Getting Romantic on Valentine’s Day

heartsI love Valentine’s Day. I absolutely do not care in the slightest if it is “just commercial nonsense, dreamed up by those in the marketing industry to make a buck.” Give me hearts and flowers and I’m all yours…well if I am all yours to begin with.

Daniel on the other hand, takes a slightly different approach. Well, let’s call a spade a spade. He has a completely 180 degree opposite idea about the festival than me. “It’s just commercial nonsense, dreamed up by those in the marketing industry to make a buck.” Yes indeed, he probably even developed this idea himself.

So, what is a couple to do when this is the case? Well, a bit of a compromise. Or, as Daniel says “me doing what you want,” which is actually a great compromise for most couples to work. But in the end we did two things: one mainly for me and one for him. First, he took me out for a lovely romantic dinner at Red Star Tavern & Roast House and then we went to hear Dan Savage’s Savage Lovecast. I have to say that while it wasn’t exactly my kind of humor I did get a kick out of seeing Daniel crack up and of course it’s always lovely to spend time with my hubby without the kids.

The restaurant was so good. The ambiance there – with its amber tones, polished woodwork and murals – is immediately relaxing. Even though it is actually a tavern, it is very upscale so I hardly felt like we were in a watering hole. I love the food from the wood-burning oven and the whole place just exudes smoky rusticness! Daniel really enjoyed the roast game and I had the wood fired goal cheese ravioli. We’re definitely going back there!

All in all, even though it’s not Daniel’s thing I really think we both thoroughly enjoyed Valentine’s 2016.

New Provisions for Travel

coffee beansTraveling can be a tiring business. Which is why it always surprised me that our international airport had possibly the worst coffee options in the history of coffee options! Now though it seems all that is about to change.

My personal favorite – Portland Roasting Company – will have a kiosk at the Portland International Airport, along with Starbucks (can’t go wrong with that), Peet’s Coffee & Tea (I once bought a sandwich there on a trip in London) and Stumptown Coffee (Daniel’s absolute favorite) will also be represented. These will be available after you’ve gone through security (which is always good as I’m usually a bit parched at that point; in other words, need a break from the kids “I’ll get the coffees in, honey!”).

Daniel was actually more exited to hear about the opening of House Spirits (surprise) which is apparently going to be offering the “only airport distillery tasting room” in the world. I’m sure he’ll be “tasting” all that is on offer from Portland distillery. Oh dear…I feel I might have to deal with the kids on the flight and I don’t want that (he’s usually the one entertaining them).

Hmm, so my goal here is to steer Daniel toward Stumptown Coffee, keep him there and ensure he goes nowhere near House Spirits….Maybe I’ll buy him a “toy” from Duty Free…some kind of gadget to keep him occupied.

Boys will be boys!

Paid Paternity Leave

fatherhoodA new policy was adopted in Portland recently by the City Council to ensure parents with a new child can get six weeks paid parental leave. This is also the case in an adoption or fostering. I do agree with Portland’s City Human Resources Director, Anna Kanwit’s statement that “parental leave has a positive impact on parents bonding with their children.” Yes, indeed; would have been nice if that would have been the law when I had kids! I think Daniel would have been much better to have been at home with the kids. I found it very hard.

Apparently this policy will cost Portland between $413,000 to $502,000 annually. It is due to be put in place in January 2016.

Well that was Fun!

halloweenThat, being Halloween, of course, which I thoroughly enjoyed a couple of weeks ago. It really was so much fun, I couldn’t believe it. Usually I dread the holiday (although the kids have a blast) and I resent having to give annoying, snotty-nosed neighbors whose mothers I hate, my favorite candy, but thanks to Shakey Graves, we missed all of that this year!

Actually there was a lot going on in Portland for this Halloween. There was the Halloween Edition’s Main Squeeze Dance Party, and Norman Sylvester’s Halloween Party. But what got me excited was the opportunity to enjoy Shakey Graves. I’ve loved this music since as far back as I can remember and the party was just all him – blues, country, rock and roll.

The best part? I got to be on the dance floor with hubby – and it felt like we were the only two people there – rather than hand out candies to annoying little kids! Thank you Shakey Graves and thank you Portland!

Celebration of Korean Food

korean foodKorean food was recently celebrated in Oregon. Hosted by the Korean American Coalition of Oregon in Northwest Portland, three days ago 11 chefs assembled for the Mukja (which means ‘Let’s Eat’) food festival.

Chefs include: Brandon Kirksey of Girin (offering classical Korean cuisine), Rick Gencarelli of Lardo (a restaurant whose humble beginnings date back to a food cart in SE Portland), John Gorham of Toro Bravo (a Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant in NE Portland), Kyo Koo of Superhawk, Johanna Ware of Smallwares (self-described as an “inauthentic” Korean restaurant), PJ Yang of Bamboo Sushi (the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant), Bo Kwon of Koi Fusion (a funky fusion of Korean BBQ and fresh Mexican flavors) and more.

Tickets retailed at $50 per person or $75 for VIP.