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TENNIS, ANYONE?

Posted on September 26th, 2007 in Uncategorized.


The Davis Cup men’s final is coming to Portland from November 30-December 2. This is the first time in 15 years that the finals have been held in the U.S., according to the United States Tennis Association

The 3-day event pits top men’s players from the U.S. and Russia, the final two teams in a 16-team, months-long tournament. The U.S. beat Sweden and Russia beat Germany in the semi-finals last weekend.

The U.S. team, captained by Patrick McEnroe, features Andy Roddick, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan and James Blake. The Russian roster includes Marat Safin, Mikhail Youzhny, Dmitry Tursunov, Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev, and is captained by Shamil Tarpishchev.

If you plan to attend and watch the action on the court, act early — tickets will be sold beginning in mid-October. USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier predicted with confidence that the event “will sell out all three days.”

Also act early to secure housing reservations. USTA organizers say they expect to draw tennis buffs from all over the West Coast and draw international attention.

Since there’s also a Van Halen concert scheduled the same weekend, The Fulton House will fill its room and suite early. We’re only about 10-minutes away from both the tennis and the music venues if you drive, and only a half-block from a bus stop if you decide to take public transportation to avoid all the hassles and expense of parking.

Please book now! Innkeepers Wendy and John hate to tell would-be guests that we’re all filled up already. Check our website: www.thefultonhouse.com


HOW TO BEGIN ENJOYING WINE

Posted on September 25th, 2007 in Uncategorized.


At The Fulton House, we’ve hosted quite a few couples who have toured our wine cellar and confessed to us that they’d really like to begin enjoying and learning more about wines.

So, based on an article in “The Wall Street Journal,” here’s our advice for getting off to a good start on your wine adventure.

Set a price limit on a bottle of wine, say $9. Then, go to your neighborhood wine shop or a major grocery store (most of them will have an on-site wine steward until about 6:00 p.m.), and select a dozen bottles of wine that strike your fancy. Pick different varietals from different countries, and never choose on the basis of a cute or colorful label (one rule for Australian wines: if there’s a bird or an animal on the label, don’t buy it!). Virtually any store offers a 10% discount if you buy a case, even a mixed case, so you can buy wines that average slightly more than $9 per bottle.

Open one bottle over dinner every night (or every other night, or whatever) and sip
the wine or serve it with a meal. Take notes if you like. At The Fulton House, we take notes on all the new wines we savor, so we can tell our clientele exactly what to expect as the bottle is opened.

Forget the discredited adage that white wines go with white meat and fish and red wines with red meat. If, in your opinion, the wine complements the meal, then that’s the perfect combination for you.

White wines are usually served chilled (not cold!) and red wines are served at room temperature. Red wines should be allowed to “breathe” (open the bottle and let it sit for 5-10 minutes) before being poured. Forget about decanting, no $9 wine will need the process.

After you’ve finished all 12 bottles, repeat the exercise. It also can be fun and enlightening to read about the wines you’ve tried in a good reference volume, like The World Atlas of Wine, a new updated version of which is due out this October.

Finally, plan a trip to Portland for a stay at The Fulton House, so you can take day trips out to the dozens upon dozens of wineries located within an easy drive from us. We’re conveniently located to reach all the major highways in a few minutes.


SINGING, DANCING & LISTENING

Posted on September 23rd, 2007 in Uncategorized.


Wait until you see what’s happening in Portland the next few months in opera, ballet, classical music and big band music with vocals.

First up….opera. “Carmen,” Bizet’s masterpiece, is performed by the Portland Opera Company on September 25, 27 and 29.

Next up is the Oregon Symphony’s performance of “Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2” on September 29 and 30 and October 1.

Then it’s the Oregon Ballet performing “The Germanic Lands,” featuring Christopher Stowell’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Franz Schubert’s “The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude” and “Almost Mozart” from October 13-20.

If you enjoy big band music, you’ll thrill to Norman Leyden’s “Big Band Birthday,” with instrumentals and vocals on October 17. This performance is in honor of his 90th birthday.

