Last week, my friend Asha sent me a private message on Twitter: "Any chance we could meet while you're in town? I can even drive you to the airport, if you need it."
Now, Asha is one of my most favourite people I've met since I began blogging almost 7-1/2 years ago. We worked together virtually for a year on Momversation, and she's one of those really smart women who also exudes an air of complete calm and kindness. So, needless to say, there was no way in Hades I was turning down her kind invitation. I happily accepted.
I checked out of my hotel early Sunday morning, and Asha picked me up at the sidewalk. She asked what sort of breakfast I was in the mood for, and I asked to take me somewhere "quintessentially Portland." And so she took me to a restaurant called Slappy Cakes. Because, of course, a quintessentially Portland restaurant would be called "Slappy Cakes."
One wall of the restaurant was completely open to the outdoors (it was a beautiful day), and the tables were really long, providing family style seating.
But the best part was that there were hot griddles right in the middle of the tables (sort of like teppanyaki), except it was designed for patrons to make their very own, customized pancakes:
I, however, had the eggs.
Once we ordered (from the adorable waiter who was wearing both a kilt and a crown jauntily perched on his head), we settled in for what Marcus would call "a good old natter." It was wonderful. We talked about work, and family, and what inspires us, and what we hope for ourselves, and it was one of those conversations that felt like we totally skipped the surface stuff, and got right to the heart of things. It was awesome.
Because we'd arrived so early, we beat the rush; but after a couple of hours, people waiting at the door were eyeing our seats. So we paid the bill, and walked next door to an area filled with a bunch of food carts.
Apparently food carts are all the rage in Portland these days, and while most of them were closed on this Sunday morning, one was open; where the woman who owns this stunning face...
...made me one of the best chai teas of my life.
Asha and I then sat at a nearby bench and spoke some more as I finished my tea. It was so great to spend time with her, and after the hectic day before, this was the best, most perfect, calmest, loveliest way for me to say goodbye to this beautiful city.
Thanks so much, Asha.
Happy Love Thursday, folks. May you connect with a good friend someday soon.