Delirious with Sunshine

What a gorgeous weekend! The weather was absolutely beautiful and I brought out the shorts and t-shirts. Saturday afternoon Bella and I drove with the windows down to meet my friend Robyn at Mount Tabor Park for a sunny walk. Mount Tabor is a pretty park in SE Portland built on a volcanic cinder cone overlooking the entire city. There are tall trees, running/hiking trails through the forest, people skateboarding, biking, running and walking. There are places for kids to play on toys, picnic areas and it’s also the location for the annual Soap Box Derby race.

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I met Robyn at the entrance of the park with Bella and we started walking up to the top. Not only was this a nice afternoon walk with a friend, it was also a little training for Bella. I want her to get more socialized so we can take her places without her barking at strangers. She did so well! She barked at Robyn, then remembered who she was and she was fine. There was a ton of stimulation in the park, tons of people–kids and people on bikes and other dogs–and Bella didn’t bark at any of them. I was pretty proud of her showing restraint! Of course, lots of treats probably helped.

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Robyn and I walked for a little over an hour and did 2.87 miles! It was a great walk and it felt good to be outside in the sunshine!

On Sunday afternoon it was even nicer out. I had plans to meet my cousin Anna for a late lunch/early dinner. We met at Produce Row–a restaurant that used to be a dive but got cleaned up really, really nicely in the last few years and they have an outdoor patio which is CRUCIAL for a sunny weekend!

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Anna snagged a table on the patio, which was covered but the sunshine still shone through. The patio was packed–everyone had the same idea. Soak up as much sunshine as possible. I was on a quest for finding the best Bloody Mary in town and I decided to test out theirs.

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Anna got a Moscow Mule–vodka, ginger beer and lemon or lime juice. I had a taste and it was quite tasty! A very nice summery beverage. The Bloody Mary was very good–thick and spicy but not intolerable. It came with pickled green beans, onions, olives and celery. I liked it a lot–it wasn’t the best Bloody I’ve had but I liked it!

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We got the combo snack option–choose three appetizers for a discounted price. We chose the hummus–which came with fresh carrots, radishes and delicious spelt toast (I’ve never had spelt before, it was wonderful!). We also got the crostini topped with ricotta cheese, artichokes, walnut pesto and some garlic and onion. I loved the crostini. It messy but so tasty. Not only did they taste good, but they were little miniature works of art:

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Topped with fresh dill. Wonderful, huh? Lastly, we got the bacon wrapped dates that came atop some chevre cheese, topped with a balsamic reduction and some hazelnuts.

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The dates were tiny, which was good, and I was glad that they weren’t stingy with them. Sometimes restaurants bring out two dates on a plate! Two are not nearly enough.

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This was dinner! And it was enough food for the two of us. Anna ordered another Moscow Mule and I tried something different–the Jules Verne. It was dark spiced rum, coconut and lime. It was really good!!

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Loved loved loved the presentation of everything! Everything was so great and I loved the outdoor patio. I was indeed drunk on sunshine! It was a great end to the weekend and I only wished it could last just a little bit longer……

Out and About

Last week was such a busy one! Michael was dealing with fixing the car and stuff from the break-in. It ended up being a bigger hassle than we expected. Not only did no shops in Portland have the specific glass window for his car, but when they ordered it and tried to install it last week, they ended up referring him to a body shop to finish it. What a mess!!

Despite that, I had a pretty good week. I got to see some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile because of all the drama and the wedding planning appointments we had. I feel bad for neglecting my friends!

The Red Fig

I met my great friend Robyn at The Red Fig for dinner. I had a Groupon deal for it and had never been there before. It sounded like an interesting menu. I headed over after work; the night was really dark and the fog was thick. The kind of fog that makes it difficult to see much in front of the car. I drove through NE Portland, not too familiar with the area, and after driving around in circles a little but, finally found it. The restaurant was really cute! It looked like it was in an old craftsman style home that had been remodeled into a restaurant.

It was still happy hour for a few minutes so we ordered some jalapeno poppers. I was not a fan. They weren’t what I was expecting and I kind of prefer Michael’s. The jalapenos were cut in half and then filled with melted cheese. Sounds pretty good, but fell flat.

The menu sounded really good. There were a lot of things that appealed to me, especially the Thai Peanut Chicken Pasta Salad but it was such a cold, gloomy night that I wanted something warm and not a cold salad. I ordered the Panang Curry dish with chicken.


It wasn’t very spicy, which was disappointing. It could have used some bite. But the flavors were really subtle and delicious. The curry and the sesame/peanut flavors all worked well together. I ate half of my dish and saved the rest for lunch. It was a satisfying meal, even if it could have used some spice.

The Doug Fir

The next night, Tuesday, was Michael’s office holiday party. This year it was at The Doug Fir. They closed off the basement concert area for the private party and there were drinks and hors d’oeuvres and three bands played.  I haven’t been to the Doug Fir in ages. I used to go quite a lot to see various Portland bands I was a fan of. It was cool to go back. It’s a neat space and decorated like a log cabin:


We stayed long enough to hear some of the second band, Ask You In Gray , which I hadn’t heard of but loved! They were a duo and played like electronic-pop-dance-type music. They sounded a lot like Erasure. It was fun!


But boy, was I tired by the end of the night.

The Lutz Tavern

I met up with my other friend Erika at this bar in Woodstock. I’d never been to it, nor heard of it, but it was a cute divey-type bar that looks like it used to be an old diner.

It had diner-style seating at the bar and comfortable booths, plus a pool-table and jukebox. It wasn’t very crowded when we got there but it filled up fast and seemed like it was a popular neighborhood joint. They had a great beer list. I was super excited that they had my favorite beer on tap, Boneyard IPA. I happily got a pint. It’s been ages since I’ve had it. They also had Omission (gluten-free beer).

I got the Lutz Burger with tots. The tots were probably the best I’ve ever had. They were perfectly cooked, not mushy on the inside and the outside was crispy and delicious–almost like a fried chicken exterior. The burger was pretty darn good, too, and it was only $8. I’d definitely go back here for some beers and burgers.

I also got the best present. 🙂 My VERY OWN BIG CARL!

cougartown_240Thank you very much, Erika! 😀