Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Tag Archives: travel

National Hot Tub Day – March 28 – Worthless Tips to Make It Awesome!

sa-1807454_1920.jpgAh, March 28 is National Hot Tub Day according to some random website I stumbled upon when I was bored one evening (who says this internet isn’t helpful and only spreads “fake news”?).  Throw on your speedo, thong, or your bikini, play some Kenny G, and hit the hot tub because it is National Hot Tub Day!!

On a side tangent, I noticed that romance writers love hot tubs.  They write the hot tubs into their stories all the time.  Yes, I read romance novels.  In between rapid reading of my gun magazines, truck magazines, and muscle car magazines, resides my collection of romance novels.  Since I am a caring and sensitive guy (just ask my imaginary stalker Cyndi), you know that I am a great fan of romance novels.

But let’s get back to the focus of National Hot Tub Day and that is Hot Tubs.  Hot tubs are a wonderful way to soak away your problems and worries.  It’s like a vacation at your own home.  I like to make sure my hot tub is properly maintained.  Lucky for me, I don’t have sensitive skin, just sensitive feelings.  OK, we know I don’t have any feelings but we still want to have some nice hot tub water.martini-1117932_1920.jpg

Lately, we have had some cold and rainy weather.  After all, it is Seattle and we don’t get sunshine until July.  I’ve been feeling cold lately, so I love to enjoy the hot tub when it is chilly out.  My muscles and joint loosen up and I can just sit there and float.  For roughly 15 minutes, I can just relax.  I can pretend I’m at a ski resort or on the beach on the island of Kauai.

Tips for Successful Hot Tub Party Day:

  • What if you don’t have a hot tub? Find a friend or a neighbor that has one.  Then invite yourself over on National Hot Tub Day.  You owe it to them to honor this day!

  • Avoid Alcohol – Wait, what? Yes, we all know I enjoy a nice whiskey but alcohol and hot tubs aren’t a good mix.  Hot Tub water dilutes your cocktail too much.  The warm water in your hot tub can speed up the process of inebriation, and can increase your chances of a hangover

  • Avoid Falling Asleep in the Hot Tub – you should focusing on the soaking and relaxing of the hot water.  Enjoy this moment, save sleeping for your bed.

  • Have Music – What to play?  Some Depeche Mode? Some Kenny G? Some Lady Gaga remix?  The theme from the movie “Jaws”?  It’s up to you, but don’t keep that stereo or iPhone too close to the hot tub.  You don’t want your imaginary friends to knock it in.

  • Have Extra Towels Available – you know some goofball will forget his towel and then wander around your house looking for one.  That’s a good way to ruin your hardwood floors.  Have a stack of old towels ready for him.

  • Clean! – Keep the area around your hot tub clean.  Vacuum up all the lose dirt, dog hair, old fern leaves, and candy wrappers.  You don’t want to drag all that stuff into your hot tub.

  • Take A Shower – Encourage your guest to shower BEFORE they come over to hot tub.  The less body oils, old sweat, stripper dust, and daily dirt you have coming into the hot tub, the better!  It cuts down on chemical use.

  • Check the Chemical Levels – You should be doing daily or weekly check of the chemicals.  Use those water test strips.

Those are my awesome (or rather worthless) hot tub tips for National Hot Tub Day!  I know you won’t bother to play attention to them but at least pretend you read the whole blog post and give it a big “LIKE”.  Can you do that?  Thanks!

 

 

 President’s Day/Mid-Winter Break in Chelan

In the greater Puget Sound area, a fair number of the private and public schools have the President’s Day week off. No one knows for sure why we take a whole week off (considering we just had two weeks off around Christmas and New Year’s Day).   I use to hate having another week off so soon after Christmas, but I have grown to love it over the years.  The hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, which makes this week a good break for vacation trips.  Airfare prices arent too bad and it seems only our local schools do the “Mid-Winter” Break.

The past few years, we have gone to Hawaii (Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island), California.  This year, my daughter is doing club volleyball and my son is doing a college program during his senior year so a family trip wasn’t going to happen. My son still has classes this week, while my daughter doesn’t.  So no out of town, flyaway trips for us.

This year, we did manage to get away to Lake Chelan.  We traded overcast, rainy skies for snow and gray skies.  The drive over was decent; roads and highways were wet and snow free.


As you can see from the photos, the lake appeared, disappeared, and then reappeared.

