Friday, August 5, 2011

A date! That doesn't include a movie!

To celebrate the first week of Patricia's vacation, she planned a fun date. We started with lunch at the cooking school. It seems to be called "Techniques" now and no longer "Restaurant Bleu" Maybe they got tired of people mispronouncing "Bleu?"

Lunch is three courses: soup, entree, dessert. For soup, Matt chose the Salmon Chowder and I took the Summer Squash Puree. My soup had an unexpected kick to it, which I found quite delicious.

For the entree, Matt chose the Chicken Croissant and I had the Steak Frites. The fries were very good (and I'm picky) and the steak a bit overcooked, but still delicious.

Matt chose the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake (beating me to the punch) and I had the Profiteroles, which were filled with three different kinds of ice cream and topped with a chocolate sauce. My favorite ice cream was the coconut flavor.

After our delicious lunch, we headed out to a Portland institution. Oaks Park. Here we are at the sign telling us how many years people have been having fun.

The park opened at noon and we arrived around 12:30. The lines weren't very long and we rode several rides. Here we are in front of the Looping Thunder Roller Coaster. It's a small roller coaster but still quite exciting at the first dip.

I enjoyed the constant shifting of center of gravity on the Disko. Matt commented that it was much like snowboarding.

We also rode the Eruption, which is one of those use-centrifugal-force-to-pin-you-in-place-and-then-turn-you-sideways type of rides.

After that one, we gave Matt's stomach a minute to calm down and went on the train.
I think the best thing about small amusement parks such as this is that the crowds are proportionately smaller too. The rides aren't as big as bigger parks but we didn't wait more that 15 minutes for each one we rode. We also got to take in a Ferris Wheel (one of my favorite things to do) and I drove a go-cart for the first time in my life. We we raced down the big slide (I won) and rode on the Herschell-Spillman Carrousel. The man running the ride told us that the first time he could remember riding the carrousel (it's officially spelled that way, I know not why) was in 1947. And that every year they look for the oldest rider and the youngest. The youngest so far that year was 4 weeks old and the oldest was 91 and rode because her parents used to ride the same carrousel in the early 1900s.

The other thing I found incredibly fun about Oaks Park was observing all the teenagers. When we first arrived it was us and a park full of 14 year olds. As the day wore on, more family groups arrived. Also, teenagers were all running the rides and I had great fun observing them and imagining the secrets behind the scenes at Oaks Park. Having seen the movie Adventureland, I spent time trying to identify which employee was the Ryan Reynolds character and I think I spotted him. He was running the Rock-O-Plane and gave a super long ride to another employee.

It was fun to be out in the sun and the rides on a lovely August day.


Matt said...

And then I threw up.

Patricia said...

Alas, he did. But in a very compact way.

Sara K. said...

Oh no! At the park or after getting home? Oh dear, poor fellow!

Sara K. said...

What a fun date (minus the above mentioned issues). Love the meal. Interesting to me that your soup was kind of green in color. I always think of summer squash as being more yellow.

And the day at the amusement park, what a delight (minus the above)! I like the smaller parks too because I can go on those smaller roller coasters a little more easily. Poor Shawn married a non-coaster lover and in that we are unequally yoked!

What a fun date! Well done!

I also like that you both dressed up (Patty I love that dress and I saw the Matt had his collared shirt on until much later in the date!).

Anonymous said...

I remember my first time at Oaks Park. I must have been all of about seven or eight. It was a big deal since back then we were no where near any big parks. Actually, I think there were very few big parks. Certainly no Disneyland or Six Flags. We thought everything was scary. MOM