This weekend has been a fun one. I worked four out of five days this week, and then successfully spent a bunch of the money I made. But it was all for good causes of some sort. Friday I spent 9-4 with four little girls babysitting (note to self: sidewalk chalk still rules), and then in the evening I took a trip to Beaverton to meet up with Nate and his parents and their old college roommates for swimming and a BBQ.

First of all, it was the first time that google maps had given me the correct directions to get anywhere, as well as the first time I was able to follow them without frantically calling Tiffany and asking her to navigate me via my laptop. Their home in Beaverton was beautiful, overlooking the whole town; they had a huge backyard and a pool with some of those rock waterfall things, as well as a huge trampoline (like the one Max & Natalie & Oni used to have). We swam and had awesome grilled fresh wild salmon and halibut and marionberry cheesecake. The girls kicked the boys’ butts in a game of football and Nate’s dad and I just barely lost our series of foosball games.

Saturday was an adventure in Downtown Portland. We spent awhile in Powell’s browsing through their most amazing selection of titles. I got a really interesting book from the Anthropology section about the human face and how we recognize it, etc. I think I will take advantage of this super overcast, rainy day to read it. But that’s besides the point. So we explored Powell’s, and then Nate and I wandered around downtown. We got lunch in Pioneer Square at one of the carts–a Philly cheese steak sandwich cart. And then we ate Ben & Jerry’s. For the record, I had NO idea that there were retail Ben & Jerry’s stores until I came to Portland. Why don’t we have one?!

Pioneer Place was a nice mall, and Finnegan’s and its around-the-corner counterpart, Little Finnegan’s, was a great adventure to a toystore. They have Playmobil! And lots of other cool toys. It made me want to be a kindergarten teacher. I do love kids, I do love toys, and I do love teaching. Possibly an option to explore…Nate and I successfully lindybombed the Adidas, Puma and toy store(don’t worry, folks, we took it easy on my knee. One of the sales girls at the Puma store reminded us that tryouts for ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ were next week). And then…after all this exploring, we went on a Moroccan food adventure!

Marrakesh Morocco is an authentic Moroccan restaurant. Katie, Tiffany, Nate and I enjoyed our five-course dinner on pillows. The restaurant was dimly lit, and the servers all wore Moroccan outfits. Our server brought out a basin with warm water for us to wash our hands, because most of the Moroccan meal is eaten without utensils–as it is in most of the world, anyway. Plus, washing hands before a meal isn’t a bad idea anyway, I’m pretty sure. Our first course was a lentil soup, followed by a salad (yes, eaten with bread as an aid rather than forks) of carrots/squash+lettuce+tomato/cucumber. Appetizer was some filo dough covered in powdered sugar and cinnamon but filled with beef and eggs (sounds weird, is delicious) and then we had our main courses. Some of the main courses we ordered were hare, lamb brochette, wild salmon and lamb couscous. Yum! Plus, I got awesome leftovers. Dessert was fresh fruit in a bowl with awesome mint tea and we got to wash our hands again but with a spritz of orangeblossom. We all smelled like “Tucson and Hawaii,” according to Nate. It was a very satisfying meal, to say the least. I forgot to mention that a belly dancer came out at 7pm and shook her groove thang, also cool.

We came home to a potluck party with some live music provided by roommate Joel and some of his pals. They humored us with some bluesy music and there was some lindy jack that occurred. The standup bass and cello added a really cool sound to the 2 other guitars.

Overall, it was a great weekend. Today has been gray and chilly, so reading and movie watching are on my to-do list, as well as some consumption of leftovers from Marrakesh and SuperTorta. I hope you are all having adventures wherever you are.