Over the weekend we took a little family trip to Vancouver, Washington because Brian had some work to do down there. This was a pretty relaxed trip. We didn’t really make any plans for what we were going to do just kind of be together and do whatever comes up. This was also a rare trip for me because I’m usually in charge of packing most everything we will eat while we are gone. It takes me a week to get all my cooking in for a camping trip. Last year we traveled to Las Vegas with a checked bag filled with snacks and other food and stayed in a hotel with a kitchen so I could cook for us. Cooking for my family is basically my full-time job.
The hotel we stayed at this weekend did not have a kitchen in it but they did have some really great perks. If you get a chance I can highly recommend staying at Oxford Suites. They had a pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room and fitness center. Additionally, they offered each guest two complimentary drink tickets for each night of stay (seriously, free wine or beer!). During this evening reception there was also a free salad and soup bar. We planned on going out to dinner but definitely hit up the salad bar to get some veggies in before dinner. Also, they have free hot breakfast! Not just bagels and cream cheese or a bowl of cereal. We had scrambled eggs, kielbasa sausage, potatoes, and cottage cheese. There was the standard bagels, donuts, and cereal also. We loved the hotel and wished we could have stayed another night (more free wine!). They were so friendly, too, and offered my girls a coupon for a free movie and popcorn from the convenience store in the lobby. Funny side note the girls had never seen microwave popcorn before so it was an adventure watching that pop in the microwave.
On Saturday on our way down to Vancouver we stopped at a little Mexican restaurant in Centralia. I had read about the place in a magazine as one of the best authentic Mexican food places in Washington so I had some high expectations. La Tarasca is not right off the freeway and is pretty small. We never would have found it if we hadn’t been searching. This place lived up to the hype! The descriptions I had read of the place was that it was like eating at someone’s house in Mexico and I completely agree. Brian and I split carnitas (it was lunch and we wanted to save room for dinner). They were so good and tender and juicy. The homemade corn tortillas were awesome! The girls got standard kid Mexican food (a burrito and tostada). I was so busy loving my food I didn’t even taste theirs. Oops! I tried to snap a pic but it didn’t turn out. The menu was small but as soon as we left I was dreaming about coming back and trying a different meal.
After our drinks (free booze!) and salad at the hotel on Saturday night we headed to the docks on Hayden Island (on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington) for dinner. We had found Island Cafe on the internet and it seemed like a neat place. It was! The cafe was out on the docks. We got to walk by all the boats and sit out on the water for dinner. I wish my food had been better so I could be really excited about the place. I had an Ahi tuna and avocado salad which sounds amazing but was just alright. Brian had an Ahi tuna burger which again was just alright (aside from the wasabi mayo which was so yummy!). My little carb lover Lexi had french fries and mini corn dogs and tried to insist that she was going to eat a whole basket full of fries (um, no way). Isabelle did not want to order off the kids menu (and I don’t blame her, you read what Lexi ate) so she ordered a veggie wrap with curry macaroni salad. Very adventurous of her and she really enjoyed it. She may have had the best meal.
On Sunday I took the girls down to Portland for church. Before we left I did some research as to what I might be able to find in the way of vegan food. I happened upon a small chain cafe, the Laughing Planet, within walking distance of church. Little did I know there were tons of little cafes within walking distance of church and being Portland I’m sure a lot of them had a decent vegan selection (note for next time). I did manage to take a picture of my delicious lunch:
It’s a veggie bowl! It was loaded with tofu, garlic green beans, broccoli, and asparagus topped with a cilantro lime slaw and peanut dressing. Man, it was good but way bigger than I thought (I even skipped the brown rice that normally comes with it). This thing kept me full for the rest of the day (really, I couldn’t eat dinner!). Lexi had a bean burrito and Isabelle had a bowl of mashed potatoes with steamed broccoli and corn. I totally dropped the ball on adding extra veggies to their meals because it was my first time there and I just had no idea (again, note for next time).
It was quite the day and a half filled with way too much food. Some of it not too bad for us, some of it definitely not great. Both my girls were pretty miserable last night when we got home and insisted they were hungry for dinner. I was way too full to eat so I served them this:
Afterwards, Isabelle was complaining of a tummy ache and could only lay on the couch. She kept telling me how grateful she was that we were not eating out again. Ha ha, back to mom made food for a while (job security).