Tessie Comes to Portland

February 28, 2019

I discovered February had come to an end when one of my coworkers remarked that there was no “29th” day of February as I labeled and dated a package of smoked salmon I had just portioned. I blinked stupidly, decided he was right and pondered the concept of leap years as I ripped off a new strip of masking tape and marked “3/1” on it.

Tessie and her roommate Will were scheduled to arrive on a 10:00 am flight at the PDX airport. True to Tessie’s form she went all out and they were mixing tequila with juice before the flight even left MCI. Vacation had begun.

I was working the kitchen that day and they planned to get bus passes and take public transport from the airport to reach my work.

Around noon I started poking my head around the corner to peer out one of the many windows in the cafe to see if I could spot them coming up the sidewalk.

They finally arrived around 12:40, Tessie blew in sporting a red jacket, wavy black hair, and toting Will and the most fashionable looking suitcase I had ever seen.

Their flight from Kansas City had them up at 3:00 am Central time and the tequila, as it turns out, was not the best substitute for breakfast.

Both Will and Tessie were starving and I poured them both steaming mugs of black coffee and shooed them to a table while I dropped some eggs in the poaching water and fixed them some food.

I delivered the food, refilled their coffee and raised an eyebrow at Tessie who was sitting, staring into the void, with large, black sunglasses on. She wilted into a small puddle in the chair under my gaze and declared that she’d had something in her eye since 6:00 am and couldn’t get it out.

I nodded and offered a few options she’d already tried and the promise that Benadryl and eye drops were nearby.

They both perked up immensely after eating and I sent them to walk across the river and explore the mysteries of Powell’s bookstore and downtown while I finished up at work.

I closed the kitchen in record time, picked them up, and then we all made a communal trip to Safeway to fetch ingredients for macaroni and cheese and a salad.

We spent the evening drinking wine & beer while I stirred the bechamel, crisped bacon in the oven, and ordered everyone to take a turn grating the cheese. Somehow Will escaped this task and was found instead snacking on the grated goods (I have your number and a block of cheese next time I’m in town buddy).

It was a grand evening and we all got big bowls of macaroni and cheese and retired to the couch where the two central-timers fell asleep watching friends not long after eating.

I scooched the sleepy Tess to the chair while I made up the couch for her and inflated the air mattress for Will. Muggsy ran back and forth excitedly and eventually leaped on top of Tessie and stomped around obnoxiously which did not spark so much as a grunt from Tess. Amazing what growing up with 10 siblings will do for your ability to sleep through ANYTHING.

March 1, 2019

The next morning I went in to work for a few hours and Tess and Will headed back downtown to explore. I got off around 12:00 pm, walked the two scenic miles across the Hawthorn bridge and met them for a beer.

Then I took them exploring and we visited the iconic salmon swimming through the brick wall on 9th street, meandered along the river and then back across the bridge to collect my car. It was nearing 4:00 pm and we piled in and drove towards Cathedral Park in North West.

We hit the exit to Cathedral park right in the middle of rush hour and there was a huge line of cars. We sat for fifteen minutes, inching along whenever the light turned green allowing approximately three cars through. We were nearly at the end and Will asked if there was a bathroom at the park. I didn’t know and had Tess look it up.

The google did not know either and so we pulled out of the line of cars and drove up the road to a 7/11 with exactly one dingy bathroom and a sign on the door stating “bathroom for customers only.” We all took our turns and then dutifully picked out an item under the watchful eye of the old codger running the place. I bought a chapstick and then paid an extra .40 cents to use my credit card. The chapstick has since disappeared into the dark recesses of my Toyota where it is likely rolling around with enough loose change to have paid for itself and the credit card fee besides.

Cathedral Park was lovely, we stomped around on the soggy grass, our feet suctioning in the mud, stared at the columns, and then right as we decided to head back a train came huffing through, blowing its whistle before it came to a screeching halt and began to reverse and then came to a groaning stop for a solid 20 minutes smack in front of the park exit.

We used our time to discuss our evening plans. Tess was all for going out again so once the train finally backed itself out of the way we drove back home and I deposited Tess and Will at the house to hang out with Muggsy while Tony and I went to pick up some neighborhood Thai food that was not very good, but it was nearby. I was beginning to feel stressed and frantic and it wasn’t until I was back on the couch eating my level five green curry that I realized I had worked six hours, walked four miles, and then driven all over the city on one very small piece of avocado toast and I was starving.

Hot food does wonders for a body. I calmed right down and focused on my burning tongue and as the food hit our bellies Tessie announced the couch was preferable to getting dolled up and traversing the city on a Friday night. I couldn’t have agreed more and we turned in early.

