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-   -   A Portland, OR Trip Report (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/a-portland-or-trip-report-621893/)

kureiff Jun 8th, 2006 08:06 AM

A Portland, OR Trip Report
 
Big thanks to Scarlett, mms, beachbum, mistletoe, and other Portland folks that answered questions. Your advice was perfect!

<bold>The travlers</bold>
Husband "N" and myself. Our toddler stayed with her grandparents (both sets -- after complicated and endless negotiations they worked out a system where they each got equal time with the toddler). :)

The reason for the trip was technically a conference, but mostly a romantic getaway for N and me. But because I attended the conference, my firm paid for the hotel, some of my meals, and my flight.

<bold>Getting there</bold>

Just an interesting note about flying in and out of Montana, we had three connections to make and because of a less than one hour delay in Denver, we could've driven to Portland from Montana (12 hours)in the same amount of time we could have flown there.

But we were able to rearrange our flight in Denver and we ended up in business class on a direct flight. Hurray for delays. We ended up getting to Portland earlier than we planned and we got a free upgrade to business class.

<bold>The accommodations</bold>

The 5th Avenue Suites. It's a great hotel in a great location. We had a queen deluxe room that was a little small and could've used a chest of drawers. Our room was nice (other than a bit small) and I liked the Aveda bath products.

We both liked the nightly wine tasting and painting. There were several families staying over the weekend for graduations. It's a great hotel for families and pets. We decided that next time we'll bring the toddler; she would've loved painting and seeing all of the dogs.

I entered two of my paintings (masterpieces, really) into the monthly contest (win a free night in a Kimpton hotel). I'll report back if I win. :)

I attended a conference while we were in Portland at the Embassy Suites downtown. It's a beautiful hotel but the atmosphere is more stuffy than the 5th Avenue Suites. The 5th Avenue Suites is just fun. It was the perfect hotel for us and we'd love to come back and stay there again!

kureiff Jun 8th, 2006 08:06 AM

I guess I should preview my posts as my attempts at bolding didn't work.

Sorry about that!

kureiff Jun 8th, 2006 08:28 AM

And I see that I spelled "travellers" incorrectly. Aack. Anyway....

The Food

So many good choices in Portland. We ate a lot and we ate often.

Henry's Tavern. We tried a double chocolate stout (very, very good) and hazelnut brown ale (good). We also tried the gorgonzola fries and a pizza. The fries were fantastic; the pizza - eh, not so much. Total: $30.

Oh, and I have to mention McDonalds in the Denver airport. I confess that I love McDonalds but only eat there about once every two or three years and usually in an airport. I had a cheeseburger and it was delicious. You can insert an embarassed smiley here.

The Pearl Bakery. We ate breakfast here most mornings and tried to sample everything.

Vault Martini. We met N's cousin and cousin's girlfriend for drinks on Friday night. Between us we tried five martinis. The lemon basil martini was the high point. The rosemary martini was the low point; it tasted like soap. We noticed that they play a lot of music from our jr. high and early high school years. I hadn't heard Warrant, Poison, or Guns N Roses for a long time. Memories of jr. high dances came flooding back for all of us. Not sure if that was a good thing.

Wildwood. After an exhausting day of walking, we stopped by Wildwood's bar for an afternoon drink and some food. We shared the Wildwood burger and the olives. The hamburger is very good and I don't really like red meat (which is probably why I like McDonalds -- not a lot of red meat in their burgers).

St. Honore Bakery. We had breakfast here before going to the Rose Garden. It's good, but we liked the Pearl Bakery a little bit better.

Hot Lips Pizza (near Jameson Park). Nice location, decent pizza, bad service.

Mio Gelato. We made many trips to Mio Gelato. We can't get gelato where we live in Montana (it's the wild west, you know).

Everett Street Bistro. We had a wonderful meal here. The menu was great. The mussels and rosemary fries were delicious. The baked brie was good. I had the gnocci with morels -- fantastic and N had the halibut.

