A couple of weeks ago, I took myself out for a Sunday Funday in between brunch with some girlfriends and an impromptu date night with my boyfriend. Here are the scenes from that lovely afternoon.
The day started at The Blue Pig Cafe for brunch. I ordered their Special Benedict of the day, which was basically a riff on some super amazing chilaquiles. Crunchy tortillas, chipotle rice, black beans, flank steak, avocado, queso fresco, salsa, and cilantro.
After brunch, I headed back across the river to treat myself to a manicure. I found a new favorite nail salon in the Alphabet District (Midas Nail Spa), and here’s why: the manicure itself is $15. They’ve got wine, coffee, and tea if you’re so inclined. The manicure is a good one, and they’ve got a small selection of Chanel polishes ($48/bottle) that you can choose from for no up-charge. Brand name, schmand name, this manicure lasted a solid 2+ weeks without chipping.
From there, I wandered up NW 23rd, and since I can absolutely never resist Francesca’s Collection, I popped in there for a bit, found a new shirt-dress on sale, and found a sequined, party dress on clearance that I’m sure they’d sold as part of their holiday and New Year’s fashions. Why yes, that is a perfect dress for May’s 5th and final Bloggers in Sin City.
Pleased with my purchases, I wandered further up the street and as I started to pass Taste on 23rd, I noticed the sign out front: Free Wine Tasting today. Don’t mind if I do!
Jim, one of the owners of this adorable wine bar, is the nicest guy in the world, and introduced me (and two visitors from San Diego) to three lovely red wines.
The bottles are all under $20, and my favorite was the first one.
At this point, I started thinking about dinner. My friends were all out doing various things, Chris was at a movie, and I had some time to kill. I was totally prepared to take myself out on a date (I’m one of those people who’ve never seen a movie alone, but have zero problems eating alone in restaurants), but started to get the idea that it’d be fun to surprise Chris with an impromptu date night. I knew he’d be in a movie until around 6, and I was feeling pretty grubby, having basically rolled out of bed and into a pile of chilaquiles, so I did a little research, made a reservation at Noble Rot (thanks Kat for the rec!), started calling nearby salons about a shampoo and style, and texted Chris simply, “6:30pm. Noble Rot on E. Burnside. Meet me there.”
I found my way to Dosha and into the fabulous, wizardly, magic-working hands of Don, one of their senior stylists. Turns out, we share the same hometown (Minneapolis), so we bonded over that and how amazing Aveda products always smell. Within an hour, I had clean, curly hair and had my makeup touched up.
I walked to the car, just blissful. I forget what a recharge it is for me sometimes, to spend time alone in public. To window shop (or actually shop). To sample new wines from an adorable wine bar. To make conversation with strangers. To treat myself to a manicure and salon visit. To re-energize myself to the point where new ideas start floating around in my head. To distance myself enough from work and the Internet that I’m refreshed when I come back. And to spontaneously decide that Sunday nights make great date nights, and to surprise my boyfriend with a romantic little date night at a great restaurant with a killer view.
At this point, it’s 6pm, Chris leaves the movie, texts to confirm he’ll be there, and we meet at this amazing fourth-floor restaurant overlooking a dark and rainy Portland.