1) Japanese Garden, Portland
After returning from adventures in Calgary on Thursday, we were immediately flying off to Portland on Friday for a long weekend to meetup with friends, Karen and Paul, who flew in from Chicago to meet us. This was essentially a foodie run. The last time I was in Portland was waaaay back in 1980 (or so) to visit family who lived in Coos Bay. We took up residence at The Nines, right downtown and instantly started chowing down. First up was a visit to Departure, the hotel’s Modern Asian-inspired rooftop restaurant. Portland is known, especially, for its eat local, eat sustainably take on food and kudos go to chef Gregory Gourdet for a fabulous meal. G and I both admitted the pork belly we ate here was probably the best damn pork belly we’ve ever eaten.
2) our hotel; 3) the living/dining room in our suite
4) more of the room; 5) our bedroom
6) G heads to the club lounge; 7) the bathroom
8) Departure; 9) the pork belly
10) the view from our suite; 11) looking down into the central lobby on the 8th floor
12) G and I head to dinner
On Saturday we ventured out to Portland’s Japanese Garden, which is purported to be the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan. We would concur. It’s a lovely spot set beside the International Test Rose Garden (Portland is known as the city of roses!).
13) the International Test Rose Garden; 14) G heads to the Japanese Garden
15) the zen garden; 16) the exhibit inside the pavilion
17) more flowers; 18) Karen and Paul heading to meet me
19) the Zen Garden
20) this is how they do the lines; 21) more of the zen garden
22) cranes; 23) a perfect place to reflect
We also made stops while in Portland at Voodoo Donuts (the lines, the lines!); the Saturday Market (open Sundays!); Pine Street Biscuts (OMG, so good – with a nod to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which put this iconic place on the map); Deschutes Brewing (OMG, the beer!); the Roxy (the greasiest dive ever in the Pearl District; complete with our visit with transvestites); the Kells Irish (yes, more beer).
24) Voodoo Donuts; 25) inside the tiny shop
26) what do you want?…; 27) we opted for a box-full
28) maple bacon donut; 29) oreo, peanut butter donut
30) lemon chiffon and peanut donut; 31) baby voodoo donut (filled with raspberry)
32) beer a brewing at Deschutes; 33) we did samplers, of course
34) we had mac n cheese; 35) beers galore!
36 & 37) wandering through the market
38) the bar at Kells; 39) Pine Street Biscuits
40) what you want? … 41) I ordered the McIsley
42) G ordered the “Reggie”; 43) me so happy
44) the pilot got permission to fly right over the crater of Mt St Helens on our way home (that’s Mt Adams in the background)
45) … oh, and there was shopping of course while in Portland … with NO tax!!!
Paul and Karen flew back to Vancouver with us and we continued the eating adventure here. On Thursday we headed up to Whistler for the day as Paul was keen to see the sites there.
46) Karen & Paul in Squamish; 47) looking back at Howe Sound
48 & 49) there was lobster feasting at Earl’s in Whistler
50) Paul and Karen at International House of Ice Cream in Vancouver … decisions, decisions … they have 218 varieties available in house always!
I’ve since been to Saskatoon and back and am SO looking forward to the next two weeks of doing nothing in Vancouver before heading east again for stints in Toronto, Blue Mountain and then London.