Pinotland and the City Walk

I just love it when a plan comes together. Jessica picked me up from the airport in Portland, looking fan freaking tastic, and asked if I wanted to do a city walk. Having been in Manhattan a few weeks previous, I imagined this to be a stride-stride-shuffle, with frequent apologies to the Wisconsin tourists who got (semi-accidentally) elbowed for walking four abreast on the sidewalk. There is very little that I wouldn’t do for Jessica, not least because she makes my days shine with her Facebook hilarity (really, you should be friends with her if you aren’t already – her Facebook shit is FUNNY.) So I said “Um, yup!” like I always do when I trust the person but not the thing they’ve just said. And then we dropped my bags at her house, got a quick tour of her chickens, patted Jimmy-the-dog on his friendly head, and walked out the door. We walked back in eight hours later. In the meantime,
• We stopped for late brunch at a place that made its own bacon vodka for bloody marys, and I didn’t even try one because everything else looked so good. We ate a version of eggs benedict with polenta cakes, hard salami, rocket, and basil hollandaise. The restaurant had four kinds of mimosas, and a sunshiny breakfast drink with lemon, strawberries, and coconut simple syrup. Heaven.
• We went to a shop with lots of funny greeting cards. One said “Congratulations! Your baby looks plump and delicious.”
• We stopped in at Jessica’s parents’ house and had a slice of blueberry bread. It was incredible. I did not believe that bread could taste like that: I was literally incredulous. Which is why I earnestly asked, like an idiot, “Why is this so good?” and Jessica cracked up, which she had every right to do. The obvious answer was butter and sugar, but I eat those things all the time and they never tasted like that. This bread had clouds in it or something. I still haven’t answered the question to my satisfaction, but I am mildly worried by it. Are clouds addictive? I can’t stop thinking about that bread…
• We went past approximately one billion millinery stores, and by the umpteenth I broke down and bought a hat. It’s supposed to be a cloche, and I’m supposed to look romantic, delicate and smart in it, but I’m worried that it is one fish-hook away from a bucket hat.
• We went to a wine bar that sold lettuce. Most of the items on the food menu were based around produce from their rooftop garden, except for the extraordinary cheese plate (because cows are scared of heights. Scaredy cows.)
• We walked and we walked and we walked.
We came home floppy-tired and mildly blistered, and slept the sleep of good friends who had had the very best kind of catch-up session. And the next day, we went to kickboxing class and then straight to the farmer’s market for berries, peaches and tamales.
It was the best weekend ever, and I have the hat to prove it.