Then on a drive up to look at a piece of property, the clouds rolled in and went from blue skies to thick clouds (or fog) conditions.

Uh, the road is somewhere out there.


During the winter, the towns of Chelan and Manson slow down. Some of the businesses are mostly the summer type, catering to the tourist families from the west side of the Cascade mountains and stay open during summer months only.  In the winter, the local wineries and their tasting rooms switch to the Friday-Saturday-Sunday limited hours schedule due to the slowdown in suburban mom traffic.  As an example, a few weeks back when my wife and I came to Chelan, we were the only ones at the Benson Vibeyard/Winery’s tasting room.  A nice quiet afternoon to enjoy the view and a bottle of red wine.

Overall, Chelan and Manson are both great getaway locations.  Lots of wineries, a bowling alley, a few pizza and burger joints await the hardy visitor.  Snowshoe or cross country ski in the morning, do a few wine tastings in the afternoon, head out to dinner, and cap it all off with a night of bowling.  What could be more fun?

Worthless Travel Tips – Best Worthless Advice Tips for Your Next Airline Flight!

plane-50893_1920Let’s face it, you hate people, I hate people, and we really hate sitting next to them in the airplane.  Sure, we all wish we could afford First Class but we can’t.  However, we can use certain techniques to maximize your seat space on the airplane.

  1. Bring Your Own Smelly Food – Since the airlines want to make a profit, one of the first things to go was the food service.  But this is an awesome time to bring your own food along!  And it had better be extremely good and stinky.  We all know that the stinky food is the best food!  Pickled eggs, sauerkraut, sardines, garlic bread, cat food, and maybe some strange food that would make a billy goat puke is just what you need on your next flight.
  2. Stake out the Armrest – the seats and the armrest aren’t getting any bigger on airplanes these days and you need to stake your claim to them.  As soon as you sit down, stretch out and take as much space as you can.  When your neighbors arrive, just cough a lot, and wipe your hands all over the armrest.  Ha, these armrest belong to me now.
  3. Take Those Shoes Off and Let Those Stinky Feet Breath – why should your feet be trapped in your shoes?  These flight is the beginning of your vacation.  Take those shoes off and relax.dirtyfeet
  4. Don’t Brush Your Teeth – nothing says “I don’t care about life, you, or your comfort” than skipping the brushing those pearly white teeth.  Your mouth should smell and taste like the inside of a elementary school dumpster on a hot spring afternoon.
  5. Don’t Shower – Again, you want to push people away.  With your awful breath, you can add to the sensual pleasure by not taking a shower for a few days before your flight.
  6. Dress Poorly – dress like a slob AND make sure you wear the wrong travel clothes.  Pants that are too tight – check!  Coats with not enough pockets – check! A big hat that gets in the way – check!bum
  7. Have a HUGE Carry On Bag – The heavier, the better.  Just like all the unsolved resentment you carry around in your soul, your carry on bag should be just as heavy.  Make sure that you can’t lift it over your head.  Ideally, your bag should make a professional weightlifter pop a blood vessel as he lifts it.
  8. Talk to EVERYONE…be loud and proud!  Everyone wants to hear about how you had an awful time on the taxi ride to the airport, or how Aunt Megan thinks you drink too much.  Make new friends by asking questions that are way too personal.  Remember, make them feel uncomfortable and they will scoot away from you as far as their little seatbelt will allow.

As always, I know these eight awesome travel tips will really bring you to the top of your worthless life.  What better way to make it to the lower bottom of life?

Pajamas in Public…Just Say No!

I recently wrote about my travels to Kauai and how I disliked the airline system.  Upon talking with my FAA friend today, he mentioned that I had totally forgotten to mention how much I hate passengers who wear their pajamas while traveling.  Mind you, it isn’t just airline travel I see this trend happening in.  I also notice it in the grocery stores, at gas stations, and even at my kids’ school (most often parents being the offenders).pajamas in public2.jpg

It floors me to see grown ups wearing Hello Kitty pajamas at 3:20 pm in the afternoon.  For example, I was walking my daughter home with her friends and two adults were putting something in their car wearing their pajama bottoms like khaki slacks.  It is 3:20 in the afternoon and I have to see your Hello Kitty pajamas?  How old are you? Three years old?

