Portland (2)

Portland’s Japanese Gardens

We walked to breakfast at La Luna, which is close to the motel. I had their Irish Benny, which was perfect and and Anne had their frittata, which featured a carrot pesto. Looking forward to a day of grazing, as we amble about town. After fighting Portland’s traffic last night, coming into town, I’m in no mood to move the Prius until it’s time to leave. We have a parking space at the motel and I haven’t seen another one yet around town. Google maps warned us that parking here would be difficult. Fortunately for us, one spot came with the room. It’s a very walkable city and today we’ll try its public transport too.

After breakfast our goal was to see Portland’s Japanese Garden. It took us hours to travel the few miles to get there though, but we weren’t in all that much of a hurry anyway. First, we hiked out of our way to cross the river. We crossed on the Hawthorne Bridge, instead of the Burnside, except the bridge operators chose this time to test the draw feature on this bridge. Once across, we went to the visitor’s center and bought trolley tickets to Washington Park. Although, it might have been train tickets that we purchased, there are four T’s here in Portland. We walked the trails portion on foot and I know that it wasn’t the tram, because that’s an aerial transport and we got off our railed vehicle in a tunnel.

From there we took an elevator up to the park. We surfaced near the zoo, which meant we still had some walking left to do. We walked through the city’s arboretum, which was fantastic. Got to the nature center there and then hopped the free shuttle around the park. The driver had great commentary. She dropped us off at the Japanese Garden. Portland has both climate and topography that is closer to Japan’s and this is reflected in their garden. I was impressed.

Afterwards, we began walking back downhill towards the river. We saw some more sights within the park, most notably Portland’s Holocaust Memorial. Earlier in the day, Anne had asked directions from this bicyclist. He was Jewish and had a Saint Louis connection with U-city. He gave us some great leads on places to go. People out here are amazed that we have driven so far, then they become positively stupefied when they learn that we have been tent camping. I know that we are way outside the normal demographic, but we like it.

We did a Kevin and snagged some frozen yogurt. That kept us going a little bit longer. We shopped Patagonia, but found the prices Pata-Gucci. I ended up buying a Timbuktu messenger bag, to replace my rather grody REI one. Anne hit Eddie Bauer here and even though we have one back in Saint Louis scored record discounts and bought a new t-shirt and backpack for half of what I spent.

In-between all of this shopping, I had to get off my feet. We did happy hour at the Zeus Café. The northwest’s version of Florida’s senior citizen early-bird suppers. We ordered the kale Caesar and a beet-strawberry salad and the cheese plate. We got props from our server, for ordering “a nice little meal. We both enthralled and got our ear talked of by the owner, with our STL-tent story.

We crossed the river and because our nice little meal was wearing off, hit Base Camp Brewery. It had food trucks. We had toured Portland’s downtown food truck mecca, which unfortunately, is scheduled for demolition next week, but that was too soon after Zeus. The extra miles made it perfect.

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