Again, it’s opera….this time with Rossini’s “Cinderella,” on November 2, 4, 8 and 10.

The greatest Christmas ballet, George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” will be performed by the Oregon Ballet from December 8-24.

All of these are in various venues (Keller Auditorium, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Newmark & Dolores Winningstad Theatres and Brunish Hall) in downtown Portland, just minutes away from The Fulton House. You can drive or take public transportation — hop on a bus 1/2 block from us — to any of these performances.

Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.

And check out the location, comforts, amenities and prices of The Fulton House at www.thefultonhouse.com


THE PORTLAND MARATHON

Posted on September 14th, 2007 in Uncategorized.


The Portland Marathon, to be held in 2007 on Sunday, October 7, is rated as one of the top 10 local road race events in the U.S. and one of the top 40 races of all types and distances. “Runner’s World” magazine calls it the “best people’s marathon in the West,” and for the past 10 years has ranked it as one of the top 10 or 15 marathons in the nation. The publication also calls the Portland Marathon one of the “friendliest and best organized races in the country.”

The race is the standard 26 miles, 385 yards and is sanctioned by the USA Track & Field Federation and the Association of International Marathons.

The Portland Marathon begins and ends in S.W. Portland, which is where The Fulton House is also located. We are about a 6-minute drive or a 12-minute bus ride from the start-finish line, and there’s a bus stop 1/2 block from us. So, we’re very convenient for participants and spectators.

It’s important to note that the race also attracts marathon walkers as well as runners; about 25% of participants each year are walkers. Also, a great number of female runners finish the race — since 1998 more than 1/2 of all finishers were females and last year 56% of the finishers were female.

Historically, conditions are excellent for the race. In early October, the normal mean Portland temperature is 55 degrees and the precipitation averages a mere .02 inches. It’s only rained once on the race in the last 25 years and the rain only lasted for 10 minutes.

Since several thousand people, participants and spectators alike, descend on Portland during Portland Marathon weekend, MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS NOW. As of today (September 14), The Fulton House can accommodate either a party of 2 or up to 4 persons traveling together. If it suits your schedule, we can serve breakfast very early the morning of the race, so you’ll have plenty of time to get to the course.


A TYPICAL OREGON DAY

Posted on September 10th, 2007 in Uncategorized.


Saturday (9/8) was a beautiful sunny day with a steady breeze to keep things pleasant, so Wendy and I decided to take the day off and drive to a couple of our favorite places.

We left The Fulton House about 10:00 a.m. and drove to Hood River, then north on the aptly named “Fruit Loop Tour” towards snow-covered Mt. Hood, which towered ahead of us and seemed to fill the entire windshield. Soon, deep in the Hood River valley, we were surrounded by fruit trees, mostly pears and apples.

At Parkdale, we turned off the main road and found our way to our favorite roadside fruit stand, filled with about 15 varieties of early apples and pears. We bought a couple of dozen, to be enjoyed by our guests and us, and turned around to I-84, where we headed east to The Dalles, where we stopped for lunch at a favorite Mexican restaurant.

After a leisurely meal, we headed back towards home, but got off the Interstate to drive a number of miles on the Old Columbia River Highway, much of which has been re-paved and re-opened. We stopped at each of the major waterfalls we passed, and even took a short hike to a higher set of falls, just to stretch out our legs. It’s really amazing….just get a few hundred yards up a trail and 95 percent of the people are nowhere in sight.

At the foot of one set of falls, we stopped to eat an apple, getting drenched by the mist but enjoying it in the sunlight. Then, back to our vehicle for the short drive home. In all, we logged just over 200 miles, but it wasn’t particularly tiring since much of it was at a steady 65 m.p.h. on the Interstate.

And that evening Wendy baked delicious apple turnovers for dessert, a perfect end to a perfect (and typical) Oregon late summer day.

Please come visit us at The Fulton House this autumn and you can re-trace our steps. I promise you you’ll enjoy it immensely.