Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Oregon Trail

Just got back from a fabulous trip to Portland! What a great little city – and so close to nature. One day we were playing in the snow on Mt. Hood and the next we were walking on the beach in shorts. There is green everywhere. I saw waterfalls that rival those in Hawaii - of course my shot here of Bridal Veil Falls does not do it justice.

The city itself is so clean and all cities should adopt the same livability initiatives that Portland has (mostly free transit, building height and signage restrictions, urban sprawl controls, requirements for public art being part of a building’s budget, etc.). If you go start with the downtown walking tour that leaves from the Visitor Center in Pioneer Square – not your typical “this is where to spend your money” city tour. Instead, it focuses on the history of Portland and all those livability initiatives. Very interesting. I also saw the Japanese Gardens and we had a date night on the riverfront – wine, cheese, seafood, and fireworks courtesy of the Cinco de Mayo festival.

I think the funniest thing we saw was on the ride back to the city from the coast. The drive is through National Forest and is very pretty – and desolate – not much civilization. We stopped at a little mom and pop gas station out of the 70’s. While the attendant pumped our gas we browsed the store. One entire side of a revolving rack was dedicated to very serious books about Big Foot (a.k.a. Sasquatch)…and behind the counter the entire wall was covered in guns for sale…hand guns, hunting rifles and even an AK-47. Why oh why didn’t I think to take Jacek’s picture holding a Big Foot book with the guns in the background!?

2 comments:

Bee's Blog said...

What a beautiful waterfall. It does remind me of Hawaii. I am glad you had a great get a way. Once you receive your little one, they will not be as easy to come by.

Anonymous said...

Was that Portland Walking Tours at www.portlandwalkingtours.com? They seem to have two daily walking tours that start at the Visitors Center. Which one did you do?