it's been a few weeks, and I'm still processing photos from my trip to Oregon. It was an amazing trip. It really stretched me waaaay beyond my comfort zone. I arrived in Portland late Friday morning and I had the worst headache ever. I think it was a combination of not having any coffee (i know!), the airplane, and stress. I picked up my rental car and had some drama with the borrowed navigation system. It took a while for me to get used to her commands, I got lost trying to get to the hotel...I finally got to my hotel in Beaverton and I called my mom, crying. I was hungry. I had the worst headache ever. and I was frustrated. (and that makes for a very overly emotional april...) I didn't think I could do it. I didn't think I could navigate anyplace successfully, I didn't think I would have any fun by myself... I was all doom and gloom (see what happens when I don't get my coffee??) Once I showered, ate and grabbed coffee (finally!) I started to feel better and tried to find the Chinese Gardens.
Again, I got lost (this would be one of the running themes of my weekend) I didn't realize that this Garden was literally in the middle of the city. It's located in Portland's version of "Chinatown" so when I saw a building with some Asian flare, I didn't pay too much attention. I was looking for something... bigger. Something along the lines of our Botanic Garden, or even the Japanese Garden in Rockford. (I didn't even see any signs for this place!) Nope. this was a little fenced in area that took up a city block. You'll be happy to know, I finally found it . It was quite lovely and I'm really glad I persisted. I even went to the tea house and sat and had a pot of tea. I was there for maybe 15 minutes and was getting ready to leave when it started raining heavily (yes, another running theme of my weekend!) So... i opted to stay a bit longer and have another leisurely pot of tea. After the rain subsided a bit, I left the garden, and I drove around downtown Portland aimlessly for a while.
And then, I saw it. <insert heavenly music> The be all and end all of bookstores--Powells.
I wasn't prepared at how GIANT this bookstore is. It has EVERYTHING. and then some. I wish I had taken photos inside the store. I was so busy and so enthralled, I forgot to take photos!!!! I could live in that bookstore. **sigh**
Saturday morning I drove to the coast to visit Cannon Beach. OH. EM. GEE. The drive, while scary in some parts (hello! the semi's were out of control with their driving-- totally disregarding the 55mph speed limit that I was feverently trying to adhere to...) was also beautiful. Everything is so green (and rainy)
Cannon Beach was AMAZING. It was breathtakingly beautiful. and then it rained.
so I walked the mile back to the car. in the pouring rain. I ended up having enough time to drive back to Portland and go to the Japanese Garden (and yes, I did get lost) The Japanese Garden was magnificent! I hate to admit it, but I thought it was better (and bigger) than the Rockford Japanese Garden. I spent close to two hours there. (in the rain, of course) taking photos. It was fabulous!
Early Sunday morning I headed to Multnomah Falls. That was way cool. I even hiked the trail to the top of the waterfall. It was pretty steep, and raining. A lot. So I called it quits about halfway up. And, wouldn't you know it-- when I got back to ground level, it stopped raining, and the sun came out! (of course.)
After the falls, I decided to head back to Cannon Beach. I thought I had heard that the weather report for the coast was supposed to be partly sunny and I thought I would have an even better opportunity to take photos (you know, afternoon sun, getting ready to set over the ocean-- it would have been perfect) The two hour+ drive to the coast was mostly clear. I thought I was in luck! No rain!
I parked, hiked the mile or so down to the beach, and was there about 15 minutes before it started raining. again. at that point, I had been wet and rained on for three days straight. I didn't care. I stayed out on the beach for a while and continued to try and take pictures until it started raining harder and I was fearful of my camera getting damaged. (Of course after I hiked in the pouring rain back to the car, it rain cleared up and the sun came out.)
So, yeah. That's the abridged version of my trip. It was fabulous. I got to see most of what I had planned to see. Next time I go, I'm going to invest in a poncho and rain boots, I'm going to spend more time on the coast, and maybe see if I can sneak in a quick visit to Seattle!
If you have the time, please check out some of the other photos from my trip!