Oh, the beautiful Pacific Northwest!! I love coming here.
This was my 4th time in Portland - such a great city with a million things to do!
We were here for 2 days while on tour with our dear friend/talented artist Beth Hart.
OVERVIEW & LINKS:
We stayed at the Century Hotel - a beautiful family-owned hotel in Tualatin - just South of Portland
We had dinner at Hayden's Lakefront Grill - local & delicious
We took the Portland Underground Tour of the infamous historic Shanghai Tunnels (PortlandTunnels.com)
We performed a SOLD OUT show at Revolution Hall Feb 3, 2018 (former highschool turned into a state of the art 850-seat performing arts center)
We tasted wine: St. Innocent Winery was my favorite.
The Century Hotel is a lovely family-run lakeside hotel, spacious and one of a kind. We had a choice of staying in the city in a crammed hotel with expensive parking or in a lovely & safe suburb just a few mins away, so we chose the latter. The Century Hotel was a perfect relaxing & quiet base on a busy tour. Having driven a 1,000 miles in two days from L.A. Nick & I were ready to relax for a day before the tour started. I loved staying here. We got to meet the owner, Tracey, who told us about her family and about building this "suburban oasis" (love this phrase!) 20 years ago.
Here are a few pics.This is the view from our balcony:
We had a king lakeside suite, it was very nice:
While on the road we always try to sneak in exercise so we usually take stairs (unless we're lugging our suitcases). The Century Hotel has a beautiful staircase and we were only on the 4th floor:
Hotel lobby (please excuse my travel-weary no-makeup face):
Took this photo of the hotel while taking a walk after dinner (full moon!) atTualatin Commons, a lovely man-made lake with shops and walkways.
We did a little bit of exercise at the gym and then swam (can you spot Nick?):
Here is my artistic shot:
The restaurant - Hayden's Lakefront Grill - is owned by the same family (as the hotel), and it was lovely! We had dinner the night we arrived and breakfast (included in our hotel stay) both mornings. We especially loved the seachowder, housemade bread and their desserts. Our waiter Joey was THE nicest!!! Too bad we didn't take a photo together!
Seafood chowder - yum!!!
We had time to visit only 2 wineries in Willamette Valley. The first - St. Innocent Winery - was recommended by a fabulous winemaker friend of ours (Sam from Cypher Winery in Paso Robles). We loved it!! Didn't love the second winery (too overpriced and a bit snobby) so I won't even mention their name.
But we loved St. Innocent Winery. Est. 1983, they seem to be very respected by the locals. Excellent Pinot Noirs! Their prices are fair, the tasting room & grounds are beautiful and the staff is friendly & knowledgeable (yay for Michelle !):
Loved that they offered some food for purchase: delicious homemade Cassoulet (French soup) and bread. It was just perfect!
The whole Willamette Valley is spectacular, this is outside the winery we didn't love (but LOVED the grounds!):
THE SHANGHAI TUNNELS
Nick and I have been talking about doing this infamous tunnel tour for years, but never had the time. We decided to come to Portland a day early so we had time for both Willamette Valley visit and the Shangai Tours. Run by a non-profit organization, the 90 minute guided tour takes place at night and is filled with history and storytelling. We were in a group of about 20, slowly walking in the tunnels, stopping and listening (and trying not to hit our heads on various pipes). It was heartbreaking to learn the history of human trafficking (known as Shanghai-ing) that took place from 1850s to the middle of 20th century in these old tunnels that run through historic Portland. It was very dark, so I only took a couple of (very bad, sorry!) photos.
Our awesome guide Nita:
After the tunnels tour we stopped by the Museum of Shanghai Tunnels and met Michael Jones, the passionate curator who's been the driving force behind establishing the Museum, the walking tours and the multi-decade effort to clean out these tunnels (from several feet of river silt). The Museum is small but full of fascinating artifacts that were found in the tunnels over the years. It was a special treat to hang out with Michael and Nita after the official tour and learn even more about their hard work of unearthing Portland's sordid past. http://portlandtunnels.com
The Portland show was the first of the tour - it was SOLD OUT!
Nick & I got to the venue around 4pm to load in, soundcheck and to set up merch. The showtime was 8pm.
I was excited and a little nervous (as first shows of the tour go). Before the show, Beth & I drank some tea in her greenroom and had a wonderful talk (we hadn't seen each other since September). It is a true joy and a great honor to tour with Beth (if you don't know her music, make sure to check it out!).
After Beth & her band completed their soundcheck, Nick & I did ours:
In our rider for this tour we started requesting raw almonds or cashews and fresh blueberries. And water. Trying to stay as healthy as we can on the road!
The show (performing "Fire In The Sky"):Nick took this from the side of the stage:
My merch table:
With the amazing Beth Hart after the show:
The show was absolutely awesome and the crowd was great! They sang along to "Born To The Stars" and I had a long line at my merch table afterwards (no photo of the line, sorry!) :)
P.S. Tired/delirious after show selfie (and Nick photobombing):
Thank you, Portland/Tualatin/Willamette Valley wine country!
We had a great time, and hope to see you again soon!
P.S. This is Mt Shasta on our drive up. So beautiful!
P.P.S. Join our 2 SONGS A MONTH CLUB at www.patreon.com/MarinaV to watch the full tour documentary.
Here is the trailer: