Well, this past weekend was my annual birthday weekend, it happens every year! In the past my birthday weekends have taken place in Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, and even Atlanta, but this birthday weekend was all about Portland...and Seattle...and my mom!
Friday. It all started on Friday night. I originally thought that my mom's flight wasn't going to get in until 10:30 at night, so I told my restaurant job that I could still work that night. I was scheduled to work from 5-9 or 10-ish, but then I found out that my mom's flight was getting in at 8:20! So Friday night when I got to work I had to do some begging, pleading, and schmoozing and eventually got to leave at 8! All I had to do was change clothes in the breakroom and I was off to Portland International Airport. The good thing about this weekend was that it was a school holiday at MU, so I already had both Friday AND Monday off! You do not know what a blessing from God this was! I didn't have to ask for any time off and I got to do things on Friday, during the day, like my laundry, change my sheets, clean my room, and make everything presentable for my mom.
So I picked up my mom from the airport and it was so good to see her! Her hair had gotten kind of long since the last time I saw her and she looked so pretty. We pretty much immediately went to Le Happy, one of favorite places in Portland and had red wine, cheesey crepes, and split a pear and dark chocolate dessert crepe (I'm going to be like Shauna Niequist and tell you everything we ate, I can't help it, I've been reading Bittersweet :). Then we went to Coffee Time on NW 21st and had weak cafe au laits and laughed at things on the Internet.
Saturday. We had hair and brow appointments at Dosha on Hawthorne, but first we went to Peet's and got pumpkin spice lattes. At Dosha we both got trims and my mom bought me some straightening serum. Aveda products smell so good, they make me want to die. I can't handle it. If I was filthy rich I would use all Aveda hair and skin products. But I'm not, so I use Target brand. After Dosha, we walked down Hawthorne to The WAFFLE WINDOW! at Break & Ink. I had been to the Waffle Window with AJ last November, but this time we ordered and split a "Three B" and a seasonal apple pie waffle. Let me tell you something: the 3 B's stand for bacon, brie, and basil and it is one of the best things I have ever tasted. Do yourself a favor and put those three ingredients together in anyway possible and you will be a happy woman/man. I'm envisioning a BLT with some added melted brie and basil leaves. Oh and some peach preserves on the side. Unbelievable. The apple pie waffle wasn't bad either. And of course we had more coffee. Always more coffee. After that we went to Laurelhurst Park and walked around for a bit and did a small amount of browsing in Target. We also went to my FAVORITE thrift store in Portland, called The Village Merchant(s?). That place can get me in lots of trouble. I want so many things! This time I got 2 purses, a pair of shoes, a mirror, 2 picture frames, and an owl figurine (all for $35).
Then we headed out to the Mount Hood area. It took about an hour to get out there, but the drive was so, so pretty and it was neat to see Mount Hood get so close when I'm use to seeing it so far off in the distance. The entire time my mom was here in the Northwest, the weather was PERFECT, not a single drop of rain. We ate lunch at this little wrap place and drank San Pellegrino Limonatas.
We made our way back into Portland and then headed to Washington where we debated about seeing a movie because there was one documentary we both wanted to see, but then we couldn't find it at any movie theaters in Vancouver. I don't know why I was surprised. Vancouver? So we went to the restaurant where I work a little earlier than I had originally planned. But it turned out it was perfect timing - my friend Erin was just about to get off work and then so was Alexa and Chelsea was working. So we all sat in Chelsea's section and had wine and appetizers and even some dessert Erin "saved". My mom had never met Chelsea and that was a must and then she got to meet a lot of the other people I consider friends as well, it was really so fun. But then something really funny happened: Erin mentioned that she and Alexa were thinking about going to see Jackass 3D. Now, I had no interest in seeing that movie, but I'm a go with the flow kind of person and it sounded really fun to hang out with my friends. So after asking my mom like a million times if she was ok with it, we went and saw Jackass 3D in Battle Ground, of course. I paid for our tickets and my mom was a really good trooper. I told her it would make her cool with her middle school students. I think she was too horrified to talk about it. Just kidding, I think she actually liked it ok...? I told her it was a good glimpse of what my life is like in Portland: so many instances when I ask myself, how did this happen?!?
