This year, June 16 marked my first Father’s Day as a father. Just a few weeks before Edith’s birthday, the previous 11 months have flown by and have been exciting, rewarding and at times overwhelming. Despite having agreed not to do anything too wild for each other’s respective parents days, Lindsay went all out and spoiled me with a weekend full of some of my favorite things in Portland.
Lindsay foreshadowed the different stages of her plan with cute, semi-cryptic text messages, leaving me to guess what’s next. The day started with the text “Let’s start the day with something BREW-tiful”. For those of you who know me, you’ll know that two of my biggest passions are beer and coffee. Well, Lindsay surprised me with both with a bag of Oregon roasted coffee and a great homebrew log book. I made quick use of the coffee, preparing a batch of cold brew in our Toddy. I have a couple pieces to replace after the move, but I am looking forward to tracking my next homebrew in the book.
After breakfast, Lindsay had me get in the car and drive East towards Portland. With no clue yet, I wasn’t sure what was next. Although, when she had me take the exit towards Washington Park and the Rose Garden, I had a couple ideas. Lindsay guided me to the International Rose Test Garden accompanied with the text message: “NATURALLY I planned something fun for part two of this day”. I’ve wanted to visit the Rose Test Garden since we’ve moved here and this beautiful, summerish day was a perfect opportunity. We wandered the expansive garden for at least an hour, stopping to admire the beautiful flowers and literally “stop and smell the roses”. This gave me the opportunity to take some pictures, which I’ve recently taken up as a hobby. Unfortunately, most of them didn’t turn out because I had the ISO setting set incorrectly for most of the shots.
As we were winding up our tour of the garden, I received a text “Before becoming a fashion-ISTA we better stop at the BAR for a drink”. This one was an easy one. Barista is probably my favorite coffee shop in all of Portland. And with all of the great options in Portland, that says a lot. They always have three different roasters, usually at least two local, available to choose from for your espresso and take great care in making a great drink.
After grabbing a couple coffees, the next clue had arrived on my phone. “Okay now that you have your caffeine fix let’s go be pioneers of fashion” Since Edith was born, I haven’t really had the opportunity to get much in the way of new clothes. I’ve been wearing the same solid t-shirts for the past year plus. We hit up JCrew in the Pioneer Place mall where we were both successful in finding a couple items. I found a shirt and some shorts and Lindsay found a great dress for our friends’ wedding this summer.
After a busy morning, it was time to get something to eat. The next text let me know what Lindsay had in mind… “I have just the KURE for the hunger pangs or maybe we should get GRILLIN”. If you follow Naturally Family or Lindsay’s blog, Running with Tongs, you’ll know that we have a serious Veggie Grill problem. Veggie Grill is a vegan alternative to all of the fast food chains out there. And I’m almost a little ashamed to say that I was anxious to try the new items they added to the menu, particularly the Kale Caesar.
Now, the next clue was a little tricky, although I should have guessed it right away. “You should be a little weary as things are about to get a little bit hairy”. To continue the brew theme of my day, Lindsay planned a trip to one of my favourite local breweries, Hair of the Dog. There, Lindsay ordered a couple samples and I ordered one of their rotating selection of barrel aged beers. Hair of the Dog prides themselves on unique, strong, high alcohol beers and they never fail to impress me.
The last two texts arrived and laid out the rest of the afternoon, “Let’s take a stroll down Canada Ave” and “Things are about to heat up as we eat up and get captured by porches”(I’m not sure where she was going with that one). We headed over to Alberta St (for those who don’t know, Alberta is a Canadian province) and headed to our favourite food cart pod on NE 23rd and Alberta. The home of a Captured By Porches beer bus and the Cheese Plate and a Fiji-Indian food cart. We grabbed a couple of beers from Captured by Porches and some curries from the Fiji-Indian cart. The beers were great as usual, but I found the curries, while good, to be kind of flat and not live up to the great smells coming out of the cart whenever we’re there.
I had a great time and felt really spoiled and even more appreciative of Lindsay and our family. Lindsay clearly put a lot of thought and love into planning a weekend full of some of my favourite things and I got to do them all with my favourite people. And that wasn’t even the end of the weekend, I finally made a trip for my first proper haircut since before we’d been married. I went to The Modern Man and enjoyed a hair cut, beard trim and a pour of a great local Rye. Pretty good cap to a great weekend!