|this was next door to my hotel|
A lot of the time when I travel, I just wind up hitting a hotel, eating in said hotel, going to bed, getting up, working, then leaving. That happens a lot. But on other trips, particularly when you're meeting with people from all over, you tend to wrap up work and then at least walk around a bit with those folks and grab dinner out and about.
Now, I was only in Portland from 11:00 Wednesday night until when I flew out at 9:00 on this morning (Saturday), so I can't say much about the town. I was working all day Thursday and Friday, but we did go out for lunch and dinner. And, yeah, a few of those meals were kind of over-the-top Portlandia-style and fantastic. We ate at the food trailer area on 10th street and a sandwich shop called Lardo's (I was very happy with my tuna sandwich). For dinner, we hit a place out in the 'burbs called Old Salt Marketplace, that was a lot of fun, and they made a good cocktail, terrific ham hocks and broccoli.
I won't pretend that I am a Portland expert. I was barely there. But it's a beautiful town and they do a lot of things we could learn from here in Austin. Like, hey, the drivers don't try to run you over. And you can walk places. Or take a train.
I stayed in a very nice hotel called The Heathman, where, just to make me uncomfortable, the doorman was dressed as a Beefeater. I have no idea why and didn't ask. Then, one of my colleagues who was also on my floor, pointed out that there was a security detail watching the door of another room. They were just camped out in an open room, watching the door. So, of course I asked, and the guy said "the reading light is better here" as he sat in the doorway.
I didn't push it. Never figured out what was going on. But I did see a lot of very nice dogs in my hotel.
Anyway, an unexpected highlight was getting an email from an old pal from college who moved up there years ago who saw I was staying right near her place of work. We met up, grabbed some dinner then went to a bar/ restaurant that - you know, 20 years later, it's funny how people still know "oh, Ryan will love this" - was an elaborately Egyptian themed bar that had seen better days maybe 15-20 years ago, and was dead empty on a Friday night. It was me, Amy, the owners, and a Stan Getz greatest hits album on the PA, surrounded by Egyptian kitsch. Not another soul around.
If you were to ask me about my ideal drinking experience - buddy, I just had it. So, thanks, Amy.