Sunday. We drove up to Seattle! Such a pretty drive. First we went to Pike's Place Market and walked around a bit, it was the first time we had both been back to Seattle since 2006. There is so much to see and smell in Pike's that it's kind of crazy overwhelming. I kept seeing these flowers called Dahlias and couldn't get over how pretty and unique looking they were. We shared a tuna melt with chipotle mayo on rosemary bread at this cute seafood place in the market that had great views and then we got baby donuts with sprinkles :) We went outside and were looking at some magnets when I got THE strangest compliment of my life. It went like this: suddenly I felt someone's hand on my back and thought to myself, this can't be good, I turned around to find myself face to face with a middle aged man who appeared fairly normal (as much as I could tell in 2 seconds). I said "yes?" and he said, " I don't mean to stare, but you have a very pretty nose". I didn't say anything for a few seconds, crinkled up my eyebrows in confusion, and then said "thank you...?". A nose is a strange thing to compliment anyway, but my nose really is! I've never liked it much and always thought it was one of my less attractive facial features. So I guess it's nice to now be able to say someone in this world thinks I have a pretty nose :)
After the strange compliment my mom and I went over to the original Starbucks, but the line was sooo long and we've been before so instead we headed to Mars Hills church where Mark Driscoll preaches. We both love listening to Mark's sermons, so that was part of why we went to Seattle. We got there early and the church is in a really industrial part of town so we hung out at a Starbucks (you can't escape them!) that was part of a Fred Meyer mini-world. Then we went to church (5 o'clock service) and it was AMAZING, the sermon was so good and then we even got to see new Believers get baptized, which is always a neat experience.
After church we had dinner Bick's: salads, crab cakes, and spring rolls with white wine and pumpkin ale that was so good. Then it was back to Portland. I like Seattle, but it made me so glad that I live in Portland. I just love Portland. When we got back into town we went and picked up Erin from her house and then took my mom to VooDoo Donuts. I've been there a couple of times, but my mom and Erin had never been. It's open 24 hours and very well known from TV shows. Every time I have ever been there, there has been a LONG line out the door and down the street, but this time - NO line! Amazing. My mom got a donut covered in Fruit Loops, I got one covered in Oreo's and peanut butter and Erin got a peach fritter that was the size of her head :). We all 3 went back to Coffee Time and had regular coffees and then I felt sick. That donut was powerful stuff.
Monday. We stayed in Portland all day. Ahhh. First we went back to Hawthorne so that I could buy Erin's Dosha gift certificate that I had forgotten to get on Saturday and we split another "Three B" waffle from the Waffle Window. Yes, we did. And yes, it was a little embarrassing. But so worth it. Then I showed my mom the school where I now work, but all we could do was walk around because it was closed. After that we went to Erin's new apartment and saw the fabulous painting she had been doing all morning. The 3 of us walked down Broadway to go to lunch and saw so many cute shops, bakeries, and restaurants - I really like Broadway! The best thing we found was this retro 60's/70's shop that was so cute and full of clothes, furniture, shoes, purses, and decorations from that era. I really, really like that time period and I was in heaven. They had the mushroom canisters that my grandmother always had and the cutest clothes. I tried on a black sweater dress, but ended up getting a bright yellow coat! I LOVE IT! It is so pretty! We wanted to go to lunch at Rose's Cafe, but it was closed for remodeling so we went to Panda Express. Don't judge us, I adore Panda Express, the Beijing Beef is too amazing.
After saying bye to Erin my mom and I went to Trader Joe's to get trail mix and a few other essentials and took them back to my house, where I kind of took a small nap. Then we went shopping at Target where I got 3 dresses and 2 shirts. From Target we went to my favorite coffee shop, Palio, which is in my favorite Portland neighborhood and then we walked in the rose garden. Those roses that started blooming in May are still so pretty!
Monday night was my birthday dinner and we went to 50 Plates where we shared salad, artichoke-goat cheese spring rolls, and shrimp and grits with chorizo and white cheddar; it was SO good. For birthday dessert we went to Pappa Hayden's and I got my favortie banana cream pie (and I have some leftover for tonight!).
Today. This is my actual birthday! This morning we had birthday breakfast at Mother's Bistro (the Biscuit Breakfast is so good, I can't even think about it). Then my mom gave me my birthday gifts: a Texas charm, clothes, baking utensils, and books!!! Then I took her to MU and she got to meet some of the people I work with and see my desk, etc. After that I took her to the aiport...and that was sad...but I am SO grateful for such a full, FUN weekend with my wonderful mother! It was a great birthday weekend and the ONLY thing that could have made it better would have been the addition of my dad, brother, and sister-in-law (and Henry!).
Now I'm at work and things will go back to normal soon. I guess. I don't think things are ever really "normal" in my life. :)