Snowpocalypse and Twenty Six Cafe

Today was another snow day for all of us in the Portland area. It’s been our sixith snow day this year, which is crazy to think about. The last four years that I have lived in Oregon we’ve had snow, but nothing to this magnitude. It has maybe stuck a few times each year prior to this one where we had one to two days of the lovely powder, but for it to have a constant stick of two to three days of snow fall is completely crazy.

You see in Portland we don’t have all the necessary infrastructure for snow, meaning an abundance of snowplows for the entire city. So basically everyone stays home when there is snow. School is canceled. And mostly everyone gets the day off. Sure, there are a few businesses open like grocery stores and some restaurants, but for the most part things basically shut down in the city. Rarely anyone drives, because who wants to put blasted chains on their tires in the snow. That’s why to get anywhere in the city most people just walk, at least I know we do.

Today’s snow day the Hubs and I decided to get out of the house for a bit to enjoy it together. The last snow day which was last week the Hubs braved the ice to ride the street car to work rather then ride his normal transportation, his bike. So we didn’t get to enjoy the snow day together. But this time we definitely were going to get out in and play a bit.

We stepped out of the house and the snow had blanketed everything from the street, to the courtyard, to our front door about a foot deep. It was completely gorgeous. Being a born and raised California girl seeing snow still has this childlike awe for me. I always think of Narnia and the scene with Lucy where she first steps from the wardrobe and sees all the snow. Yes, seeing snow is still like that for me. I truly get the biggest kick out of it.

We decided to walk down to Twenty Six, which is our fave little coffee spot down the block from our place. It’s a cute place with excellent coffee from Nossa Familia, a sustainable specialtity coffee out of Portland that works directly with fair trade relationships in Brazil and founder Augusto Carneiro. I can go on about the awesomeness of Nossa Familia, but I will save that for another post. But in all seriousness, check them out when you get the chance because they are an incredible company doing incredible things worldwide.

There were a few people out with their sleds and walking their dogs, including this cute couple who’s daughter was nearly passed out on her sled as they pulled her. She totally had a blast in the snow, one of her Mom’s told us as we chatted for a second.

We finally made it to Twenty Six and with no slip and falls, which is a good fete for me because I am known for not being the most graceful when it comes to getting around in the snow, ice, or severe rain. I tend to fall on my rump a lot. Lol. You would think with a name like Grace I would have a bit more graceful attributes, but you would be laughably wrong.

Once we got inside we ordered a mocha for myself, a coffee for the Hubs, and ciabatta toast with Nutella.

After getting both our mocha and coffee the Hubs and I decided to go outside to their patio to have a bit more room to play a game of Star Realms which we brought with us. Twenty Six’s patio is quaint and has heating lamps, which was nice on days like this where the front of house is a bit more crowded.

We got ourselves set up for a match of Star Realms, which if you haven’t played is similar to Magic the Gathering in that it is a deck builder game. In my opinion it is better than Magic because there isn’t all the outside building of individual decks, which can cause advantages. Especially to opponents who aren’t as verse in the world of Magic and aren’t as familiar with each card. Because there are a lot of cards in Magic often times there can be this uneven balance of power that makes you feel like you are already losing before you even play the game. This tends to happen when you are going up against experienced players. Making the game less fun for casual players, unless you are lucky enough to start up with a good play group like I did when I first learned the game of Magic.

But in Star Realms this isn’t the case because everyone start out with the same base set of cards. The same starting base, no hidden tricks up the sleeve or thought out card strategies due to buying up the best cards from your local card shop or online Magic card haven. It’s the on the spot strategies by buying up cards on each turn that make this game far superior to Magic in my opinion. In order to get the better of your opponent you are having to think quick and analyze the cards in the trade row at a faster pace, thinking which ones would work better for your hand. Where as in Magic there is such a crutch of simply relying on buying the best cards for your deck and letting that do the work, making it far lazier process.

There will be a review of Star Realms coming up from both the Hubs and I giving our opinions and giving a complete run through of the dynamics of the game so look out for that.

Our ciabatta toast came with both a side of hazelnut butter and soft cheese, since they were out of the Nutella we originally ordered. It was delicious either way. And putting a bit of soft cheese with a drizzle of the hazelnut butter was rather tastier than I initially imagined it would be. It’s definitely not your typical combination, but it definitely works.

The first round of Star Realms I won with a thirty point advantage, but the second round of Star Realms the Hubs won with a mere 8 point advantage. That second game was a neck-and-neck grid-iron game with both of us hitting each other with substantial amounts of damage each turn. But in the end, he hit me with a 12 point combined damage from a few cards and it was just too much for the 11 points I had out on the table that was barely keeping me afloat. It was a good match. And a good stopping point for the both of us to make our way back home.

Although the patio had heat lamps the lower half of my body was feeling a bit too frozen from our time sitting and playing games. So we cleared our plate and cups then made our way home.

It was a lovely little outing in the snowpocalypse. Stay warm and safe all!

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