Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Version of The Shining

We drove out to Mt Hood close to 10 pm with full tummies from our Los Gorditos extravaganza. The reason for our visit was to stay at the Timberline Lodge. Stanley Kubrick used the Timberline for exteriors in the film The Shining, one of my (and T's) all time favourite films. The lobby in the film was based on the Awahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, which we will get to on another trip. Stephen King based the original novel on the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, also for another visit. 

The drive up the bendy road to the lodge was particularly creepy given that it started snowing when we were nearing the top. It felt like we were in the film, especially as one of the first things we saw as we pulled into the carpark was the garage where the snowcat was kept in the film, as well as the bathroom window that Danny escaped through (I think).

We were in room 210, just down the hall from room 217 used in the book. Even though the film was not shot inside the Timberline, apparently management requested that Stanley Kubrick not use that number in the film, as they were scared that noone would ever want to stay in that room. 237 (a non-existent room in the Timberline) was used in the film. 

Room 210

We hunkered down with the laptop and watched The Shining, which was one of the more creepy experiences I have ever had. Here is the laptop showing the exterior of the Timberline from within room 210 in the Timberline:

Timberline within the Timberline

And Jack at his best: 

I'm very jealous of everyone who got to attend Come Play With Us, a celebration of The Shining at the Timberline - a 1920's era ball recreating the hallucination Jack Nicholson has when he loses his grip on reality in the film. 

The next day (22 October to be exact) was T's 31st birthday. We started the day with a swim in the heated outdoor pool and spa pool surrounded by snow and ice.

Swimming 1Icy Poolside

We trudged around the outside of the hotel in the snow admiring the curves and angles of the building:


Refreshment time followed, with a birthday beer for T and a hot cider with cloves for me. This was accompanied by one of the most lovely views you could witness whilst refreshing oneself: 


We thought we could have taken a wrong (or unfortunate) turn on our way back to Portland given the signage: 


Back in Portland, we had a fairly uneventful vegan Vietnamese lunch (I forget the name), T bought some birthday music gadgets (or rather I did as his present!) and we headed back to the Ace hotel. We were in a different room this time, illustrated with pictures of mechanics publications.  

Mechanix Illustrated

A repeat of the Bye and Bye finished off the day, in preparation for our long drive to San Francisco the following day. 

Bye x2

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Vegan Utopia of Portland

We arrived in Portland late at night after a short drive from Seattle. First thing we did was check in at The Ace Hotel. We were in the Night Owl/Early Bird room. I loved the murals: 

Ace Hotel

The following day was a chilly autumn day, so we bundled off and headed over to the Blue Moose Cafe for brunch. The staff were so friendly, and brought over samples of their soups for us to try. The Tunisian chickpea was so tasty it became my order. It came with freshly baked bread crammed full with grains and seeds. T ordered the breakfast burrito, which was also fantastic. Accompanied by strawberry lemonade, it was the perfect way to start the day. 

Moose Red II

Next - a spin around the city.
Portland Storage CompanyMade in Oregon I

We ended up at the vegan strip mall, including Herbivore, Scapegoat Tattoo, Food Fight! vegan grocery, and SweetPea Bakery. We enjoyed a hot chocolate and two varieties of cupcake: lemon buttercream and chocolate oreo.

BrowsingSweetpea Treats  

Our celebration of Portland's plentiful vegan joints was completed by a visit to the Bye and Bye (all vegan!) bar. I had several white russians, while T had one beer as he was driving. We also had some food - a "meatball" sub and seasoned tofu for T (so-so sub, amazing tofu), and I had an amazing grilled "cheese" sandwich, tortilla chips and salsa. It was so refreshing to be able to go up to a bar and order both drinks and food without having to explain anything.   

Vegan Grilled Cheese

Our second day in Portland was again spent eating, with a little record and clothes shopping thrown in. We started with the most amazing vegan pancakes with blueberries and home fries at the Laurelthirst. We soon moved on to Voodoo Doughnut, which had about six types of vegan donuts. 

Vegan DonutsVoodoo Donut

A large part of our evening was spent perusing the shelves in Powell's Used & New Books. The store covers a whole city block, and the few hours we were there was just not enough time. I loved the little sign in the Banana Yoshimoto section - "Please enjoy a wonderful book by Banana Yoshimoto. She'll make your heart sing." 

Here are the books I picked up (apart from the Tape Op and 33 1/3 which belong to T and the Herbivore Travel Guide and Zinester's Guide to Portland which are from Herbivore): 

Powell's Purchases

We picked up a delicious mexican diner from the loveliest people ever at Los Gorditos, a caravan that makes both vegan and non-vegan mexican food. Wow! The mexican mango and lime pop we had with it was fantastic too. 

