Two Sister Cities, Portland and Guadalajara, come together for one big bash for the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and extravaganza from May 2 through May 5. The celebration takes place in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, right along the Willamette River in downtown Portland.
Oregon’s largest minority population by far is Hispanic, so the Fiesta is one of the largest and most fun you’re going to find anywhere in the U.S. There’s great Mexican cuisine in Portland, at the Fiesta and dozens and dozens of restaurants throughout the city.
Also during the Fiesta, there’s fireworks, pinata breaking and entertainment from Ballet Folklorico, Mariachis, Marilyn Fernandez, Los Malandrines, Los Angeles Azules, and Vilma Diaz. I know many of you, like me, aren’t familiar with the singers and musicians, but that’s a great part of the fun — being exposed to the music of another culture.
The crowds make parking difficult and expensive, but it’s very easy to get from The Fulton House to downtown on public transportation. You can hop on a bus just a half-block away and be there in about 5 minutes.
We’re already partly booked during celebration days, but we still have 2 rooms open for 2 days. So reserve now if you want to join in the fun. See ya’.
For further information on Portland’s Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, visit www.cincodemayo.org
Since The Fulton House is just one block away from the Willamette River, over the next two months our guests will be walking down to Willamette Park along the River to see the Dragon Boats practicing or actually racing. It’s exciting and colorful and has been going on for 20 years, as part of the City’s internationally renowned annual Rose Festival.
There are 8 40-foot intricately painted dragon boats, on loan from the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association, which owns the boats and sponsors the races. As part of the opening 2,000 year-old Chinese ceremony, Portland Mayor Tom Potter brushed bright red cinnabar paint on the dragons’ eyes, freeing them from the blindness of winter.
The Dragon Boats were also officially blessed in a ceremony by more than a dozen Buddist monks and nuns from Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles. Now, the Dragon Boats were officially awake and ready to be shoved into the Willamette so the 96 teams of rowers, 2,000 in all, from across the U.S. and Canada could begin practice.
Each team consists of 12 rowers, a tiller and a caller.
The teams are divided into 3 race divisions — high schools, women, and mixed adults. There are 12 high school teams, 24 women’s teams, and 60 mixed adult teams. Additionally, there are 2 Special Event races scheduled – the International Friendship Race for high school girls, including a team from Shu-Te High School in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China, and the Gorman Cup Race for teams of breast cancer patients.
These races are taken very seriously by the teams. Each team gets 3 one-hour weekly practice sessions from now to the actual competition, which will take place on the Willamette River on June 7 and 8. Log on to www.pksca.com to learn more about the races and about the Sister City association.
Tourists come from all over the country to watch the practices and the races, so make your reservations at The Fulton House early. We’re only a block from the Willamette River and within walking distance (about 2 miles) from the stretch of river where the actual races will take place. To avoid the expense and hassles of parking, there are also city buses that stop a half-block away that take you downtown, located in southwest Portland, where The Fulton House is also located.
See you soon!
Just about a year ago, I posted a blog challenging guests to come to Oregon to climb a mountain, pointing out that we are an easy day’s drive from numerous glacier-topped peaks. At least one guest took the challenge. He was an experienced climber, but he never had climbed in the Pacific Northwest.
Now, climbing season is back, beginning May 1 and running through mid-October. Because Wendy and I are both long-time climbers and members of the Portland-based Mazamas (motto: “We Climb High” or, in the native Chinook language, “Nesika Klatawa Sahale”), we can introduce guests to a Mazama climb on one or more of the dozens of mountains just waiting to be summited by you.
Here’s how it works. Give us a call at 503-892-5781 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know when you’re planning to be staying at The Fulton House. We can register you for your room immediately and notify you of the climbs available during the dates you’ll be with us.
Please know that these climbs are ultra-safe, each led by an experienced leader and assistant leader who will contact you directly with climb details, the equipment you will need and other relevant details. In addition to the expertise, the Mazamas provide the ropes. The cost to each Mazama non-member is $25 per climb, $15 for a member. You’re going to need some equipment (e.g., ice axes, crampons, carabiners, and other standard climbing gear), but you can rent these items at R.E.I., about a
10-minute drive from us.
Climbs are rated from “A” to “E” in ascending order of difficulty. Since anyone new to the sport will be able to handle only “A” and “B” climbs, here’s what’s in store for you. An “A” climb may require off-trail hiking, ice axe and crampon use on moderately steep slopes, and self-arrest (can be learned quickly and safely on a snow-covered slope). A “B” climb may require the above plus glacier travel and roped climbing.
There are “Classic” climbs (55 years of age and older), “Family” climbs (slower pace and child-friendly), “Hike to the Summit” climbs (moderate climbs for experienced hikers), “Novice” climbs (if you’ve never climbed or hiked in the mountains), and “Adventurous Young Mazamas” climbs (under 40 years old).
If you’re at all interested in a safe climbing adventure — just think of the bragging rights when you get back home! — contact us ASAP and we’ll begin the discussion. It is very important that you register for a climb early since they fill up fast (only 6-12 persons on “A” and “B” climbs). The Mazamas are extremely well known in the climbing community and these climbs are very popular and many times over-subscribed.
Do it now. Call or e-mail John or Wendy at The Fulton House. None of us are getting any younger and a climb is the adventure of a lifetime!
Since 1995, Portland has been named the “Best Cycling City in the USA” by “Bicycling Magazine,” one of the bibles of the industry read by hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts across the country.
Recently, an extended family of four — mother, father, daughter and son-in-law — stayed at The Fulton House for a 4-day weekend and every day indulged in their passion: urban bicycling. Fueled by one of our hearty breakfasts, they’d set out in the morning to explore and enjoy Portland by bike, arriving back in the evening, tired and ready for showers and starving for dinner. Then, they’d get a good night’s rest and bicycle the hours away the following day.
There are several excellent reasons to consider a stay at The Fulton House if you want to bicycle around town.
1. We’re located in SW Portland, the same part of town that holds the downtown area.
2. We’re a mere block away from Willamette Park and the Willamette Greenway, which runs along the Willamette River for several miles and offers the opportunity to see blue herons, red-tailed hawks, beaver, nutria and even the occasional bald eagle.
3. We’re quite near the Springwater Corridor Trail, which runs for many miles along the Willamette River on the opposite shore and connects with the eastside Esplanade.
4. We’re a block away from a bus stop and all City buses are equipped to haul bicycles for no extra fare, so you can ride to a distant point to begin your bike tour.
5. If you’re flying into Portland, there are bike rental shops near The Fulton House.
Warmer weather is on us (yesterday was the warmst day of the year thus far, reaching a perfect 60 degrees) and the cycling is terrific. So make your reservations at The Fulton House now, and, after you’ve registered, tell John or Wendy that you’re cycling enthusiasts so we can mail you a detailed map entitled “Portland By Bicycle,” issued by the City of Portland Office of Transportation.
We guarantee you will enjoy Portland by bike!