Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
After our filling breakfast at La Quinta (See prior post for a description of the many breakfast food choices, all included in the room rate.), we drove to OMSI, pronounced “AhmZee”. It stands for Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Using our membership card to Seattle’s Pacific Science Center, we received a discount on the admission fee to OMSI.
To check the worldwide partner science center/museum list for reciprocal member admission, see The Association of Science – Technology Centers Passport Program list. At the bottom of the web page, enter the country and city you’ll be visiting to search for participating centers and museums, or download a pdf. The reciprocity only extends to general admission, not special exhibits, other features or store discounts. And, the program instructs members to call ahead to the place you will visit for that center’s exact policy, as they differ. One might provide free admission, another only a discount, and so on. There are rules about distance from your membership center, too.
OMSI is huge, and we spent nearly the whole day here. We paid extra to see the IMAX movie, Hubble. I admit that I fell asleep for a few minutes in the theater’s super-reclining seats. My life as a mom, with early-to-rise and late-to-bed hours, enables rapid wake-to-sleep mode!
Lunch in the cafeteria was easy to manage. There were multiple options, with selections of self-serve items such as fruits, yogurts, pretzels, and hot foods like burgers and entree plates. Collect your items on a tray, then pay at the register. Seating is plentiful and clean, with expansive windows overlooking the waterway. Well-designed signage instructs how to dispose of your compost, food waste and garbage in the appropriate containers.
Dinner – Por que no?
This dinner was my birthday celebration, and I ALWAYS choose Mexican. I scoured the reviews on Yelp and Urban Spoon, and decided on por que no? There are two locations in Portland. We checked out the one on Mississippi first, but decided we’d never get a table for the 5 of us in that tiny place. Drove further to the one on Hawthorne. I guess since it was Sunday night, we got a table.
Reviews describe lines being common. There is an advantage to there being a line though – you have a chance to read the menu and decide what you want before reaching the order-taker and cash register.
My kids must be getting older – they all thoroughly enjoyed the complex flavors and authentic ingredients of this Mexican food, a departure from the simple refried beans and cheddar cheese versions we have had many times elsewhere (and in our own kitchen). The eclectic decor and all-ages casual crowd were interesting, too.
The employees were friendly, though they do expect you to know the ordering procedure, so do read descriptions online at Yelp or TripAdvisor before you go. And, for such a noisy place, with tables close together, and being in the city of Portland, you’d think everyone there would be tolerant of others. Not so, as the man nearby was clearly annoyed with the TWO photos we took of us at our table on my BIRTHDAY. Sheesh.
The good news: our total bill, including a generous tip hubby added to the credit card slip even though no one actually served us at a table, came to $76.25. Excellent!