Tag Archives: visitors

whatdya know? more rain. and more visitors!

IMG_1490The thing about Portland is, you get used to the rain. The gray and the drizzle become familiar.  Wearing rain boots to the grocery store is part of the routine. And it becomes second nature to carry around a stocking cap (although I’ve been told that calling it a “stocking cap” makes me sound verrry midwestern) lest your hairs be all frizzy when you get to brunch.  But that’s Portland.  That’s what’s it all about.  Kind of like the hokey pokey.

But then there are the days where you look up at the sky and you see that spot… that spot where the sun should be, but isn’t.  And you shake your pale fists at that gray piece of sky and curse the raindrops that are landing in your freshly-applied mascara.  Because really Portland, enough is enough.

This weekend it rained like mother-effing crap, again.  Big surprise.  BUT this time it was totally, definitely, absolutely bearable because temps reached the low 60’s!   Baby steps, people.  Tiny, rainy baby steps.  Combined with the fact that we got to move our clocks ahead an hour (cheers to driving home from work in the daygraylight!) and the fact that my little bro and his lady are here visiting for their spring break (cheers to a cray spring break in rainy Portland!) we had a pretty lovely weekend.  Real great, in fact.

The young ones are here with us for most of this next week so we’re sending them on some exciting little day trips while we go have to go to work.  Blerg.  I’m excited though to get home and hear about their adventures.  And to see Portland through their fresh, young, un-bagged eyes.  And to find out if they had anything for lunch that I should know about…  But really, it’s so fun to have them here, exploring our city.  Because at the end of the day, we really love this little Stumptown.  And having family come visit it and love it as well makes our rain-soaked hearts happy.

IMG_1468 IMG_1466[ and then all my dreams came true. sea salt caramel pepcorn. ] IMG_1459

IMG_1457 [ ^^ this one is for you ned! peas enjoy this greeting curd.^^ ]bridgepeopleIMG_1470IMG_1474beer1[ ^^ differing views on ipa’s ^^ ]IMG_1477 [ ^^ til death do us part ^^ ]thompsies

Peas out!


nato and fam visit portland. and eat fake meat.

Visitors #15, 16, 17 and 18 of the summer/fall visitor brigade came and went this weekend and again we’re left with a couple extra pounds, a messy kitchen and some giant smiles on our faces.  This is becoming a consistent post-visitor status for us: chubby messy smiley syndrome.  But hey, I’m not complaining one little bit because this past weekend brought us Brother Nate, sister-in-law Cindy and nephews Nolan + Harmon.  And it was good.

Between jobs and kids and new homes and you know, life in general, it’s hard for anyone to get away on a vacation.  So it was especially stellar to us that they decided to spend their time (and cash money) to come visit us hippies in Stumptown.  Seeing our city through other people’s eyes is always amusing and these guys were no exception.  Squash beer and vegan stop signs and shirts made out of hemp… this is normal, no?  But they were troopers and were up for trying new things and they even tried fake meat in my lasagna, can you believe?!

Also, did I mention nephews!  Those two little ones have my heart every day of the week.  They are the sweetest, funniest, cutest boys that ever were.  But holy balls, all the LOUD.  Is this a thing?  With kids?  The loudness?  I’m kidding obviously, I know kids are known to be noise-makers but my eardrums are still wincing at any moderate-level sounds today.  Not really but kind of.

There was a trip to the zoo, which resulted in the cutest (fake) bald eagle wings that Nolan then wore strapped to his arms for the remainder of the trip.  There was the Farmer’s Market where we tried cheese and saw where brussel sprouts are born.  There were numerous attempts to parallel parking a minivan in order to hit up 3 (THREE!) ice cream shops.  There was a brewery tasting and a stop at a local bar where a children’s band played bluesy kid’s songs while us big kids drank beer.  There was also a trip to Blue Star donuts where we talked about how overrated Voodoo was and then Nolan inhaled a blueberry bourbon donut.  That kid is cool.  There was a trip to a Thai restaurant where the boys colored and the adults feasted on delicious noodles and we talked about how alcohol doesn’t cure hot pepper-mouth, as I once thought it did.  There was also a bonfire and s’mores and some good chats about life and kids and of course there was the occasional Christmas Vacation reference.

