Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A No-Kid Gift from... the Kids!

Hubby and I enjoyed a weekend get-away, thanks to a birthday gift for me from our kids. We have been to Portland a few times, but never spent the night.  Day trips, and even this one, don't offer time to do the city justice, but we did broaden our horizons a bit on this visit.

Our previous jaunts to Portland included stops at Ann Sacks Tile (thumbs up), Voodoo Doughnut (I know that this will be a shock to many, but we were not particular fans),  Fabric Depot (a winner, especially when they have a 40% off all fabrics coupon), the Flying Pie pizzeria (2 thumbs up!), the Armory Cafe (yum), and Powell's City of Books (another family favorite).  Other than waiting in a long line for unremarkable doughnuts with interesting toppings, for which once was enough, we have visited each of these places two or 3 times.  For all Portland has to offer, this is a small sampling.  But with usually only a few hours to spend, sandwiched between 3-hour drives, we stick to what we know and love.

This time we wanted to relax, fit in a favorite or two, but also, check out some places that had intrigued us in previous trips, but hadn't fit in the schedule.

Our gift reservation took us into the Rose District.  Although, it's not too far from many of the places we'd frequented, we'd never been in this area of town.  Our hotel was aptly called the Hotel Rose.  The Rose is advertised as a 'boutique hotel.'  It's supposed to be funky and different.  Truthfully, we thought it was 'funky' this past weekend in ways that took us aback at first:

  • The lobby was completely in construction-mode, with craft paper for flooring, and a welcome desk plopped in pretty much nothingness
  • Parking in the hotel garage was 'discounted' for guests, but not free, at $15 per night
  • Our special, 'Metropolitan View' peeked over a more dominating view of a solid, grayish, painted wall

  • We were jolted by the tremendous rumbling, in noise and feel, of the city train that ran right next to the building, sometimes every few minutes, throughout the day

The tail end of the white train passing by the base of the building...
and the blue train just a few minutes later.
There was also a red, and maybe a yellow.

We got used to these things, though, and didn't really notice any of it by the time we left on Sunday.  

The staff was exceptionally cordial and pleasant. The decor was contemporary and updated, but not what I'd call particularly fun or funky, as advertised.  It was nice, though, with a lovely bathroom, and good bedding on a comfortable king-sized bed, so no complaints.

2 things were truly disappointing, though.  The highly rated bistro and bar (with what sounded like a great happy hour and dinner menu) were closed for major remodeling, and the riverfront park across the street, which should offer wonderful and scenic walks, was filled with a Cinco de Mayo carnival.  This meant we couldn't catch sight of the Willamette River until we were blocks from our hotel, and had to walk along busy streets and through (occupied) bridge underpasses to reach the famed Portland Saturday Market, and to get to the downtown districts we wanted to visit.   --Just bad timing, and maybe a reason to go back at a better time! 

Even though it lacked its usual on-site dining, they still offered room service.  But to talk about that, I'll get ahead of myself.  I'll quit here for today, and get back to you later with more details of our fun... and what's a vacation of any size without... FOOD.  :-)

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