Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tour of Portland: Day 1

I finally finished sorting the hundreds of pictures from our anniversary trip last month, (it took me long enough!) and am ready to share about the second half of our trip, our visit to Portland. We loved Portland and did so many fun things that I'm going to divide our pictures into a few posts to share with you!

We stayed at wonderful little B&B, the Fulton House. The in-residence hosts & owners, John & Wendy, took great care of us! They baked fresh chocolate chip cookies upon our arrival to welcome us and had delicious breakfasts waiting for us each morning.

We stayed in the Blue Heron room and loved having our own private 2nd floor porch off of our room. It was a great spot to relax with a glass of wine or a book in the cool of the evening. We enjoyed the historic character of the house and had a comfortable stay despite the heat. Portland had a hot spell, setting record highs during our stay (lucky us!), so we did miss having air conditioning!

John and Wendy even surprised us with a little anniversary treat. There was a mini chocolate cake from a local gourmet grocery store waiting for us when we returned back from our evening out! We would definitely recommend the Fulton House for visitors to Portland.

On our first night in Portland, we headed out for an early dinner downtown. Portland is known for their fabulous happy hours. Apparently, there was a state law that outlawed discounts on alcoholic beverages, so restaurants offered extensive cheap happy hour menus instead to bring in early evening & late night customers. The law was repealed, but the tradition was established and remains a trademark of the downtown Portland culture. We loved it! Delicious food for mere dollars an entree with generous portions that were plenty for a satisfying dinner.

We dined at Mama Mia our first night and it was excellent! The decor is very chic with exposed brick, red velvet draperies, and sparkling chandeliers. The Italian cuisine was rich & flavorful...very hearty for the happy hour deal! We highly recommend the fried zucchini and lotsa lasagna.
After dinner, we explored the well-known Pearl District of downtown Portland. Our first stop was Powell's City of Books, the largest new and used independent bookstore in the world! It occupies a whole city block with 68,000 square feet of books divided into 9 color coded rooms on four floors! We only had a few minutes to spend looking, but we could have easily stayed for hours!

The Pearl District is filled with restored former warehouses and stock yards turned restaurants, shops, upscale urban residences & lofts, parks and plazas. It has a unique urban character and was bustling with Portland locals out for an evening in the city. Portland has an extensive public transportation system that makes it easy to get around, and both buses and the tram within the heart of the city are free.

We enjoyed some of the local Cool Moon Ice Cream in one of the plazas at dusk before heading back to the B&B. It was a fun & relaxing evening taking in the sights of a unique part of the city!

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Happy Anniversary. That little Bed and Breakfeast looks so cozy and inviting. I've always wanted to visit Portland. Ok, and your minty dessert, I'm definitely going to have to try it. Thanks for you comment btw!