What I’m trying to say is it was a really good weekend.  And I miss them.  You will too once you see these monkeys… pic1budsmybuddyIMG_0537IMG_0530IMG_0534IMG_0523munchkinsfly[ these wings were a hit.  i’m thinking of asking N. to borrow them for halloween.  although somehow I think a grown lady wearing a bald eagle on her arms won’t have the same effect… ]cutefam[ i mean seriously… ] loves[ 20 years ago his dad was giving me those exact same bunny ears. ] IMG_0491[ gus on cleanup duty ]baconIMG_0613IMG_0598IMG_0592 familydonutsIMG_0628[ And on the 8th day, God created nephews for me to kiss. ]

You guys!  We loved having you and miss you so much already.  Especially Gus, he’s going through ankle-biting withdrawals.  Promise you’ll come back soon?  I have a recipe for field mouse hotdish that has your names all over it.


texas-sized sushi rolls for the win.

 

Howdy partners!  Happy Humpday!  Also, it’s October.  How in the…..?

So, Day 2 of the cleanse has come and gone and I’m still peeing like the wind!  (<– that’s not right, is it?)  I’ll spare you any more details.  For today.

This past weekend we had one of our dear friends visiting us, all the way from the land of cacti.  We met Tony in Arizona when he and Casey were in the same grad school program together.  His goofiness (and appetite) has no limits so the weekend was spent giggling and indulging in all kinds of goodies.

Tony’s food rating scale is always a topic of debate between us three and it typically correlates with how much things cost.  Let me break it down for you.  If something is pretty good AND expensive, then it’s just ok.  If something is pretty good and cheap, then it’s the best thing he’s ever had.  You feel me?  He and Casey get in some heated conversations about the value of food versus its worth and it sort of makes me laugh and want to punch myself in the face all at the same time.

Anyways we brought Tony to our favorite hole in wall sushi joint on Friday that serves Texas-sized sushi rolls.  I’m not kidding.  The first time Casey and I went there we saw people leaving with leftovers and we were totally thinking that we were surrounded by a bunch of amateurs.  Who takes leftover sushi home?  Who HAS leftover sushi?  Pshhhhhh.  However you should see this stuff.  Spicy tuna rolls the size of a newborn.  Nothing wrong with that though, am I right?   And it’s the same price (if not cheaper) than normal-sized sushi places.  So!  In a nutshell, it was probably Tony’s favorite stop on the whole trip.  Averagely good sushi + a decent deal + jumbo-sized?  Total win in his book.

We also took him to one of our favorite brunch spots, Gravy.  If you’ve been here to visit us and we haven’t taken you there yet, then we must not like you very much.  Or we must not think you can handle the inevitable 1+ hour wait.  It’s definitely one or the other.

What else?  Enso wine bar!  I found my mecca.  So many times we’ve gone on brewery tours and to beer fests beer tastings and only twice have we been to wine country.  But we found the most adorable little wine bar that is sure to being seeing my face again.  And might I add that Tony was more obsessed with the cheese plate than the wine?  I mean, he has a point.  It was good.

Good gawd I miss cheese!!

AND on Saturday night we went to this restaurant that specializes in fancy mac and CHEESE!  I can’t even talk about it without salivating on my keyboard.

We also hit up a comedy club on Saturday to see a show that Casey had been looking forward to for ages.  The comedian (Joey Diaz) was someone he’d been introduced to when listening to his beloved Joe Rogan podcast.   Sigh… I fear that love affair may never end.  Anyways, the show itself was mmmmmaybe a 6 out of 10.  I’ve definitely seen funnier.  But Casey was pretty smitten, especially when we got a (very dark and blurry) picture with Joey outside the club later.  Casey claims that he said something like, “good show” but I didn’t hear it.  I think someone got a little star-struck.

