Tag Archives: Oregon

A Much Needed Long Weekend

 I kicked off my long weekend by going to the State Dance Team Competition with my bestie and his mom, cheering on our friend’s team. It really took me back to my high school days…dance team is serious business. We had a great time. 

The next morning, hubby and I left for a few days at the family beach house. All trips to the beach house start with a trip to the farm stand for The Best Pie Ever in the World. It was GORGEOUS when we got there so we took our little man on a run along the sand. With his leash because we are paranoid about other dogs and also because Ramsay loves to find every bird that has ever died ever and roll on it. Saturday night we went to our favorite restaurant, Waterfront Depot, for drinks and dinner. Husband had this awesome arroz con mariscos (rice and seafood), in a dill tomato broth. I wanted to drink the broth. We are going to try and recreate this for sure. He makes a mean cioppino and this is is basically the same idea in a different take. I had tempura crusted shrimp with a side salad. The tempura batter was so light and not greasy at all, and whatever they seasoned it with was delish.   Then we went to the toy store and found tiny hands.   Bumbleberry pie was had. Don’t worry, we finished the whole pie between the two of us over the weekend. Ramsay miss having carpet. He spent the majority of the weekend rolling around like a weirdo. And chasing his toys down the hallway. And chasing a bunny in the backyard.   We went book thrifting and found some real old gems. This was a middle school health curriculum from the 1930s.  The next day it was stormy. We were ok with it.    On our way home we drove to our favorite breakfast spot, Otis Cafe. It seats about 40 people and they make a MEAN breakfast. I had my new staple, two eggs fried over medium with German potatoes and toast on homemade bread.    Hubby had biscuits and gravy. I barely got a taste.  After all that, plus a banana scone and some ice cream cake at the office, a run was in order when I got home today. The hubby and I suited up and did a quick 2.5 miles. It was not fun after a few days off, but I needed to put a few miles in so that my seven-mile training run bright and early Saturday morning doesn’t feel like death. Then, since it was in the 70s, we NEEDED to BBQ. 

I made some sweet potato fries, aka chopped up a sweet potato and seasoned it with garlic pepper and Greek seasoning and popped it in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. 

We had those with a Mediterranean salad and some bacon cheeseburgers we grabbed from New Seasons, the local organic grocery store. I have friend crushes on most of the cashiers there. I had a nice chat with the guy who rang me up today.

We had a little incident with the buns, so we are our burgers on toasted sourdough. It was still delicious. 

Your turn: Is it spring yet where you are? 

Do you like burgers, hot dogs, brats? (I’m a fan of all of the above) 

Are you reading anything good I should add to my list?

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The Valen-Times

It’s a gorgeous weekend here in Oregon!

My Valentine’s weekend started out a little womp womp, with a citation for riding the train to work without a ticket. It’s completely my fault, of course, for trying to outsmart their electronic ticket system. But still, not a great thing to have happen first thing on Friday morning.

The rest of the day, however, was great. A group of us walked from the office to Verde Cocina for lunch, where I forgot to take a picture of my huevos rancheros because they were so devious looking that I immediately started wolfing them down. Verde Cocina serves Mexican food with an emphasis on farm fresh veggies. Nothing is deep fried, and there’s a lot of non-traditional ingredients used, like squash, bok choy, and quinoa. I first tried it a few years ago at Portland Farmers Market so I’m thrilled that they opened up a cafe not far from my office. Also I can’t wait to try their margaritas because I bet they are phenomenally fresh.

Friday night was the start of a much needed restful weekend. We didn’t have much in the fridge or pantry for dinner, so we ran to Whole Foods and picked up some “gourmet organic” frozen items: tater tots and samosas. I had a bag of “lite ultimate Caesar” salad in the fridge, and some asparagus. I mixed up the salad, drizzled the asparagus with EVOO and salt and garlic pepper, and roasted it at 425 until it started to brown, while our gourmet frozens were cooking up. I also found this deliciously odd beer which I sipped while I waited for dinner.



This dinner really hit the spot. Every once in a while, we really like some frozen meal supplements. They are quick and easy, and always feel like a treat. We enjoyed our plates while we we cuddled up on the couch under blankets. Our house has been super drafty lately.

When it breaks 60 degrees in February in Oregon, you don’t question it, you just get your rear outside, so hubby and I decided that a hike with the pup sounded like the perfect Valentine’s Day activity. We headed out to the Tillamook Forest to the Wilson River Wagon Trail to get in a few morning miles (since I was being bad and skipping running group).







The trail was beautiful! We hiked four miles or so out and back, passing waterfalls, glades, and winding in and out of some gorgeous forestland. There wasn’t another soul on the trail. The only downside is that this trail, while being closed to motorized vehicles, is surrounded by ATV trails, so that noise started to get old after a while. Also the rural gun range shots started to get a little tiresome, but neither of these things put a damper on the beauty of our surroundings. Ramsay had a blast. He loves to be a wilderness hipster dog.

