Wednesday, July 11, 2018

city of roses

a few weeks ago, randi and i ventured out on a quick girls trip to portland, oregon. we were wanting to do something {just the two of us}, but couldn't decide where to go. i found cheap flights to portland, and since we had never been, we decided it would be a perfect adventure!

we stayed at the kimpton downtown. after checking in we headed down a block or two to the food trucks. after perusing all of the menus, we gobbled down some deliciously gooey grilled cheese sandwiches. from there, we explored more of the downtown area and made our way to powell book store. {one of our favorite things to do is check out the local independent book stores}. this place is massive! we had no problem loading our arms with books, tote bags, and stickers!

that evening, we dined at salty's on the columbia river. we sat outside and ate fresh seafood and chowder. it was lovely.

lots of fun murals decorated the city!

after dinner, we walked the streets of a cute little neighborhood and had some scrumptious ice cream at salt and straw. {randi had researched several stores and restaurants for us to visit}.

the next morning, we hit the streets running! we had donuts at blue star {so good} and then began a long walk to the rose gardens. randi hit a breaking point when we reached washington park {pictured above}. we had been walking for quite a while, but look how beautiful this park is!! how could anyone be mad?! {i was in heaven}. fortunately, we only had to walk through the park for a few minutes to reach the gardens.

it was at this moment randi started to regain some energy and positive attitude!

true beauty everywhere you looked!

the roses were spectacular! some were bright and exuberant while others were soft and mellow. some were so sweet smelling i wanted to eat them! {not really, but oh! did they smell good}. the only thing missing were volunteers walking around to answer questions and talk about the history and the variety of roses. i was ready to do the job! i would be in my happy place all the time! {they really do need would add so much to the experience}.

after the beautiful rose garden, we took a lyft across town and visited the chinese gardens. it was exquisite! every little detail was perfect. it was tranquil and calming. {randi had this on her list of things to see}.

we had traditional chinese tea at the tea house in the garden. it was lovely. they filled the little "pot" with loose leaves and herbs and strained the tea into your cup after steeping. there was a beautiful chinese musician playing as we relaxed and soaked in the sights and sounds. we also enjoyed a red bean bun {pictured}. it was sweet and filling...interesting.

because we were in portland, we had to go to voodoo donuts. there is a line outside this place all day every day. it's tiny, accepts only cash, has a cult like following...and tastes like a basic grocery store donut! it was crazy! {blue star donuts is WAY better}.

great photo op place right by voodoo donuts. i wish i could remember the name of all the neighborhoods. we walked and walked and walked...over fifteen miles in two and a half days!

some other city highlights:
pok pok thai restaurant. great reviews and it did not disappoint.
old town pizza. haunted restaurant in downtown. it has access to the underground tunnels that were used to smuggle people! good pizza...service was so/so.
cute yarn/fiber store. they use natural dyes and local yarn.

big highlight: we got tattoos!!! randi got her first {a wing on her ankle} and i got my fourth {a small mountain range on the inside of my arm}.  so fun! we had them picked out for a while and were so excited to do them on our girls trip!

my favorite part of the trip was the last day. we rented a car and drove out to mt. hood. to say it was breathtakingly beautiful is an understatement! i was in heaven. the only thing that could have made it better is if i had hiking shoes, a backpack and tent. we drove to lake trillium {pictured above with mt. hood in the background} and came back by the gorge and the columbia river.

we were loving all of the farms and fruit stands. there were some vineyards along the way too. beautiful rolling hills, farm fresh produce, and gorgeous weather...perfection! {i had never seen a cherry tree before}!

{cute yarn store i mentioned above}.

i loved the free loving, nonjudgmental, hippy spirit of portland. however, it was a very dirty city {probably the dirtiest i have visited} with lots of homeless. {it almost seemed like a way of life. it was very much ok...even accepted. tents were set up sporadically throughout the city}. the 90's grunge scene is still very much alive and well in portland!

the absolute best part of the trip though was being with my amazing daughter. just her and me. we can both go and go and go and have the same interest...bookstores, libraries, gardens, food! we talked, laughed, shared thoughts and views. she is a great human being and i'm grateful for the memories!