Without further ado!  A few photos from the weekend.

IMG_0382 IMG_0391 [ This “side” of biscuits and gravy was just good, but only $3.  In other words, it was fantastic.  Are you following along? ]IMG_0392IMG_0395 IMG_0413   IMG_0406 IMG_0419 IMG_0411diaz[ Notice my hand on Joey’s belly.  It was so big and round and just begging to be patted. ]IMG_0404IMG_4627phontimes[ Last but not least, Sunday Pho-nday! ]

Until next time my little Asian friend…


more visitors visiting.

So as I mentioned yesterday, visitors.  They keep happening.  Last Thursday, we said goodbye to Casey’s family at approximately 9am.  By 1:45pm, I was meeting my dad and stepmom at the airport for their long weekend visit.  Despite the fact that we hadn’t had time between the waves of company to change the sheets on the beds, and we had no clean towels for showers (my dad actually had to use two tiny hand towels the first day… which couldn’t have been fun) and we were in serious need of another trip the grocery store, we were so pumped to have them here.  It’s pretty much guaranteed that any time Papa Kenny comes to visit, we’ll have a pretty kick-ace time.  He is one of the best vacationers I know – and by that I mean that he truly relaxes, let’s loose and is up for pretty much any adventure.  I love it.  When he visits, it’s kind of like I’m on vacation too.  And it’s all about me, really.

It was also stepmama Denise’s first visit to Portlandia so it was fun to show her the sights and introduce her to this weird place we like to call home.

I played hooky from work on Friday and we drove to Multnomah Falls & Hood River for the day.  It was my one-millionth time to the Falls but my first time to Hood River, and it ended up being one of my very favorite days.

photo (12)[ Multnomah Falls.  I’ve been there so many times and It always fails at disappointing me.  Just plain old sucks at it. ]

Hood River is about an hour outside of Portland and it’s just the very cutest town on the Columbia River… full of wineries, a few breweries and is home to Tofurkey.  What more could a wine-swilling pescatarian ask for?  In fact, I’ve since informed Casey that we’re moving there.  It was that good.photo (26)photo (27)fullsail

On Saturday we made our way out to the coast.  The whole day was full of eating, as these things usually go. We stopped for Blue Star Donuts on our way out of town.  I’m just going to say it… they are so much better than Voodoo Donuts.  I know, I know.  That’s very unpatriotic of me, but you know what?  My belly don’t lie.  Sort of like Shakira’s hips.

photo (17)photo (18)photo (19)

THEN we stopped at Blue Heron cheese company in Tillamook.  Because of cheese.

photo (15)

photo (16)[ I got to feed this guy.  He wasn’t allowed cheese though.  Can you imagine? It’s pretty much not even worth eating, if you ask me. ]

And finally we parked it at Rockaway Beach for a while.  We did a bit o’ napping on the sand…

photo (13)

photo

 [ Did you know that parrotfish eat rocks and poop sand?  It’s true.  Don’t say I never taught you anything. ]

…and then, MOAR EATING.

photo (14)

I refuse to ever get sick of the Old Oregon Smokehouse.  I think that was our fifth visit there, and every time it’s stupid good… but this time they had a special: crab & cheese fondue served in a sourdough breadbowl, which thinking back on is making me salivate onto my keyboard.  I’d eat that stuff slathered on an old sock.

Saturday night was spent drinking whiskey and talking about how cool Portland is.  There may have also been some hammock swings involved (no pictures required).

fam shots

Thanks for the fun times Papa Ken and Denise!  Please come back soon.  We’ll have semi-dirty sheets and plenty of hand towels upon your arrival.  And per usual, Chicago’s greatest hits on vinyl.  And whiskey duh.


the thompson’s take over portland.

