Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Boise Extravaganza

Let's all pretend that this is not a ridiculously long post. I'm not in the mood for installments. If this is more information about our Boise trip than suits your fancy, you can always skim or skip it, with me none the wiser.

On a Thursday evening (two weeks ago tomorrow) Shaun and I got in the car and drove to Boise for a weekend of remembering what it is like to relax and have fun. Shaun drove, I rode. (Lest you think I'm a total slacker, I did make a three-hour round trip to take the boys to their grandparents' right before we left for Boise.)

We arrived at the Hamiltons at about 2:45 Boise time to find that they'd both waited up for us. So of course we had to stay up and visit. I believe we all lost the battle to stay awake at about 4am. The last time I kept those kind of hours, I was an undergrad, and the major players were a booth at Denny's and a Moons Over My Hammy with a side of ranch.

It's hard to get up after only a few hours of sleep, but do you know what makes it easier? This:

Fresh-as-can-be eggs, perfectly cooked potatoes, and bacon. With mimosas. Cranberry-grapefruit, I think. I was really tired.

After lounging around and doing fun things like looking at shoes online (I was shamelessly unhelpful all weekend), Shaun and I went to BSU with Amanda to help take down her show. It looked fantastic in the space. For more details about it, visit Amanda's website.

Shaun and I went and checked in to our hotel (nice people, comfy beds, good location, aesthetically a bit confused and definitely not luxurious if that's what you're looking for) and took a nap.

Because this was as close to perfect as a weekend can get, after our nap we headed back to the Hamiltons, where the boys hung out with Esly while Amanda and I went shopping for many, many hours. It truly fills some need deep in my soul to have a girl to shop with and give the head nod or shake when one comes out of the dressing room.

By the time we got back, it was dinner time. Magical, delicious, wonderful dinner, which Andrew had been preparing in parts over a few days.

Behold, the salad of blanched leeks, walnuts, and shaved cheese, sprinkled with chives. The vinaigrette was plate-licking good. I will make this salad. It is delicious. Also delicious was the spring onion soup.

In between courses, Amanda made me a pair of earrings. If you don't have friends who make you jewelry and cook you lamb chops, you should find some. Here, Amanda is crafting away while Andrew attempts to keep the smoking chops from setting off the fire alarm and waking Esly:

The main course! Lamb with mint almond pesto, sauteed radishes, with greens, and mashed potatoes. There is no way you can ever know how perfectly these lamb shoulder chops were cooked. I kept thinking about them for the rest of the week.

The lovely and dangerous Negroni. Don't ask.

Filling up on good food and drink in the wee hours isn't very conducive to a good night's sleep, but we took advantage of not needing to be anywhere the next morning and lazed about for quite a while. Shaun and I had breakfast/lunch at Le Cafe de Paris. They make amazing almond croissants, though I do feel they're cheating a bit when they slice them open to add the filling rather than baking it in. While the repast below looks lovely, don't be fooled; it was only about 25% as good as the breakfast the Hamiltons fixed for us. (The croissant excepted. No complaints there.)

After our meal, Shaun and I went to REI to buy me a proper rain jacket, which I've never had. I'd been putting up a fight--rain jackets are all too sporty, and I hate to spend a bunch of money on something that doesn't even look good. But we had a credit to use there and, on top of a big sale, we figured we could get a deal.

It actually turned out to be really fun to shop for a coat with Shaun. He carried hangers for me, hung everything back up, and nodded and shook his head at the appropriate times. At one point a saleswoman came over to help us. She inclined her head toward the jacket I was trying on.

"What do you plan to use it for?"

"Well, we live in Portland," answered Shaun.


Exactly. I ended up with a super nice plain black Gore-Tex jacket that I don't even hate.

Mission accomplished. Time for dinner! Dear Kylee watched Esly so the four of us could go out on the town. We started with dinner at Red Feather, where they sometimes think that they are too cool for school. This may be because they have a giant blue-lit wine refrigerator. I don't know. We had a ton of fun, but I'd have to say that everything Andrew fixed the night before was at least a zillion times better than anything we ate at Red Feather. The wine was good.

We were there for "Earth Hour", so it was particularly dark.

If anyone can think of what Shaun may have said to elicit these expressions in response, let me know:

After dinner, Andrew had the brilliant idea of adjourning to Pengilly's Saloon. Genius.

Pengilly's is old-timey and no-nonsense. It was the place to be. Two guys were playing Bob Dylan and Tom Petty and all sorts of good old stuff. Everyone was 10-20 years older than us. It was not lame, as bars can be. It was fantastic.

The music was SO GOOD.

It looks like I'm very mellow here, showing off my new earrings (which it was too dark to get a good photo of), but I'm mostly just worn out from singing at the top of my lungs and smiling benevolently at the dancing ladies and saying impulsive things like, "I am TOTALLY going to learn how to play that guitar I asked for for my 30th birthday!" It was that kind of night. Quite possibly one of the most fun nights I've ever had.

And then, after a brief visit with friend Kylee, the night was over. We once again took advantage of our kid-free status by sleeping in the next morning. Amanda was kind enough to save our portions of Dutch Baby which we ended up eating at lunch time. No offense to Shaun, who makes a mean Dutch Baby, but this was an exceptional one, even eaten hours after it was made. Such kind friends we have. It was hard to say good bye.

So, why are we smiling?

It's never all bad when the drive looks like this:


Misty said...

Looks like the perfect weekend- good food, good friends, and a break from parenting. I'm living vicariously through you...

Amy said...

That looked wonderful...especially the sleeping in part. =D

Mullins said...

Wow! Very impressive. An extravaganza for sure.

Jana said...

OOOOOOOOOO, you and your food!! Me want some:)

annie nannie said...

Soooo fun! Love that hepkat Modern Hotel, even if it is "aesthetically a bit confused".

Those Hamiltons are a true treasure. So glad you can savor such dear friendships. You are, indeed blessed.

Loved the pics, too, especially the one of you guys driving back. Did S just reach the camera out the window? Cool.

shaun said...

Yeah, I stuck the camera out the window. But what made it tricky was the 30+ mph headwind in addition to our 80 mph speed, so I was fighting 110 mph air to take that one. Surprisingly difficult...