Potlucks and Portland

I love potlucks. I enjoy the sometimes hectic process of trying to figure out what dish would be a great accompaniment for an event and then putting it together. Mark’s family reunion was in Portland this weekend so I said I’d bring a pasta salad. I found a recipe that I thought looked good and didn’t require too much of me and whipped that baby up. After adding some corn, black beans, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, avocados, and a creamy dressing, I was done! And let me tell you, it looked beautiful. So colorful! I showed it to Mark before I put the dressing on because it looked like a rainbow exploded in the bowl and my anti-onion/pepper husband said, “So colorful… I don’t think it’s something I can eat.” True to form.

So I stuck it in the refrigerator for the next day and didn’t give it another thought until we were in the car on the way to Portland and Della asked, “Hey how’d the pasta salad go?” And I felt like crying because I knew I’d left it in the refrigerator.

Fortunately we are having a picnic with friends tonight so I can pawn off the pasta salad on them and it won’t go to waste. And there was certainly no shortage of good food this weekend. Our friend Wendy made the most amazing ribs… so we chowed down.

Nom nom nom

Backpacking in the Olympics

The whole crew, packed and ready to go.

As I mentioned Wednesday, Mark and I went on a backpacking trip last week in the Olympic Mountains with some friends. I was nervous about the physical aspect since I hadn’t been backpacking since early high school, but I discovered I shouldn’t have worried. Granted, I did have the lightest pack. But still! These quads held up just fine.

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Polka dots!

I’ve needed a sleeping bag ever since my senior year of college when I left mine on a bus coming back from Whidbey Island. My purple mummy bag was so loved: I’d had it since the summer after sixth grade when I went on my first backpacking trip, and it had been on many trips with me since. The stuff sack had suffered a tear but I repaired it with duct tape so it was as good as new again. Classy, I know.

The sleeping bag drought has ended with my brand new Kelty! I love its feminine color scheme and that it has polka dots. Don’t lie, I know you’re jealous. Plus this bag is WARM. We took it on a backpacking trip last weekend and I thought I was going to have to unzip the tent that night, I was so warm. I’m not planning on leaving it on any buses in the future so I’m hoping to have this bag for years to come. Its next use: camping near Yakima before we raft the Tieton River next weekend!

Biking along the waterfront

So… I think summer is over? I feel like the northwest is known for its short yet awesome summers and this one was no different! We’ve been able to pack lots of little trips and excursions into this summer and I’ve done an awful job of posting pictures and updates, so I’ll do my best to get better.

First up, a bike excursion down the waterfront to the Sounders game. We used to bike from our old apartment to Sounders games but moving six miles north has derailed that option, at least for the casual biker like myself. But since temps were in the high 80s and sitting in the car for a potential hour sounded like no fun, we decided to pack the bikes into the car and drive to Magnolia to bike along the waterfront. I much prefer this waterfront ride to our old route to the stadium—it’s so flat!