Our "Portland Experience" began around 10am Saturday morning after we left the kids with Michael and Michele. We stopped off at the Woodburn Outlets, keeping our shopping to a "recession-minimum" - and then headed up to Portland to check-in at the City Center Marriott Hotel.
Soon after, we ran through the rain about a block to the "Spa Sasse" for a couples massage. Can I just say that our first impressions of this place were very, very strange. The thirty minute wait for our service was a little nerve-wracking as I pondered every other way we could have possibly applied our additional gift certificates towards something else the hotel packages offered. However, the actual massage was AMAZING. John has never got to experience a professional massage and unfortunately for our budget, he's hooked. My masseuse did a fantastic job on my neck and shoulders - the wait and quirkiness were definitely worth it.
At 5, we headed to the restaurant on the second floor of the hotel - The Shula Steak House. We had money left over from our certificates that we thought we could easily keep our dinner check within. The steaks, beverages, and sides were amazing - we were so stuffed we didn't even bother with the dessert menu. Good thing as the check delivered to our table proved we had just spent more on a dinner for the two of us than we'd ever even spent for our family of four! Uh huh, definitely exceeded that little "extra" on our room account. (The prices on the steaks were NOT listed on the menu - that's always a bad sign....)
This has certainly been a phenomenal weekend. I wish the sun was still shining, as it was so brilliantly on Friday. Instead, the drapes are securely shut in our room to keep the grey gloom from being so obvious. I also find myself wondering what the appeal to these full-service hotels really are. Compared to the Fairfield Inn, where we usually stay - this room is twice as expensive, considerably smaller, and not as new. In addition, we are handing out a five dollar bill right and left as we have to tip the bell-hop, tip the valet (valet parking was included in our package), and tip the waiter who pointed us to where the buffet was for the breakfast (also included our package). We have to spend $10 for me to access the internet - free at the Fairfield. Oh yeah, that place has a pool - and this one, nope, but it does have a large jacuzzi, that fortunately just opened from being repaired so we could check it out last night.
But, once again - I'm so thankful for this special time with just John - man, we needed it. All of the quirkiness just adds to the special memories the two of us alone share, that certainly bond us even more. I think it will be a while before we head to a city for our get-away (I devoted a whole post to our big-city aversion in 2007.....), but I'm happy indeed for this weekend.