Happy Year of the Rooster!
Collabofest also ended up being on the same weekend of Chinese New Year festivities in Portland.
Learning that Portland’s Chinese Dragon sat in storage for 20 years, I wanted to see this gift from the Taiwanese government parading in the city during our stay.
It was such a family-friendly collaborative parade, we ended up joining the walk to watch the lions and dragons dance.
The following day, we went to visit Lan Su Garden to take part in their annual “Roll in the Wealth” tradition.
Did you know that oranges symbolize money in traditional Chinese customs because of their round shape and glowing hue to gold? Rolling oranges and coins at the front door on the first day of the Lunar New Year represent that prosperity will flow into the building all year long.
We learned that people gather to toss red ribbons in hopes that they will have good fortune in the coming year. The characters written on the ribbon symbolize prosperity, happiness and longevity.
Douglas is a bit of a skeptic when it comes to anything to do with fortune-telling. I’m more of a person who picks and chooses, as I find delight and entertainment with these matters. We took our turns with the fortune sticks to find our fortunes for the year.
The Lan Su Garden is a very large outdoor garden. On very cold days, be prepared to bundle up to stay comfortable as you enjoy the beauty of nature. Coming from a very diverse family background of many Asian cultures, it was fun to learn about the other traditions as part of my cultural heritage.
Wanting to see something off-the-wall and unusual, Douglas suggested a visit to The Peculiarium.
Halloween is one of his favourite holidays. Personally for myself, I easily get the hee-bee-jeebies with creepy and peculiar subjects. Though one may avoid uncomfortable situations, I like to try something at least once before I choose to “write them off.”
If you like an assortment of “Stranger Things”, this would be an entertaining visit to look through a lot of peculiar things.
There’s a “Buried Alive” simulator, a Zombie apocalypse simulator and other creepy simulators.
There’s plenty of Instagram-moments to be had here, like being autopsied by aliens or giant-sized menacing creatures.
Feeling nostalgic, Douglas and I were really excited to spend a couple hours at Ground Kontrol with their many vintage arcade games.
Don’t forget to take a peek at their restroom facilities if you’re a big Pacman fan. You’ll find the tiles and the doors with themed with these classical characters.
Douglas was having a great time reminiscing about games he had not played in years like Joust, Star Wars, and Mario Brothers.
There were some games we played solo, and some games we chose to play together like Mario Brothers and shooting up games.
My favourite area was on the second floor full of pinball machines. I kept circling back to playing the Simpson’s themed pinball machine while waiting to play on the Wizard of Oz-themed one. Despite this being my first time playing pinball, I beat Douglas at every single game.
The Society Hotel
For our last night in Portland, we opted to stay nearby the Pearl District and Old Town Chinatown at the Society Hotel.
It was like stepping into a spacious Gastown-like lobby with their cafe / bar by the front desk.
I like how there are options to share rooms hostel-style or to stay in a private suite. Initially I wanted to stay in a shared room, but I was a little apprehensive on sharing a bathroom. Walking by the shared bathrooms, I was amazed on how immaculate they kept them.
Our private room was cleanly designed with different small details to highlight the heritage and history of this building. Douglas, who loves learning about history, found out that this building used to be a hospital and a common place for many in the sailing industry to spend time in.
If you’re looking for a different roof-top patio to enjoy a city view of Portland, look to spend time at the Society Hotel. On their roof-top deck there were blankets to snuggle under and heat lamps to keep warm to “ooo and aah” over the view.
See more of our adventures in Portland >