Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sister Trip; Visit to Portland

This past weekend, I was fantastically lucky and happy to be able to visit my baby sister in Portland, Oregon. She's been living up there for about 3 years - since graduating from college - and I miss having her around.

Before I get into what a wonderful time I had visiting her and celebrating her birthday this weekend, I feel like I need to get something out of the way. There are inevitable questions that you'll have pop up in your head, so rather than wait for you to ask them, I'm nipping it in the bud.

My sister has Alopecia. It's an autoimmune condition that causes your hair to fall out. That's it. Thus the beautiful bald head you see above. No effects on her health whatsoever, unless we get into how emotionally traumatizing it can be to have your hair fall out when you're 14 years old.  She is a beautiful person, inside and out, and she doesn't let it define her as a person, but it is something people notice and ask questions about. If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you. Leave it in the comments or email me. :)

But, seriously, let's get back to my trip...

We started the weekend off with a quick trip to the dog park for "Happy Hour at the Dog Park", which is pretty genius. Wine & solo cups & dogs running around = fun times.

Later, we just hung out and caught up. We watched Silver Linings Playbook and ate ice cream. It was relaxing and joyful.

Saturday morning, we drove out to the Gorge and hiked Oneonta trail up to Triple Falls.

Lot's of pictures happened - including a bunch for my yoga website. Little sis dealt with my annoying nitpickingness regarding how she took the pictures at what angle and what was behind me and could I see them to check my form, etc. She was a trooper.

We have the most fun video of little sister's dog trying to cross this bridge. He was so scared. Poor guy.

Triple Falls

View from the top of the falls

We made a quick stop at the St John's Farmer's Market on the way home for rhubarb and tamales. So so good.

Then cleaned ourselves up and ran out the door to pick up some friends and go Bowling for Rhinos. Collect donations to raise money for rhinoceros wildlife habitat conservation, pay $10 to bowl, eat, drink & be merry. We are not good at bowling, but it never matters with this kind of thing. Fun was had.

As an aside, this green cocktail - aptly named a cucumber-cilantro-rita - was really amazing. I was seriously impressed with this bowling alley's cocktail making abilities.

After bowling, we cleaned up and changed yet again, but this time for a birthday dinner at Bluehour in the Pearl. I was specifically given instructions to take little sis out to a fancy dinner for her birthday. I think we did well.

Everything was excellent. Cocktails, wine, apps, entrees, and cheese - oh, glorious cheese...

The sun set so much later up there!  When we got there it was 8:30pm! Also, the light in the restaurant was excellent!

This is the first page of the wine list. So true. 

We started with cocktails. Mine was called a keepsake. It was Belvedere vodka, St Germain, lime, and cava. It was lovely.

We shared an appetizer. Sissy's first time trying fois gras. (I know, blasphemous, right?)
She loved it, by the way.

For our salads, I got an asparagus salad, served with a fried poached egg (I don't even know how they do that) and prosciutto. Amazing.

Sister opted for the buffalo mozzarella salad, served with strawberries and arugula.

Right before our fancy pants entrees were served, they brought out our wine. I got a class of chardonnay from the boutique winery St Innocent. It was amazing. There were so many delicate levels of flavor. I'm sorry I sound like a totally annoying wino, but it was amazing.
Sis got the rose sampler flight - also really delicious - to go with our halibut and sturgeon entrees.

We opted to skip dessert in favor of a cheese plate and ice cream when we got home. (We did buy a gallon of Tillamook Cookies & Cream especially for me). It turned out to be an excellent call on our part.
We took a few moments to talk to the cheese guy - because they have a cheese guy - and ended up with three amazing cheeses to pair beautifully with the wine we had get to guzzle down.

We got home from our dinner on the late side, ended up skipping ice cream and went straight to sleep.

Sunday morning, we had lots of prep to do for the Birthday/Father's Day BBQ we were hosting. But first, we stopped at New Seasons to stock up and get coffee and delicious breakfast foods from their hot food counter.

We carted our breakfast over to Cathedral Park and ate under St John's bridge.

We made a silly video to send to our dad, who was out of the country this Father's Day.

and then went back to sister's house to prep. We were mostly cleaning and chopping and whatnot, but (big accomplishment for me) I learned how to smoke ribs! Thanks to my honey, who walked me through it on the phone.

I don't have many pictures from the barbecue itself, but I did make a banana bread, which essentially functioned as a birthday cake.

Monday morning was time to head back home, but not before we made a few stops...

Voodoo Doughnut. This line nearly tripled in length while we were standing in it.

My cute little McMinnville cream.

Which I ate...

Lotus Bean Espresso Bar - new favorite Portland coffee shop.

(Nordstrom Rack for some sales tax free birthday shopping) and Jimmy Johns... because I have to have Jimmy Johns if I'm ever in a town that has one.

And then it was time to go home, so I grabbed my bag of Haribo Gold Bears and hopped on a plane.

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