Thursday, August 5, 2010

For Those Who Are Too High-Maintenance To Camp

How about a fantasy trip? Where would you go if you had a nice long weekend and could go anywhere within one contiguous state (or province, for the Canadians, or country for the Europeans)? That limits me to California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah or Arizona. Darn.

Since we're not feeling outdoorsy, let's go to Portland. Lots of cool restaurants and museums, and some nice sightseeing (and short drives to wine tasting). We'll stay at the Kennedy School, which is not quite what you would think. The McMenamin brothers are a very Oregonian pair, they buy up old hotels and other big facilities and turn them into wacky retro-feeling hotels with the most modern of amenities. The Kennedy School is a converted school with a bar in detention and a restaurant in the cafeteria. It also has it's own brewery, soaking pool and movie theater. And let us give them a token dirty look for making none of the photos on their website embeddable.

From here.

We'll probabaly fart around downtown for a couple of days, first of all. If you're feeling flush, Powell's is a bookstore that encompasses an entire city block in it's main store alone. They have maps and you can really use them. They also have stores in other neighborhoods if you're out and about, or if you're looking for something specific they also have a store that specializes in technical books and a home and garden store (I'm not allowed to go in that one, at least not with credit cards in hand).

If we're not broke yet and can carry stuff other than books, we can go to the Saturday Market. I never got to go there much but there tends to be live music and awesomely greasy food and I have a gorgeous photograph of Mt. Hood from there that is framed and hanging in my bedroom. We have to get elephant ears, they are like giant flat greasy cinnamon-sugar flatbreads (or something like that). You can get hippie jewelry, bags, incense and all sorts of handmade goods but I am a sucker for something I can hang on my wall that will be a pain to transport.

Then that night we'll hit one of the many fabulous restaurants (it's hard to go wrong, really, so why limit yourself?) and head off to the Crystal Ballroom for a show. Another quirky locale, this one's pretty unassuming looking but is a great venue (with a sprung floor, if you like to dance!).

From here.

The next day we can sleep late but if we're feeling virtuous we can go for a walk in Forest Park, and hit the fantastic Japanese Garden, or if we want to get edumacated, the Zoo. I'm planning for the end of summer/beginning of fall here so I'm thinking the Japanese Gardens will win out if the weather holds.

From here. Can you blame me? I do love the Zoo as well though, it is a particularly nice one.

If we want to head out of town for a little while, I have to head towards McMinnville, because that's where I went to school. I'm not going to really call Linfield a sightseeing spot but it is in a lovely town and as seems to now be the norm in small-town northern Oregon, there are tons of options for wine tasting, fine dining and poking around in fancy art galleries and cute shops. The main drag in McMinnville is one of my faves for cute small shops (and local ice cream!). And of course, another slightly loopy McMenamins to stay at - the Hotel Oregon, with it's award-winning Rooftop Bar and a totally tasty restaurant, to boot.

And what better to end with than a Polyvore, since I love to pack a virtual bag?

More muted colors since we're thinking fall here but still lots of pattern for interest.

And probably a ridiculous amount of bags and shoes for a long weekend. But that's why a virtual vacation is fun! No bags to schlep!

So where would you go?


LOJO said...

This is actually good for me to think about- I want to get away to Chicago..... soon.....

scb said...

Oooh, I'm going to do this virtual trip thing as soon as I can (likely not today, because my balcony's being fixed today, and I expect to be escaping jackhammering and whatnot, but soon). I think I'll take us all to Winnipeg.

Loved skimming through this, and will read it more closely later.

terander said...

Hm...where would I go? I had to look the conti-word up, but know that I know what it means I'm stuck with Finland and Norway as my choices. Denmark too I guess (but who wants to go there? ;) ).

Based on my options I'd head to...Norway. In fact, I'd head to Svalbard which belings to Norway though it's in the Arctic. I'd love to see polar bears in the wild! Some day...