On our way home, we were hungry and it was lunch time. So we pulled over at Coleman’s Shady Rest, a roadside diner. I love all the roadside stops in the Tillamook Forest, on the way to the coast. I used to beg my parents for day trips to the beach so we could stop at my favorite diner for pancakes and hot chocolate on the way. Coleman’s wasn’t serving breakfast anymore, but they still had huevos rancheros on the lunch menu (I’m on a huevos kick lately). YUM. I think a more accurate description of this would have been “eggs and chili verde,” but I didn’t care because it was so darn good.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing.

For dinner, we stayed in, cooked up one of our favorite meals, chicken teriyaki, and watched Dateline, because my husband is the best and agreed to watch disturbing crime shows instead of a romantic movie or something. I also broke in my Moscow mule mugs.

Today, we worked on finishing touches with the paint in our room, took the dog for a walk, and enjoyed opening up the windows and airing out the house. I’m not ready for Monday!

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Portland to Coast – Year 2, Better than Ever!

So P2C this year was an ABSOLUTE BLAST. I don’t know if it was just the fact that I knew what to expect, or that I knew everyone in my van reasonably well, or my husband wasn’t playing the role of grumpy van driver, but this year far surpassed last in terms of awesomeness. I decided that I am never going back to Van 2 (unless I run next year with Shayne’s team, in which case I’m pretty sure I’ll end up there). Van 1 is amazing. Probably because we were done and in Seaside by 7 AM and got to rest, shower, drink coffee, and eat real food. Also, I like walking at night, despite the fact that I’m blind as a bat after sundown, headlamp or no.

Maureen, Leg 1


I was the third walker in our van, after JDL and my mom (pictured above). We stopped at least once during all of the legs to provide encouragement and water (the day was warming quickly). This picture was our first stop for my mom, whose first leg was on this god-awful busy highway that goes from the shitty industrial part of Portland into more picturesque forest land, and eventually, the beach. But it’s super dangerous, and walking on a narrow, gravelly shoulder is not that pleasant (thankfully the second half of the walk is off this highway). My mom saw me and thought it was time to hand off (she started ripping the bracelet off in preparation). Then, I had the unpleasant task of informing her that she still probably had at least four miles to go. She was a trooper, and we had a lukewarm coffee waiting to reward her at the exchange.

Marge Leg 1


My first leg was on an even worse stretch of highway. Giant semi trucks full of hay kept blowing past me, and I almost lost my cubs hat once! Note our super cool tutus, which I lovingly and frantically crafted the night before the race to make us a little easier to spot, and because they are cool. A friend from work honked as she drove past on the highway, because she spotted the tutu. Also, I just want to say that they were some of the best tutus I spotted during the relay. My first leg was about 7.5 miles, but it was a stretch of road I knew well, and it really wasn’t too bad. My split time for this leg was WAY better than I anticipated, at 13.20 minute walking miles, and I cruised in well under two hours. I felt pretty good about this leg, until I saw my nasty blisters.

She wasn't grumpy yet


This is my friend Sharon and I in front of our van (hi Sharon!). She is the best, even if she shit talked me after I fell asleep, for falling asleep (yeah, I know ALLLLLLLL about it). I volunteered to be the night driver, then promptly fell asleep when I came in after my second leg around 3 AM, and slept in the backseat until all of our van walkers were done and we rolled into Seaside. Oopsie. My all-night stamina isn’t what it used to be (despite the fact that I was the youngest one in the van and no one else had a problem staying awake).



Eileen was kind enough to snap this photo of us blazing across the finish line like the champions we are. And when I say “blazing,” I mean limping like senior citizens and trying to just not keel over in the sand. It’s always fun to cross the finish with your final walker, and our timing was good this year so we didn’t have to wait long in the insanity that is the beach party.



And here’s all of us (minus JDL who was lame and had to get to a fantasy football draft) in our unofficial finish line photo, also taken by Eileen before she was yelled at by the “official” finish line photographer. After this, we all parted ways. I thought that maybe this year I would be more gung-ho about the finish party. Nope. I still just wanted to get the eff home and put my slippers on.

Highlights of this year’s relay:

1. My van was kick-ass. They are all awesome (and half of these pictures are theirs, because my camera was lost in the car for the first day). Also having my mom along was fun, plus she said she had more fun with us than with her van the last time she participated, which was all people her own age that she knew, so that’s pretty cool. She called herself our team’s “AARP representative.”

2. I paid to take two showers, after each of my legs. I don’t care that I paid $2/shower to hang out in a high school locker room with hairy shower drains – it was the best decision I ever made. I wasn’t nearly as cranky as last year and actually felt like a real person.

3. I got to walk at night. I was terrified of being eaten by a wild animal, but I DID get to see the very first runner as he blew past me, and managed to not fall off the road (I came pretty close a few times).

4. My mom and I discovered both a delicious coffee shop and a delicious brew pub in Seaside, which is quite a feat for someone like me who generally hates Seaside (sorry Seaside-ians).

5. My hubby finished the running relay after virtually NO training. I kind of wanted to smack him for not being better prepared, but I’m very impressed and proud with how he did. I may run with him next year. I can’t decide. I feel like I need to run a year.

Anyways, this post is LONG overdue, but it’s been hot and I’ve been lazy.

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