Portland, Oregon: There has been too much of the “all work and no play” vibe around here the past week or two. A few more rooms purged. Annual doctor visits. But Shirley and Martin are in town, visiting from London, so made sure to spend time with our old (they were our neighbors in Taipei) friends. Randomly, their son-in-law was transferred to Portland (also from London) for work a few years ago, so Shirley and Martin fly out several times a year to visit their daughter, son-in-law, and two very adorable grandchildren (and I know adorable).

We met for a meal downtown last weekend at the Hairy Lobster – a new “shared plates” restaurant on Jamison Square. This weekend, we had the gang here for a meal. After an appetizer tray, we served grilled chicken thighs and a tomato salad from the May 2019 Bon Appetit. Since I am still working a beef & bechamel lasagna recipe, version #3 was prepared for our guinea pigs friends. (It was well-received.) We served a fruit platter for dessert.

Tamra, Martin, Steve, Steve, Dave, Mary & Shirley

It wasn’t the warmest evening, but we stayed out on the deck until quite late. Shirley and Martin stayed over! We had planned a day in wine country with their children Saturday, and this was a good opportunity to have a guest test-out the new guest bath remodel.

Our first stop this morning was to (of course) Dundee Bistro, our favorite restaurant in Oregon wine country, and our friends never complain that we keep dragging them to the same old place.

Photo by Shirley

Oregon Ling Cod Fish & Chips

Curried Fusili with Chicken & Artichokes

After lunch we drove up to Stoller Family Estates, claimed several Adirondack chairs, bought a bottle of rosé, and sat ourselves down to enjoy a little fun in the sun with their daughter, Emma, her husband, Matthew, and children, Thomas (5) and Lucy (3).

Busy afternoon at Stoller Family Estates Vineyard

Truly an amazing view from the tasting facility. There is a tire swing hanging from the huge tree in the center of the photo – causing many trips back/forth with the children.

Matthew and Emma

That’s some fine DNA. Lucy is holding a bag filled with Snickerdoodle cookies I baked for the kids yesterday. Shirley’s grandkids really like my Snickerdoodles and I always bring a few dozen when we see them.

Until my next update, I remain, your day-off correspondent.

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