Getting back to the air travel pajama problem, I really don’t think that as an adult I need to see your pajamas.  The only acceptable people that are allowed to wear pajamas on an airline flight are children under the age of 5.  If the kids are in Kindergarten, I’ll cut them some slack.  However, first grade and above, you need to put on your “big boy” pants and act respectful.  Heck, the next thing we’ll see is teenagers wearing diapers and pooping their pants on a cross country flight.  How would you like to sit next to that mess on a five hour flight?

So grown up and stop wearing your pajamas around like they are a pair of jeans.  Society made sweatpants so you could wear pajama style clothes in public.  Sweatpants are marginal more acceptable to wear in public.  You really should wear sweatpants when you are working out at the gym or jogging in the park.

Places I don’t want to see you wearing your pajamas:

At my kids’ school

Grocery stores

Gas stations

Post Office

Shopping malls

7-11

Liquor stores

Pizza parlors (really any kind of restaurants)

Again: Grow up, wear some jeans, some khaki slacks, or even a kilt or skirt.  Leave the pajamas at home so I can keep my lunch down.  Just give me one day where I don’t get grossed out by your lack of compassion to my sensitive stomach.pajamas in public

Windows are for Winners! (and that’s why I’m sitting here by the window!)

Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines (whom should be sponsoring my blog)

Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines (whom should be sponsoring my blog)

On my recent trip to the Big Island, I left a few days before my wife and travelled by myself. Like many others, I love to take vacations and fly in airplanes. I enjoy sitting, looking out the window at the clouds, think about my cat Mr. Whiskers, enjoying the landscape below, with the knowledge that in a few hours, a new adventure awaits for me. When my wife and kids travel with me, I give up the window seat to one of them. I’ll get stuck on the aisle seat or the middle seat (I’m usually stuck in Coach because this blog isn’t a national success as of yet and I can’t afford First Class).

So, the highlight of the flight was when the little kid next to me wanted to look out the window. He asked his mom if she would ask me if I could change seats to the aisle seat.

What? First of all; man up kid, you are five years old…talk to me yourself. Stop being a whiner. Second, I don’t want to sit by the aisle because I know this kid and his mother will have to go to the bathroom 15 times during the flight, Third, the flight attendant will bump my elbow EVERYTIME she goes by with the drink cart, Finally, you know some lady will need to get something out of the overhead bin (right above my head), it will be too heavy, and she’ll drop it on my head (thus awaking me up and annoying me). Just leave me alone.

I turned to the kid, raise my left hand, slowly pulled the shade down, and said to the kid.

“Windows are for winners and you aren’t a winner.”  Then, with a smile on my face, push the “Play” button on the podcast I was listening to (“How to be a Sarcastic Jerk Podcast Episode 167), closed my eyes and started my vacation.

(if you haven’t figure this out by now…this didn’t happen…work of sarcastic fiction…well, the flight and vacation to the Big Island did happen).

Again, why hasn't the Royal Kona Resort asked me to blog for them?

Again, why hasn’t the Royal Kona Resort asked me to blog for them?

Back to School and a Ruined Labor Day Weekend

Here in Washington State, our school kids don’t go back to school until the last week of August or the first week of September. In fact, my kids went back to school on August 28. In comparison, the Seattle School District started yesterday September 3, 2014. This makes a heck of a lot more sense than starting August 28, going to school for two days, and then having Labor Day weekend off. It puts a bitter taste on the last week of August and Labor Day. You can’t milk summer out for a bit longer. Instead, you must think of getting your kids back in time for starting school on Thursday before Labor Day weekend.

It isn’t like anything is done the first two days of school when you have Labor Day weekend right there. Everyone knows that Thursday and Friday (before the Labor Day weekend) are “throwaway” days of education. You might as well let the kids watch TV because they sure aren’t paying attention to the teachers during those two days of school.

Labor Day Weekend wasn’t ruined for me. I always have fun. This year instead of heading to Anderson Island for the three day weekend, we went camping at Sun Lakes State Park. It was a good choice because we left the rain behind. Sun Lakes is located on the eastern side of Washington, roughly three hours away from our house. While western Washington might be experiencing rain and misery, the eastern side of the state will have sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns. Well, maybe not unicorns and rainbows but you get the idea. The weather is nice. We don’t have lots of rain and huddle under blue tarps. In eastern Washington, we don’t do the “blue tarp” camping made famous on the west side of the state. In eastern Washington, you slap on the sun block (SPF 45) and a big hat

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What lurks beneath the waters of this lake?

What lurks beneath the waters of this lake?

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It's all fun and games until someone falls off the cliffs!

It’s all fun and games until someone falls off the cliffs!

