(I mean the one in Oregon.... apparently there are a lot of other Portlands around the USA!)
Today was filled with dining and shopping and football-watching. But let me start with last night's dinner, which was excellent. The front desk person at the hotel recommended a restaurant up the street called Southpark. I admit, I had visions of Stan, Kyle and Cartman at first, but it's actually a seafood restaurant with a distinctly Mediterranean flair. I forgot that it was a Friday night at 7:30pm... the place was packed. I ended up sitting at the bar in the Wine Bar section of the restaurant. It was very nice. I had a glass of Apolloni Pinot Grigio, and a small-ish dinner (it was already almost 10pm for me by then) of warm flatbreads with hummus, and the Pacific Northwest version of crabcakes. I was starving. Everything was very tasty, and the bartenders were really nice (one had even grown up in DC!), but between the time difference and the wine, I was starting to fade. I walked back to the hotel -- ooh, did I mention that it's COLD here! Thank goodness I brought my wool-alpaca coat from last winter in DC! -- and pretty much crashed into bed. Unfortunately, just as I was starting to get comfy and fall asleep, mom came in, having landed at PDX at midnight. So... we didn't get to sleep til after 1am. And I woke up at 5. I'm gonna sleep well tonight!
We slept late (honestly, I don't know when I've ever seen my mom sleep as late as she did!) and had the buffet breakfast at the hotel. We went to the tourist information center for some brochures, watched the giant Xmas tree construction in Pioneer Square, and eventually made it up to the Agency sports bar, which is where the Portland USC Alumni gather to watch games. We were early, so we wandered around the neighborhood and ended up spending a few bucks in the Dollar Store. (yes, we're big spenders, that's right!) She needed hairspray, I needed a scarf... it was very exciting stuff. Then we went back to the bar and found the USC group. They were all very nice and welcoming. We even had a few Stanford interlopers. And then the game started, and it all went downhill from there. All I have to say is, UGH. The rest of that rant we will leave for another day. ;)
When the game ended, we meandered back to the hotel by way of the supermarket, the yarn store -- which it turns out was Dani's fave when she was here -- and the Doc Martens store -- only one in the USA! I looked at some of the boots, but they're seriously expensive. For dinner, we invited zak to come over from Convention-Center-land, and we were originally headed for a Greek place. Unfortunately, I got all turned around and walked us in the wrong direction! For some reason, my normally excellent sense of direction has TOTALLY failed me in Portland so far. *sigh* We turned around and headed for the restaurant, in the right direction, but got sidetracked by a nice looking place, the Red Star Tavern. That was fortuitous, because we ended up having an excellent dinner! Short ribs, scallops, cornbread... it was all excellent.
To continue the bargain-hunting theme, we stopped at Ross on the way back, so mom could buy a hat for tomorrow's trip to the Saturday Market (yes, I know tomorrow is Sunday). We ended up also getting microfleece thermal tops, and another scarf for me. So the grand total of our "shopping" today was $30. The total for food was.... much more than that. :) And that's as it should be, if you ask me.
Before you ask, I didn't take a lot of pictures, but don't get your hopes up - today was likely the only day this week without rain. :(