Thanks for the Portland help. Here goes.
I arrived Friday at 10:30 am, my first experience on Alaska. Not the most comfortable of airlines, but the nuts and cute flight attendant were very nice. Took MAX into downtown, four blocks away from my hotel, Courtyard City Center. I appreciated the light rail but wish the fare were more strictly enforced. It may also have kept some of the unsavory types off of the rail line as well.
Walked to room, checked in, piddled around a bit, and then went to Portland City Grill. I waited over half an hour for a window table in the dining room, but it was worth it. Loved all of the windows and views. Had a full sandwich but wished I'd have gotten the salad/sandwich combo. Walked to do a quick wine tasting at Oregon Wines on Broadway - the clerk was a real hoot.
Walked to Pioneer Place and did some shopping. I definitely liked these malls but sadly didn't by anything. Had a quick mint biscotti break at Moonstruck Chocolate Kiosk. Walked to City Hall and inside (I liked the self-guided tour - pretty decor) and popped quickly into the Portland Building.
Went into Portland Art Museum and tooled around for a couple of hours. I enjoyed the variety of art, especially many of the Impressionist or American Impressionist paintings. My only rub is that I arrived at 4:30 but was not told it was a free Friday (after 5). I'd have waited had I known.
Had an amazing dinner at Carafe, with a super cool waitress. We complained about her hot male co-worker being straight, though I bet she would have tried to hook me up if so. Great value and service and amazing pommes frites.
Walked into and around Lan Su Gardens. I found the area to be somewhat dodgy but enjoyed the gardens. Such a cool oasis in an urban area. I walked around the waterfront (you guys were right, disappointing) into Saturday Market. Interesting, but not exactly Pike Peak. Walked a ton of the Pearl distract, up 10th, down 11th, up 12, etc., for many blocks. I finally liked Portland once I saw this area - definitely a neat place. Had a yummy ice cream break. was so sore, and decided to walk onto Nob Hill. I liked 23rd street, but I appreciated the Pearl District more, especially Jameson Square. Did a spot of shopping at Powell's - so massive.
Had a few hours to kill, so I got some drinks at Scandals (rather dead and old, if you ask me) and a yummy happy hour dinner at Jake's Crawfish. Amazing food for like $12. Must go. Walked to Artist's Rep to see Next to Normal - found this musical heartbreaking, especially as I am in the mental health field. Walked back to hotel and passed out.
Woke up later than I should have. Took a cab to Pittock Mansion, which I really appreciated given the steep hills. I loved this building, and especially the grounds and views. Really neat.
Then, if you know me at all, you will laugh hysterically at this next bit, but I actually hiked from Pittock to the Japanese Garden. Now, I am not a hiker and am a bit allergic to mud. It was, um, interesting, but I found myself lost several times and was grateful for the many people who incredulously helped me along the way. Let's just say this was not the highlight of my trip.
I enjoyed the Japanese Garden very much but found Rose Garden, as you all predicted, barren. No time needed there. Walked to Barnsdale to catch the 20 and ended up waiting over 45 minutes. Not a fan. Took the bus back near CC Slaughters and stopped for a quick bite and Diet Coke. Both the rainbow lounge and club areas were nice, but we are not in West Hollywood anymore, Dorothy.
Walked back to hotel, caught MAK to the airport, and am sitting here writing this in a nice business area they have set up.
Thanks again for the tips!
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Thanks for the Portland help. Here goes.