Beautiful Downtown Portland, Oregon... in January

In late January, Hubby and I had to go on a business trip to Portland, Oregon. We flew up from the San Francisco Bay Area on an early morning Alaska Airlines flight (can you say "4:15 a.m. alarms should be outlawed?").

Once we deplaned and got our rental car, we drove in to downtown Portland to the Westin where we would be staying (thanks to Hubby's company). As I waited for Hubby to get our accommodations settled and have the car parked by the valets, I got to sit in the opulent first floor lounge of the Westin. Of course I took photographs so I could share. The colors were rich and plush--navy, beige, rust, and deep red. The fire in the fireplace was a welcome sight after entering from the sunny but chilly 31°F morning outside. I just sat down on the plush settee and enjoyed the luxury. Ahhhhhh...

After snapping the above photos, I let myself sink back into the plush settee cushions, and I looked up. Oh my goodness! Imagine my sheer delight when I looked up to see this...

I immediately thought of all my talented blogging friends that could probably have painted this ceiling! After I snapped the above photo, I just sat back and stared.

Despite our quite early arrival, the Westin was able to accommodate us and get us right into our room. Thank goodness, because I was bushed, and Hubby needed to connect up his laptop to take a conference call.

Click here to read about where we dined for lunch after resting for a bit in our hotel room.

Hubby and I took advantage of the unseasonably sunny January day to walk around downtown Portland around the Westin hotel where we were staying. Although it was sunny, it was quite frigid with the temp hovering around 31°F. It was that kind of nippy chill that numbs one's lips. The dewpoint was so low at about 14°F that condensation didn't ever form on our drinking glasses of ice water when we ate lunch at the Daily Grill restaurant. That's really low humidity for anywhere, but particularly for the Pacific Northwest! But because of the lovely sun, we made a concerted effort to walk on the sunny side of every street, literally. In the shadow of buildings (as in the photo at left) the chill would go right through us namby-pamby Bay Area Californians. But on the sunny side of the street it was quite lovely.

We enjoyed the architecture of Portland immensely. There are many historic buildings, lamp posts, sidewalk grates, and other historic elements of urban living that I was able to take photos of for my resource file for graphic design inspiration.

We found the people of Portland to be very friendly (as we find to be the case throughout the Pacific Northwest). We enjoyed walking past the Culinary Institute with delicious aromas emanating from within and then chatting with a student chef about what they made that day (bread). We also chatted with the women in the optical store that had a great selection of fun and funky glasses frames. Just outside that store we found this lovely pink bicycle with live begonias in the basket (photo at right). Doesn't the photo look like it was taken in the spring or early summer? Ha! Don't be fooled. It was below freezing in the shade!

Throughout the downtown area where we strolled, we came across large sidewalk planters with various plantings in them. The purple ornamental kale was quite happy despite the cold and simply gleamed in all its brilliance in the January sun. Some pansies in other planters we came upon were just as miserable as the kale was happy. Droopy, pathetic, and downright frost-bitten the normally cold-hearty pansies just couldn't take it. We were told repeatedly by locals that it was unusually cold as well as unusually sunny. I think if the pansies could have talked, they would have agreed.

What we found the most amusing about our trip was that we hadn't seen the sun for a week back home in the San Francisco Bay Area and that we had to fly to Portland in order to find the sun! I was soaking it up through the entire two days. I'm gonna get my sun (and the Vitamin D) wherever I can!

The Westin hotel is one of many fine Starwood properties around the world where we prefer to stay as Starwood Preferred Guests.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. Apply now.

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