The prices are very reasonable. We ordered a bottle of wine, two shared plates and two entrees and with tip it came to $90. We loved this restuarant!

And I think we saw Scarlett and the Yankee and Pup walk by while we were dining. :)

Whole Foods. We picked up snacks here for picnic lunches while we were out walking around Portland.

Scarlett Jun 8th, 2006 08:29 AM

Thanks for posting kureiff!
We have only been in the King suites in the hotel, sorry the room was small, but so glad you liked it anyway!
Is your <i>masterpiece</i> hanging in the hotel now? We will go by and take a look :)
*
It is &lt; B &gt; instead of &lt; bold &gt;

Scarlett Jun 8th, 2006 08:32 AM

LOL I bet you did see us walking by, Pup prefers that route on his walks ((&amp;))

We just had dinner at the Everett St Bistro the other night, come back and have the crab cakes...sigh!


mms Jun 8th, 2006 08:49 AM

So glad you had a good trip!

What sort of painting did you do? When we stayed at a Kimpton hotel in Seattle (the Alexis), they had postcards and watercolors set out during the wine tasting hour. I thought that was a lot of fun to have an activity like that, and of course our kids had a ball.

Mio Gelato is addictive:D

You definitely need to plan a trip with your daughter as well. See, a good excuse to return, lol!


kureiff Jun 8th, 2006 08:59 AM

What we did.

Well, I attended a very boring conference about tax law for two days. N enjoyed two days by himself. He's a stay at home dad, and it was quite freeing to walk around without a diaper bag, without a toddler, and without having to be on the lookout for a men's bathroom that has a changing table (which can be hard to find).

N saw the Portland Art Museum, the Science and Industry Museum, several galleries, REI, and he spent half a day in Powell's.

N found a gallery that had several Dali's and a couple of Rembrandts for sale. N liked a Dali. I liked a Rembrandt, but since we couldn't agree, we decided not to get either one. :)

We walked through the Rose Garden, but had quite a time trying to find it. We knew we needed turn on Park, but we were so interested in the houses along Vista Ave. we missed the turnoff and ended up walking almost 30 blocks up Vista Ave. admiring houses and dreaming. About an hour later, we realized we had messed up and walked back down the hill. We wish we lived on Vista Avenue!

Scarlett Jun 8th, 2006 09:08 AM

We wish we lived on Vista too! That was one of the first areas we visited here, really helped with the decision to move here..

I think I know the gallery you saw Dali in, on the corner of Everett &amp; 10th? Big bronzes there too? They are really nice there and have an amazing collection on display, all the time. Sometimes they have black tie candle lit dinners in the gallery :)

kureiff Jun 8th, 2006 10:44 AM

Yes, Scarlett, that's the gallery! They have quite a collection, don't they?

<b>The Japanese Gardens</b>

Definately, a must see in our opinion. The gardens are beautiful and peaceful. This was our favorite place we visited in Portland.

<b>The Pearl District</b>

We walked and walked the area. We really liked Jamison (sp?) Park and the condos/townhomes near there. The shopping was fun, too. I liked Olivia Belle near the Pearl Bakery for half priced Michael Stars and Three Dot t-shirts.

<b>Northwest</b>

We spent a lot of time wandering around this neighborhood. I liked the mix of shops and houses and restuarants and apartments.

We also stopped by Sahugun Chocolate -- delicious hot chocolate. We tried to stop by St. Cupcake but it's closed on Mondays.

<b>A little bit of shopping</b>

We did a little shopping here and there. Knit Purl is a great knitting store; we bought some great yarn for a sweater for our toddler.

I found some new ski pants marked down by over 60% downtown. :)

We walked out of Powell's with several books and wondering how we were going to meet the weight limits for our suitcases.

My husband liked one of the Chai tea shop on NW 23rd. I liked the Lena Medoyeff studios -- handpainted fabrics and beautiful dresses.

<b>Coming home</b>

We were sorry to leave Portland. It was a great trip and a great getaway for us.

But we were excited to see our daughter who had been telling us every time we called that she was getting on an airplane to come find us.



mms Jun 8th, 2006 11:39 AM

kureiff--I had to giggle about the knitting store:) I have not been to that one yet...but it is on my calendar for in a week or so! I have only been to knitting shops on the eastside so far. How was the selection at this store? Did they have much of the more fun stuff vs basics?

beachbum Jun 8th, 2006 11:45 AM

Why am I reminded of <u> A Tale Of Two Cities </u> ?

Nice to read you enjoyed your time in Portland, kureiff. Well.... some of it anyway. Tax law... uugghhhh!

Scarlett Jun 8th, 2006 11:54 AM

mms, it is very close to where I live, visit me and we will go buy yarn. I can pick out what I want for my winter hat lol

Did you go to Henny Penny , kureiff? I need a baby girl to shop for, I love that shop!

Scarlett Jun 8th, 2006 11:57 AM

A great resource and source of entertainment once in a while, is www.portlandfood.org.
There you can read <i>foodie</i> discussions on all the dining in Portland, shopping etc too, if related to eating!
I enjoy reading some of the goofier posts as well as the questions about where to eat and where all the yummy food is..sooner or later, you will find mention of it here :)

mms Jun 8th, 2006 12:02 PM

beachbum--LOL!

Scarlet--You are on! When we meet for breakfast soon, so will go yarn shopping after. BTW, I love the Mento's/coke thing on the PF site, lol!

razzledazzle Jun 8th, 2006 12:08 PM

I have got to get to Portland !
((Y))
kureiff~Nice report ! Ask our Scarlett about her Japanese Gardens photos !
:S-
mms~Can we spend an afternoon popping
***in&amp;out*** of hotel lobbies ?
:-D

R5

mms Jun 8th, 2006 12:13 PM

Razzle:D Come on up! Our son has a camp in downtown coming up soon, so I will be wandering around all week. Should I do a tour of all the nice hotels and then post pics and a trip report about it? Oh, and I would have to use the facilities there for the report to have any real basis, lol!

kureiff Jun 8th, 2006 12:29 PM

mms: Knit Purl had a great selection of yarn. The ladies were very helpful. I also got some yarn to make a small bag and then I'm going to embroider the bag (ambitious plans as I'm not a very good knitter)!

We also stopped at another knitting store in the Pearl, but I can't remember the name. Knit Purl had a better selection, though.

And my husband would kill me if he knew that I let his secret out, but he is an amazing knitter and will be knitting the sweater for our daughter.

He reluctantly agreed to accompany me when I decided to learn to knit, but he picked it up really fast and is amazing at it. He knits while he watches college football on Saturdays and pro football on Sundays. He finishes a lot of projects during football season. :)


kureiff Jun 8th, 2006 12:32 PM

Beachbum: LOL. No kidding; there's nothing quite like spending a Saturday listening to the latest developments in tax law.

Scarlett: We did check out Henny Penny. It's a beautiful store. I oohed and ahhed over the clothes. They have amazing hand-embroidered t-shirts.

mms Jun 8th, 2006 12:45 PM

kureiff--Thanks:) Are you making a felted bag? A friend just started one. I am waiting to see how hers comes out before I attempt that. My knitting instructors husband is a knitter. There was an article in our paper recently about men who knit, and it said that it is surprising how many men do. I was at a football thing last night, and during a water break, one of the boys came and asked me about my knitting and was asking if it was hard to learn. I think his dad was a bit afraid, lol!

LoveItaly Jun 8th, 2006 06:22 PM

One of my late grandfathers was a retired Sea Captain. He knew how to knit also. He said a lot of seamen use to knit while out to sea as it was something to keep them occupied during their off hours. It is interesting that there is men that still knit. Good for them! I haven't in years and when I did..well it was pathetic, lol.


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