Weekend Things: Unexpected Perfection

I thought Memorial Day Weekend was going to be my favorite weekend of the summer, but this weekend, the first weekend of June, caught me by surprise with just how perfect is was!  I know we’re only four days in, but June is THE BEST!

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Joey went golfing Friday afternoon and wasn’t planning to be home till late, so I did what any person does when home alone on a Friday night in a house that feels like it’s 90°… make no-bake granola and boil water (to brew kombucha) from the burner on your grill.  The second part of that plan was maybe a mistake because I ended up with a pot of water full of cotton, but shhh, anything to avoid heating up our house is fine by me.

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The rest of the night featured reading in the hammock, eating hot pink slider bun leftovers, watching the Rockies game with Andi (Heartbreak by the Dodgers #1) and then Joey came home and we resumed our watching of Arrested Development Season 5 until I looked over and he was full on sleeping, so I ordered us all to bed 🙂

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Saturday!  The best day!  Joey requested yogurt bowls when we woke up, so I made us each one, and then we ate them in the sunshine of the backyard before biking to the Famers’ Market for the first time this summer.  It’s such a small thing, this little trip we take (almost) every summer Saturday, but it makes me SO HAPPY.  It was already busy when we got there and early-summer produce is always a bit slim, but we got iced coffees and cherries and saw a long-haired dachshund and two new foods stands (BAO BUNS AND TACOS!) so I was truly in my happy place.

Spent the rest of the afternoon on this little retaining wall project Joey cooked up for us.  I lifted like 10 bricks and did very little complaining but OH MY GOD, it was actually really hard for me.  I woke up Sunday and everything was sore!  And before you make fun of me, we looked it up and they weigh 52 pounds each.  Joey was doing most of the work, but he named me Refreshment Coordinator so I helped by providing lunch, plus I arranged for our groceries to be delivered because that just seemed like a major time-saving move.

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We cleaned ourselves up fairly early because we wanted to grab dinner before the Rockies game.  I’d been wanting to try a new-to-us placed called Goed Zuur and oh my god, I cannot believe we had not been there before!  They mostly serve sour beers and we’re on the fence with those but I did have a good one from Odd13 and daily happy hour means it was only $3, plus the food choices were great.  We both opted for a hot dog and shared a bag of duck fat, black pepper & Parmesan popcorn that I think I may have been shoveling into my mouth.  Sooo good, we’ll be back for sure!

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The Rockies gave up EIGHT RUNS in the 7th inning, but thankfully, I was barely paying attention because we attended this game with Hannah, Josh and, for his first ever Rockies game, Mason!!!  He was wearing a little Rockies onesie, baby sunglasses and a teensy hat and I COULD NOT HANDLE THE CUTENESS!  They got him a First Rockies Game button and a picture with Dinger even ♥  He was so well-behaved (and such a flirt too!) but they decided to head out at the 7th inning stretch and Joey and I looked at the score (Heartbreak by the Dodgers #2) and decided to leave too.  Made the spontaneous decision to grab ice cream at Sweet Cow afterward and look, if it’s summer and you don’t have a nightly reminder set on your phone to get ice cream, are you even really living??

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The Sunday plan was for Joey to work on the wall and me to do our food prep for the week, but I thought about it and decided we needed to have more fun than that so I suggested we grab breakfast and hit up the Chalk Art Festival as soon as it opened up and Joey was game.  We got toast and a waffle at Huckleberry then made our way to Larimer Square.  The bad news is that it was already crowded with people but the good news is it probably wasn’t as crowded as it got to be later in the afternoon and it also wasn’t too hot.  I took some shot of my favorite ones, which turned out to be anything with bright or bold colors and then we got the heck out of there.  I checked and we hadn’t been to the festival in 5 YEARS, whoa!

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The rest of the day involved wall building, lunch making (Beet, Farro, and Watercress Salad with Fig Vinaigrette coming right up!) and laundry folding but I did sneak in a workout (amen for partly cloudy skies that make mid-day running possible) and a trip to the liquor store, because I take my roll as Refreshment Coordinator very seriously, okay?  Rockies lost AGAIN (Heartbreak by the Dodgers #3 = a sweep, UGH!) but let’s focus on how good the wall looks so far instead 🙂  Joey wanted to get it in before we get a sprinkler system (FINALLY!) at the end of the month and I already think it looks great!

Rounded out Sunday by reading on the porch swing, walking Andi, cooking a quick but delicious dinner of grilled salmon and a broiled veggie side, featuring radishes we grew ourselves (!) and eating it in the backyard (MY FAVORITE!) before finishing up a movie we started on Saturday called The Tale.  What can I say, except that it was deeply disturbing but masterfully made?  Look it up!  In conclusion, if the first weekend of June is any indication, this month is going to be incredible ♥

Family Vacation to Oregon: Portland

The Great Dorsey Vacation 2017 all started with a cute little weekend stay in Portland.  Joey and I didn’t plan on going there for the third summer in a row but A) we were already flying into PDX and B) my sister and Wayne had never seen our favorite little city, so we felt it 100% necessary to spend a few days there.