March 2, 2019

Saturday morning dawned Sunny with a high of 50 degrees in Portland. Tony was on the road to go snowboarding by 6:00 am and I had everyone else up and in the car around 8:00, egg sandwiches in hand, coffee in thermoses, and Muggsy in her harness with her collapsible water bowl in tow.

We drove 40 minutes East for Multnomah Falls. Twenty minutes into the drive the sun disappeared and the leaves we passed were covered in more and more frost. We arrived at the falls entrance just in time to snag one of the last parking spots. On a warm, summer day there will be cars lined up for a mile each way down the highway to get to the falls so this was lucky indeed. There was ice and snow on the ground and I scooped Muggsy up and carried her along while we all slipped and slid across the road to the short trail leading up to the falls.

The falls were spectacular with a high-arching bridge near the top that if you were brave enough to head up the icy trail, you could stand on and feel the spray from the falls on your face. We started up the trail which came to an abrupt and unfortunate end when Muggsy got into a fight with another dog. Fortunately, no one was badly hurt, we got the dogs separated and I had Tess go ahead of me down the trail clearing out any and all K-nines while I grimly held muggsy by the harness and we slipped and slid our way down to the car where we both calmed down and drank some water.

I sent Will and Tess back up to check out the falls, checked in with the other dogs owners and we were all pleased to find out both dogs were up to date on their shots. I will not lie. That experience shook me, I have never owned a dog with aggression issues before and felt like a complete failure for having allowed that fight to happen. This sparked a whole new investment in training for me and Muggsy and has opened my eyes to a new world of how to handle dogs which I will share more of at another time.

After Tess and Will had seen the falls we headed back home. Driving back into the sunshine was a welcome sight to warrant off the stressful, icy turn the morning had taken. We dropped Muggsy off at home to nap in her crate and I took Will and Tess to Pine State Biscuits, one of my favorite brunch spots in Portland!

They serve the most beautiful biscuit with fried chicken, melted cheese, and just slathered in gravy. For an extra dollar, you can get the chicken dunked in their house-made hot sauce. It was just what the Dr. ordered. We all felt much better after and I drove us to Alberta street where I headed to Afterglow Aerial Arts for my silks class while Will and Tess explored.

We headed back home after, met up with Tony who was back from Snowboarding, and took a brief siesta snacking on a jumbo plate of cheese, crackers, tomatoes, avocado, and anything else I found lying around that looked tasty.

Tony opted to stay home with Muggsy while I took Tess and Will to the Central East Side of town to visit Cloud Forest Chocolate and then Will went on his own way to refuel his introverted nature for a while and Tess and I got an Uber to an area with multiple resale and vintage stores where we shopped, walked, talked, and repeated. We ended at The Richmond Bar where Tess had a Gin and Tonic and I had an IPA. We sat and talked for the better part of an hour, catching up like no one but two sisters can do.

We then headed into downtown to meet up with Will. We headed to the Shanghai Tunnel Bar which I immediately loved for its lack of pretension. Both bartenders wore braids in their beards, the lemon wedges were cut with a superb lack of precision and they had no idea how to make a Trinidad Sour. I felt right at home.

Drinks were knocked back and Will left to use the restroom. I sent Tess to the bar for a glass of water and Will passed her on his way back to the table with a small plastic cup of tap water in hand. Tessie was at the bar for a solid five minutes, the bartender’s full attention on her. She then reappeared with a pint glass of ice water with lemon and Will said “Are you kidding me? I just went up and asked for a water and was told to get water from the bucket at the end.” Tess sipped her frosty lemon water demurely, Will looked distastefully at his plastic cup, and I laughed with great vigor, then shoved Tessie’s head towards the table just in time to avoid a pool stick smacking her from behind.

That’s pretty much how the rest of the evening went, I called it a night at 11:30, catching an Uber home, while Tess and Will scurried off to another bar. I gave Tess the house key, texted her the address and a warning that the wakeup call the next day was 7:00 am before leaving.

I woke up to a jiggle on the door around 2:00 am and a text from Tessie reading “Where’s the key?” To which I replied “With you, I hope” and listened amusedly to their muffled noises while she found it and they let themselves in. I had made up the beds of course because I am a wonderful sister and I grinned quietly to myself as I thought of the ruckus I was prepared to make to get them out of bed at 7:00 am the next morning.

