Monday, November 19, 2012

Celebrating Greg's 39th Birthday

Yesterday was my husband Greg's 39th birthday. We had discussed many options for how he'd like to enjoy his special day and ultimately he decided to do something similar to what I did on my birthday in July this year. Considering that the past three years he has spent his birthday in some pretty exotic places (2009 - Honolulu, Hawaii; 2010 - Wadi Rum, Jordan; 2011 - in the middle of the ocean on a transatlantic cruise), this was a decidedly local way of celebrating!
this was taken a few days before Greg's 36th birthday in Hawaii
we spent the night in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan on Greg's 37th birthday
enjoying a multi-course meal for his 38th birthday aboard Holland America's MS Rotterdam
Greg started his birthday by sleeping in, a luxury he only has on weekends since he gets up to exercise & work at 5am Monday through Friday. After eating a light breakfast and drinking some coffee, he opened his presents: a few greeting cards from family members plus a nice check from his parents. I gave him some of his favorite things: 6 bottles of seasonal craft beers, a couple of bags of his favorite beef jerky, an Oregon-made organic chocolate bar, and a customizable bike license plate.
Greg is pretty easy to please; just buy him beer & jerky!
We then walked a block from our house to eat lunch at locally-owned Vege Thai. We've gotten takeout from them before and it was very good. The main reason we chose to eat at this restaurant is that on your birthday you get a free entree as long as you bring a friend who purchases an entree. Total cost for a delicious, filling meal for two people: $13 including tip.
I had the daily special (pumpkin curry) and Greg ordered soy-chicken & garlic stir fry
We came back home for about an hour then headed out to catch a bus to northeast Portland. Our next stop was the not-for-profit, historic Hollywood Theatre. I had submitted my name for free tickets to see Chasing Ice and had received confirmation that two tickets would be waiting for us at will call. Greg & I knew we would be depressed by the subject matter of the film (climate change/global warming) but wanted to see it anyway. Plus the theater serves yummy popcorn and local draft beer at reasonable prices! The film was excellent, by the way, and I hope everyone reading this will watch it. Total cost for popcorn & two beers: $12.

We had to wait awhile for the bus heading west to the vicinity of our next destination, Pastini Pasteria. At this northwest-based chain with an emphasis on locally-sourced food, you get a free entree on your birthday (or the day before or after). What's great about this offer is that you're not required to purchase anything and you can choose from the entire menu. Greg ended up ordering the most expensive dish, a seasonal special of three-cheese ravioli topped with a wild mushroom ragu. He even got to add Italian sausage for no extra charge! I ordered the five cheese lasagna with meat sauce. Total cost for our meal: $14 including tip.
The next part of our plan was to stop at Northwest Public House for a beer as yesterday was their last day of business. We've enjoyed eating and drinking there multiple times and even took Greg's brother Brian and his girlfriend Colleen there when they visited us a few months ago. But the business has been sold and will reopen in 2013 under new ownership. Unfortunately, the lights were already off when we dropped by at 7pm.
this was taken on the porch at Northwest Public House in late September; we'll miss this place!
So we hopped on a streetcar and went to our next destination, Rogue Brewery. Greg & I are members of Rogue Nation and on your birthday you get a free mug of beer plus a free t-shirt. Obviously this is a great deal, again requiring no purchase, but since Greg wasn't about to share his beer I had to order one for myself! Total cost for this stop: $6.75 including tip.
Greg's mug is filled with 1/2 Chocolate Stout & 1/2 Hazelnut Brown Nectar (called Snickers); my chalice is filled with Double Chocolate Stout
Since Greg had to get up as usual at 5am this morning, we decided to head home before it got any later. Plus we still had to take the streetcar then transfer to a bus, which typically ends up taking 45 minutes to an hour of total transit time. All in all we had a nice day and it was very inexpensive considering everything we did. We only spent $50.75 including $5 for Greg's all-day transit pass (we have one monthly pass that is subsidized by Greg's employer). Happy Birthday, Greg!!!

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