Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Romanian wedding. Right here in Portland.

While we were in Colorado for Thad's wedding, Matt got an email from a Lewis & Clark classmate, Cristina. She remembered that Matt had spent time in Romania, and was also a fun person and wondered if he would like to come to her wedding. He said yes, so we went to be fun guests.

We only attended the reception and arrived early, so we waited in the car where I took pictures of the church and church hall.

The church had super fun domes.

We found our table and our place settings.

The menu promised a cold appetizer, a hot appetizer, three different main courses and dessert. All were "generously prepared by Chef Rom"
The menu was also printed in Romanian.

Once we sat down, our cold appetizer was delivered immediately. I was a fan of this because I'm always starving at the beginning of wedding receptions and there usually is a very long wait for food. I was also a fan of this because this was a very good cold appetizer plate. We each got one.

Cristina and her husband have their first dance.

This is the only time there would only be one couple on the dance floor. Also that bartender in the background? He was mentioned by name on the menu. He would make you whatever drink you fancied, or one of his specialties. I rarely go to weddings with open bar, so this was a treat. There were also carafes of wine on all the tables which were kept full.

Two hours passed (now I understand why the cold appetizer plate was so substantial) and the hot appetizer arrived. The deep fried ham and cheese rolls were good, and the baked sausage was fabulous.

How did we pass the two hours between courses? None of the people at our table showed (too bad for them) so there was no one to talk to. We did what all the other Romanians did: we danced. Romanians can dance! The men, especially, were fun to watch. We would dance a few songs, rest a bit and head out to dance some more.

Another two hours passed and most of the main course arrived. Unlike most weddings I've been to, where you choose your main course, we were served both the prime rib with with roasted potatoes and the Greek salad as well as the marinated chicken breast and the creamy risotto. All were delicious.

We ate more of that and then we dance some more. Cristina wrote Matt the next day that "Romanians were asking as they were leaving late in the evening about "dah two Ah-meh-ree-kinz" who were dancing all night long!!" That would be us.
I really, really wanted to try the cabbage rolls, the last of the main courses, but it was 11:30 and we were pooped. So we missed out on them and the wedding cake, although we were served mini french cakes and assorted fresh fruit throughout the evening, so we weren't lacking in the sweets department.

I was happy to experience this amazing reception. Next time I will hold out for the cabbage rolls.

Thus ends our summer of weddings, with a grand total of four!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Massive Errand Running Day

Matt's out of town, I've got access to the car all day and a long list of dribs and drabs of things I need to do. Enter Massive Errand Running Day.

The best errand days start with a complete, numbered list and a way to keep track of all the items you need to bring along.

Our first stop: the library to return books.
(This would be the back book drop, the front is more picturesque)

Next: stop at old large conglomerate bank and finally close out our joint checking accounts. We moved over to Albina Community Bank last year, but there have been token amounts hanging out in these accounts.

Then a quick trip down the road to the Goodwill to drop off some donations.

A stop to drop off the recycling.

The hardware store hooked me up with most of what I need to finish the shades in Matt's room.

I finally cash in my gift certificate for a free cupcake at St. Cupcake.

It was coconut cream and delicious.

I drop off my mixer to see if they can fix it.

I realized I was in the same neighborhood as Free Geek, so I diverged from my list and went to see if they had the computer cord I needed. The store wasn't yet open and I was amazed at the number of volunteers lined up outside.

The store didn't have what I needed and I got a bit distracted by a laptop they were selling for $80.00. They are so nice there. I did not buy the laptop and continued on my way.

Side note: I love this neighborhood. It's also home to the Shoebox Theater. The neighborhood is chock full of industrial buildings and there are a scattering of residential homes throughout.

Every time I got out of, or into the car, I had the same thought: "This car is so dirty it looks like a homeless person owns it." Not really being in the car world, I had no idea where a car wash was. I spied one, and deviated from my list once again.

I really love car washes.

I have a burble of glee every time I get to go through one.

Back when Matt owned the Taurus, he was known--now and then--to time the car washes to my grumpy moods as I find them cheering.

How can you not love the air blowing all the water off the car?

Clean car, and feeling better about the state of the world, I headed to the Whole 9 Yards, to buy the last of the supplies I needed to finish the curtains in Matt's room.

A quick stop in Macy's got me new underwear.

I stopped at Parr Lumber for the last piece of wood I needed to for the curtains.

I did some grocery shopping at New Seasons

And I'm done! Whew!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Denver International Airport.

Matt stayed in Colorado for a few more days, traveling with Thad and Jill's family to Grand Lake. I caught a ride to the airport with Larry, Linda & Pat.

I had time to kill at the airport, so after I wandered for awhile, I got some dessert and a glass of wine. Both were quite good.

I was seated at a table overlooking the tarmac. At one point, this van pulled up and about a dozen photographers and men carrying TV cameras piled into the van, which drove off.

Before I finished my wine and cheesecake, the van returned and all the media people wandered back into the airport. Yet another thing about which I will never know the story.
It was an uneventful trip home. Between the wait at the airport, the flight itself and the ride home on Max, I read a good portion of the book Dies the Fire.

Last look at Aspen Lodge

I took all the "here's where we are staying" photos at the end of our trip.

Our lodge room.
(Matt is wearing shorts, you just can't see them)

The view from our porch in the lodge. On Saturday we saw a different wedding setting up. Aspen Lodge can have up to five wedding separate ceremonies on the same day.

A view of the mountains from the Lodge. The cabins are in the foreground.

Something is wrong with this tree.

The front entrance to the lodge.

Our very high elevation.

The sign on the main road.

Looking back at the property.
Matt wanted me to take a picture of this sign.

The cabin Linda rented.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jon plays the tiki bar.

Pat (that would be Matt's mom Linda's partner) has a son named Jon who lives in the area. He was the guy at the wedding who played the music. Aside from pushing "play" on a portable music device, Jon is also able to create music using a guitar and his voice. He was playing at a Tiki bar in Estes Park and so we got the treat of hearing him play.

An iffy self portrait in said Tiki Bar. The bar was right on the river, which was very nice on a summer evening.

We enjoyed sitting on the very substantial bar stools

Whenever Jon plays a gig and Pat is in town, Jon invites Pat up to tell a joke.
The tradition continued. People laughed.
More time had passed and my large lunch wore off. The tiki bar served fried pickles which I ordered and enjoyed. Matt declined, being a pickle hater. I also had a frothy drink for dessert.

Jon was a great musician and sang a lot of good songs.

Dinner in town and Antelope

We caught a ride from Thad to meet up with everyone in Estes Park where dinner was being eaten. On the way there, we saw a herd of Antelope. Or maybe they were Elk? Memory fails me at this point and the photo isn't good enough to tell. But still, wildlife! Exciting!

Still full from our very large lunch, I had tea and Matt had a soda for dinner. The restaurant was very nice to accommodate a party of 20+ people who arrived at different times and had multiple configurations of checks.

Another great thing about the restaurant was that I looked up and saw macrame! I haven't seen macrame in a public setting in ages.

As we figured out who was doing what next, Mason sat for a photograph.