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Fording the River: Day Seven in the Rose Garden

August 13, 2011

Along with taking a bit of time to just hang out, it’s also very important to stop and smell the roses on vacation.  We did that.  Literally.

Portland, Oregon, is a fantastic mix of urban and natural.  Walking and biking are the ways to commute, as well as by electric-powered train.  It’s so green; I told B it was like Maine and Boston mated and had a baby.  It’s fantastic for someone like me who loves natural beauty but the convenience and accessibility of an urban location.

One of the unique aspects of Portland is that they have “urban hiking.”  There is a public staircase system that allows people to enjoy the outdoors while never leaving the city; it’s a great workout too!  Al and I decided to give it a shot, and we were rewarded for our hard work with some incredible views.After finding our way through some confusing directions we had printed out (thank goodness for pictures), we popped out into International Rose Test Garden.  All I have to say is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.  Screw what they tell you about only going in June for the roses, it’s a bunch of lies.All of the roses are hybridized and each hybridizer gets to name their new roses.  The names range from scientific to romantic to hilarious.  One of my favorites was this beauty.  Bon appetite!  After a long way back to Al’s apartment and a soggy clothing change from all of the sweat, we headed out to try out our first encounter with Portland’s food cart scene.  We chose to go to No Fish Go Fish.  Since I mentioned before that I cannot stand seafood, a place called No Fish Go Fish seems strange, but focus on the first two words.  NO FISH.  That’s right.  This place is all about amazing soups and sandwiches that are shaped like fish!  The sandwiches are baked in front of you in a cast iron press and are made out of cornbread batter and the filling of your choice.  Adorable and delicious!  I fell in love with their yellow split pea soup (and I don’t even like peas!), and since we went on a Tuesday, we took advantage of the Two for Tuesday deal.  If you and a friend buy the lunch special (two sandwiches and a 16 oz. soup each), you only have to pay for the soup!  Total for lunch for one?  $4.50!  Sweet!  I got the cheddar cheese and chocolate and caramel sandwiches to go along with the yellow split pea soup.  Soooo gooood.  If you are in the Portland, OR, area, go to this cart.  It’s amazing and so affordable.

We took our lunch to a cute public area where there are lots of farmer’s market booths and different nights host “Flick on the Bricks.”  From there, it was a short jaunt to Powell’s Books, a haven for me and B.  It’s a new and used bookstore and is filled to the brim with all different types of books.  I could have lasted weeks in there.  I got a couple of books off from their $1 shelf because, hey, when books are $1, how can you say no?  I also picked up a book on Greek mythology for B and a cute sticker I plan on making into a magnet.  Total?  $7.  Three books and a sticker.  The lady told me I won the award for lowest amount for the most stuff for the day.

We took the train back to Al’s neighborhood to save our feet some pain.  At this point, we had walked about 7 miles already.  The dogs were doing some hardcore barking!  We stayed in for the rest of the night, making some delicious taco salad for dinner and catching up on our favorite shows on Hulu.  Ahhh vacation.

Miss an Exit?

I land in Seattle and we go to Port Angeles.

We see the vampires and hike in the woods.

We exit the country.

We ride in the car… a lot.

We visit the “Porthole of the Pacific.”

We become a little cheesy.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2011 10:57 am

    Nice Photos !

    • August 13, 2011 7:01 pm

      Thanks! That’s so nice of you! Those flowers were so gorgeous, though, that it would be been hard to screw it up!

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