This summer has been full of amazing mini-vacations (weekends), but I have no particular desire to write about them extensively. They've been fun, rejuvenating, perfect in every way. We've seen some awesome things - a close win by the Seattle Storm, mega-beets in Eugene, an art exhibit on Beauty and Bounty, the Pacific Ocean. I hiked some terrain that I never dreamed of being able to (so now I know I can do anything). And we stayed in a Merle Haggard themed room. We've seen 3 of our favorite bands, and I had the perfect outfit for every show. We've eaten some fabulous meals, especially the ones Kaden cooks. We've drank some delicious beers. I decided to only order IPAs from now on, because every time I try something new it disappoints. Only Hop Stoopid for me! It has 102 ibus.
In favor of simplicity, this past weekend we stayed at the Crystal Hotel in Portland, since we were seeing a show at The Crystal Ballroom a block away. We have friends in Portland, but decided it would be so much easier to stay right next door to the show - not worrying about where to eat and drink before the show, and how to drive across an unfamiliar city to get back to sleep on someone's floor afterward. It was pretty much the best decision we ever made. McMenamin's is a company in the Northwest that takes old buildings and renovates them into quirky, clean, relatively inexpensive hotels. Many have the option of staying in a less expensive room without a private bathroom, and sharing a bathroom down the hall with other guests. Since the buildings are old and have had many uses, they are like mazes. They're very self-contained places, with restaurants and bars and soaking pools connected, and I love that. They even have jars in the rooms so you can take it to the bar and get beer to take back to your room. We have stayed at 3 different McMenamin's in Oregon, but this was my favorite time. It's right in downtown Portland, and it was just so damn cozy. A little room with just a bed, a sink, and a table (no tv). The walls were painted dark red, with Merle Haggard lyrics and portrait (we didn't pick it, we just got lucky!). We ate at the restaurant, came back and opened the windows and sat at our little table and drank our jar of beer and talked the talk. That was when we discussed eliminating the microwave, and about tiny houses in our future (I say no less than 5 years from now; K says "what about 2?"). We weren't interested in the opening band so we actually got to spend quite a bit of time in our room, which was good, since it was $105. And I don't feel bad spending that because of the quality of the establishment, AND we stayed in an ENORMOUS $60 room in Eugene last month, so it balances!
Sometimes I feel silly for enjoying McMenamin's so much, because everyone thinks Kaden and I should love them, because they are "quirky" and we are "quirky". But it works for us; I guess we are their target clientele, so it's good for everybody!