monday – menus and more


Hello from Portland!

This will be an abridged Monday post as we are in Portland until Tuesday and therefore I haven’t done any shopping.  It’s hard to plan a menu without knowing what the sales fliers have to say but I do have some thoughts just based on what I know is in the kitchen back home.  Here’s what I’ve got so far…

Wednesday – pasta (something easy and painless as it will be a busy day of resettling)

Thursday – eggs in spicy tomato sauce (didn’t have this last week)

And that’s it as we are back on the road come Friday.  At least my grocery budget will be way under.  We’ll have to address the eating-out budget another time.

♦ ♦ ♦

In other news, I love a good hotel.  And that doesn’t mean super fancy with excellent room-service.  This is ‘good people’ kind of good.

Our accommodations in Portland were approved almost entirely based on the fact that the hotel is LEED Certified Silver.  (Don’t worry, explanation to follow.)  The Avalon Hotel + Spa is one of ten hotels in the world that has LEED certification.


One of the hottest trends in design is “Going Green”.  The U.S. Green Building Council developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ten years ago to provide a set of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.  When a construction project is Certified LEED it means they are compliant with these standards.

There are four levels of LEED certification:

  • Certified
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum

Five different design areas are evaluated within a construction project to determine each level of rating.  The five design areas are:

  • sustainability of the site
  • water efficiency
  • energy and atmosphere
  • materials and resources
  • indoor environmental quality

The higher the rating in each area the more credits a building earns. Each level of certification requires a higher number of credits. LEED Certification at any of the ratings requires rigorous attention and adherence to environmentally sound construction practices.

That’s all well and good, but what you really notice is how their commitment affects your stay.  The more common practices of placing cards on the bed and bath about washing sheets and towels are to be found, but so is a recycling bin in each room.  And they offer the most ingenious toiletry option – a soap bar that has a giant hole in the middle.  It’s really just a ring of soap.

Think back to the last time you were in a hotel for a night.  Did you use the offered soap?  Probably didn’t use the entire bar with one shower.  Didn’t take the leftovers home either, did you?  They got thrown away along with the 467 other half used bars of soap from that day’s housekeeping.  This soap eliminates that leftover bar.  I love it.  It’s probably cheaper than buying a full bar of soap anyway.  I’m sure this is going to be the new standard in hospitality.  Just as soon as every hotel offers in-room recycling.

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