Las Gorditos

Finally it was time to head out to the Timberline Lodge near Mt Hood for a little (scary) nostalgia over this film:

The Shining

Saturday, November 22, 2008


My first view of Seattle was the skyline at night. I was completely awestruck, as it has one of the coolest skylines I have ever seen. It looked so futuristic, more Bladerunner than Bladerunner. This was mostly thanks to the Space Needle - I am still amazed that it was built in the 1960's.

We were staying at the Ace Hotel, and our room was fantastic. The only thing separating our bed from the shower was a clear glass screen. 

 From the Shower by you.

We started out the following day in a very healthy way - vegan donuts and coffee at Mighty-O. It was almost too much for me, trying to figure out which donuts we should try, given that every single one was vegan. After a long process of elimination, we narrowed the 26 or so varieties down to 12, and we sat down to enjoy one (or three) with some coffee (for me, as T is not a coffee kinda guy). 

One Dozen by you.

We stumbled outside in a donut induced euphoria, only to discover that there was a hot dog joint (aptly named Diggity Dog) across the street. Their vegan dogs were too much to pass up, although this meant that we had to take turns rolling each other back to the car. 

Dogs by you.

Diggity Dog by you.

It was then time for our self researched and guided Twin Peaks locations tour. T and I have been long time David Lynch fans, and I consider Twin Peaks to be a jewel in his crown. I used to love freaking myself out as a 16 year old in New Zealand, watching it on Sunday nights at 11 pm with all the lights in the house off. Bob.......Wyndham a weak moment, those characters can still make me reconsider a midnight trip to get a glass of water.

Clutching our list of addresses from this website, we headed out into the wilds of Washington State. The big highlights were: 

Trestle Bridge by you.

Trestle Bridge - Ronette Pulaski was found wandering along this bridge at the start of Fire Walk With Me. 

Welcome to Twin Peaks by you.

The "Welcome to Twin Peaks" sign in the opening credits was shot along this road. 

IMG_6582 by you.

Salish Lodge & Spa - The Great Northern Hotel in the series.

Train Carriages by you.

Train Carriages where the murder scene takes place in Fire Walk With Me. 

Double R Diner by you.

Damn Fine Cup of Coffee by you.

Inside by you.

Twedes Cafe - The Double R Diner in the series.

All this hunting made us very hungry, so we headed to Pizza Pi Pizzeria in the university district of Seattle before making our way down to Portland. Their pizzas were exceptional, especially the breadstix with white garlic sauce:

Breadstix by you.

And so a fond farewell was bid to Seattle. Next stop: Portland. 

Stanley Park

A hearty breakfast is an excellent way to start the day. A return visit to Naam was on the cards, given our suspicion that their breakfasts would be far superior to their dinner menu. Our suspicion was indeed proven a reality, as evidenced by our tendency to over order (and over indulge): 


Vegan pancakes with maple syrup and organic blueberries

Special Vegan Breakfast

Vegan breakfast special (home fries, sausages, scrambled tofu and pancakes)

Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast burrito and salsa

A long hike around Stanley Park then ensued to try and work over the enormous amount of food we had consumed. It was a beautiful day, and a lot of people were out and about cycling, running, walking and just taking in the views. 

Stanley Park by you.

It is quite a spectacular park, particularly for the vivid reds, yellows and oranges of the autumn leaves at this time of year. 

Yellow II by you.

Yellow I by you.

Leaves & Shadows by you.

Red by you.

Yellow II by you.

I really enjoyed watching the seemingly endless streams of seaplanes taking off and landing. Another treat was enjoying some maple syrup candies in the sun on a grassy bank next to the Totem Park. Best of all though was the huge number of dogs out with their human companions. There was one particularly enthusiastic fellow who would endlessly swim out to fetch his ball that his human friend kept obligingly throwing into the water. There were also large numbers of geese, swans, and even a pair of raccoons checking out the snack situation:

Banditos by you.

After swinging by Budgies to pick up another burrito each, it was time to cross the border back into the States and head to Seattle. We had a most entertaining border guard who was keen to hear about why we had come to the States, how we met and the like. The best part came when he asked if we had any food items to declare. T declared the maple and blueberry tea that we had bought, to which the response was: "Tea is ok. Do you have any drugs? Drugs are not ok." The three of us had a good laugh after we had said we didn't have any drugs, and he let us be on our way. Who said that American border guards don't have a sense of humour?