Another Weekend Getaway

The first weekend of February, I flew to Portland to spend the weekend with my friend and her new husband. I missed their wedding because I was stuck on the ship, so I was anxious to see them and hear all about it!

The night I arrived, my friend and her husband were both working, so I met up with another girlfriend, also a former San Franciscan, for dinner and drinks at Bottle + Kitchen. I had seen her just over a month before in New York, but we still had a lot to talk about! The husband met us at the bar and the three of us had a drink together. Next, he and I went to Safeway and picked up my friend, his wife (still not used to the label), at work. She and I spent the rest of the night chatting over a bottle of wine.

The next morning, hubs had to go to work, so my friend and I set out on our own. We started with a delicious brunch at Tasty N Alder. The biscuits and honey butter were to die for! Our next stop was Yard House. Since they have a great selection of beers on tap, we decided to do a sort of tasting. We ordered a few shorties (small beers) and extra glasses, and split each beer so we had a nice sized sample. We were feeling good by the time we stepped out on the rainy sidewalk!

Pirate golf?

Pirate golf?

We walked a couple blocks to Glowing Greens for black light, pirate themed mini golf. My friend and I are both terrible golfers! My worst hole took 10 shots. The couple in front of us seemed to be struggling as much as we were, so I didn’t feel too bad. Our final stop of the day was Paddy’s, an Irish bar. By the time my friend’s husband met us there, we were ready for a nap! We went home and flopped on the couch until the husband roused us for a homemade meal.

Terrible scores

Terrible scores

Paddy's

Paddy’s

It was still raining the following day, but we decided it would be fun to go to a vineyard. After reading some reviews online, we chose Hawk’s View Cellars. There was a nice, large tasting room with a variety of seating options. We sat at a high top table and enjoyed a tasting of the standard wines and the Cellar Series. Even with the rain, the views from the tasting room were beautiful. On a clear day, it would be stunning! The girl helping us, Lauren, was very friendly and answered all of our numerous questions. Since we are familiar with California and Virginia wines, we had a lot of comparative questions for her! We enjoyed our time there so much that we bought 4 bottles.

Hawk's View

Hawk’s View

By the time we got back in the car, we were starving. We stopped near their home for a hearty barbecue meal at Southland Whiskey Kitchen. With full bellies, we returned to their apartment to watch basketball. After the Duke game, my other friend joined us, and we headed out for a ladies’ night.

Southland Whiskey Kitchen

Southland Whiskey Kitchen

It felt like one of our usual nights out in San Francisco, with bar hopping, making friends, being generally awkward, and having a great time. We started with cocktails at Teardop, then walked to the roof bar at Departure. The clientele at Departure was a bit too accident prone for our liking, so we moved to the Thirsty Lion. We had one or two other stops before taking a pedi-cab back to the apartment. We chatted with our driver, Jim, during the twenty-minute ride. He is a trained chef, lived briefly in the Caribbean, and now works at a Montessori school during the day. Luckily, he thought we were fun, and not completely insane, and welcomed conversation.

Ladies out on the town

Ladies out on the town

Early in the morning, our other friend went home to do some work. My hosts and I slept in, then begrudgingly got out of bed to find food. We needed something to soak up our mistakes from the night before, so we returned to the Southland Whiskey Kitchen. The waitress recognized us, but reassured us that we were her third table to come two days in a row! My bloody mary and brisket hash were just what the doctor ordered! We walked home, then fell asleep on the couch. We perked up to watch the Grammys and eat dinner, then went to sleep early.

For my final morning in Portland, my friend and I had a quick breakfast near the streetcar stop. She rode the streetcar and got on the Max with me so we could maximize our time together. She got off before me to go to school, and I continued to the airport. Although my visit was short, it was fulfilling. I was able to catch up and have fun with one of my best friends, and got to know her husband better. In spite of bad weather, I left with nothing but good memories!  I look forward to crashing on their couch again after my next contract.

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Time for an Adventure!

One of the loveliest sunsets of vacation

One of the loveliest sunsets of vacation

My vacation has finally ended.  The past 3 months have been a bit of a blur!  I traveled a lot, and was blessed to be able to spend time with friends and family.  Here are some of the highlights.

Snow! Didn't see that in Australia!

Snow! Didn’t see that in Australia!

After about a week back “home” in San Francisco, I went to visit a very close friend in Portland.  We were mainly focused on catching up, but also managed to do some tourist activities.  She took me downtown a few times and convinced me, quite easily, that I should move to the Pearl District when I’m done with ships.  We also drove out to Multnomah Falls.  Due to heavy snow, we weren’t able to climb up the bridge, but the view was amazing!

Charlottesville, VA

Charlottesville, VA

I went back to SF for a training course, and then packed up my winter gear and went to visit family in Charlottesville, VA.  I enjoyed some much needed time with my sisters, took a few yoga classes, and played in the snow!  Unfortunately, I don’t know how to drive in snow, so I was housebound for most of my visit.  I’m now an expert at snow angels, however!

Snow Angel Pro

Snow Angel Pro

My next stop was Romania.  I went to visit a gentleman from the ship that lives outside of Bucharest.  Early in the trip, we went to Peles, a beautiful castle built in the German Renaissance style.

Peles

Peles

We also went on a tour in Bucharest.  Our first stop was the Museum of the Romanian Peasant, where we were able to walk around a village of sorts featuring houses, mills, and chapels in traditional styles from across the country.

Museum of the Village

Museum of the Village

After lunch at a Lebanese restaurant, we went to the House of Parliament.  It is the second largest government building, after the Pentagon.  We took a tour inside, during which I learned a lot about the country.  The decor is beautiful, and I was fascinated to learn that all of the materials used to build and decorate the building, except for one set of doors, are from Romania.

Parliament

Parliament

Towards the end of my trip, we went to Brasov.  We went up to a ski slope to meet some friends, wandered in the city, and took advantage of the nightlife.  It was a great week.  I was able to explore a new country, learn more about a special friend, and meet some wonderful people.

See ya, Romania

See ya, Romania

Upon returning to the States, I spent some time with one of my sisters in Northern Virginia.  From there, a friend from the ship picked me up to drive to New York.  There, I saw a few ship folks, including my roomie, and some recently relocated friends from SF.  I did a few touristy activities, like going to the MoMA and walking through Central Park, but mostly made the rounds to see my people.

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

My next stop was Texas.  I was able to spend a good few weeks with my parents, see my old friends perform with the ballet, throw my best friend a bridal shower, and do a photoshoot with an old dance buddy.  It was nice to be home, but I was anxious to get moving again.  I needed to feel like I had a purpose once more.

Bridal shower

Bridal shower

For the past few days, I’ve been back in Florida.  I just started rehearsals for my next ship, the Adventure.  In the past 3 days, we’ve learned a hip hop routine, a lindy, cha cha cha, foxtrot, and quickstep.  Only one of the dancers from my last cast is with me this time, so I’ve also been busy getting to know my new group.  So far, things are going well!  Check back next week for more updates from rehearsals!