March 3, 2019

As one would expect we were not on the road by 8:00 am the next day. I set Advil and a glass of water with a sticky note reading “Drink me” on the Table next to Tess and then managed to be preoccupied while Muggsy leaped on top of Tess and stomped around till she was awake. Eventually, everyone was showered with a thermos of coffee and a banana in hand and we hit I5 North by 8:30 am which was not half bad timing *pats self on back.* Tony stayed behind with Muggsy as Sadie had just adopted two kittens and Muggsy’s behavior the previous day did not inspire confidence.

We stopped in Olympia for gas, Tess and Will got snacks which I scolded them for as I explained about the godly breakfast burritos that would be awaiting us on our arrival. Pedro, Sadies partner makes THE BEST breakfast burritos in the entire world. The Best. SO good. Worth the roundtrip six-hour drive every time. I spent the last hour up to Seattle singing a love song to the burrito quietly in my head.

We arrived in Seattle, put the car in park and traipsed up the stairs to Sadie’s and Pedro’s apartment. We were greeted by a jumping Brutus, the smell of hot coffee and breakfast, and two kittens running in between everyone’s legs.

We ate the godly burritos, Pedro headed off to work and we all tripped out to Sadies Prius and piled in to head to the Fremont Market. The market was one of the best I’ve been to. Not really a farmers market so much as an arts and small vendors market I bought a toothbrush from MamaP where you can choose from one of four colors and 15% of the proceeds go to a corresponding charity such as LGBTQ, women’s rights, etc. Sadie bought us all macarons from Alexandria’s Macarons, she is truly an artist!

We traipsed about the market and then headed for a beer at Fremont Brewing. We then visited a thrift store while waiting for Thai Tom to open which is the BEST place to get Thai food in Seattle and really anywhere. It’s a small, dingy and dark cafe with few tables and lots of stools packed along the bar. The menu is a paper leaf with a popsicle stick for a handle and there are approximately ten items on the menu to choose from with a choice of tofu, chicken, or beef.

It was so, so good and we feasted in the chilly shop like nobility, slurping up noodles and curry with chopsticks, our fingers chilled and the food tasting all the better for it. After, we made a stop for dessert at 85 Degrees before saying goodbye and piling back into my car for the drive home. I dropped Will and Tess at the PDX airport around 10:30 pm for their flight home and pondered on the drive home how lucky it is to have sisters.

To Be Continued…

February 28, 2019

I discovered February had come to an end when one of my coworkers remarked that there was no “29th” day of February as I labeled and dated a package of smoked salmon I had just portioned. I blinked stupidly, decided he was right and pondered the concept of leap years as I ripped off a new strip of masking tape and marked “3/1” on it.

Tessie and her roommate Will were scheduled to arrive on a 10:00 am flight at the PDX airport. True to Tessie’s form she went all out and they were mixing tequila with juice before the flight even left MCI. Vacation had begun.

I was working the kitchen that day and they planned to get bus passes and take public transport from the airport to reach my work.

Around noon I started poking my head around the corner to peer out one of the many windows in the cafe to see if I could spot them coming up the sidewalk.

They finally arrived around 12:40, Tessie blew in sporting a red jacket, wavy black hair, and toting Will and the most fashionable looking suitcase I had ever seen.

Their flight from Kansas City had them up at 3:00 am Central time and the tequila, as it turns out, was not the best substitute for breakfast.

Both Will and Tessie were starving and I poured them both steaming mugs of black coffee and shooed them to a table while I dropped some eggs in the poaching water and fixed them some food.

I delivered the food, refilled their coffee and raised an eyebrow at Tessie who was sitting, staring into the void, with large, black sunglasses on. She wilted into a small puddle in the chair under my gaze and declared that she’d had something in her eye since 6:00 am and couldn’t get it out.

I nodded and offered a few options she’d already tried and the promise that Benadryl and eye drops were nearby.

They both perked up immensely after eating and I sent them to walk across the river and explore the mysteries of Powell’s bookstore and downtown while I finished up at work.

I closed the kitchen in record time, picked them up, and then we all made a communal trip to Safeway to fetch ingredients for macaroni and cheese and a salad.

We spent the evening drinking wine & beer while I stirred the bechamel, crisped bacon in the oven, and ordered everyone to take a turn grating the cheese. Somehow Will escaped this task and was found instead snacking on the grated goods (I have your number and a block of cheese next time I’m in town buddy).

It was a grand evening and we all got big bowls of macaroni and cheese and retired to the couch where the two central-timers fell asleep watching friends not long after eating.

