Saturday, March 25, 2006

The adventure: Bellingham to Portland and back again

The adventure: Bellingham to Portland and back again

I arrived home from Las Vegas with enough time to do a quick laundry, pack a bag and leave the next day for an adventure to Portland with my husband Larry and friends Cis and Mike. The guys having Harley addictions felt the need to stop at Downtown Harley in Seattle to look at the eye candy and see what options were added to other bikes that they might want to add to their own. Cis and I browsed the clothing racks after glancing at the bikes, although Cis did have her eye on a possible replacement for her current ride.

We were back on the road again with a quick detour for lunch then straight through to Portland. Mike gave us a scenic tour before we found the McMaster House bed and breakfast where we were spending the night. We were given a short tour then shown to our rooms--three floors up tucked into the dormers and decorated with antiques, collectibles, and warm down comforters. We left our luggage and set out on foot for Powells bookstore, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. Three days a week in the gym doing 12 – 15 miles on the treadmill still left me a little breathless or was it just the sight of the bookstore and all it had to offer.

We checked that we each had cell phones and then split up as we each went to a different colored room looking for a special book we just couldn’t live without. I headed off to the orange room looking for books on art, gardening, and cooking before heading up to the pearl room to look at hard to find and rare books, focusing again on art. Time flies when you are having fun and when my cell phone rang I knew my time was up and I had only begun to glance through the first row. I took my lone book and headed down to meet the others and check out.

The walk to the bookstore was downhill so now the real challenge lay ahead of us. We stopped off at the Ringside to make dinner reservations and then back to our B&B for conversation and a glass of wine. The atmosphere in the guest parlor was relaxing and the hot popcorn and warm cookies a comforting touch to make guests feel at home. Soon it was time for dinner and Mike chauffeured us to dinner down the hill.

We were greeted at the Ringside with attentive staff and we marveled at the menu before making our selections and placing our orders. It seems there was a convention in town and that was the reason most hotel rooms were booked in town and reservations for dinner a little harder to get. We enjoyed the meal and the time spent sharing stories and a few tall tales.

Goodnight, sleep tight.

Next day was a bright and sunny and breakfast was served in a cozy dinning room with several small tables. A slightly warmed grapefruit half with brown sugar and walnuts on top was a perfect starter to go with our hot coffee. The entrĂ©e was cheese stuffed omelets with fresh spinach, sausage links, and a hot flaky biscuit. I’m not usually a breakfast person, but this smelled and looked so good that I found myself eating almost all of my serving. Now it was time to pack our bags and wander the city.

We went downtown to a little shopping mall disguised inside an old brick building. Cis and Mike had a little shop in mind that they knew I would like, called Twist. It was filled with unique benches, clocks, mirrors, hand painted goblets, jewelry, and more. What would a shopping trip be without a trip to the local Ross Store across the street? The guys did not seem impressed but Cis and I each found something we couldn’t do without so it was a success.

We drove through the maze of streets, freeways, and bridges winding our way back to I-5 and our way home. We did make a stop at a Harley shop near Olympia where a Kuryakyn light kit on a bike similar to ours caught my eye. Larry checked out the prices and asked me if I liked the lights well enough to spend $1,000.00 on them. I decided they were not that cute and I’ll pass for now.

Cis had been waiting since yesterday for lunch at Ruby Tuesday when we missed the turn off the freeway. We all ordered hamburgers and looked at the vintage signs, collectibles, sporting goods, and pictures that decorated the restaurant. This is my kind of eye candy.

The traffic wasn’t too bad and we made it home a little quicker than we thought. It was a great little get-a-way just four and half hours from home. Thanks to Cis and Mike we had a wonderful trip with friends and memories to savor.

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