Celebrating the New Job

Matt and I celebrated my new job by picking up food from Urdaneta, which is a Spanish small plates restaurant on Alberta.

The food was delicious, and I would like to go back when they are seating people.

Matt also was a fan.

P.S. Behind him, you can see my old desk, waiting for a NextDoor buyer to come and pick it up. More on that in another post.

Matt’s Fun Date Choice: Lego

It was Matt’s week to choose the date and he came home with a Lego set for us to put together.

I do love the tidy order and step-by-step of a good Lego set.

Here is the finished product.

I also think it’s fun how the astronaut fits in the cockpit, and the satellite folds and fits into the space ship.

Once we were done, we dissembled the whole shebang, repackaged it, and I dropped it off in a Little Free Library so someone else could enjoy it.

Our New Year’s Eve Celebration

I went to Fred Meyer and grabbed ingredients for beer cheese fondue, fondue dipping things, and our favorite kind of ice cream. As a bonus, I stopped by a Redbox kiosk to see if the movie we were planning on watching, Tenet, was available. It was! This means we paid $1.80 for it, rather than the $19.99 we were planning on paying.

The result: beer cheese fondue was delicious and simple to make, Tenet was entertaining, and the ice cream was, as always a cornucopia of chocolate flavors and textures.

The Santas

Since we are quarantining this year, Matt and I will not be doing the usual, which is going to Aunt Carol’s house for dinner and stockings. Instead, we went to find the Bakelite Santas that Chris Willis (@ChrisWillis) has been installing in various Portland locales for 10 years. We pondered the clue he gave us and set out for Westmoreland where we wandered about until we saw a faint pink glow coming from an empty building.

The Santas were marvelous!

This was our first time seeing them. They don’t usually wear masks, but this year is a special year. We got to find six mask variations.

This was a very fun break from our routine. Here’s more about the project.

Oregon City Ghost Tour

Matt bought a ghost tour of Oregon City at a charity auction and our friends Burt and Laurie met us for the tour.

Oregon City was dressed up for Halloween. Even the municipal elevator got into the action.

We skipped the elevator and walked up the stairs. I enjoy stairs, as I rarely encounter them. North Portland is very flat.

Aside from taking us by some houses that were haunted, our tour guide took us off the beaten path of the tour to see a very festive house. I could not capture the scale due to lack of light, but it was quite impressive as the next three pictures attempt to get at.

The moon was also stunning and eluded capture by my camera.

It was a fun outing in a year with few fun outings.

Neighborhood 5K: October 2021

I’ve been training for a 5K with Nerdfitness. My problem with 5k training programs is that none exist (or, if they exist, I have not found them) that stretch the 5k training over three or more months. So I did what I could. But the six weeks was not enough training time for me to run the entire way, so we did a run walk.

I plotted out the route and was just the tiniest bit short. (A 5K is 3.1 miles.)

It was good to start my day with this neighborhood 5K!

Walk to Mocks Crest Park

In perusing dates-that-are-free choices, I discovered there is a park in North Portland I’d never heard of, much less visited. Matt and I set out to discover it. On the way we found this mystery.

With some treasure. Inside, there were painted rocks with googly eyes.

Though it was a long-ish walk to get there and we got there in time for the last gasps of the sunset, the view did not disappoint.

The combo of Forest Park (the reason the hills on the other side of the river haven’t all been developed with their own twinkling lights) and a working river limits our options for dramatic sunset pictures.

But Mocks Crest Park paid off. I can see why more than one website grumbles about the number of spoony couples during the summer months.

Zidell Yards Drive-in

My friend bought tickets to see The Birds at the Zidell Yards Drive-in, but the show was rescheduled because of the smoke we had in September. She’s not a fan of going out on Sundays, so she gave me the tickets. Huzzah!

I do love a good drive-in theater. And I also find myself wishing that the pop-up drive-in theaters could rustle up a drive-in-sized screen. This is the same size screen that is used for movies-in-the-park-type events, where families sit no more than fifty to 100 feet away. The ratio with this screen from the car feels like when I had a 13-inch TV/VCR combo.

The view, though? Great!

Small-screen gripes aside, it was nice to see a movie sitting on a seat that was not my couch.

Thomas Cully Park

For a few years now, I’ve been wondering how to get to that park I can see when I drive east on Columbia Boulevard. I finally google mapped it and found it was called Thomas Cully Park. Matt and I went to check it out.

I’m a big fan of this park. It has a great vantage point and lets you see a lot of sky.

It also has some fun design features like this Native Gathering Garden. You can read about these features here.

It also has a fun fitness path surrounding the athletic fields. We partook.

And so much sky!

Sky like I don’t usually see in Portland.

Cully park was a win in our book.

On Your Mark, Get Out of Town, Go!

After several months of quarantining, I wanted a day trip. So Matt and I drove to Long Beach, Washington (I’d never been) for a quick day trip.

On the way, we stopped to take in the view and I found this graffiti. I googled “country bike tour 2009” and came up with this website, which probably has nothing to do with these vandals, but was fun to read about.

Look at that sun! Enjoy it now. Also, do enjoy the lovely Rolling Rock litter.

There’s that bridge that heads over to Washington. I’m not sure if I’ve ever crossed it. Today is not the day, though.

The first of many self portraits. Two pair of sunglasses, one mask.

And now we’re in Long Beach. The sun disappeared just as we got close to this lovely tourist town.

Two masks, one pair of sunglasses.

We walked down to get a picture of the crowds. I’m guessing this was a small fraction of the usual number of people here on a July Saturday. Then we walked the boardwalk, which I have no pictures of, but which surprised me by being very far away from both the ocean and the main strip.

Matt says hello from the world’s largest pair of chopsticks. One mask, one pair sunglasses.

After we walked the length of the main drag, we bought fish and chips and found a picnic table. One sunglasses, no mask.

Then we walked back across the boardwalk and drove home. But not before taking one more picture. Two masks, one pair of sunglasses.