A few Portland highlights

Our third day in Portland, we planned on heading to the Oregon coast but spent the morning exploring some of Portland.

After some coffee and crepes in the cute Northwest neighborhood at Vivace, we headed uphill to Pittock Mansion. Once the home of Henry and Georgiana Pittock, who were instrumental in building Portland into the city it is today, today it’s a museum.

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I wasn’t the hugest fan of the architectural style of the mansion, but it did have some nice aspects to it. We didn’t go in (I’m sure it’s lovely inside) but we did spend some time exploring the grounds and enjoying the panoramic view of the city!

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It was rhododendrum season, apparently, because the colorful beauties were blooming EVERYWHERE.

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IMG_4535The Steel Bridge

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Such a beautiful city!

Next, we headed just a few miles away to Washington Park to the International Test Rose Garden. The aforementioned Georgiana Pittock started the Portland Rose Society in the late 1800s, thus beginning the city’s love affair with the fair flora. In 1915, to protect hybrid roses grown in Europe from World War I, the test garden was born.

It took us a bit to find parking, but once we did, we set out to find the garden. Easier said than done, apparently, as I led us down a path for about 10 minutes before I was sure we weren’t going in the right direction. It was a nice trail though, and I got a good feel for Portland’s impressive park and trail system.

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IMG_4585“I don’t think we’re going the right way.”

We wound our way back and headed up the road until we were in the right place. Right off the bat, we had a lovely view of Mt. Hood, albeit blocked by a giant building.

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Many of the roses were not yet in bloom, but I was in heaven anyway, enjoying the plethora of roses of seemingly every color, size and variety.

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In between enjoying the flowers, I had a run-in with some kind of fly..

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There was also some nice art pieces (that Joel clearly enjoyed).

IMG_4619Life imitating art imitating life.

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After wandering the grounds a bit, we headed back to our car and hit the road to the coast. I’m glad we took the time to check out these Portland favorites, although I wish we had additional time to explore more of this beautiful city!

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