Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Portland #1

Ok...  Guess I better post about our trip to Portland before I forget everything!

Can I just say how excited I was to be leaving town the day after Easter?!  I've always wanted to do that (when you work in a church, this sounds like Heaven...).  But I learned my lesson.  With all the work that goes into Holy Week, adding the preparations for vacation into the mix?  Not helpful.

Still totally worth it, though.

So we headed out - to the city I would call home (if I were ever to move again).  Ha ha ha.  Don't worry.  My better half is securely rooted in the Midwest.  We're not going anywhere.

So our first day, we got checked into our hotel in the afternoon after taking the train from the airport.  So nifty.  I love mass transit in cities that know how to make it easy!  Our hotel was in the Pearl District - I think that's my favorite neighborhood in all of Portland!  Although we are still exploring...

We settled in and decided to start exploring.  We walked through some of my favorite areas, stopped in some shops, sat in Jamison Park and watched the families play, and people walk their dogs.  Totally relaxed and lovely.  Then, we headed out for dinner at Brix Tavern (a recommendation I found on another blog - GREAT pick!).  Yum.  We had a mushroom pizza that was fabulous!  And of course some yummy local brews...  Including a coconut porter that was delish!

Next we made a stop at the Rogue Brewery Brew Pub.  We've been there before, so had to stop by.  In the process of getting the bartender's attention, we met the couple at the table next to us.  She was a new-er transplant from Conneticut, and he was an old high school friend of her's - a truck driver passing through.  They were so fun!  Full of recommendations, comparing beers and whiskeys, and reminding us to live it up while we're "young"! 

Tuesday, was the Blue Like Jazz premiere, so we did a little exploring during the day.  We walked to the Nob Hill neighborhood and enjoyed a quiet stroll through some pretty and colorful areas.  We never did find the cute shops and boutiques that were talked about in the tourist book, but we still liked that area!  Lots of cute restaurants and pubs.

We ended up eating lunch across from our hotel at Kenny and Zukes Deli.  Yum.  Best pastrami sandwiches!

We got back to the hotel, took a little nap, and got ready for the premiere!  I had a little black dress and blue wrap... and wore heels for the first time in a long time!  Hubby looked great in his shirt and tie.  I'd say we were lookin' good!  Our cab was on time and off we went!

When we got dropped off at the Bagdad Theatre in the Hawthorne District, the line was wrapped around the building to get in - everyone was waiting for the red carpet arrivals.  Of course, as soon as we jumped out of the cab...  It started raining.  Of course.  And no - I didn't bring an umbrella.  All of us ladies, with our hair done, dresses on, make-up - standing in the rain.  Good grief.  But what are you gonna do?!  We all laughed and said, "oh well."  (Hence, really no good pics of the evening...)
(And the dark clouds roll in...)
(Just call me "Mary.")
(This is the best pic we got that night...  Oh dear!)
(The line - and we were pretty close to the front!)

Don Miller, the writer; Steve Taylor, the director; Marshall Alman, the main actor; and a few more of the actors all finally arrived and did the red carpet thing - and THEN we started making our way in the theatre!  We got a stop on the red carpet, too, for a quick photo, and were greeted by Steve Taylor, himself.  He introduced himself to every single person - and asked everyone for their names as well.  And then he offered us Twizzlers and thanked us for being there.  (Kind of a cool touch.)

The theatre itself was a classic.  Old and full of vintage character.  We sat towards the back and just took everything in.  Very fun.  The cast and Don and Steve took time for a little introduction before the movie - once again telling the story of how this movie came to be, and thanking everyone for coming!
(Just playing around before the show began.)
(Steve is on the left, Marshall is in the middle with the red tie, to his right is Tonya Raymonde from "LOST," next to her is the "real" Penny for those of you who have read the book, and Don is on the right.)

The movie was great.  Of course.  And afterwards, the whole cast and Don and Steve once again came out for a Q&A session.  It was about 10:30 by the time we were leaving...  And Mike and I realized we never had dinner!  Apparently, the whole crew was going to the Tavern next door for drinks afterwards, so we headed there, too.  It was fun to watch all the movie people hang out, play pool, and relax...  We didn't bug them, but enjoyed the people watching!

And can I say, I loved our Taxi driver on the way back to our hotel?!  I never caught his name - but he was about our age and told us his story on how he ended up in Portland (another person from the East Coast).  When he asked what we did for jobs and I said I worked for a church - he thought that was cool and started telling me all about his church (kind of unusual in Portland!).  So we told him about Blue Like Jazz and I gave him a postcard with all the movie info on it.  He said he couldn't wait to see it - and as I got out of the taxi, he turned to me and said "God bless you guys."  One of those moments I wish could have lasted longer.  I keep him in my prayers still today.

More to come about Oregon, tomorrow!

Things I am thankful for today:

1.  Rain.
2.  Amazing opportunities.
3.  Faith.
4.  Pastrami sandwiches.
5.  Loved Tony Lucca on "The Voice" last night!
6.  Bailey's cuddles.
7.  Mike's on the hunt for morels...
8.  Sneakers.
9.  Pinterest ideas!
10.  The orange wall in our loft.  It makes me smile.

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