A Very McMenamin’s Holiday

Dear Liza,

I have told you about the McMenamin brothers and all their interesting restaurants created in historical buildings. Last night, we visited another one! Auntie Bridgett drove us through the rain and dark to the Chapel Pub.

It all started with Grandpa Nelson’s Christmas gift to Auntie Bridgett, a McMenamin’s Passport. This is a little booklet, like a real passport, which has a page for each region in Oregon. When you visit a restaurant (or bar, or hotel) on that page, you get a stamp.

Some larger venues have lots places to visit and get stamped. Edgefield has a dozen! When you have filled a page, you get a prize. This can be a free appetizer or drinks, but mostly what you get is the fun of going out.

This is, of course, a very clever marketing scheme, sort of an adult version of “Collect ‘em All!” We know this, and we don’t care. It is fun. We always have a good time at a McMenamin’s, enjoying the artistic renovation, the historical preservation, friendly service, and reliably tasty food and drink.

The Chapel Pub started life in the 1930s as a mortuary and chapel, which may explain the green “spirit orbs” in one of my photos. I imagine any mortuary would have a few lingering ghosts.

Another charm of The Chapel Pub is its historic pipe organ, and last night we got to hear it played. The talented and versatile Steve Kerin brought his giant suitcase of music and played requests for an hour and a half. Enjoying a Terminator Stout at the bar while listening to Steve play Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy” on the organ was a high point of the 2022 holiday season, for sure.

Have a wonderful new year!


Grandma Judy

Friends, Pizza, and Art

Dear Liza,

View of the Lan Su Chinese Garden from across the street

My projects continue to keep me busy. I am finishing Cousin Kestrel’s princess kitten birthday present and had to change my story a bit. Did you know that in America in early 1900s, classes in the U.S. didn’t go on field trips? At that time,  they were not considered valuable. So I needed to remove a field trip from my 1903 story. Sigh.

Yesterday I also had a nice surprise. A former student and his wonderful family came to visit! First they visited famous Powell’s City of Books, and then came to see me at Auntie Katie’s Books with Pictures. They had fun and bought tons of books! Then they invited me to have lunch with them at Old Town Pizza, a “haunted” pizza parlor downtown.

Lovely friends!

Of course, I said YES! Pizza, friends, ghosts? I’m there!

The pizza was good and the air conditioning most welcome, as it has been hot here. (Hot for US, like 80 degrees. I understand many places are really suffering.) I didn’t notice any ghosts. After Kyle, his sister Gillian, Mom Heidi and Dad Paul headed off to the Creo chocolate tour, I caught the Orange train back to Auntie Katie’s shop and rode my bike home.

Since it was First Friday, we walked up to Ankeny Tap and Table for street tacos, grilled Brussels sprouts, beer, cider, and french fries. Yum! We walked over to the Sidestreet Gallery to see Auntie Bridget’s new art, as well as all the other new things. I got to meet Dawn Panttaja, Erin’s aunt, creator of lovely, odd sculptures. This one is called “Miss Fortune”, with a skirt made of old prophesies. Creepy and beautiful.img_78521.jpg

Auntie Bridgett was going to stay and talk to folks, but Grandpa Nelson and I walked to the Laurelhurst Theater to watch “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”img_7854.jpg, which was a fun roller coaster ride with an ending that surprised me.

Walking home, we swung by the flamingo house, where the birds are apparently enjoying the World Cup Soccer games.

Happy July!


Grandma Judy