Friday, March 11, 2022

McMenamins Passport Begins

We have a trip to Paris coming up, and we've booked Disneyland Paris for one of the days. I've been booking our restaurants as well, and I've had my eye on Walt's - An American Restaurant. There are fancy private clubs in many Disney parks called Club 33 that I've dreamed of going to for maybe 15 years or so. You have to know someone to get in, etc. etc.. Well Disneyland Paris doesn't have a Club 33 but it does have Walt's, which I understand is a similar experience. Walt's has been visible in the app as a restaurant that exists but it's been closed so not bookable. I heard it was opening soon for the park's 30th anniversary so I've been obsessively checking to see if it was available.

And then Yahtzee! I saw it open up and snatched a reservation. How exciting.

I couldn't find much news on Walt's until I had the bright idea to visit French websites on the topic and have them translated.

Everytime I pass a Round Table Pizza I think of my Hawaiian friend Hunter who invited us over for pizzas at his family owned franchise on Oahu then made us stay and pick up chairs and vacuum and such after they closed.

Our excitement for the weekend is a trip to Portland, Oregon. The funny thing about moving across the continent is that places that used to be exotic and difficult to reach are now a couple hours drive away. No big deal. We stayed at the very fun and trendy Royal Sonesta Portland Downtown.

Put a bird on it!

The rooms were super cool and the furniture was very quirky. The room had like a hallway thing happening here.

Today was sort of a big day. Not only did we visit 
 Crystal Ballroom, built in 1914 and lookin' real nice, but we bought the McMenamins Passport. You get a stamp at each place they own, which seems to be about a trillion spread out over Washington and Oregon. When you complete a page you get a little prize like a mug or a free burger. Then when you complete the entire book you get to be mayor of Portland for a week. I believe our friends Gabby and Derek introduced us to this quest that will definitely not cause me to develop a Portland trip compulsion in order to collect every stamp.

Avid readers of JMAA will surely remember that this is not the first time I've been to a McMenamins establishment. The only other time I've been to Portland was in 2007 on a big boy business trip for my very first job out of college. 23 year old me had a beer at McMenamins Tavern & Pool.

In addition to the stamps for visiting places there are experience stamps for doing things like ordering a beer flight.

They also run several hotels but you don't have to actually stay at them to get their respective stamp. They have fun photo hunts where you get a clue and have to look over their extensive artwork collection to find the corresponding framed thing.

Passport Party People

Nailed it.

The Teardrop Lounge had Dr. Strangelove projected on one way which was enough to make me want to sit down for a sip.

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