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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Portlandia

I got to spend a wonderful week with family before I began my journey. We spent lots of time together, had a mini "family reunion", and I got to visit a gun range for the first time! I had been bugging my boyfriends dad to take us out for awhile and he finally took us out to The Everett Sportmen Club in Snohomish the day before I left.

Credit: The Sportsmen Club
It was as awesome as I was hoping. The Rangemaster was a character with his long salt and pepper beard, worn look, big belly and earrings that lined one of his ears top to bottom. He was very helpful, sweet and professional. He made us read the rules, sign some forms and got us up to date on the procedure. He also informed me that on Friday's ladies shoot free!

We ended up shooting a couple of rifles and a handgun. I had shot my brothers BB gun when we were little but nothing like this. There were all kinds of guns there and people ranging from young to old to wives and your typical tough guy. I'm hoping to visit again next time I'm in town!

US TRAVELS: WEST COAST
DAY 1: SEATTLE. WA TO PORTLAND, OR

Monday morning, my dog Sebastian and I hopped in the car and took off to Portland where we were planning to meet up with my friend from college Jodee and her husband Daniel. I always love the drive from Seattle to Portland. It's beautiful and reminds me why I love the northwest filled with waterfalls, trees as far as the eye can see, rivers, and the smell of pine in the air.

Sebastian and I met Jodee and Daniel at The Tin Shed Garden Cafe where Daniel works. I was surprised to see dogs running around the inside of the cafe but then I remembered I was in Portland and my mind flashed to an episode of Portlandia.They even have a menu for your four-legged friends as well as free doggie cookies.

I caught myself explaining to another dog-owner that Sebastian wasn't a "dog-person" and realized I'm that crazy dog owner.

After The Tin Shed, we went to meet Jodee and Daniels friends who they were pet/house sitting for when they left for tour. When I told my boyfriend Tyson that I was going to see 3 large birds, a snake and a cat, he exclaimed "Oh! You guys are going to the zoo?!". Nope. Just fellow crazy pet owners who love their animals too much.

A couple of the roommates are with the band Faithless Saints so to kill some time while the bird cages were cleaned and the rules were explained, we watched their music video and got a tour of the house.

(For anyone who's interested, they will be on tour from 7/13-7/28 spanning Bend, OR to Salt Lake City, UT. Check out their tour schedule and info here.)

Their friend even had a little corn snake who was beautiful and I learned a lot about. She showed Daniel and Jodee how to feed the snake baby mice. It swallowed the mouse from the back end and I have to admit it was a little disturbing seeing two faces staring back at you when one of them is eating the other.

We continued on to the store to pick up stuff to BBQ for dinner. Jodee and I worked on a delicious gluten-free pasta salad while Daniel manned the grill and kept Sebastian entertained outside.

Here's the basic recipe for the pasta salad if you're interested. 

COLD PASTA SALAD

Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of tri-color pasta (or switch out with any other pasta you prefer)
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch of green onion
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese 
  • salt + pepper to taste
Method:
1 Boil the pasta until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.

2 Chop up cucumber, tomatoes and green onion.

3 Mix with the pasta, Parmesan cheese and Italian dressing plus a dash of salt and pepper.

4 Keep refrigerated until it's time to eat.

Tip: If you prefer a hot dish, just switch the Italian dressing out with olive oil and the cucumber with sauteed zucchini. You can also add chicken or tofu.

After dinner we went to Daniel and Jodee's roommates roller hockey game which was a lot of fun. Hockey is one of the few sports I really enjoy watching. I don't know if it's people beating the crap out of each other or the fact that I'm constantly at the edge of my seat trying to keep track of who has the puck and the goalie having to intercept every shot that comes his way.

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