May 29, 2010

Rhonda's Big Birthday Adventure

The birthday celebration was a success!  We started our adventure in the early afternoon, good thing, it was stormy all day and driving was a little slower than usual.  Rhonda just learned how to use the GPS on her IPhone.   I drove, she played navigator.  We went quite a few places and never got lost.  We had to drop Jose on our way at the wrecking yard to pick up a truck he purchased.  Haven't seen him in awhile either, we had a fun visit.  It was raining very hard and he drove very well from the back seat. :-)   I did my best to stay in my lane/creek on the way.  There were some very interesting trees in the wrecking yard.  The bark looked very unusual, Rhonda thought the tree looked like it had been hit by lightening.  It turns out they were overgrown juniper bushes.  I had no idea they could grow into trees.  

The spa at the Everett house was as warm and relaxing as hoped.  A soak in the flotation therapy tank, a sauna, a little steam room and we left feeling refreshed and ready for dinner.

We enjoyed a lovely meal at the Blossoming Lotus.  Rhonda had the Four Cheeze Lasagna which is made with:  fresh seasonal vegetable marinara, semolina noodles, herbed tofu ricotta, roasted garlic & squash mozzarella, and sesame parmesan. It was served on a bed of kale and topped with lemon-basil cashew cream. This was a lush lasagna, very creamy and tasty.

I had the Baked ziti with roasted eggplant and creamy butternut squash sauce, topped with sage roasted tempe, cashew cream cheeze and bread crumbs also served on steamed kale.  This reminded me of old fashioned baked macaroni and cheese with much more flavors and textures.

We shared some Tahini-Cilantro Pate with their house made savory flax crackers.  Rhonda enjoyed the crackers so much we headed off to People's Co-op to buy some from their raw food section.   I let her know I have the Blossoming Lotus' cookbook and the flax cracker recipe is in it. 

After a trip to the Co-op we headed to Voo Doo for a bit of a different vegan birthday cake, hand made donuts. (Not all vegan food is healthy)  This isn't your usual donut shop.   Most the fun I had was watching the kids look at all the fun flavors, colors, and shapes of donuts trying to decide which one they'd like.  It's a popular place too.  When we walked in there was only two people and some children ahead of us.  By the time it was our turn, there was a line circling around out the door.  You know, our whole evening went like that.  We just had great timing everywhere we went.

But the most fun of all was spending time together and getting to take Rhonda to all of my favorite places for her birthday.   It seems we always have a purpose, like shopping, the airport, or special event when we go to Portland.  This time it was just leisurely fun with sisters.   She had never been to a spa like that, the vegan restaurant was quite a treat, she reminded me to take pictures of the food.  She's got a daughter who's vegan and been learning to prepare meals for her.  She's been enjoying learning about whole food cooking too.  She loved the vegetarian grocery co-op and bought a few things herself, and had never heard of Voo Doo Donuts where you can get hand designed gourmet treats. If you want to call some of their toppings gourmet, they're definitely different.  I think the purple one is flavored with Kool-Aid or Pixie Sticks.

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