This past weekend was my birthday, which I had absolutely been dreading. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew that I didn’t want to spend the day with just the pups for company, because I knew that I would do nothing other than work. (I truly am focusing on not being such a workaholic. Some days are better than others.)
My dad called early last month and asked how I would feel about he and Stacy (his wife) coming out to spend my birthday weekend with us.
I didn’t even have to think about it. ABSOLUTELY.
Thier visit out here marked the first of my family to come out and see us since we moved into our house, and I was stoked.
It truly blows my mind how much organizing and decorating you can get done in the few days leading up to a visit from family members, and we keep the house organized and clean. (mostly.)
That video that went around Facebook a while ago, where the lady absolutely loses her mind over company coming to visit, it was like that.
I tore through the house like a last minute cleaning hurricane, and was totally on track to get it all done.
Annnnnnd then we found out that the leaking pipe from the week before had in fact done far more damage that we had initially thought. The day that Dad and Stacy arrived, we had had a water restoration crew in the basement, ripping up the carpet, taking out the dry wall, and placing the industrial fans that would take care of the water that had seeped into the concrete and the walls.
For those of you who’ve never had to deal with a busted pipe and the ensuing damage (and fans), consider yourself wildly lucky. The noise from the fans alone is enough to make me crazy, and that’s crazy on top of the crazy I already was from the getting ready for guests.
Thank God for wine. And vodka.
After their plane landed on Thursday afternoon, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up the last of the things I hadn’t managed to grab before they arrived, and then headed home to cook.
That night, friends of theirs who have a home in Palm Springs where Dad and Stacy live) but spend the majority of their time in Columbus came over for dinner.
Enter two of my new most favorite people.
We filled the house with a tremendous amount of laughter, music, genuine energy, love, and good food. Always with the good food around here.
We spent the rest of the weekend playing tourist with them in the mornings and the afternoons cooking (watch for the recipes to be added here in the next couple of days), watching the Masters, and finally getting around to some of the smaller household projects that we hadn’t made the time for.
It was perfect.
Thursday we cooked here, making bacon wrapped pork with a mango basil relish, a brown and wild rice medley with tropical fruits & pine nuts, and a suuuuper easy appetizer of roasted red peppers, olives, and basil with asiago cheese on crackers. And, as always, red wine.
One of the biggest challenges we face when having out of town guests is the same here as it was in Portland.
Where are we going to take them to eat?
While we had a list of places in mind, we figured that with the crazy of the basement, we were going to wing it. We had a few ideas, we had reservations for my birthday dinner, other than that, we were flying by the seat of our pants.
Friday we stopped into Chubby’s, a sports bar just around the corner from our house after massages, had dinner at Balboa in Grandview (tacos and margaritas anyone?), donuts from Der Dutchman for breakfast Saturday, lunch in Powell at Kraft House No. 5, then more cooking, this time with Jeff taking over for dinner and making his cajun stir fry.
Spending what essentially amounted to having a quiet weekend at home, and having my family here couldn’t have been topped. Due to the few rounds I went with pneumonia earlier this winter, I haven’t been back to Portland since Christmas, and while I knew I missed my family, I didn’t quite realize how much until I got to have them here, in my world.
Sunday morning we had brunch at Katzingers in German Village, a first for Jeff and I as well. Enjoying the sunshine, we sat outside, watched the world go by, and dug in. We wrapped up the visit with the end of the Masters, more cooking & dinner on the deck, soaking in the warm spring evening.
I can’t wait to have family (& friends) from the West Coast come out and visit, so I can show them around this great city that we’re living in, the list of places that Jeff and I have going that we want to take those who visit us is continually growing as we explore more and more.
So be warned, when you come to see us, we’re going to have about a billion ideas of places we want to show you, restaurants we want to share with you, and people I want you to meet.
In true me fashion, I had my camera in hand each step of the way, and reveled in the fact that I did *almost* no work while they were here.
Come visit us, we can’t wait to have you!