I scooched the sleepy Tess to the chair while I made up the couch for her and inflated the air mattress for Will. Muggsy ran back and forth excitedly and eventually leaped on top of Tessie and stomped around obnoxiously which did not spark so much as a grunt from Tess. Amazing what growing up with 10 siblings will do for your ability to sleep through ANYTHING.

March 1, 2019

The next morning I went in to work for a few hours and Tess and Will headed back downtown to explore. I got off around 12:00 pm, walked the two scenic miles across the Hawthorn bridge and met them for a beer.

Then I took them exploring and we visited the iconic salmon swimming through the brick wall on 9th street, meandered along the river and then back across the bridge to collect my car. It was nearing 4:00 pm and we piled in and drove towards Cathedral Park in North West.

We hit the exit to Cathedral park right in the middle of rush hour and there was a huge line of cars. We sat for fifteen minutes, inching along whenever the light turned green allowing approximately three cars through. We were nearly at the end and Will asked if there was a bathroom at the park. I didn’t know and had Tess look it up.

The google did not know either and so we pulled out of the line of cars and drove up the road to a 7/11 with exactly one dingy bathroom and a sign on the door stating “bathroom for customers only.” We all took our turns and then dutifully picked out an item under the watchful eye of the old codger running the place. I bought a chapstick and then paid an extra .40 cents to use my credit card. The chapstick has since disappeared into the dark recesses of my Toyota where it is likely rolling around with enough loose change to have paid for itself and the credit card fee besides.

Cathedral Park was lovely, we stomped around on the soggy grass, our feet suctioning in the mud, stared at the columns, and then right as we decided to head back a train came huffing through, blowing its whistle before it came to a screeching halt and began to reverse and then came to a groaning stop for a solid 20 minutes smack in front of the park exit.

We used our time to discuss our evening plans. Tess was all for going out again so once the train finally backed itself out of the way we drove back home and I deposited Tess and Will at the house to hang out with Muggsy while Tony and I went to pick up some neighborhood Thai food that was not very good, but it was nearby. I was beginning to feel stressed and frantic and it wasn’t until I was back on the couch eating my level five green curry that I realized I had worked six hours, walked four miles, and then driven all over the city on one very small piece of avocado toast and I was starving.

Hot food does wonders for a body. I calmed right down and focused on my burning tongue and as the food hit our bellies Tessie announced the couch was preferable to getting dolled up and traversing the city on a Friday night. I couldn’t have agreed more and we turned in early.

March 2, 2019

Saturday morning dawned Sunny with a high of 50 degrees in Portland. Tony was on the road to go snowboarding by 6:00 am and I had everyone else up and in the car around 8:00, egg sandwiches in hand, coffee in thermoses, and Muggsy in her harness with her collapsible water bowl in tow.

We drove 40 minutes East for Multnomah Falls. Twenty minutes into the drive the sun disappeared and the leaves we passed were covered in more and more frost. We arrived at the falls entrance just in time to snag one of the last parking spots. On a warm, summer day there will be cars lined up for a mile each way down the highway to get to the falls so this was lucky indeed. There was ice and snow on the ground and I scooped Muggsy up and carried her along while we all slipped and slid across the road to the short trail leading up to the falls.

The falls were spectacular with a high-arching bridge near the top that if you were brave enough to head up the icy trail, you could stand on and feel the spray from the falls on your face. We started up the trail which came to an abrupt and unfortunate end when Muggsy got into a fight with another dog. Fortunately, no one was badly hurt, we got the dogs separated and I had Tess go ahead of me down the trail clearing out any and all K-nines while I grimly held muggsy by the harness and we slipped and slid our way down to the car where we both calmed down and drank some water.

I sent Will and Tess back up to check out the falls, checked in with the other dogs owners and we were all pleased to find out both dogs were up to date on their shots. I will not lie. That experience shook me, I have never owned a dog with aggression issues before and felt like a complete failure for having allowed that fight to happen. This sparked a whole new investment in training for me and Muggsy and has opened my eyes to a new world of how to handle dogs which I will share more of at another time.

After Tess and Will had seen the falls we headed back home. Driving back into the sunshine was a welcome sight to warrant off the stressful, icy turn the morning had taken. We dropped Muggsy off at home to nap in her crate and I took Will and Tess to Pine State Biscuits, one of my favorite brunch spots in Portland!

They serve the most beautiful biscuit with fried chicken, melted cheese, and just slathered in gravy. For an extra dollar, you can get the chicken dunked in their house-made hot sauce. It was just what the Dr. ordered. We all felt much better after and I drove us to Alberta street where I headed to Afterglow Aerial Arts for my silks class while Will and Tess explored.