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On the negative side, it was windy in the evenings and the state park was full. Truth be told, it was very windy and miserable in that respect. The first night was bad. The tent was flapping around, keeping both myself and my wife wide awake. You would drift off to sleep, and then a gust of wind would pop up and wake you up. The second night, the wind was just as bad but I wore my ear plugs and I enjoyed the evening a bit more.

Sun Lakes State Park has a few different lakes within the park boundaries. On Sunday, we hiked along the Deep Lake Trail which was about 2 to 2.5 miles round trip. It goes right along the lake and is an easy hike. There is an opportunity to do some cliff diving or jumping off the cliff edge but we didn’t do it this trip. Perhaps next time we can jump off some basalt rock cliffs into the water below, have a scary monster grab us and drag us under.

I did manage to get some swimming in Sun Lake itself with my daughter and her friend. The weather was a bit cloudy, the wind was blowing, and the water was a little colder than I would have preferred. However, it was probably going to be the last swim of summer so I toughed it out. I’m not a little baby (well, I really am but I try to act tough).

My son and I also did a twilight walk where he was almost hit by a bat. Lots of bats on the Park Lake Trail, however I can’t complain about the bats because they keep the bug population down. Go bats!

Overall, the camping trip was a good one. No flat tires, no lost sleeping bags. The drive home wasn’t too bad. I’d go again but probably opt for a RV campsite further and with less wind.

 

Thanks for reading and your comments are always welcome!

How to Lose Your Girl Scout Troop in Seattle

Girl Scout Adventure to the Smith Tower and MOHAI!

Excuse any mistakes….this blog is from my phone!

On Friday, our Girl Scout Trip had a little adventure to the Smith Tower located in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle via the Sound Transit’s light rail train. All eight of our Girl Scouts showed up for the trip to the top of Smith Tower and the Chinese Room.

We were able to catch the light rail train from the Tukwila station directly to the Pioneer Square neighborhood where the famous Smith Tower (42 stories tall and at one time the tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi River) is located. Being from the South King County city of Kent, we have quite a few options to get into Seattle. Instead of driving on Friday morning, we took Sound Transit’s light rail train into Seattle.

My son also came along so we had a total of 12 people on this outing: 8 Girl Scouts, one Boy Scout, and three adults. If anyone is keeping track or needs to plan a trip into Seattle, I’ll be giving you costs for each of travel legs. One of our scouts met us there so our train fare was $34 for our group of 11 people.

Smith Tower is the only place in the Seattle area that has elevator operators. The elevators are staffed by actual human beings that will take you to the observation floor of Smith Tower from the beautiful lobby. The doors on each floor and the elevator’s doors are glass. This allows you and your fellow passengers the treat of seeing each floor as you pass by as you race to the top.

Cost on this part of the trip was lower than normal because Groupon had a deal for four tickets for $14.99. We used three Groupon certificates for the group of 12 we had.

The Smith Tower offers an excellent view to the south, southeast, and southwest of it. The industrial area lays to the south and I-5 freeway to the east. You can see the downtown Seattle business core to the north plus other landmarks like the Space Needle, CenturyLink Field, Safeco Field, and the cranes on the Port of Seattle waterfront. If you have time, you can watch the Washington State Ferries come and go into and back out of Coleman Dock. While the weather wasn’t too clear for us on Friday, I’m sure on a sunny day with blue skies, Mt. Rainier would be visible.

After we had explored the 35th floor observation deck, we descended back down to lobby and returned to the metro tunnel to catch another link rail train to the Westlake Mall area. The transit tunnel was built roughly 25-30 years for buses with the idea that it would one day have trains running through it. Currently, our transit tunnel allows both the light rail trains and buses to run through it and is handy when you know where you want to go.

We got back in the light rail train and rode the it to Westlake, got off and had lunch at the food court. To keep costs down, we had the girls bring a sack lunch. However, there is a small selection of restaurants and smoothie stands in the food court to choose from. The dining area is clean and well lit. Lots of places to eat at and we just made it in before the big lunch rush.

We then went back down to street level and caught the South Lake Union Streetcar north to The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). The Seattle Streetcar is different from the Sound Transit Light Rail system. The street car is run by King Country Metro which is our local county transit authority and the light rail train system is run by Sound Transit, our regional transit system. Confused? I bet. If you live in the area and travel on both frequently you may want to purchase an ORCA pass. However, for a short day trip, we opted to pay the general fair for the ride. Your ticket is good for the ride and you have a two hour transfer that you can use for the return trip. Cost for the streetcar is $2.50 for adults and $1.25 for youth. You can purchase tickets at the kiosk at each stop and on board the streetcar.

