Thursday, 8 May 2014

WHC 2014 - First day in Portland Oregon

So, after making the LONG trip from London to Portland via a 4hr stop over in JFK we were cream crackered!

However, the people of Portland could not be nicer, from the lovely lady on the plane showing us how to use the MAX tram line service to the great receptionist at the Double Tree Hilton handing us a warm choc chip cookie!

After throwing our (damaged luggage - shame on you Delta Airlines) in the room we headed for the bar and managed to stuff two amazing burgers, huge amounts of salad and some lovely applewood smoked cheese really made it yummy!

8hrs of time delay lead to very tired bunnies.... so an early night for us, but that also meant we were up at the crack of dawn, well 6am actually.

Showered and eager to explore we headed for breakfast and I have to say the variety was astounding. We tried spicy cornbread; so weird to have sweet bread with a peppery after taste, but it went down well with the "lean" streaky bacon! The array of fruit was great and I tucked in with gusto. Discovered I am not keen on american scrambled eggs - too much butter.

We jumped back on the MAXline and headed for the Rose Garden, famed for its 10K+ roses!  However, as we cant read USA maps we got a bit lost and ended up at the Oregon Zoo, which was a brilliant (and reasonably priced) morning out. 

We loved seeing the three new, really cute, lion cubs. It is a very small, intimate zoo, the layout is great with easy to follow trails and the animals are very close contact. It is clear by their enclosures that they are all well cared for and loved.

One thing we have noticed is that Portland loves its bronze statues - the place is littered with them, but they are all beautiful.

Post Zoo we wandered back to the MAX and found ourselves outside the Worlds Largest 2nd hand book store Powell's - I was entranced, but of course it was Hubby that found multiple books that he just HAD to have!

We then stumbled across the street to Deschutes Brewery where we tried six of the locally produced beers, all small samplers before you think we were on the lash! we also had an amazing waitress and enjoyed some chowder!  the pizza was so enormous, we had to carry half of it out!

The afternoon was spent tootling around town on the MAX and StreetCar lines, taking in the sites and the locals, all of whom wanted to chat to us and tell us the best bits of Portland to visit, I guess our English and Scottish accents stuck out a mile!

After a little book review (please see previous post!) we snuck out of the hotel and met some friends for the first time in the flesh!!

They took us to the most fun place, Montage with some really great food, but the best bit about that was leaving some as then we got  a fantastic take out package! My whale (cruddy photo, sorry, he has a spout of water coming out of his blow hole!)

And a whale is kind of how I feel after all the spectacular food we have eaten today!

So what does tomorrow hold for us, well the reason for coming all this way begins! World Horror Convention!

We also get to meet loads more awesome authors! speakers! and who knows what else.... but in the morning The Mall beckons.... uh oh!!

I may need to plead the 5th when it comes to the credit card bill when we get home!