Monday, May 21, 2012

city of roses

Portland in the sunshine may be the ideal city. My mother and I arrived early Thursday afternoon and checked into the Ace Hotel. Since both of us were starving, we dumped our bags in our room and went downstairs to Clyde Common.  The hotel is perfectly situated. With Clyde Common and Stumptown off of the lobby, there's delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner on all sides. And it's an easy walk to anywhere in the downtown area. Since the weather was so good, we decided to go out wandering. 

We first stopped at Powell's books to browse for a while.  Afterwards we walked up to First Presbyterian Church. Sixty-six years ago, my grandparents were married there. 

We poked around  Canoe and Alder & Co. and then stopped in for a cocktail at Kask before walking to Chinatown for dinner at Ping. After, we stopped at Park Kitchen for a drink and some dessert.

On Friday, we woke up early (fire alarm at 6am! everyone out on the street in their bathrobes!), had coffee at Stumptown and then went on a on a bike tour through Pedal Bike Tours. I hadn't been on a bike in probably two years and it was so much fun. We lunched at Little Bird and then went back to the hotel to take naps. In the evening, we walked around the Pearl district and had dinner at Riffle based on the recommendation of one of the bartenders at Kask. It was the first weekend the restaurant was open and it was buzzing with energy and good spirits. The food was also terrific.

On Saturday, we borrowed bicycles from the hotel and pedaled up to the farmer's market on the PSU campus. 

It's a wonderful farmer's market, full of flowers and produce as well as stands selling prepared foods. Finding ourselves hungry, we stopped at the Pine State Biscuits stand and shared a fried chicken sandwich with hot sauce. After our tour of the market, we dropped our bicycles at the hotel and took MAX to Washington Park and then bussed to the International Test Rose Garden. 

The roses were just starting to bloom so the garden wasn't quite the profusion of color it'll be in a few weeks' time, but it was still completely beautiful. 

We also visited the Japanese gardens just across the way from the rose gardens. My mom was swooning over the beautiful trees, most of which don't grow well in San Diego.

We headed over to the Hosford-Abernathy neighborhood on the east side of the river because we had spa appointments at Loyly. After getting thoroughly turned around- it's more difficult to navigate the east side without a car- we found ourselves at Loyly where we spent a few hours relaxing before heading over to East Burnside for an early dinner at Farm Cafe. We had drinks at the bar at Clyde Common and then walked across the street to the Living Room Theater to see Pina. It turned out the movie had been cancelled, but we stayed on to listen to live jazz and eat salty buttered popcorn in the bar. 

On Sunday, we woke up to our first day of gray weather. We walked over to Voodoo Donuts hoping to try the famed maple bacon donut, but when we saw the line, we quickly headed back to the hotel and had breakfast at Kenny & Zuke's instead. Fortified, we decided to go check out the Lan Su Chinese Garden, which was incredibly lovely, particularly in the rain. 

And then it was time to leave. I don't think it could have been possible to enjoy the weekend more.

Thanks again to my lovely mother for making the trip with me- love love love!

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