Derby de Mayo
Maybe the best weekend ever. For a couple trying to soak up friends after a long period of time away, a sunny weekend comprised of two "holidays" might be as good as it gets. "Sunny" being the key word, especially after a week spent freezing in our new apartment. Our place is on the north side of the building, which means we get very little heat from the sun, and at least during our "re-acclimation" period...it means were mostly cold all the time. Apparently after sleeping and sweating through extreme heat in the bus, everything else (at least to us) is simply cold weather.
We did get out of the house a few times during the week. Visits with friends, a trip to the store for a few things that we simply cant do without. It seems we either purged too much before leaving or donated a few things we weren't supposed to. Jen has no clothes, and that's not like "i don't have anything good to wear", but literally she has only the clothes she wore back on the plane. Oops- Luckily portland has several great 2nd hand clothing stores....and jen's pretty creative.
I also spent a day building a storage shed with Brent. It's been a while since I've had a project, so it was fun to swing a hammer again and a great day spent catching up after a long time away. Few things as gratifying as building something with your own hands...especially with a close friend. Fun day.
This year happens to be one of the calendar years where The Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo fall not only right after one another but also both on a weekend. They also happen to be two of our favorite days, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous for both.
Several years ago we got to accompany Brock and Kelly back to Kelly's home state of Kentucky and do the Kentucky Derby in proper form and fashion at Churchill Downs. Fun times. Seemed only fitting that since we were back in portland we should head over to their place for a full on derby party. They don't disappoint, and we may have even more fun than we had in the infield years ago.
We started the day off with a walk through town gathering the necessary ingredients for the perfect mint julep. First, fresh mint from the Portland farmers market.
Since we were there, we had to take a brief pause for the sinfully delicious Reggie Deluxe from Pine State Biscuits. Not exactly a hot brown from Kentucky, but in my opinion...even better.
On the way back we stopped off for the bourbon, and then scoured the neighborhood looking for crushed ice (known unofficially as rabbit turd ice, for good reason). Somehow the bar we stopped into for ice just happened to have on of our favorite portland musicians playing for the lunch crowd. Reggie Houston (not to be confused with reggie deluxe) made his way to portland after katrina hit new orleans and portland has been the lucky recipient of his jazz talents ever since. He actually played at our wedding reception back in the day and it was a pleasant surprise to listen to he and his band while we waited.
Back at Brock and Kellys we watch the early races, mix up some juleps and place our bets for the Derby. Wendy joined and actually bet the winner...meaning she won a hefty $20. We ended our evening watching and dancing to videos from the 80s, so its fair to say we had a pretty good time.
Sunday saw a fairly slow start, but we had to rally to make it to the east side and help Brent and Dee with a yard sale. Our help pretty much meant sitting outside in picture perfect portland spring weather and keeping them company while waiting on people to walk by and show interest. Eventually we moved into some margaritas to celebrate cinco de mayo and some catan to keep us entertained. So much fun doing really nothing at all... so great to be able to simply spend time catching up with old friends and getting to know their children. Aunt jen and uncle bryan might be the estranged, weird nomadic aunt and uncle but we couldn't be prouder.