Friday, February 15, 2013

Powell's City of Books & Other Portland Escapades

Jared had a med school interview at Oregon Health and Science University at the end of January.  We decided, since he'd be there almost a full day, to drive down the night before and stay in Portland together.
I was looking for good deals and was excited to find that one of my favorite Portland hotels had a good special going!  We stayed at Hotel deLuxe a few years ago and absolutely loved it.  I'm a sucker for Hollywood nostalgia (we were raised on Abbot & Costello, Judy Garland, and Cary Grant) so a hotel with classic film themes is like my dream resort.  Plus the service is incredible, and the location is great.
We arrived in Portland late on a Tuesday night - and by late I mean late for like 7pm.  We checked in and got recommendations for dinner nearby.  Jared was beat from the drive and wanted to get to bed early, so we asked for somewhere REALLY close by.  The concierge recommended Gilda's Italian Restaurant barely a block away.  The food was great and the atmosphere was perfect - we ended up having a really romantic date night talking over our food and wine and dessert.
Then it was back to the hotel to get ready for the morning and hit the hay.
The next morning, Jared woke up early to sneak in a workout at the hotel fitness center.  He was impressed and said it was pretty good as hotel gyms go.  He was able to slightly alter the Invictus programming for the day.  I ironed his shirt and threw my workout clothes on, then went down to Gracie's restaurant to order breakfast while Jared showered and got dressed. 
I snapped a few photos while waiting.

Our food was delish (typical eggs and bacon kinda breakfast) and the service was really fast, which we appreciated.  Got out the door in plenty of time (the valet had given us an option of finding free street parking for ourselves - always nice to save some dough) and hopped into the car to take Jared to his interview.

After dropping him off at the school, I headed over to CrossFit Excellence in Lake Oswego.  (Catch my recap here.)

Then it was back to Hotel deLuxe for a shower and packing up all our gear.  I wish I had gotten some better photos...hopefully you'll understand why I love this place! 

Jimmy Stewart on one wall...

Cary Grant behind me


Audrey and Gregory in the snacks!
Watch your step getting into the bathroom
You can order ice cream or an iPod...and there is also a pillow menu and a spiritual menu.  You want a down pillow with the Gideon's Bible?  Coming right up! 

We were on the Alfred Hitchcock floor (again).  In case you don't know what the photos in your room are, they are posted with the emergency evacuation map! 

Menu for in-room dining...and if you have a longer stay, you choose your eco-personality to determine how often they bring you new towels and such.

My new tank from CrossFit Excellence! 

 I packed up all our gear and double checked to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything.  There were at least four bags plus Jared's fancy overcoat that he hadn't needed.  Thanks to all my CrossFit, I carried it all to the lobby myself in one fell swoop.  When I asked if I could just pay their garage fees to leave my car there while toodling around downtown on foot, they were incredibly gracious and just validated for me for the day!  They also had someone assist me with my bags to the car.  I probably could have made it...but I'm working on letting go of my ego.

After loading everything in, I took a few essentials in a handbag and my water bottle.  Recently I realized I've been lugging my amazing but heavy lulu gym bag when I don't even need it, which puts unnecessary strain on my shoulders and back.

First stop?  Powell's City of Books!!!  It was maybe a 10 minute walk from the hotel, and I'm proud to say I found it just fine with the map from the concierge.  I looked around at all the wonderful books, and found what I was looking for.  A used Lord Peter Whimsey I hadn't read...for $2.50!  I picked out some presents for Jared, and got a egg and Swiss Chard quiche - delish!

I really wanted to get Jared something good for Valentine's Day.  So I got directions to the Nike store!  It was a bit of a walk, so I decided to leave my finds on hold at Powells so as not to lug stuff all over town.  As usual, Nike was not a disappointment.

So hard not to buy anything for myself...  


I found Jared a great shirt, walked back to Powells, and made a few more stops.  I went to check out lululemon, but a gal on the floor informed me I wasn't allowed to take photos.  Odd.

I also stopped at Whole Foods to get some snacks!  I don't know why but I can't go to Portland without visiting Whole Foods at least once.

Jared had asked if I would get dinner for the ride home from Portland.  He specially requested Old Town Pizza - we love their jalepeno BBQ pizza.  I walked back to the Hotel deLuxe garage and drove down to the Old Town district.  I found parking and got a little lost walking, but eventually I found the restaurant.  It was the middle of the afternoon, so I had a really short wait for my pie.


This stuff is so incredible!  It was great to have something warm and tasty on the drive home. 

We made great time getting back, and finished up the evening relaxing and reading.  There's no place like home!



  1. Meg!

    Next time you are in Portland, please check out CrossFit PE! Literally right across the bridge from the OHSU campus. Great community, lots of classes and even a weightlifting club! Love reading about your Crossfit adventures! Hope to meet you sometime!


    1. Mona - thanks for letting me know about CrossFit PE! I just went and checked out the website. Next time we are in the area I will totally come and visit!


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