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Catching Up

It has been a busy few weeks here at our stick house getting ready for the remodel, getting ready for tailgates, weekends in the RV, exercising, and the usual doctor and dentist visits we fit-in during the fall - which seems to be the only time we are home. You may be shocked to learn I do not have a new photo of Little Leo to post, but I assure he is doing well and is growing quite plump. (NOTE: Oops, see below.)

Speaking of Leo... remember when DT and I had to get the Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) immunization because of a terrible outbreak of whooping cough in Los Angeles that has already killed several Southern California infants? Well, Petussis (whooping cough) has now spread to Oregon! I am not a doctor, but I urge you do some research and/or talk to your doctor about the Tdap, especially if you are in contact with kids and especially if you are over 65. The vaccine is available at most pharmacies on a walk-in basis (like a flu shot). Our injections were 100% covered by our medical plan. It has been too many years since most adults have received this injection, and since we RVers tend to travel all around the country - let's do our part to stop whooping cough from spreading!

In other news, last week we went to the Trader Vic's that I am constantly calling Trader Joe's because I am an idiot restaurant that recently opened in Portland. For years, we had a Trader Vic's in the basement of the Benson Hotel, in the heart of downtown. That location closed in 1996 - only to suddenly emerge 15 years later in the trendy Pearl District in Northwest Portland. Honestly, it looks kinda the same.

We went with our old friends, Marie & Matt - first stopping by their house to see their adorable children:

Nic & Sarah

Very nice, smart, gorgeous, funny and well-behaved children.

Just the parents went to Trader Vic's for dinner (it was a school night!). Marie posed with the carved tiki dude at the front door. The night was so warm, all the "walls" were open to the street and we had a great table next to the sidewalk. It was like we were dining outdoors on a tropical island... if the tropical island just happened to be paved and populated with hipsters with designer dogs.

Surf's Up! Marie ordered the Mai Tai Wave - a sampler of three different fruity cocktails on a "surf board".

Even DT couldn't resist a Mango Mai Tai. Don't you just love the kitschy glass? (Sorry about the blurry photos... it was really dark in the restaurant.)

This is Trader Vic's take on Peking Duck - Trader Vic's Crispy Duck - served with Mu Shu pancakes and hoisin sauce. Trader Vic has really stepped-up his game and now offers natural and organic meats and produce on most of the menu items. We Portlanders basically expect this nowadays.

And I could not resist this Passion Fruit Mousse for dessert. I'm sure it didn't have any calories as it practically floated off my spoon.

Oops: Just as I was finished with this column, Lenny emailed a photo he just snapped (with his phone) of Leo:

Baby Butterball! Can you believe this baby was skin and bones 7 weeks ago?

Until my next update, I remain, your tropical correspondent.

QUESTION: Do you have memories of visiting a Trader Vic's?