Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Showing off Portland: Third & Final Day!

My parents wanted to get up into the hills on this short trip so they would have a good idea of the whole area and maybe get a nice view. This was a no car trip so we just used transit and stuck on the west side of the river (where we live.) Chuck and I have been up into the hills before, but we've only done it as a chance to get some exercise, on foot. So I wasn't familiar with how to navigate the transit best to get them up there with minimal effort. 

Fortunately it worked out pretty nicely. We all concluded we needed to take the MAX to PGE Park and catch a bus to the gardens. (It turned out to be the last day that bus was running for the season, so we lucked out!) So on our first try...we watched the bus drive by right as we got off of the MAX. We sat for a bit, then realized we were all hungry & the Hot Lips Pizza place across the street looked appealing. This is a great chain, they make their own soda, have lots of vegan and local options. And they were nice enough to let us wait around for the first pizzas of the day even though they weren't technically open yet. (I promptly gave them a glowing review on Yelp, for that alone!) I'm not sure we'd have found such a nice lunch if we had waited until we got to the park. We still had a little bit to wait for the bus when we were done, but we did some people watching and saw this:

Cat Guy!

That's a guy walking around town with his cat on his backpack, on a leash. I also saw a girl with a t-shirt that said "Vote Kitty." Portlanders, you are my (cat) people!

The bus ride up the hill was fun. Probably a little less fun for my parents was the hike up from the bus stop to the Japanese garden....which we later found out there was a conveniently located shuttle available for that purpose. Oops! We will know for next time. We did get to see impressive trees with huge leaves on the ground on the way up at least. There's my mom on the path on the way back down:

Mom in Washington Park Indigo
I'm now convinced fall is the best time to visit the Japanese gardens. Okay, so it was my first visit and the place is impressive all around, and I'm sure it's pretty amazing in the spring too. But it was full of fall color. I was also excited about the small exhibit in the tea house, pictured above on the right.

The Tree
This is a picutre of what is know as simply "the tree" at the Japanese Garden in Washington park, and mine doesn't do it justice. It feels like you've started living in the thing just by walking by/under it. There are tons of great details throughout this park. I loved the mossy flat garden, the fencing throughout the park, and the fact that there was no grass on the ground anywhere.

Willow at Rose garden International Rose Test Garden
From there we were pretty close to the International Rose Test Garden. I had noticed that there have been fewer roses around town since we first got here, but there are still a few. It also had a great view, and we were able to see Mt. Hood from both the Rose and Japanese gardens!

I think we were all pretty worn out from the weekend at that point, so we had dinner at a local McMenamins Pub and came back to the apartment to visit for the last bit of my parents' trip. They left in the morning and are now back in Chicago, until the next trip!


Kim said...

Great pictures so glad that you had a great trip with your parents!

Sara said...

Oh! The Japanese Garden in Portland is on my list of favorite places! Seeing your lovely pictures makes me miss it super much! I might need to go when I visit for the Christmas holiday. Been far too long!
Sounds like your folks had a superb visit!

Nicole Jeannette said...

Loooooove Japanese gardens!