A Summer Vacation to Remember

In the summer of 2014 my wife and I took a vacation to the Pacific Northwest. We were attending a wedding outside of Portland and we looked forward to enjoying the beautiful summer weather away from the oven-like weather in our Arizona home. I had recently retired, but for years I had traveled the West and was familiar with many of the attractions in Oregon and Washington.

Our plan was to fly into Seattle, spend a few days there, then rent a car and head down to Oregon for more vacationing before the wedding. However, when I tried to make reservations in Seattle, there were few rooms available, and their prices were unbelievably high. I was expecting high prices, but these prices were much higher than what I knew that they should be. Then it occurred to me:

This was Seafair week! Of course, Seattle hotels would sell out for the fair events and the hydroplane races. We easily fixed this, by flipping our plans so that we went to Seattle after vacationing in Portland and the wedding. 

We flew from Phoenix to Portland where we stayed at a classic old hotel, The Benson, in the heart of Portland at the edge of the historic Pearl District with its many attractions. It was only a short walk to the famous and gigantic Powell Bookstore. The area was filled with terrific restaurants, shopping, and parks. All within walking distance.

The Benson Hotel

After a couple of days in Portland on foot, our itinerary had us renting a car and heading for the famous Oregon coast. We stayed in Canon Beach, and soaked up some sun and ocean air. From there, we headed inland to Oregon’s wine country where the wedding was being held. We stayed at the luxurious Allison Inn & Spa in the Willamette Valley. The weather was beautiful, perfect for an outdoor wedding. But our vacation was only half over.

Canon Beach

Seattle was our final destination. We checked in at the historic Paramount Hotel on 8th and Pine in downtown Seattle before dropping off our rental car. Having a car in a busy city is a waste of time and money. The Paramount, another historic hotel, was across the street from the Paramount Theater, and only a few blocks downhill to the Pike Place Market. There was plenty to see and do on the way, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Pacific Place, and Westlake Center for my wife’s shopping fix.

Paramount Hotel, Seattle, WA

It was truly a vacation to remember. Today, in the pandemic, it’s fun to reminisce of great times like this, and look forward to their return.

*I saw a youtube video recently, Is SEATTLE Safe to Travel to Right Now? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUghxhavje4&t=10s Most of these places are boarded up, including big retailers such as Nordstrom’s. 

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