Portland - 2012

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Portland is known as ” the city of roses,” and is a walk-able, vibrant, and beautiful city. The Great Northwest –Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Columbia River Gorge, Pacific Ocean, are all within approximate hour’s drive. There is no sales tax, no food tax, and no beverage tax. Our goal was to make this convention affordable, entertaining, and just plain FUN!

We were fortunate to book the historic and luxurious Benson Hotel. Built in 1913 by Simon Benson, a Portland lumber baron, philanthropist and visionary, the hotel is commonly called “The Gem of Portland.” Every president since President Taft has stayed at this historic hotel in “The Presidential ” suite, which will be appropriately renamed “The Clipper Club” during our convention.

Completely renovated in 1991 and refurbished in 2010/2011, The Benson is graced by Italian marble floors, Austrian crystal chandeliers, and a grand lobby finished with rare Circassian walnut from the forests of Imperial Russia. It truly is the perfect hotel for us, elegant, relaxing and located in the heart of downtown Portland.

There were lots of fun events planned. The Welcome cocktail party was held at the hotel. The chef and the bartender are award winners of excellence, so northwest cuisine and beverages will be featured.

The trip up the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, with a photo op stop at Multnomah Falls on the way to Skamania County for an old fashioned Barn dance and barbecue was enjoyed. Jeans or denim were required! We crossed the Columbia river via the famous “Bridge of the Gods,” which was a treat in itself!

Saturday night we traveled thru the Willamette valley to the Evergreen Aviation Museum to dine and dance under the famous “Spruce Goose.” There was wine tasting before dinner of now famous pinot noir and chardonnay. Oregon wines and breweries are world renown. Everyone was requested to dress in the vintage era of the 40s… or in VINTAGE Pan Am uniforms. It was an evening to remember!

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