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This was fun. Don't miss our next trip.

Wine, Laughter and Chocolate
Friday

Friday | Saturday | Sunday

We found beauty and charm everywhere.A group of Rotarians traveled to Portland from Tacoma for a wonderful weekend. This is their story. Sure it was wet and windy November weather, but that only added to the fun. The fall colors enhanced the beautiful views of downtown Portland.

One of the nice things about Portland is that there are no hills like downtown Seattle and Tacoma. Walking is easier and this gives you a little more chance to look around and enjoy the art, the buildings, and the beauty.

Timing is everything AND Amtrak was on time!We began our trip from the Tacoma Amtrak train station. Our train traveling group all had Business Class tickets. This enabled our fellowship of the train a chance to board in the same location with seats together - and - $3 off coupons in the Bistro car allowed a generous purchase of Cascade Chocolate Bars.


We found beauty and charm everywhere, except the fellow on the right.As we traveled we talked and laughed over the seats. Talking and laughing took up much of our three day weekend. We had time to spend with each other in many different groups as opportunity and interests changed.

The trains were sold out in both directions (going Friday and returning on Sunday), but luckily we had made reservations well in advance. The movie going down was The Bourne Identity, but none of our group rented the little ear pieces to listen. Instead we talked about that book and other books that we had read . . . okay, we talked about movies and other things. We're not just boring book people . . . okay, we are boring book people, but we have other aspects of our lives as well.

The lobby of the hotel feels rich and comfortable.The Amtrak personnel were friendly and courteous both on-board and in the stations. We picked up our luggage in Portland. Since we arrived during Portland rush hour, it did take us a little while to get cabs. We checked in at the Fifth Avenue Suites, where Peg and I had stayed before. We know what we like. Everyone was happy with their rooms, until they saw our suite, then they wished they had upgraded. Portland encourages tourists in the fall and winter with the Portland Big Deal, which has special rates for the hotels and other activities. With our hotel room we also received continental breakfast room service and nightly wine tasting. Our group met for wine before we went out to dinner.

Good food and plenty of it adds to the fun . . . well, it's what we like.Rick and Kathleen Olson joined us in Portland at the hotel. They were on their way to visit Kathleen's mother in Southern Oregon. Dinner was at the Greek Cusina, a mere one hundred yards away from our hotel. The restaurant offers three floors of food and entertainment. At street level there is a Greek deli. In the two upstairs dining rooms there is fine dining, belly dancing, and traditional plate breaking. In our many visits to the Greek Cusina, we have only ever made it to the downstairs deli. This trip was no exception. Actually, sometimes we can't make it past the display case by the entrance where our eyes longingly view the sweet offerings. The bourbon pecan pie is a favorite.

The Greek food was plentiful and excellent.Peg and I recommended ordering appetizers only. Rob and Vickie ordered appetizers and dinner. Once it arrived they realized why we had made the recommendation. Each appetizer gave enough to share around the table. Since we were all staying at the hotel and had plenty of eating opportunities everywhere else we went, there were no requests for doggy-bags, even though some little doggy could have stuffed themselves on the left-overs.


Rob became our navigator. He earnestly learned the available transit modes in downtown Portland. After we left much of our dinner at the Greek Cusina we walked six blocks and took a street car to within a block and a half of ComedySportz.

We laughed and had a great time.ComedySportz was a kick. They saved the entire front row just for us, which means we sat in our chairs with our feet sometimes on the stage. There were about 200 seats and all of them seemed full. It was obvious that many in the audience had attended before. There was plenty of audience participation (besides laughing) with singing, cheering, and exercises (head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes!). We joined in with helpful improvisational suggestions of "nuclear physics" (Olympic sport) and "antique restoration with a newborn baby and a spatula" (leisure time activity).

After our evening of hearty and healthful laughter we took the street car back downtown and got to bed around midnight. I don't think anyone had trouble sleeping.

Rotary Club of Tacoma #8 | District 5020 | Member Websites | Rotary #8 Activities

Don Doman
P.O. Box 191, Tacoma, WA 98401
253-752-8262 - trainingmedia@yahoo.com