We headed back home after, met up with Tony who was back from Snowboarding, and took a brief siesta snacking on a jumbo plate of cheese, crackers, tomatoes, avocado, and anything else I found lying around that looked tasty.

Tony opted to stay home with Muggsy while I took Tess and Will to the Central East Side of town to visit Cloud Forest Chocolate and then Will went on his own way to refuel his introverted nature for a while and Tess and I got an Uber to an area with multiple resale and vintage stores where we shopped, walked, talked, and repeated. We ended at The Richmond Bar where Tess had a Gin and Tonic and I had an IPA. We sat and talked for the better part of an hour, catching up like no one but two sisters can do.

We then headed into downtown to meet up with Will. We headed to the Shanghai Tunnel Bar which I immediately loved for its lack of pretension. Both bartenders wore braids in their beards, the lemon wedges were cut with a superb lack of precision and they had no idea how to make a Trinidad Sour. I felt right at home.

Drinks were knocked back and Will left to use the restroom. I sent Tess to the bar for a glass of water and Will passed her on his way back to the table with a small plastic cup of tap water in hand. Tessie was at the bar for a solid five minutes, the bartender’s full attention on her. She then reappeared with a pint glass of ice water with lemon and Will said “Are you kidding me? I just went up and asked for a water and was told to get water from the bucket at the end.” Tess sipped her frosty lemon water demurely, Will looked distastefully at his plastic cup, and I laughed with great vigor, then shoved Tessie’s head towards the table just in time to avoid a pool stick smacking her from behind.

That’s pretty much how the rest of the evening went, I called it a night at 11:30, catching an Uber home, while Tess and Will scurried off to another bar. I gave Tess the house key, texted her the address and a warning that the wakeup call the next day was 7:00 am before leaving.

I woke up to a jiggle on the door around 2:00 am and a text from Tessie reading “Where’s the key?” To which I replied “With you, I hope” and listened amusedly to their muffled noises while she found it and they let themselves in. I had made up the beds of course because I am a wonderful sister and I grinned quietly to myself as I thought of the ruckus I was prepared to make to get them out of bed at 7:00 am the next morning.

March 3, 2019

As one would expect we were not on the road by 8:00 am the next day. I set Advil and a glass of water with a sticky note reading “Drink me” on the Table next to Tess and then managed to be preoccupied while Muggsy leaped on top of Tess and stomped around till she was awake. Eventually, everyone was showered with a thermos of coffee and a banana in hand and we hit I5 North by 8:30 am which was not half bad timing *pats self on back.* Tony stayed behind with Muggsy as Sadie had just adopted two kittens and Muggsy’s behavior the previous day did not inspire confidence.

We stopped in Olympia for gas, Tess and Will got snacks which I scolded them for as I explained about the godly breakfast burritos that would be awaiting us on our arrival. Pedro, Sadies partner makes THE BEST breakfast burritos in the entire world. The Best. SO good. Worth the roundtrip six-hour drive every time. I spent the last hour up to Seattle singing a love song to the burrito quietly in my head.

We arrived in Seattle, put the car in park and traipsed up the stairs to Sadie’s and Pedro’s apartment. We were greeted by a jumping Brutus, the smell of hot coffee and breakfast, and two kittens running in between everyone’s legs.

We ate the godly burritos, Pedro headed off to work and we all tripped out to Sadies Prius and piled in to head to the Fremont Market. The market was one of the best I’ve been to. Not really a farmers market so much as an arts and small vendors market I bought a toothbrush from MamaP where you can choose from one of four colors and 15% of the proceeds go to a corresponding charity such as LGBTQ, women’s rights, etc. Sadie bought us all macarons from Alexandria’s Macarons, she is truly an artist!

We traipsed about the market and then headed for a beer at Fremont Brewing. We then visited a thrift store while waiting for Thai Tom to open which is the BEST place to get Thai food in Seattle and really anywhere. It’s a small, dingy and dark cafe with few tables and lots of stools packed along the bar. The menu is a paper leaf with a popsicle stick for a handle and there are approximately ten items on the menu to choose from with a choice of tofu, chicken, or beef.

It was so, so good and we feasted in the chilly shop like nobility, slurping up noodles and curry with chopsticks, our fingers chilled and the food tasting all the better for it. After, we made a stop for dessert at 85 Degrees before saying goodbye and piling back into my car for the drive home. I dropped Will and Tess at the PDX airport around 10:30 pm for their flight home and pondered on the drive home how lucky it is to have sisters.

To Be Continued…

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