Tom & Holly Travels
since 2004

Day 11- Astoria

   We are now at the Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria.  We have a fourth floor corner room facing the bar, Columbia bar, if you will, and Wow! What a view! Last night after dinner we just sat on the sofa and enjoyed the view and the ships narrowly passing under the four mile bridge between WA and OR.

    Last night was high tide and I swore the hotel was moving. No, I thought that couldn’t be, but we are on a pier. This morning is low tide and the movement is gone. Also, last night many of the doors don’t shut completely and one dresser drawer kept opening up. This morning it stays shut. So I do hope this pier stays up.  One must remember that this deck that the hotel is now on what once looked like the photo below. When all the canneries were torn down around the 1930’s, they just left the pilings. So today if one wants to rebuild on the pilings they must keep them in the exact position as they were in 1930. That is why this hotel is in the shape of the original Union Cannery.  It took the builder of this hotel fourteen years to convince the environmentalists that building this hotel was possible. After he was granted permission, it took another year to secure the cement decking before construction of the hotel could start.


   I haven’t mentioned the food yet, but the entire trip it has been really good. I would put American Cruise line’s food second only to the Sea Cloud. We have been on lots of ships around the world so that makes it top notch.  Their salads were delicious and I don’t consider myself a salad eater. Each salad was so unique and just the right amount. My two favorite dinners were the lamb shank and the pork shank which fell off the bone and melted in your mouth. Plus something I never cook. Tom enjoyed the wide variety of fresh fish. Every day they loaded fruits and vegetables onto our boat. Yes, of course, we had asparagus several times but always added to other veggies in a unique manner. They were also very eco-friendly and did not want to waste anything. So at breakfast you filled out what you wanted for lunch and dinner. That way there was limited waste. Also you could order a half portion. When you ate if you had ordered a half portion, you simply placed a laminated half order card in front of you.

   I don’t think I have mentioned cocktail hour either. It started at 5:30 for an hour before dinner. The drinks were anything you wanted and as much as you wanted. If flowed freely for sure. That was a surprise. At dinner there was a bottle of red and white wine on the table and was refilled if needed. Remember we had eight people at our table. If you were so inclined, you could take a bottle of wine with you as you left the dining room which our table did on a few occasions. Once we all went up to the top deck and sat outside as the ship sailed down the river. Fun evening! Oh, every night if you haven’t had enough to eat they had root beer floats, ice cream sundaes, and popcorn. Anyone who knows me, knows that I had popcorn every night. It wasn’t the best popcorn in the world but to me, well I just love popcorn.

   One more trivial fact we learned on the trip is this. Portland, OR used to be called Stump Town because of all the stumps left. They decided to paint to tops of all of the stumps white because people kept stumbling over them. That wasn’t drawing people to the town. So they removed the stumps. Two men incorporating the city, one from Portland, Maine and the other from Boston, MA just couldn’t decide on a name for the town so they flipped a coin. Obviously, the man from Portland won the toss.




View from the living room of our suite at the Cannery Pier Hotel.


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