Tag Archives: wine

A weekend with Shelley

My cousin Shelley came for a visit. She is a chef, so there were one million places I wanted her to try in Portland, but predictably only made it to a few.  

We did have a lovely lunch in our garden:  

Lunch in the garden

Lunch in the garden

And followed that up by driving to wine country in Dundee for a few tastings. We stopped at Argyle (Shelley wanted to try their sparkling wine), Winderlea and Torii Mor. Brian and I joined the wine club at Winderlea which will encourage us to go more frequently.

Brian and Shelley on the patio at Winderlea

Brian and Shelley on the patio at Winderlea

Mt Jefferson in the background looks quite large from here in real life but my old phone doesn't really capture it

Mt Jefferson in the background looks quite large from here in real life but my old phone doesn’t really capture it

Fantastic few weekends.

Still talking to one another.

Last weekend, Brian and I celebrated our anniversary at the Salishan. The Salishan is starting to become a tradition, I think. When we walked into our room, Brian had a dozen red roses and a bottle of our favorite wine of all time waiting for me. I changed into my new dress and we sat by the fire, drank the wine and talked. I finally was able to give him the Midleton whiskey I carried all over Europe. I think he was more impressed by all Gretchen and I had to go through to get it to him than by the whiskey itself (well, no, he tried it this week and I think he’s more impressed by the whiskey now).

We ate dinner at the Salishan steakhouse (what a beautiful view) and then went to the lounge to see a band – Beth Willis, who turns out to be from Portland. Funny, I’ve seen her there three times now and didn’t realize that. On our way back to the room, she complimented me on my dress! Fun. I was pretty tipsy then though. Something about following a good amount of wine with whiskey. Hm, who would have thought?

New dress

This weekend is Brian’s birthday, so we started it off by going to Sweet Hereafter with Laurie. Sweet Hereafter is the new place opened by one of the guys from Bye and Bye. We got there just in time to be able to sit for dinner, it was completely packed. Good!

Last night we went to Mississippi Studios to see Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter (seems to be a themed weekend). We had been playing 2 player Ms PacMan across the street and left so we wouldn’t miss the opening band – man, what a mistake. I am still trying to think of a band I thought was worse in all the years I’ve been going to shows, there has to be one, right? Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter were awesome though – I would go to any show they do (but skip the opening band after last night).

Tonight is Brian’s birthday proper so we will do some more celebrating.

Next weekend is the Portland Marathon and my cousin Nicole is running it. Looking forward to cheering her on!

Sunroom flower view

Sunroom flower view

Anyone know what these flowers are? You can see the picture larger if you click on it. They are bushes over two stories tall and have been blooming for weeks. It’s what I see out of one of our second-story bedroom windows, and I have no idea what they are. I call them “Painting the Roses Red” because they remind me of the scene in Alice in Wonderland (the Disney animated version) where the gardeners are desperately trying to paint the roses before the Queen notices.

I was practically attacked at New Seasons today (our grocery store). I was browsing in the wine section, which I like to do to see what’s on sale, what’s new, that sort of thing, and this woman suddenly swooped in next to me and said: “I don’t know what your price point is, but you have to get this. It is. The. Best. Wine. It’s awesome. Anyone who tries it loves it.”

Well, that’s a ringing endorsement if I’ve ever heard one, and it was about the same price as a bottle of Erath, so I kinda had to get it, right? I’ll report back with the name if it is as good as she says. It’s a blend, and I’ve only vaguely heard of three of the grapes.

It’s super beautiful today – finally, spring. We weeded the front yard and mowed. I continued an ongoing battle with a holly bush that had invaded a flower tree hedge. Do you remember the scary rosemary bush at the place we rented last year? Holly is the new rosemary. I don’t mind the holly hedges we have under the sunroom windows, but it seems to travel to other places, and I’m determined to contain it.

Brian eventually went and got a crowbar and hauled it out of the ground for me. One of the trunks was almost 2 inches! The flower trees are going to be much happier I think, now that they aren’t being strangled.

In other news, I’ve decided that Dr. Pink is the neighbor with the hot pink sunglasses. Makes sense – he’s not the Hunter S. Thompson looking one, he’s the shaved head one. I’m still leaning towards the theory that he’s a DJ. There seem to be a lot of cute punk girls who hang around that house, so he seems to get some attention. Did I mention that Brian went over to introduce himself on Thursday night? Heh. The Bye-and-Bye may have been visited previous to this. *snicker* That’s all I’ll say.

Preparations

I decided a glass or two of wine would be nice last night, so I opened a bottle of Monticello rioja that we had. Eventually, I went to a friend’s house, where I had a glass or two of boxed wine.

Boxed wine has come a long long way since the days of the scene from Grumpy Old Men (or was it Grumpier Old Men? I get the two confused). I keep a black box of merlot for when I want to have just an occasional glass without finishing a bottle, and while it’s not the best wine I’ve ever had, it’s definitely servicable.

Franzia, on the other hand, is still the same thing it ever was, so this morning instead of getting a ton of stuff done, I am nursing a huge headache and wondering what got into me last night. I know at one point, it involved a great big trampoline. Fun stuff, but ow.

Two days until Gretchen, my niece and nephew come, I can’t wait. Lots to do in prep, and I’m a little nervous about keeping an 8 and 9 year old entertained for three weeks, but Gretchen assures me that the Wii will keep them amused during our slow times and that we will go buy Legos!!! to keep at the house. I can’t wait.