I knew I was going to be spending time with my kids on Mother’s Day, so I took some time the day before to do what I wanted to do. Because, after all, isn’t Mother’s day about pampering Mom?
I got up at 5:30am on Saturday morning to do what I thought was going to be a 12-mile run. But when I met my faithful running buddies in the parking lot of the Centerpointe Starbucks, they informed me they had re-mapped the route and it was now well over 13 miles. “Fine,” I said, “Can you spare an Advil?”
It was a beautiful morning, and the route was fairly flat, so who am I to complain. I love my Saturday runs and my girlfriend time.
By 11am I had finished the run, caught up on all of the gossip, showered, and I was in a little private room at La Belle getting the hair ripped out of my legs by my favorite sadist Cindi. We meet for this special event about once every two months or so. I haven’t had to shave my legs since the 80’s. It’s a beautiful thing ladies. And guys, get that hairy back taken care of. Just take a Valium and have a friend drive you.
Two of my girlfriends recently mentioned a women’s clothing store called Barbara Johnson in Lake Oswego. It’s a samples clothing store, and well, it happens to be oh so conveniently located about a block away from La Belle. So after I got off the torture table I headed to check out this supposedly fabulous samples store.
I had heard that this store had samples from Pategonia and other activewear companies, and I was on a mission to get some quick-dry clothes that I could wear sailing. I explained to one of the women working there that I was looking for clothes that would look fabulous even after they had been wadded up in a little ball in a duffle bag and been out to sea all day. She somehow knew exactly what I was talking about and started to bring piles of clothes to the dressing room.
The one thing you need to be aware of at a samples store is the sizes are not true. They are samples after all. I tried on everything from a size 4 to a size 12. The DKNY Golf line size 12 was like a regular size 6. And the Exofficio size 6 was all over the map.
My favorite purchases: a black low-cut hoodie dress from Exofficio, navy quick-dry pants from Exofficio, and shorts and hoodies from Nautica.
As I was paying for my purchases I noticed the clock behind the counter. “Oh crap!” I blurted. “I have people showing up at my house in 15 minutes.”
I raced home and pulled into my driveway just as my friend Beth was pulling up to my house. I quickly got dressed as we waited for the third musketeer (Jim) to show up. We were spending our afternoon at the Sixth Annual Portland Indie Wine festival.
We had decided we would take a cab to be safe, so I called the Lake Oswego taxi service since I figured they’d probably have a driver in the area. Here’s how the conversation went after I dialed the number:
“Is this Lake Oswego Taxi?”
“Yes. But not today.”
“I’m in California visiting my 92-year old mother in the hospital, so I’m not available. But I’ll be back.”
“Okay. But I need a taxi now.”
“Let me give you a tip…”
“No, that’s okay. I’ll just call Radio Cab. Thanks.”
Yes, that was the actually conversation.
We did finally get our cab, and we made our way to the Bison Building in NE Portland for the Sixth Annual Portland Indie Wine Festival. What a perfect venue! Forty wineries and 15 local restaurants providing fabulous food and drink in a light and airy warehouse. The sun was streaming through the skylights and it was just a gorgeous day.
There were 40 wineries and 15 food establishments to sample, and we only had three hours in which to get through them all. It was a daunting task to say the least, but we were up for the challenge.
The more responsible side of me knew we would be in a world of hurt if we actually tried to sample every wine from all 40 wineries, so we picked a few “must-tries” and started with those. I won’t ramble on about every wine we tasted, but I will say we had a most amusing time when we dropped the pretentious wine snobbery adjectives and started to describe the wines like we would describe a man.
There were the wines we didn’t care for: “Bag over the head.”
And the wines we did like: “Ooh, he’s still wearing pants, but I want to take them off.”
And the wines that were a bit too young yet: “I don’t want to date him right now, but he has potential.”
A wine with a stinky nose: “This one is like a software engineer who has been wearing the same shirt for five days.”
And the wine that just blows your mind: “Wow. This is 9 1/2 Weeks in front of the fridge with the fruit.”
We ran into some old friends, some new acquaintances and some people who just defy description in this blog.
And did you know that no one liked Mike Erickson’s previous girlfriend, and that he’s getting married to Nurse Katie over Labor Day weekend? And , wow that’s a big piece of meat! These are the kinds of conversations you will either overhear or be directly involved in when you are shoulder to shoulder in a room with a few hundred people with a wine buzz. Okay I confess, I was the one who made the comment about the big piece of meat, but get your mind out of the gutter. I was referring to a big hunk of meat that was being carved up on a carving board.
At 10 minutes before six we realized we only had a few minutes to get one last taste of a favorite before we would get kicked out. I opted for the Barking Frog Syrah.
We finally called a cab—Radio Cab not Lake Oswego Taxi—and when they finally answered the phone I said, “I need a cab at NE 10th and Flanders,” to which the dispatcher answered, “You’re at the Bison Building aren’t you. I’ve already sent all of my available cabs to that location. Just go outside and flag one down.”
Sure enough the first cab came down the street about two minutes after we walked out.
Beth and Jim and I climbed into the cab and reviewed the afternoon:
- No one knew it was Jim’s birthday until right before we left, so I admit to being a lame friend when it comes to remembering birthdays.
- Beth and I decided that the wineries need to hire hot guys to pour the wine.
- Stiletto heels are not the best choice in a warehouse with a cracked concrete floor. We both opted for wedges.
- It’s not against the rules to go back to the Moonstruck chocolate booth multiple times to “clear your palette.”
- Not all men and women are like wine. Some age better than others.
- The Cattail Creek lamb ragout, Bob’s Red Mill polenta and salsa verde at the Wildwood booth was heaven.
- We want Phresh Organic chef Rob Leon to open a late-night food cart that serves nothing but the Griddled brioche, wild Oregon mushrooms, vintage extra sharp white cheddar and fresh goat cheese sandwich.
Take my advice and attend this fantastic event next year. And don’t make evening plans because you will probably too wiped out to keep them.
Inside the Portland Indie Wine Festival at the Bison Building
Beth and I about halfway through the tastings.
Hydrating at the end of the day. Kelly, Beth and Kevin (a work colleague of Beth’s whom we ran into).
Always take a cab.
Birthday boy Jim, who preferred kisses to spankings once we found out it was his birthday.