Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 11 & 12

Saturday June 23, 2012

We enjoyed our time at the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland. It was VERY different from any other hotel and quite the experience. We tried fine dining and found our one experience a bit lacking. We then tried The Pita Pit - a very casual dinner - and loved it... so you just never know.

Ace Hotel from Stark Street Corner of our hotel room 409

Portland has left us unimpressed after two days. Public transit is a well kept secret here unlike Vancouver and Seattle. There are no maps to be found and no signs to be seen. We have used the car or walked to see sights in Portland unlike the other two cities where we parked and bought day passes to easily travel using public transportation.

Saturday we dedicated the day to driving Hwy 84 along the Columbia River Gorge to view waterfalls. Did we ever see waterfalls! Oh my! We climbed and hiked and viewed and admired the falling waters and lush green rain forest growth until we were exhausted. Wahkeena Falls was first along our route.

Wahkeena Falls

Two sisters taken by two sisters from New Hampshire

with Multnomah Falls in background


Multnomah Falls was next. This is the most visited attraction in Oregon. Multnomah Falls is the second largest most continuously running falls in the United States. These waters fall 620 feet and combine Susan's two favorite types of falls; plunge and block. We hiked up trails and had incredible close up views of the falling water. The fine misty spray makes a wonderful arctic facial treatment. Refreshing!

Horsetail Falls

We viewed Horsetail Falls on the way back to Portland. And, surprise!, this is a horsetail type falls. Each stop was spectacular and special. A wonderful train rumbled by as we were getting ready to leave. We waved and the Engineer blew the horn nice and loud. It was a special bonding second.

Train heading to Portland on a rare sunny day

Oregon has no sales tax at all. And, it is the only other state besides New Jersey where you cannot pump your own gas. Other taxes in Oregon and Washington are high but it really shows that you get what you pay for. Infrastructure and support for the citizens is superb out here. Florida could really learn a thing or two from these Governors. Thumbs up to Oregon and Washington for incredible parks and first class public transportation along with the many other benefits of residing here.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The day dawned bright and sunny so we walked to a Starbucks and enjoyed Blue Java coffee, Portland coffeecake and blueberry scones while reading the Sunday paper. Good thing we were fortified because we tackled the Portland Arboretum and the International Rose Test Gardens. Both are free and supported by the city of Portland. The Arboretum is over 200 acres and we could drive through the whole thing.

The International Rose Test Gardens have to be the finest gardens anywhere on earth. Portland is known as The City of Roses. Beware that we may be posting hundreds of rose photos because every single rose we saw was spectacular. Please go to to read about the fascinating history of the gardens and to view their photo gallery.

Early in the morning, it rained so many of the roses were still covered in rain drops making for some spectacular rose gazing. We spent the entire day strolling though acres and acres of over 8,000 rose bushes in picture perfect rare sunny weather. Each rose was better than the last and there is no way anyone could choose their favorite. The long wait and hassle in the Atlanta airport was well worth it just to spend the day in paradise.

We very reluctantly left the gardens and headed out to the Portland Marriott Residence Inn in the northern section of Portland. We have a full apartment with a big kitchen, living room with fireplace, bedroom and separate large bathroom. We are lving in luxury now! I am writing this from the desk in the office of the suite. Now the hard part is deciding which of the over 200 rose photos Susan took today, should we post and share with you. Oh my! That's a lot of rose pictures.

One more day in Portland and one more day in Seattle before we fly home. Gonna be VERY hard to get on that plane!

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