Thanks for all of the recommendations! I had a great time in Portland. Ended up having two half days of free time, and then had to come back east for various work and personal stuff.
Highlights for me:
1) Japanese Garden - incredible! Especially at this time of year. The trees look like they're on fire - so many shades of red and orange.
2) Chinese Garden - wow, they're not kidding when they say it's the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. I didn't have time to stop and have tea, but the smell was incredible!
3) Powells - yowee kazowee, lots of books. I stocked up and have enough reading for six months.
4) Pearl District / First Thursday - had a lot of fun walking around and browsing the galleries. Lucky to be there when I was!
5) The Food Trucks - yum! And so much food! You could buy enough food to last you for the day for $5. I tried to ignore that I saw most of the vendors handling food, dirty dishwater, and money all with their bare hands. When in Rome....
I also checked out the International Rose Test Garden, which still had a few roses in bloom, and I did some shopping at Pioneer Place since it was and I needed a couple of sweaters.
To do something more off the beaten path, I also went to a small architecture museum across the bridge and really enjoyed it. I did not know about Portland's (forced) urban redevelopment in the 1950s, nor the ethnic groups, including Italian-Americans, that inhabited Portland in the early 20th century.
Portland is definitely in my top 10 U.S. cities, and pushing for a spot in my top 5. It's the first west coast city I've been to where I think I could actually live happily.
A few too many people for my liking looked like they should be at an occupy-something protest (i.e., in need of a haircut and a bath), but when the public transit is free, even I will cut the hipsters some slack.
I should have another work trip to Portland next year and will plan to stay an extra day again to check out some of the things I didn't have time for this time around.
glad you had a good time!
Q: Why can't I read the competition threads?
A: Competition forums on the board are available to those with a Season Pass or a premium membership How to View Kiss & Cry
Bump - it looks likely I'll be visiting at the end of the month.
Can someone double check if the 2010 Skate America thread is accessible? I don't seem to have access from the link upthread (second post), and can't see it listed in the archives, but I haven't renewed my season pass yet.
Any recommendations for rose/convention/Lloyd-side hotels? I'm eyeing the Crowne Plaza and Courtyard Marriott for the amenities. I'm at The Nines website but that is outside of my budget, as are most of the downtown hotels for late may.