Have I mentioned I love visitors? It makes me giddily happy when far-flung friends and family carve out a long weekend and purchase that Portland-bound flight. Big thanks to the Krass family (including cousin Linda), Redick family, Tillmans, Joey, Lesley, and the latest member of the PDX visitors club, Chepys. And there are more to come, with the Minagawa-Webster (aka Webby) duo coming next weekend – yay!
Our Chicago-based buddies – and Michigan State grads – Chris and Julie Chepy rolled into town on Thursday, March 7. Chris was a college roomie of Jeff’s and an usher in our wedding with Webby and other MSU dudes. We’ve known Chris and Julie since the dawn of their relationship, and it’s been awesome to be a part of their story and to have them in our lives.
We eased into the weekend with the requisite Nike tour and dinner at our local haunt The Rams Head, which recently shot to the top of our list of favorite super-close, chill bar/restraurants after the place remodeled and ramped up its menu and service. Friday, after the Chepys took a morning hike to Pittock Mansion and I put in a half day of work, we got the party started with pints at Rogue Distillery and Public House and dangerously delicious happy hour punch at Clyde Common, a regular on “best bars” lists like this one in Esquire.
By the way, the weather? Glorious. Sunny and 50, 60 degrees. Everyone and their brother were outside enjoying the rare patches of sun. (Which reminds me of this hilariously accurate Portlandia clip.)
Jeff, Lindsay and Daniel met us to hoof over the Burnside Bridge and grab sushi at Mirakutei for the no-meat Lenten Friday. We closed the night with drinks (including mega-spicy bloody marys) near the indoor fireplace at Rontoms, a cozy warehouse full of garage-sale furniture and an epic outdoor patio with ping-pong, and Dig A Pony, a hip bar swathed in repurposed wood and always packed with cool kids.
Nine hours out on the town on Friday = a slow-moving crew Saturday morning. We attempted to pick up Pine State Biscuits from the Portland Farmers Market at PSU, but realized we were one week too soon. We shuffled over to brunch emporium Mothers Bistro & Bar and gobbled up wild salmon hash, waffles and scrambles, and shuffled home.
Then it was wine country time! I quickly learned my lesson that 4 p.m. is not the time to start a wine tour. We squeaked into Domaine Serene just as they were closing – and somehow that meant we got to try wine for free – and did a tasting at Durant Vineyards at Red Ridge Farms, where the 2010 La Paloma West Pinot Noir was our fave. After a quick bite at Red Hills Market we buzzed back to the city to catch the Portland Timbers lose 2-1 to the Montreal Impact. Aaaand it was another fairly late night after Silver Dollar Pizza Sportsbar’s ping-pong tables lured us in…where Duane the old man proceeded to beat down Chris and every other challenger who arose.
Bright and early Sunday, Jeff, Chris and Julie headed to the (sloppy, rainy) mountain while I held down the fort. We stayed in that night with a home-cooked Italian dinner and euchre games. It was fabulous. Love ya, Cheps!