One problem I noticed is that the ticket kiosk is designed for you to purchase one ticket at a time. Not a big hassle until you have to purchase 12 tickets and you have to do it one at a time. One of the moms and I spent half the ride purchasing the tickets for all 12 of us. At one point I was tempted to skip it but what kind of example does that set?

We finally made it to the MOHAI and the weather had turned to sunshine. It was a marvelous sunny day in Seattle and one that makes you love Seattle. MOHAI is a beautiful museum and offers so much of the way of Seattle’s history. It moved to this location a year or two ago and it is well thought out. I wasn’t able to finish the whole museum myself. The nice part about the MOHAI is the cost is free for kids under 14. It is pricey for adults at $14 each. Of course they offer a teacher rate and senior rate as well. Luckily for us, I had planned ahead and asked the parents to look for Entertainment Book coupons and we got the four adults in for $24. Not a bad price for a group of 12!!

Our age for our Girl Scout troop is 11-12 years and this seems like a prefect age for the MOHAI. They were busy but not bored. Again, I could have spent a few more hours reading and enjoying the museum. I didn’t get to finish the whole thing but I definitely give it a thumbs up!! My favorite display was the Great Seattle Fire display. It has a little show you can watch and enjoy. Quite well thought out and keeps all ages entertained.

After we finished up there, we headed back home. You would have thought I planned it perfectly because as soon as we walked to the streetcar stop the streetcar was arriving. We hopped onto it and rode it back to Westlake Center. Then we went straight to the light rail stop and waited a few moments for the light rail and hopped on that. A quick fun ride back on the light rail to the Tukwila station and we were almost home.

Now before we left the Tukwila light rail station we had to park in the parking lot which doesn’t have enough parking for the ridership this station produces. They do have a special parking section that is marked S.O.V. Permit parking from 6 am to 10 am. I’m not sure what or who S.O.V parking is but we used two of their spots. The rest of the time it is open to general parking. We had arrived at 9:20 am and parked there. My troop moms were worried about their cars getting towed but our cars were there when we returned. For forty minutes, we were breaking the rules but it did work out in the end. No cars or cats were towed and I didn’t have to pay to get two vehicles out of the impound lot.

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A Must Have for Every Music Collection!

Luckily, a few weeks back while I was on vacation in Newport, Oregon, I found a music CD that will make every road trip more enjoyable forever!  I was given this idea by a friend Kris who did a huge road trip with his sons to Boy Scout camp.  How I envied him and his kids after I heard what kind of music CD he had and all I could think about was I must look high and low for this remarkable music CD.

It is a CD that everyone should have.  But what is it?

It is called “Irish Drinking Songs”.  It really doesn’t matter who the artist is, you should have this CD in your music collection (or download it and add it to your ITunes collection).  If you happen to be Irish, like to drink, and know all the Irish drinking songs, then you get a pass on not having this CD in your collection (or on your iPod)Irish Drinking Songs

However, for the rest of you, it is a must have!  Think of the hours of pure enjoyment and bliss you’ll have singing along to songs like “Wild Rover” and “Bog Down in the Valley-O”.  You don’t really sing along as much as mumble along to these delightful tunes.  Frankly, I can’t understand most of the words the singer is singing but at least I can pretend to know what the heck the singer is singing.

I’m pretty sure that I can find the lyrics online and really learn these songs but what would be the fun in that?  It is much more exciting to mumble along and struggle to understand the thick Irish tongue.

What if you don’t drink?  Not a problem, just because these songs are called Irish Drinking Songs doesn’t mean you have to drink when you sing them.  I’m driving my car when I am listening to the songs so I can’t be drinking alcohol.  But I can still treat myself to these wonderful tales of woe and misfortune that only the Irish can truly express in song.

With Irish Drinking Songs, I know my whole family will be banded together in common song on any road trip.  Even a short jaunt to the neighborhood store should allow us a tune or two to soak in.  Can you imagine if I have to drive up to Seattle in morning traffic?  I almost faint in the sure joy it will bring knowing I can listen and sing along to the songs while stuck in the Seattle crawl of doom.  Perhaps there will be hope when I have to drive to Bellevue by myself, hope in the form of an Irish Drinking song!

