Monday, July 26, 2010

Portland (through rose-tinted sunglasses)

Hawthorne Street, Portland, Oregon

We arrived in Portland and headed straight to the Hawthorne district. We had heard what a hip neighborhood it was, and we were not disappointed. It was kind of like stepping back in time to a quaint 1950's neighborhood - cute little houses, kids and adults riding bikes all around and rose gardens on every corner.

Also, every other store seemed to be selling vintage something - vintage clothes, vintage records, vintage cameras, vintage furniture, even vintage beverages.
Mexican Coke: it's like regular Coke, except they use sugar instead of corn syrup. Also it's retornable.

Portland is home to over 40 microbreweries, so we stopped at Bread and Ink to sample a few. We then headed back to shower and get ready for dinner... and what a dinner it was. Portland is known for it's gourmet local and organic foods, and everything we've eaten here has been delicious. However, our meal last night at Night Light Lounge was very mediocre. Just kidding, it was absolutely phenomenal. Emily had the seared rare ahi tuna with avocado, cucumber, shaved onion, jicama slaw, nori rice fritters and ponzu sauce. Adam had the kimchi spice rubbed braised beef short ribs with a Korean veggie pancake and wilted sesame spinach salad (we also split a bottle of wine). Amazing food at an absurdly reasonable price! That's something you can't find in D.C.!

This morning we enjoyed breakfast and some local flair at Legare's on Clinton Street, then made our way Downtown to the Alphabet District to check into our hostel for the night. We strolled up to Washington Park - a huge public park divided into a number of beautiful gardens. Portland is nicknamed "The City of Roses," so our first stop was obviously the famous International Rose Test Garden, where we got to see hundreds of rows of the most colorful, beautiful, biggest roses you can imagine.

Always stop to smell the roses.

The blossoms were enormous!

Your friendly neighborhood rose photographer.

After the roses, we entered the Portland Japanese Garden. Built in the 1960's, it is the most authentic and beautiful Japanese garden outside of Japan, and consists of five seperate garden styles, including a koi pond, a sand and stone garden, and an authentic Japanese tea house.

The Lower Pond Garden

An authentic Japanese maple tree.

The Flat Garden, a raked-sand Zen garden.

Adam walking along the pathway to the pond

The pond.

The Garden leads up to an amazing view of Mount Hood overlooking downtown Portland.

We had a quick bite to eat for dinner, and we've retired to our room for some much needed rest and recuperation. We'll need all the energy we can get for Crater Lake tomorrow!


  1. No photos of the food? Denied.

  2. I am kvelling! What a great trip you planned--glad you are having fun and allowing us to participate vicariously.