

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Mike Patton asked the audience what food cart was the best because he wanted to get some food. πŸ˜€ And when he was in Seattle they ate at Dick’s. Of course.

I can’t get over how amazing they sounded! It was such a good show! It ended around 11pm after they did a few encores and the four of us decided to go out for a bit.

We ended up at Luc Lac downtown. It’s a super popular Vietnamese restaurant that always has a line, which is why I’ve never been. I’ve wanted to, but you know me and standing in long lines for food… πŸ˜› It was nearly midnight and the place was packed. It’s kind of a weird place–you order and pay first, get a number and your drinks, then stand around and wait for a table. There’s really no where to stand, either, so it’s kind of annoying. They have a ton of rules around eating there–you can’t order until everyone in your party is there, there’s no saving seats, etc etc.

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It’s a cute little restaurant, though. Cool wallpaper, tons of parasols on the ceiling, hip music. It’s a neat place for sure and the food was outstanding.

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Mike and Susanna shared some Pho and a steak roll and Michael and I shared two appetizers–the steak roll and the crispy vegetarian rolls. Holy cow were those crispy rolls fantastic. I could have eaten a dozen of those babies!

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I think Mike and Susanna wanted to stay out late and party since they had a babysitter and I wish we could have but both Michael and I were ready for bed! I was sick and he had been staying up late in Seattle because of the show so we left after eating. Kind of a bummer, but hopefully next time we can party. We got home around 1am. Ouch!

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Feb 182015
 

Michael’s dad came to visit for a long weekend.Β 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. πŸ˜€ 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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