Wow! It’s really been a marvelous day today! This year for my birthday I decided to take a class that was being held in Portland, Oregon, on September 8. Everyone who has been following this blog knows that I’m a fused glass artist. My favorite glass to use is made by a company called the Bullseye Glass Company, who just happens to be headquartered in… yep, you guessed it, Portland, Oregon.
So I decided that I should add an extra day to the trip so that I could take advantage of going to the glass Mecca of my world. Well, I guess it’s really second to watching the glass blowers on the island of Murano in Venice, Italy, but Portland is also a heck of a lot closer than Italy. I’m so glad that I decided to add on the extra day here for my actual birthday.
I flew in yesterday and my birthday celebration started as soon as I got to the Nines Hotel, once I started chatting to the hotel’s concierge who was recommending restaurants for my birthday dinner today. After finding out that my birthday was today, she had the hotel staff send to my room a set of three truffles on a plate that was hand-lettered in chocolate with “Happy Birthday Pilisa.”
The birthday fun continued this morning when “Barney the Cabbie” took me over to the Portland Bullseye Resource Center, while being his incredibly funny and nice self, and a quick but safe driver. He got me there sooner than I expected and even offered to come and pick me up later when I was ready to go back to my hotel.
Once I got inside, Stacy Smith was my very sweet and incredibly helpful guide to the entire Bullseye operation. Since it was my first time there, she showed me around the sales area as well as the classroom, demonstration area, and studio spaces. She even took me on a tour of the factory where the glass makers sang me happy birthday while I got to watch them making beautiful sheets of handmade glass!
The shopping experience was a lot of fun as well. I got to spend a couple of hours in “the Bullpen” selecting the specific individual sheets of glass I wanted to use in future projects. I found some limited edition sheets, some short runs of unique collage glass sheets to use in my intention plate series, and some of Bullseye’s “curious” glass – experimental sheets of glass to see what would happen if you decided to mix this with that…
Two of the “curious” sheets are especially wonderful, with a mix of opaque and transparent glass that has an indescribably delicious look that I can’t wait to use on some special projects I have in mind. Unfortunately, guests are not allowed to take photos or video while in the factory or “the Bullpen” areas, so I can’t share the fun.
Once “Barney the Cabbie” got me back to my hotel, I had the concierge book me into Andina for dinner this evening. Despite some confusion where Andina had me down for dinner tomorrow instead of today, I was able to dine there at a great table on the upstairs level anyway. My waiter was the perfect combination of nice, helpful, attentive, and yet not smothering.
The food was excellent, especially the “Palta Rellena de Cangrejo – half an avocado stuffed with crab and topped with a poached prawn. All of the dishes were wonderful, though, from the carrot soup I started with to the truffle I had for dessert. Apparently, the concierge who booked my dinner felt bad that I would be eating alone and bought me a glass of dessert wine to go with my truffle. That was incredibly sweet of her and it was a very nice glass of wine, too!
So, now that I’m finished typing this, it’s time for bed, before I yawn myself right off of my chair… Today was a wonderfully amazing start to a new year of life on this beautiful Earth of ours. *Contented sigh*
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