Beastly Saturday

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More training was on the menu this morning with a swim in Hagg Lake followed by a short bike ride. Naturally, because we had our ration of sunshine yesterday, we woke up to rain. (Thankfully, swimming in the rain is much more acceptable than doing a long ride in it.) We got up and out early, so that we could be home at a reasonable hour. We met up with Luke, (who has recently joined the open-water swimming set) and his recently purchased wetsuit. It was cold and windy. The lake looked like this:

(I’d planned to take more pictures out in it, but that didn’t happen.) It wasn’t the best swim. There was a lot of chop and wind, plus T was not having a good swim. Luke ditched us both and swam out into the middle, so I swam with Todd a while and then sought a more sheltered section of the lake. It was helpful to get some wetsuit practice and I’ll definitely need to get a couple more before the race as my stroke has changed a lot since last year and felt really weird in the wetsuit.

Afterward, T took his wetsuit off to find that his swim shorts had apparently reached some sort of final crisis point and lost all their shape. They were really baggy and see-through in places. Unfortunately, he hadn’t brought any other bike shorts so he was out for the ride. I made the executive decision to call the ride, since I didn’t feel right leaving T in a soggy car for an hour or so. (Not to mention, I wasn’t exactly enthused about a cold, wet, rainy bike ride.) We headed back home, after a quick stop for lunch.

We were totally shelled when we got home, so we both ended up taking a short nap. Afterward, we took a short field trip into SE Portland for T to get a haircut and my mom & I to do some book shopping. Then we returned home for my mom and T to have a little Scrabble face-off on my mom’s new iPad. (If you knew my mother, you would be astonished that she owns an iPad. Technology is not her friend.) I amused myself by taking pictures of the action (and capturing some “classic mom” faces in the process… ) This one is my favorite:

I call this one “Are you taking a picture of me?”

And the classic “reaction shot.”

My poor mother…

Our big item on the evening’s agenda was a reservation at Beast, a renowned Portland restaurant who’s chef was recently featured on Top Chef Masters. I’d been hearing great things about it over the years and when Naomi Pomeroy was kicking ass on reality tv, we figured we’d better get our reservations while we still could. (Plus, I was pretty sure we’d be celebrating a new job for the boy from that interview. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. Yet.) Our seating was at 8:45, so we had plenty of time to loaf around the house, get ready and drive over to NE Portland.

Beast is in a really cute little neighborhood:

With the usual Portland touches:

The outside looks promising:

The restaurant is tiny (24 seats) and has a set menu that they serve in two seatings at communal tables. We got there as the first one was clearing out and got to watch them set up service for ours. It’s an interesting way to dine, almost like waiting for a performance to start. Naomi was there, which caused a lot of excitement (including squealing and jumping up and down) among some of our fellow diners. (Portlanders are very different with celebrities than Southern California or New York, where ignoring them is an art form.)

Once inside, I didn’t feel comfortable taking a lot of pictures because it was such a tiny space. (Which is a shame because there were a million that I would have liked to take.) The food was beyond amazing and we ended up being seated across the table from another Seattle couple, who turned out to be chefs. It was fun to talk to them and hear their stories about the restaurant scene in Seattle. (Nothing Anthony Bourdain worthy, but still fun to hear.) The vibe of the restaurant was like a really wonderful dinner party. Intimate, but refined. Should you find yourself in Portland, I highly recommend it.

 

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