And that is what this trip has been all about - no plans, no expectations, just enjoying the little things! Starting with this wonderful book I picked up in Denver :
Jackie Kennedy has been accompanying me through the streets of Portland, and I have loved every minute of it. I never before understood the affinity everyone had with Mrs. Kennedy, but the way Clint Hill (the Secret Service agent assigned to her) tells it, I can see the allure. This girl has a new idol.
I was starving when I first landed in Portland, and for some reason craved Laughing Planet. It is a local chain, and it is pretty darned good. I ate here fairly often when I lived in Portland, but didn't realize how special it is to eat local, organic food. Southwest-green chili bowl with chicken - yum!
Follow that up with pedicures on NW 23rd - and you have the recipe for a fun Portland afternoon. I was pretty pooped after, so we decided it was best to go home, put on our pj's, make some cookies and watch a movie.
I made it through the cookies - peanut butter w/ kisses and some thumbprint cookies - but promptly fell asleep the second the movie started. Whoops.
The next morning I went out bright and early to catch the bus so I could head to 24 Hour Fitness in order to take advantage of a free spin class.
It was snowing when I was at the bus stop - brrr. But I needed to get in my 40 minutes of saddle time! I have a feeling it is going to be really hard to stay on top of the training while I am out here. When I have the chance and the motivation to get it in, I need to do it. No matter what.
I used to love spin class. And to be fair the instructor was great and the class seemed fun, but my training partner and I have talked a lot about what to do when we need to sub spin class for bike rides. I need to do my training plan - that doesn't included crazy hills, sprints or isolation drills. I love all of that, it makes for a fun class and burns a lot of calories. But I need to focus on sitting on my bike and cranking out the mph that I am focused on. I had my handy-dandy HR monitor on, and I know what my HR is normally when I am out on the road. I chose a resistance that felt like flat road with a tad bit of headwind (Flatwoods style - holler!) and aimed to keep my HR in the same range it is outside. I even left early. Which I never do. It seems so rude, but I don't want to do a lot of extra work early on in the week just because I feel fresh - then pay for it on the weekends! I have a plan for a reason. I need to stick to it!
After spin class I met up with a friend for lunch. It was so fun to reconnect! Turned out she was having happy hour with a few of our mutual friends later, and since my plans to go out dancing had fallen through I decided to meet up with them later.
Had to order the Portland Proper at Hotel 50. It was a lot of whiskey, so I kept it to one. Otherwise I might have risked being quite improper in Portland!
The friend I was staying with and myself had wanted to catch the Christmas ships. Sadly we had too much fun at Hotel 50 and missed them! Oh well, at least I'll get to see the Seattle parade Friday (assuming the world cooperates!!)
Yesterday was my big tour de Portland. Spent $5 on a fancy bus ticket for the whole day! I can't tell you how nice it is to be back in a city with fast, efficient and abundant public transportation. So nice to be able to travel all around the city for only $5.
Oh, and I was able to remember just how much I love dressing for winter! The above was my "Portland ensable," I don't know why I even let myself try on the sweater below:
So cute. And on sale. But NOT Florida appropriate. Darn. I cannot live in 70-80 degree heat and "pretend" it is winter. Not when I'm still sweating buckets. One day I'll move somewhere with winter and I'll have to keep my eye out for a sweater like this.
Unless I keep eating lunches like this...
Then such a sweater might not be so cute! But the grilled cheese and tomato soup at Blue Plate was totally worth whatever extra weight I'm about to gain. Voted best in Portland! I'd never been when I actually lived in Portland - so I figured vacation was the perfect time to check it out. After all, there aren't any calories when you are on vacation, right?!!?!
In the event that there are in fact calories on vay-cay, I made sure to get my run in with the NoPo Run Club.
With an introduction like that, how could I resist?! They are my home-group of run clubs, so to speak.
So I bundled up and headed out for, what turned out to be, the most arduous public transportation night of my life! Every bus I got on last night broke down for one reason or another! Thankfully I set out over an hour early, but even so, I started to worry I wasn't going to make it! Imagine me: sprinting through downtown Portland, in search of a taxi. Obvi there weren't any. Everyone uses the bus or the max line! According to the signs the next yellow max line wouldn't be for 22 minutes, making me late late late! Somehow I was running fast enough to catch up to the yellow line. Made it in time for a potty break and to realize that maybe missing the running portion wouldn't have been that bad.
Thankfully I returned to BarBar all in one piece! Since I've been gone the hill on Interstate has become more epic (or else I have just adapted to the Florida lifestyle, because I was noticing inclines on streets that I had always thought of as flat in the past!). Only had to wait for two lights and sprint out of the way of one truck. Pretty good.
All of that in 25:53!! And it was freezing. And raining/sleeting. Hmm... if my fastest is 25:31 in the warm weather on a flat ground, then clearly my fastest isn't fast enough! I need to start getting after it.
So glad to be done and with a beer in hand. No fire since BarBar has upgraded to porch heaters. I'm feeling a little bittersweet about this.
It was a small group and ended early, but it was nice to be back. Almost felt like I'd never left. Everything just picked up the same as ever. Sometimes I can't decide whether things like that make me happy or sad. It's sad that you can leave and nothing changes, but that is also happy, because it means you can be gone for a few years and it's not a big deal. Your friends will be waiting for you when you return.
Getting home last night turned out to be a bit of a fiasco as well. Not wanting to walk back to the max line in the dark alone, I opted to take a cab. Now on Saturday night I totally expect cabs to run late/not come because they are busy, but on a Wednesday? In Portland?! I kind of expect you to come when you say you will. Needless to say after waiting for 30 minutes in the freezing cold I was a bit grumpy when my cab finally arrived. And didn't want to small talk. And really didn't want to tip (but I'm a PNW'er at heart, so I did). PJ's? Trashy tv? Cookies for dinner? Yep it all happened.
All in all I had a good trip. Can't believe I didn't take more pictures. Guess I was too busy just enjoying the moment/experience. I could have worked out a bit more than I did, but I have the next week and a half in Seattle to buckle down.
Instead this morning I treated Haylee and myself to a yummy breakfast at JoLa Cafe!
Plus I love a place that has funky mugs for their drip coffee. And simple Christmas trees are best.
My breakfast burrito was also best. Eggs, black beans, corn, onion, cheese and salsa. I only ate half. I thought the rest wouldn't take well on the bus, but now that I am on the way to Seattle I'm getting a bit hungers. Should have wrapped the rest of that bad boy to go. Sigh.
Oh yeah - I'm blogging this from the bus to Seattle. The Bolt Bus that is. Best. Bus. Ever. Direct driving means for faster trip time. WiFi for free and outlets to charge all the various things you are using. Yes, right now my laptop is plugged in, and my phone is plugged into the computer to charge, also rocking my headphones. So much is going on right now. Probably too plugged in. As soon as I post this I'll need to switch back over to Mrs. Kennedy. If for no other reason that I need to finish it before the world ends! I need to know what happens. (I know, I know... we all know what happens, but I need to know from an insider's perspective!!)