Per usual, summer is fa-lying by.  The way it does.  I’m having minor heart-palpitations when I think about the fact that next week is August and I still have so many summer things to do.  Camping??  Last year by this time we’d gone thrice times!  Movies in the park?  I have yet to get butt-numb while watching Ratatouille and drinking 3 buck chuck in a seedy park.  And hikes?  Dear lord, I don’t think we’ve gone on a decent one in months!  So much to do, so little time.

One thing that’s different about this summer than last is the amount of visitors we’re getting.  HOO.RAY.  Nothing makes me happier than having a house full of people to show around our neighborhood and city.  Apparently it makes a difference when we have more than one bedroom (and bathroom, ahem) to welcome people to, because it’s like people are coming out of the woodwork to visit.  And we’re loving it like crazy.

Last week we hosted Casey’s family (mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, two nieces) for 5 days.  They flew into Seattle and we all met up in Seaside on Saturday afternoon… which was a quick and beautiful hour-long drive for us… for them it was a morning full of flights, another 3.5 hour drive from Seattle to Seaside, 1 speeding ticket and two tired little ladies to deal with.  We eased their pain by tapping the rockies in our hotel parking lot as soon as they got there.  Nothing but class, us Thompsons.

But Seaside was amazing: beaches + seafood + salt water taffy + biking around town in a surrey with two little ones and one squirrely little dog…  It’s the stuff memories are made of.

They spent the rest of their visit be-bopping around Portland with Casey as their tour guide.  Because of this silly little thing called work, I had to miss allllll the daytime fun, including a visit to the zoo, the rose garden, Disneyland for Dogs, Multnomah Falls, a hike, the Children’s museum and most importantly… Big Ass Sandwiches.  It was pure torture.  But I know they had fun without me, somehow ;)  I could tell by how pooped they were each night.  Luckily I got to be a party of the nightly happy hour and subsequent dinner eat-athons we seemed to have every evening.  I gotta say, that’s a top five perk of having visitors.  Free rein to eat and drink whatever .. because hey, we gotta show them a good time.  Right?  Yup.

And now, cue the peek-cheers!

photo (11)photo (3)photo (5)photo (10)[ salt water taffy.  i think i ate 3 chins worth ]

IMG_3505photo (4)[ view from the back of the surrey.  i think my hands are still shaking… those seats were only like this wide.  and we had to deal with gus-monster who would just not sit still. ]

photo (1)[ these little cuties love to giggle.  and cry.  but mostly giggle. ]

photo (2)

photo (6)

photo[ gus was obsessed with mark’s pocket.  something about a cheese stick wrapper…. ]

IMG_3538[ photo courtesy of mama nance and papa earl! ]

Thanks for the fun times family – we love you!  Gus says hey and he’s still looking for that cheese stick…

xo
The Portland Thompsons


that is one grand dog.

My mom and stepdad came for a visit this weekend and I loved every bit of it.  My mostest favoritest part of the weekend was spending some QT with my mom… but coming in a close second was watching her interact with Gus.  My mom is a what I consider a dog bystander, she doesn’t love or hate them, she tends to avoid interaction, but she does however, have a heart of gold when it comes to any animals’ overall well-being and care, and our dog in particular.  So you can imagine my excitement and amusement when she finally got to meet our little boy and made great efforts to love him almost as much as we do.

Granddog

What I imagine they’re both thinking…..

Mom: Please don’t make me regret putting my face so close to your face.  I know we’re practically strangers but I feel that since you’re my granddog, we can have an unspoken agreement and connection that will allow us to coexist over the next few days.  And as time progresses I think that I will find myself actually enjoying tolerating your company.  I might even go so far as to say that you are changing my overall view on house dogs.  All of this hangs in the balance of this photo.  Please don’t fart on me.

Gus: Squirrel?!

Love you and miss you mama!  Gus says what up.