Thursday, March 31, 2011

I love Portland. One down four to go

I do love Portland, probably more than a person who has never lived there should. But some family and some good friends live there and I seem to visit it a whole lot so it almost feels like home.

And, yes, our wedding tally for 2011 is five.

JP and I headed down to P-town last weekend for my college friend Kelly’s wedding. Kelly is a sorority sister and former roommate. She’s both one of the toughest chicks I know and at the same time a huge softy who will cry at the drop of a hat. She’s fiercely loyal, athleticaly gifted, and both intentionally and unintentionally hilarious. Her love story with Matt is one that spans years. Kelly grew up playing softball with his older sister. They reconnected after college and fell in love which is pretty adorable.

Since the wedding was Saturday afternoon we decided to make a weekend out of it by leaving Friday after work. Of course that meant sitting in traffic which isn’t any fun for anyone but we got a drink with Tess and got an early start to the day on Saturday.

Since JP is not one to sit around all day we headed to breakfast at Bijou Cafe where I met these guys.

If I didn’t think that their owners were taking good care of them I would have taken them home with me.

Then we took a short tour of the Chinese Garden which was absolutely beautiful.

JP, Eric and Tess checking out the sites

Tess and I squeezed in some girl- time coffee as well. By that time we had to get gussied up for the wedding – since my reunion outfit had gone over so well the weekend before I decided to bust that out again.

Kelly and Matt’s ceremony and reception was at Pure Space in Northwest Portland – this ultra-cool modern warehouse space. The robin’s egg blue with black and white, gave the space a great spring feel. They even had a signature cocktail in just the right color blue too cool.

The bride with her dad

With a variety of food from Elephant’s there was something for every guest in attendace. My personal favorite was the beef stroganoff.

I was hungry
But the hit of the night was the photo “booth.” I put that in quotes because it was really more of a station. The props and instant print outs had us all coming back all evening long.

That was when we weren’t on the dance floor getting down.

Bust a move
Kelly, you’ve been an amazing friend for many years. While we may not see each other as often as I like, it always warms my heart to know that you are in my life. Thanks so much for including me in your most special of days. Matt is a very lucky man

Violet in BCBGeneration black pumps

Friday, March 18, 2011

10 Year Reunion. by violet

When I got word about my ten year high school reunion, there was certainly a mix of emotions.

I guess you could say I was somewhere in the middle in high school. Wasn’t the most popular, wasn’t a total outcast. I made some great friends along the way (some of whom I still manage to keep in touch with).

I wasn’t super smart or a super jock – took a few AP classes and played varsity field hockey, got cut from soccer after my freshman year and quit track after sophomore year because it was clear I was, well, slow.

Wasn’t the star of the musical or in the band but I was vice president of the poetry club (yeah, that happened).

I had a couple bad haircuts and I wore socks with sandals my freshman year (yeah that happened too). I’d like to think I got it together with my Steve Madden boots and collection of bell bottom cords and khakis by the time senior year rolled around.

I asked both my junior and senior prom dates but I went and had a really good time. I did get asked out over the morning announcements one Valentine’s Day which was pretty awesome. But I also had a number of devastating heartbreaks from boys who didn’t even know I was alive.

I got TP’d and did a little TPing myself. I went to one real party (I was DD) and I heard it got busted by the cops 10 minutes after I left, so I was too scared to go to another. And most of all I spent WAY too much time at Chili’s.

There were highs and there were lows but certainly I didn’t wake up every day thinking it was the worst or best in my life. College was defiantly the TIME OF MY LIFE. But we are talking about high school.

Did I want to show up to the reunion and have my old crush, think DAMN she looks good? Of course. Did I want to catch up with people that I’ve let slip away in the last ten years? Absolutely.

So I made sure that some of my best friends were going to be there. I bought plane tickets and searched high and low for the perfect dress.

In the end, I found the reunion to be a lot like high school itself. Nothing like the movies, it was more complicated, interesting, open-ended, awkward, fun, horrible and wonderful. I’m really happy that I went.

I was reminded that the friends I made along the way, were my friends for a reason – they are wonderful, hilarious and smart. I love that by 2am that night when we were eating pizza together it could have been ten years ago, only better.

Violet in Jessica Simpson "Jessica" pump in ivory patent

Monday, March 14, 2011

Back in Eugene. by violet

I have subjected to you long posts about my love of the University of Oregon and Eugene (here and here). But you get another one because a few weekends ago JP and I went down to spend the weekend with our friends Stacy and Ray. There’s something about spending a weekend there that feels a little bit like coming home. It is one part the fond memories and two parts gracious hosts.

We arrived in Eugene in time for dinner. Let’s be honest half the reason I keep coming back to Eugene is to eat at certain restaurants ordering certain dishes. But this time around, we tried some place new. Ray has taken up home brewing. This has led him to become even more of an expert on Eugene’s local breweries of which there are many.

After sampling Ray’s own brews we headed over to Ninkasi Brewing Company to sample so of theirs as well. And as luck would have it Devour’s VW van was parked out in front.

While the tasting room was packed, the outdoor courtyard was deserted, so even though it was roughly 25 degrees we warmed ourselves by the fire, sampling beer and downing our delicious sandwiches.

Saturday was more beer but we added basketball into the mix.  We started with tasting at Oakshire.

One of the main reasons behind the trip was to check out the Ducks’ new basketball arena. Believe the reviews, the place is pretty much amazing and has just about every amenity that Mac Court lacked. The Deep in the Woods floor might look funny on TV but in person it’s really cool and much like Boise’s blue turf definitely gives it a signature look.

However, having spent less than half a season in the place, it is also lacking soul. The great thing about Mac Court was that you knew 100 years worth of students and fans had rooted for their team there. Blood, sweat and tears went into that building and that floor. Sure the place was in danger of falling over but the student section could shake the baskets. People say Autzen is loud but my most ear-splitting memories are in Mac Court. It had a history.

Matt Court is a bit like moving into new construction, sure there are all the bells and whistles but it takes a little bit until it feels like yours. As the Ducks rack up more seasons in Matt Court and the program resurges it will start to feel like home. Buzzer beaters, highlight reel ally opps and no look passes will start to seep into the walls. And the kids will get loud. And, eventually, it will feel like home. Right now it feels like there still a few boxes left to unpack.

For dinner was my personal request to return to the Beer Stein. Luckily I didn’t have to twist too many arms to make that happen. The Beer Stein has the best beer cheese soup I have EVER encountered. It is literally the perfect texture. Pair it with one of their amazing sandwiches and you have yourself a little event.

Oh and you should know, their nachos? They basically pour the soup over chips and add the classic accompaniments. It is blow-your-mind good.

We were too full to do much else that night besides watch The Hangover again and eat too many Starburst jelly beans.

Once again, thanks to Stacy and Ray for being such gracious hosts. We will see you all again in just a few months.

Violet in Converse All Stars