The principal reason for our trip to Bend in mid-July was a three-day bike race Chris had entered. Well, it was a three-day event for him - by the time we arrived on Thursday evening, the pro men and women had already completed two stages. But they get paid for that kind of thing...
This sun logo is everywhere at the Old St. Francis Hotel, and reminded me of my tattoo. Which meant, of course, that I had to get a picture of it.
At any rate, most of the racing Chris was doing took place far enough away from downtown Bend that I only got to see him in one event. That was fine, as we were staying at the fabulous Old St. Francis Hotel (part of the McMenimans chain that isn't) smack dab in the middle of downtown and mere steps away from many fine shopping opportunities. I took advantage of several of them.
For no reason I can determine, they've turned the old stage area into a Turkish soaking pool. Why Turkish? In the middle of Oregon? Who knows. In all honesty, I wish they'd been able to (or inclined to) alter the temperature of the water depending on the temperature outside - it was nearly 90 the whole weekend, not making me feel really excited about hopping into a giant hot tub.
Staying at the Old St. Francis was great for many reasons - it's downtown, it's charming, it's got an attached restaurant (and movie theatre and Turkish soaking pool) and it's got free wifi. The first night we were there we ate at the hotel bar, and for kicks we ordered the tater tots as appetizers. It wasn't until midway through the giant basket of them (which we were, sadly, unable to finish) that I realized they served tater tots because it used to be an elementary school. Veddy clever.
The tots were something special; I'm not sure I can convey how far above average these were, except to say that I want some right now.
Each bedroom is named after someone who worked with or at the school. We were staying in the Ed Danahy room - Ed was (according to the handout you can pick up at checkin) a "well-liked school custodian back in the 1960s-70s. He was an Irishman and lived with his family in one of the back houses." Those back houses are now cottages which are also part of the hotel.
(L) Each room features a portrait of its namesake, done in a style that's folksy and sort of a signature of the McMenimans properties. This here is our friend, Ed Danahy. (R) The room was really lovely, all wood panelled (the nice kind), and hand-painted headboards.
On Friday, when Chris took off early for his race, I slept in and then lingered over a leisurely breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Well, not in the restaurant, precisely - on its patio out front. It was a happily slow way to spend an hour or more.
I dined on oatmeal with caramelized apples, and played online the whole time. I had the patio to myself, as it was, for most, a workday.
After breakfast, I treated myself to a pedicure at a local spa, and ended up with orange toes. The only drawback was that I couldn't try on any of the cute shoes I found at King of Sole until the following day.
See? Orange toes.
Friday afternoon I found a small side courtyard at the hotel and camped out under the shade of a tree, an iced chai and a wireless connection keeping me company.
It was a delightful way to spend an afternoon...
That afternoon, once Chris got back from his race, we ambled down to the park and walked along the water. The river is so shallow in places that even the geese were walking across rather than swimming.
Can you spot the duck hiding in the last picture?
We ended the day with a film in the hotel's theatre (with more tater tots for dinner). Nice first day...
(L) Crazy - and wonderful - fence surrounding the courtyard at the hotel. (R) Artist representation of the school's namesake, complete with animal so you know which saint it is. Handy, that.