So raise your glass and toast to the Irish Drinking Songs CD I have recently acquired!

As always your comments are enjoyed and encouraged.  And hit that “Like” button so you can make my writing career skyrocket upwards to fame and fortune.

It’s April & I’m way behind on posting Worthless Advice!

I can’t believe it is already Monday April 15, 2013 (now it is April 16) and I haven’t done any blog entries since last month.  I got a bit swamped at work and just didn’t feel like writing.  A fairly lame excuse to say the least and I’ll admit to that.  We also were busy with family trips and mini-vacations so I’ll throw in some more lame excuses while I’m at it.

The end of March, we (the little people who live with me and my wife) spent a couple of nights in Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast.  We lucked out and got some great weather.  Sunny weather to be exact.  We had nicer weather those two days in March than we did last August on the Oregon Coast.  Anyway, the weather was good, the local community seems pretty nice (but everything seems nice when you are on vacation), and the food wasn’t bad either.

If memory serves me correctly, we stayed at the Surfrider Hotel.  Overall, our hotel wasn’t bad either considering we got a Groupon deal on it.  The pool was inside and old school style but the hotel was right on the beach.  We had a lovely balcony over the sand, free wifi, cable TV, etc.  Pretty sweet.

After two nights on the Oregon Coast, on the way back through McMinnville, we stopped at the Hotel Oregon and had a great lunch on the rooftop bar.  Again, the sun was out and we enjoyed their rooftop deck.  The Hotel Oregon is run by the McMenamins Brothers and we like the quirky style they have throughout their restaurants and hotels.  The food is reasonable priced and the atmosphere is great for those that like that pub feel.

We spend a third night in downtown Portland (Oregon) at the Sheraton.  I like the Sheraton chain and we weren’t disappointed.  My wife also got a good deal on that so instead of sleeping in the car, we stayed there.  (There goes another life lesson my children could have learned about being homeless and living out of your car).

Not to worry, the city of Portland (like Austin, Texas) likes to pride itself as being weird.  The downtown homeless bums did their best to put on a good show for my kids.  On a side note, we do have homeless people in our downtown suburb city but my kids aren’t exposed to them.  And we have them in downtown Seattle but we hardly visit downtown to experience them.  I know what you are thinking: my kids aren’t being exposed to crazy homeless people like they should.  I agree with you, I’m a terrible father.  I promise to work on that.

We also squeezed in a visit to my friend Chance and got to see his new family.  Again, we had great weather and the afternoon temperatures in Portland were 77 degrees in March!  Unheard of!

Overall the trip was a good one.  We certainly lucked out on the weather for this kind of trip in the month of March.  We are looking forward to going back to McMinnville to check out their Evergreen Air and Space Museum and Water Park.

80s Dance Attack 2012 in Portland, Oregon

Last night, my wife and I attended the 80’s Dance Attack at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon and had a fantastic time.  If you enjoy dancing to the music of the 1980s, then I think you’d really enjoy this event.  VJ Kittyrox does an outstanding job spinning the tunes and the Crystal Ballroom is an awesome venue in which to host this event.

Being from the Seattle area, I was a little hesitating in my desire to make the drive down to Portland for a Halloween party.  However, my wife encouraged me to consider this a getaway from the kids for the weekend and to enjoy our time away.  I agree with her in this observation and glad we made the trip.

We stayed at McMenamin’s Crystal Hotel  and found it to be a delightful hotel.  The staff was helpful, friendly, and courteous.  Our room was clean and the bathrooms just as clean.  It is a European style hotel (however they do have bedrooms with private baths if you like).

We managed to enjoy happy hour at Zeus’ Café and the food was excellent.  We dined on mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, & basil pizza, Chickpea Plank Fries, and a Zeus’ Piedmontese Burger.  Not to miss out on a fine beverage from McMenamin’s Brewery, I enjoyed the limited Black Widow Porter (which is advertised as only being available from October 15 through October 31 each year).

We had a great time dancing to the mighty songs of the 1980s decade in our Halloween costumes.  The Crystal Ballroom was packed the whole evening and the music was nonstop.  The crowd seemed to really get into the spirit of the music.  Songs from Billy Idol, Duran Duran, Madonna, and many others filled the evening with hours of dancing.

After an evening of dancing, an added bonus was the fact our hotel was only a block away.  A short walk back to our hotel and it was time for bed.

We’ll definitely be back for next year’s event.

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