I thought this might be the trip where I grew a little bit tired of Portland and instead, I just loved it a whole lot more.  Even without a stop at Pip’s, it still managed to be the very best, because: warmth and blue skies that made for walk everywhere weather, getting to try new restaurants/coffee shops but also show off our favorites, a bike share program that meant seeing Portland from different angles and being with two people who were equally up for ice cream every night.

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We checked into our rental house, quickly realized it did not have air-conditioning (THE HORROR!), then walked up the street for dinner.  Por Que No?  That is the question!  We walked past this place last time we were here and where there’s a long line, there must be good food.  Usually, at least.  Turns out, the line moves really fast and we didn’t even have a hard time snagging a street-side table after ordering at the counter.  The carnitas taco is what dreams are made of.  Afterwards, Ruby Jewel for dessert because it was just a block away and after seeing Peanut Butter Cookie Dough on the menu, I was sold.

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The best way to start a Saturday in Portland is to take a morning walk and stumble across a “Before I die…” chalk wall then stumble across the sidewalk and skin your hand and the corner of your phone at the same time then breakfast and a trip to the Farmers’ Market, so we did just that.  We hit Bijou Café then walked up to the market and man, was it bustling!  The joy of watching someone experience that barrage of perfect produce is just the best.  And we bought a half flat of berries that were some of the best I’ve ever tasted.  Afternoon activities involved coffee at Heart, Powell’s City of Books and lunch at Pine Street Market.

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But my favorite part of the day was renting bikes and riding along the river!  It was hot and I was the slowest but it was so perfect and ended with a quick (and scenic) ride on the aerial tram.  When we were done being hot and sweaty we headed back to our place to rest before heading out to dinner at Podnah’s Pit.  I liked my pulled pork but I LOVED Joey’s ribs.  We hit up that Salt & Straw line after dinner and get this, I got a carrot cake-flavored ice cream that was one of the best (and most creative) scoops I’ve ever eaten.  Unanimous opinion: Salt & Straw > Ruby Jewel.  And now you know.

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Sunday morning, we packed up and headed to one final Portland breakfast at Besaw’s and look, the area it was in was very nice and trendy and there was free coffee while we waited, but the service was just so-so.  The food was GREAT though!  Do you even see that butter swirl?  We met up with my parents afterwards to do a big old grocery haul for the rest of the week on the coast and then I just had to grab one last coffee at Case Study.  Ciao for now, Portland!

Where We Stayed: Beautiful Detached Cottage in Mississippi Neighborhood 

Where We Ate/Drank: 

Por Que No? // Don’t let the line scare you off.  It moves quickly and the reward at the end is creamy guac, crispy chips and strong margaritas.  Please please order a carnitas taco.  You won’t regret it!

Ruby Jewel //  If you’re visiting Portland and can only visit one ice cream shop, make it Salt & Straw but if you’re visiting for the third summer in a row and you’ve been to Salt & Straw twice already, try Ruby Jewel!  The small scoop is the perfect post-taco treat.

Bijou Café // This place has a diner feel in that slightly grungy but you don’t notice because the service is so good and the food is so unpretentious kind of way that I totally dug.  We sat at the counter, drank coffee and people watched.  I really loved my cauliflower-kale hash and Joey was SO into his fried chicken and pancakes.

Heart Coffee Roasters // I am head over heels for their coffee beans and their minimalist café aesthetic.  Nuff said.

Pine Street Market // I got a so-so slice of pizza and salad at Trifecta Annex but everyone else had what looked like a really good burger from Bless Your Heart Burgers and I wonder if I’ll ever learn to just order whatever Joey orders because he always wins.

Podnah’s Pit Barbecue // They were out of brisket when we got there and I think we were all a little bit sad but everything on my plate was good (though not great) and I really really liked the rib Joey graciously gifted me.

Salt & Straw // The most unique flavors, that are all spot on and served with a smile.  Just do it, okay?

Besaw’s // Free coffee while you wait and maybe service was just off on the day we went?  But the food was really really good.  Get the Farmer’s Hash because: bacon, cheddar and that big old fluffy biscuit!

Case Study Coffee // I really dig that light fixture over the coffee bar and the barista who rang me up was very nice, but what can I say?  My heart belongs to Heart.

What We Did:

Portland Farmers’ Market // If you’re not impressed by this FM, you’re not human!  I am completely BLOWN AWAY by the sheer abundance and quality of the things that grow so beautifully in the Pacific Northwest.

Powell’s City of Books // If you’re a book nerd, how can you go to Portland and not go to Powell’s?  Heck, even if you aren’t a book nerd, how can you go to Portland and not go to Powell’s?  Get lost on an aisle in the section that calls to you most and peruse all the books there.

BIKETOWN // Sign up for this BEFOREHAND, so you’re not standing in the straight sun, waiting for the app to download at a snail’s pace.  Ride the Waterfront Park Trail to the Portland Aerial Tram then ride it up to see the city from above.