TRAVEL THERE: ONE MORE NIGHT IN OREGON
This is it! Our eight month tour of Oregon is drawing to a close. We started out by losing a day to the airlines, I’d seriously over-planned the vacation and we argued way too much along the way, but still, Oregon is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. Returning to Portland at the end of the vacation was almost like coming home and she continued to be a wonderful hostess.
Radisson Stay Hits the Spot
After staying in a wide variety of accommodations along the way in Oregon, I decided Bill would appreciate a nice traditional hotel for our last evening, so I made reservations for us at the Radisson by the airport. Great choice and Bill, who had always liked the chain, decided to proclaim it his hotel chain of choice. Now when we discuss going anywhere, his first question is, “Do they have a Radisson?”
The drive from Astoria took longer than I realized it would and he was bushed, so while he took his afternoon nap, I worked on rearranging the luggage to the airline specifications. After his nap we decided to take in a movie and though I have no idea what movie we saw, I do remember the theater and you’ve got to go there. It’s called the Bagdad.
The McNenamins Empire
Do you remember way back at the beginning of our trip when we headed out to the Columbia River Gorge via the McMenamins Edgefield Resort. Well, the Bagdad is part of the McMenamins brand. Another thing I’ll do if I go back to Oregon is visit more of the McMenamins empire. They’ve got funky down to a tee and have developed it into a collection of entertainment venues and sleeping accommodations that I’d like to know better.
The Bagdad is one of those grand old theaters that way too many cities let disappear off the face of the earth. McMenamins saved this one and it sits in the Hawthorne District, one of Portland’s rejuvenated neighborhoods. You can have a pizza and beer while you watch the movie, but if the pizza’s not any better than the popcorn was, I’d stick to the beer. However, watching whatever movie we saw in that wondrous relic of a theater was a real treat.
Laurelhurst Park, a Nice Surprise
On the way back to our hotel, we lucked into another wonder: Laurelhurst Park. I caught a peek at it on the way to the theater and hoped the GPS would send us back to the Radisson that way. I hadn’t caught the name of it as we zipped past on the way to the Bagdad. It was the perfect place for a stroll.
Portland people are outside-people, in spite of their rainy, misty sort of weather, they thrive in the out of doors. It was dusk and kind of chilly when we entered Laurelhurst Park, but Portlanders were out in force. They were walking their dogs and chatting with friends. I loved the atmosphere of the park. It was pretty with huge trees and a large pond full of water fowl.
A Few Hours Before Our Flight
The next morning, we had a few hours to kill so we headed back downtown. Our goal was to have some lunch out of the food trucks. We’d found a whole section of downtown devoted to them, but hadn’t gotten around to eating a meal there. We felt very hip and cool as we sauntered among the Portlanders chatting up their favorite food truck entrepreneur. Bill had a gyro and I found some Southern fried chicken, just like Mom used to make. I have no idea how the delicious treat found it’s way there, but it was wonderful.
But Portland had one more trick up her sleeve for us. The food truck area was not far away from the Portland Paramount Hotel, where we’d stayed earlier in the trip. We decided we’d take our food to Director Park, which is out in front of the Paramount, but surprise, surprise, a filming company had taken over the park and was making a TV show. It was great entertainment.
They were filming an episode of Leverage, which I hadn’t watched previous to the vacation. Since then I’ve become a devoted fan and keep my eyes open for other Portland sites as I watch, since it’s now one of my favorite cities.
Come back soon for a best and worst list of the trip. Then we’ll go someplace else together and you’re going to love it.