The weekend began late Friday afternoon when the three of us decided on a whim to go watch two of our friends do their workouts for the Crossfit Open. I wanted to support the two of them and I also wanted to see if anyone in the group could do a muscle up. I saw one guy do about five or so. It was ridiculous! The fact that somebody has the strength and speed to do a muscle up is impressive, but I don't really see the point in doing that exercise unless you want to kill your shoulders. Anyway, moving on to Saturday (before this turns into a post about the stupidity of certain types of workouts and coaches/organizations who encourage irresponsible physical activity) ...
Once a month, we all head down to the Pearl District to our favorite salon so Carl can get his hair cut. We've both been going to Urbaca for years, and we absolutely love the fabulous people who work there. H digs them, too, and she lights up whenever we walk in the front door. Usually we go out for brunch afterwards, but this time was a little bit different. Carl had go to Forest Grove immediately after his haircut for a memorial service (a 67-year-old friend of ours passed away after a long illness), so we drove down separately. H and I stayed downtown for a little while. First, we hit up Penzey's (I needed garlic powder and my beloved Sunny Spain Seasoning). Then, we dropped into Local Choice Market for pastrami (one of H's favorite snacks) and coffee (I could not resist). While we were there, we spent some time chatting with the market's community relations manager and she offered me a free ginger shot from their juice bar to try. Apparently it gives some people quite the boost of energy. I like ginger, so I decided to be adventurous. No extra energy for me, but it did burn my lips. Something to try once I suppose, but I would never go out of my way for a ginger shot.
|Looks like a shot shot, but it is just fresh-pressed ginger.|
This is where things got really crazy for me. I went out during H's naptime (and she skipped her nap in lieu of a visit to the library and duck pond with Carl)! Usually I insist on staying home. Not for her sake ... for my sake. Nap time is generally my only opportunity to get things done around the house, to complete my physical therapy exercises and to take my own nap. I cherish this three-hour block of time, but figured an afternoon away from the house would do me some good. Besides, a friend of mine was hosting a get together that involved swapping beauty products and I thought that sounded like fun. So I went! It was super fun, and I came home with some new mascara. Woo hoo!
Back at home, our fridge was totally empty to we decided to go out to dinner. Hillsboro's dining scene is very unfortunate (horrific chain after horrific chain), but we'll go to McMenamin's now and then. They are pretty good about all my special requests, and I love their wine. H and I shared buffalo short ribs with broccolini and kale. My exposure to buffalo has been pretty limited, so I wasn't sure what to expect -- but we loved it and I am hooked! On my list this week: try to find a good local source of buffalo. It will be a nice change since we really only eat beef and chicken around here.
One day spent mostly away from home made me crave another day spent mostly away from home, so on Sunday we packed up the baby and ventured off to the Better Living Show at the Portland Expo Center with our friend Carla. We briefly perused the home-related exhibits and entered to win a Chevy Volt, but I was mostly interested in the wellness exhibits and the wine and chocolate samples. I think we spent two hours in that section, and much to my surprise H slept in her stroller for a good chunk of time. I bought three cute non-toxic candles, a copy of The Chinook Book and a jar of creamy red pepper spread made out of sunflower seeds. Crazy delicious! The product is imported from Germany, and while it is produced by a vegan company that makes a bunch of soy-based vegan junk they also make this totally paleo spread. The person working at the booth told me the product would be in New Seasons within a couple of months. Yay!
Overall I loved the event, but I did find it a little disheartening (though not surprising) that so many vendors were peddling products sweetened with agave. I guess it isn't the agave itself that bugged me ... more so the fact that they considered agave some sort of healthy alternative to plain old sugar. Vendors seemed surprised when I turned down their agave-sweetened kibbles, and some even tried to give me "more info on its healthfulness." Sorry folks, agave is not good for you! If you like it and choose to use it for that reason, fine. But if you are using agave because you think it is some kind of health food, well, think again.
After we left, we decided to head over to Hopworks in Northeast Portland for a late lunch/early dinner. H ordered sliders and fresh orange slices. I ordered tequila lime chicken and pear cider. Carl had an espresso burger and fries. We really liked the place and would totally go back. Nice service, a great menu and appropriate for kids but not "kid friendly" (to me there is a difference, and "kid friendly" is not our cup of tea). Why don't we have restaurants like this in Hillsboro??! Sigh.
Update/correction: We actually went to Hophouse, not Hopworks! Thanks, Carla!
We finally returned home around 6pm, and spent the evening doing mostly nothing. I attempted to do the dishes, but eventually gave up and went to bed early. The weekend was a nice change of pace, and I'm hoping for a repeat sometime soon. Even if it means more laundry and dishes on Monday!