Girls Gone Wild

It was such a gorgeous day out! Sunny, a crisp, cool breeze that kept the chill in the air, but sun that made most Portlanders drunk with the desire to wear shorts. Yep, in the Pacific Northwest when there’s a tad burst of sunshine and warmer temperatures smack-dab in the middle of “I Am So Depressed By This Rain” Winter, we go nuts. We have BBQS! (We went to one Thursday.) We sit outside at restaurants even though the wind is icy cold! We wear shorts and sandals! Oh yeah!

Since it had been so nice for several days, I was just as drunk on the sunshine. I picked up my oldest and dearest friend Rachel–we’ve been friends since I was 15–at the train station downtown. She’d packed a backpack and came down from Seattle for a Girl’s Weekend.

She hadn’t had lunch on the train, so the first stop was to somewhere we could share a snack and catch up. We went to Papa Haydn’s and sat outside on their patio. The sunny day was gorgeous, but a tad chilly so we were bundled up. 🙂

We split a happy hour order of the Swiss fondue. It came with slices of Granny Smith Apples and crusty French bread. It was a cute presentation. The snack hit the spot. I enjoyed a tall glass of iced tea and Rachel had a glass of their happy hour red. We spent a few hours just chilling and catching up on things. It was so much FUN not to have a schedule or a plan or somewhere I had to be ASAP. I don’t clear my schedule nearly enough.

I brought Rachel back to the house and we played games for the rest of the night. We had the house to ourselves to enjoy some wine, gab as much as we wanted and laugh as loud as we could. I made us dinner–Garlic and Soy Chicken with steamed veggies.

Even though the title is “Girls Gone Wild,” we were fairly tame this time around. I had a few glasses of wine and called that good. Getting up early the next day with a hangover just didn’t appeal to me. I LOVED the games “In a Pickle” that Rachel brought down. It’s a good 2-person game. We also played Sequence (my game). I hadn’t played it before this weekend and it was another great game.

The next morning, I skipped the gym and the three of us went out to breakfast together. The plan was to go to Broder, but we got there and the line was out the door and halfway down the block. Off to plan B – Genie’s Cafe. Genie’s Cafe is a great place for breakfast and if you haven’t been recently, give it another try. They’ve expanded and there’s tons of tables now. There was only a 5 minute wait for us to get seated, which was perfect.

I happily drank my coffee and ate my Southwestern Scramble with Potatoes Obrien. I ate about half of the breakfast and took the rest home for later.  (No idea if it will survive a reheat, but only one way to find out.)

After breakfast, we ditched Michael (sorry babes) and went off on our Girl’s Weekend Extravaganza. It was a rainy day and we only had a few more hours to spend before I had to drop Rachel off at the train station, so we went over to SE Hawthorne to shop.

We hit a bunch of vintage stores and had a great time exploring the awesome junk treasures. There was a great second hand store that had some furniture that I was dying to buy–totally retro and tacky a’la Mad Men–and another place that had some fun little jewelry finds!

Here are just a few photos of our shopping day:

After shopping, no we didn’t buy any of those TOTALLY BITCHIN’ SHOES, we stopped at Chez Joly for a quick lunch before Rachel’s train ride back to Seattle. We decided to split the turkey sandwich, which was the perfect portion after the big breakfast. The sandwich was on crunchy French bread from the Pearl Bakery, with cranberries and goat cheese on the turkey.

I ate half the sandwich and the carrot salad. We spent about an hour chatting and then it was time to drop her off. 🙁 Boo. I wished the weekend wouldn’t end. But it was a nice visit, a nice time laughing and having fun and a nice change to spend money on frivolous things without breaking the bank. Like these finds:

After I dropped Rachel off, I headed to the gym. It’s amazing how quiet and empty the gym is at 4:00pm on a weekend!

QUESTION: When was the last weekend you spent with a good friend? What did you do?

Stopping to Smell the Roses

I took my brother and his wife to Washington Park for the afternoon.

Washington Park

Did I mention that it was GORGEOUS in Portland on Thursday? It’s really summer! We walked around the Rose Gardens and smelled all the flowers.

Some had no scents.

Some were so aromatic I felt intoxicated by them. I didn’t want to stop smelling the beautiful rose.

We did a lot of walking amongst the roses. It seemed like everyone else in Portland decided to come out and enjoy the gardens too.

Rose Garden

There were some fantastic views of downtown Portland and also Mt. Hood. I wish I could have gotten some photos of that!

It was actually pretty hot on Thursday! I was wearing shorts and tank top, flip flops, and was sweating. It’s a nice change from the rainy, cold winter we’ve had.

Next to the Rose Garden was the Shakespeare Garden: “Dedicated in 1945, the Shakespeare Garden, donated by the LaBarre Shakespeare Club, was originally designed to include only herbs, trees, and flowers mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays. The garden continues to honor the Bard with roses named after characters in his plays.”

It looked like the perfect place to have a wedding. The Rose Garden is a very popular wedding place in Portland and there’s a very long wait-list! I think the Shakespeare Garden is the perfect location. It was beautiful.

After exploring the Rose Garden, we went up to the Hoyt Arboretum and walked around the trails there for a bit.

Hoyt Arboretum

We saw a deer on the trail! He was too fast for me to get a picture! I was so surprised to see a deer in the middle of a very popular part of Washington Park–and in the middle of the day, too!

I’m standing on a hill in that picture above. 🙂

After the hike, I dropped them off at the train station.

Train Station

It was a sad goodbye for me. They live in Philadelphia now and I only get to see them once –maybe twice a year. I wish I had the money to visit them back East.They are up in Seattle for the next few days visiting family and then they head back to Philly.

On another note, I went swimming on Thursday morning before they arrived. I felt okay in the pool. I felt even better in the hot tub. I didn’t have too much hip or butt pain. Really, the only pain or discomfort I had throughout the day was whenever I went up or down stairs. Clearly, the stairs are what did me in, so I need to stop that.