Portland, Oregon: Never mind this weather
- we have people to see and things to do! Martin and Shirley invited us to join
them this morning to tour through Portland's
Compared to all the ancient castles, National Trust Gardens - not to mention
actual Stonehenge - they take us to tour when we visit England... our
little 102-year-old manse is all we have to offer.
The house was built by Georgiana and
Pittock as their family home. It sits on a perfect hilltop overlooking
Portland and the Willamette River, with views (on a clear day) east to Mt. Hood,
Mount St. Helen, Mt. Adams and probably Mt. Rainier on a very very clear day.
The house has 47 rooms - four bedrooms, countless sitting rooms, a full kitchen
with walk-in refrigeration, many baths, and elevator, a dumb-waiter and quarters
for four servants in the attic. There is also a carriage house and a stable. At
one time there were also greenhouses and a tennis court.
Mr. Pittock (born in England, raised in Pennsylvannia and arrived to Portland
while still a teen) was the publisher of the (somehow-still-in-business)
Oregonian newspaper and grew to be
quite the local tycoon via business in lumber and paper milling. An avid
outdoorsman, Pittock climbed Mt. Hood four times. But people get old, people die
and families move on... but the citizens of Portland decided to not let this
property falter, so raised funds to buy the house and 47 acres to preserved the
estate when the family could no longer keep the property. It is operated as a park. There is no cost to tour the grounds; $10 for
adults to enter the house for a guided or self-guided tour.
Dave walking up to the mansion
You may recall Dave and I went to
reception at this mansion in March hosted by Portland Mayor Hales,
welcoming dignitaries (and we mere peons) to the World Championships.
The flowers are "hanging in there" due to all the rain
The front of Pittock Mansion (from the east)
The view from the house looks east - but today we couldn't see much east of
Terry & Shirley at Pittock Mansion
After a tour through the gardens, we bought tickets and gave ourselves a
self-guided tour of the beautiful home.
Marble staircase - and the house had electric lights,
electric plugs and get this - a central vacuum.
Beautiful curved staircase - the house has so many
Turkish "smoking room" - the ceiling was hand-painted.
The house had an intercom system. Each button is labeled
with the name of a room. Even the driver in the carriage
house was on the system.
A bedroom - most of the furniture is not original to the
The bathrooms had amazing showers and every bedroom had
a walk-in dressing room
Eldest daughter's bedroom
Henry and Georgiana Pittock
Ladies sewing and sitting room overlooked Portland
Bedroom and playroom for the grandchildren
Beautiful detailing on the windows, railings and
We spent nearly two hours in the house. Visitors can
tour three floors - the attic floor (servants quarters)
is off-limits. The basement, which was used as a game
room (the original "man cave"?) has a display explaining
printing presses and typesetting during Pittock's time
as publisher of the local newspaper. Fascinating
stuff. We really enjoyed our tour.
Before leaving the estate, we had another walk around
the house, through the carriage house (2400 square feet
home for the chauffeur), took more photos of flowers,
met a woman from Taiwan who was pretty surprised to meet
an American woman with her English friend who had once
been neighbors in Taiwan!
* * * * * *
Want a postcard from Pittock Mansion? I bought a small
Send an email to postcards@RVGoddess.com and I
will pop one in the mail to you.
Please include your postal mailing address! First come;
* * * * * *
Then the skies opened and we hopped in Martin's car and
went downtown to Jo
Bar & Rotisserie for lunch. Our table was in front
of a large window, so we had a view out to the sidewalk
and street in front of the trendy restaurant. After we
placed our orders, we couldn't help but notice a car
trying again and again to parallel park directly in
front of us. The poor driver went back and forth and
back and forth and back and forth trying to get situated
in the site. However, every time she did, she smashed
into the cars in front and in back! It was "oops" the
first time, but we counted her whacking the rear car
SEVEN times! We were laughing so hard, people in the
restaurant were looking at us. And we were not being
rude by not helping her park - a man (her husband, we
assume) was in the passenger seat, with his door open
and head sticking out to assist. It reminded us of this:
We were laughing, but she was just a bit older than us. Thank
goodness my new car has all sorts of beeps when I get close to something, or
that could have been me.
Dave had Chilaquiles with poached eggs
PS: The lady and gentleman returned to their car a bit
later, hopped back in, rammed the car behind them one
more time, and sped-away.
You would think this would be enough activity/fun for one day,
but you would be wrong. We also attended an open house (for a Grand Re-Opening)
at the salon where I have my nails done. I have been a client of Brandy since
Lisa was in high school and recently her salon underwent a massive remodel.
Instead of the usual small desks the technicians usually use, this salon has a long
curved "bar" for manicures.
I have never seen a salon like this and
Brandy's wonderful husband designed it all himself and
did most of the work as well. For the open house, Brandy
designed all the flowers and made most of the food.
Serious Power Couple.
Dave with Brandy (center) and shop co-owner
Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls
Vegetarian Salad Rolls with tofu
A Big Day for the old folks!
Until my next update, I remain, your cultural correspondent.
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