Thursday, December 11, 2008
west coast show-and-tell: oregon
Yes, I am very behind on posting...sorry. At last, here are my photos from the second part of our west coast trip this past fall. First time to Oregon, and I have to say it was inspiring, rejuvanating, and breathtaking.
We stayed at the new Ace Hotel downtown and loved it!
Here's the tiny little corner bar called Ringlers Annex where we watched the presidential debates, impromptu (thank goodness those are over, huh?) But it was so refreshing to see so many young people gathered in neighborhood spots, so openly interested in politics. And so respectful of each other.
I just loved this sidewalk sign outside a restaurant. I didn't eat here, but the food in general was sooooooo good in Portland.
Lots of public art all over the city. These animal sculptures were really fun.
More animal sculptures.
The founding fathers of the city wanted lots of public drinking fountains. And Portlanders are pretty proud of their water quality. Jeff thought he should check it out for himself.
I loved these church windows.
Colored glass in stripes!
Believe it or not, this is the the world's smallest park.
Powell's bookstore (the largest independent owned used and new bookstore in the world!) just happened to be just a block or two from our hotel. I think we went there at least 3 times.
And I found Haiku Baby on the shelf there (it's fun to find your book in new cities).
The little neighborhoods in Portland had so much character. Look how cute these potted plants are, all lined up for people-watching!
PORTLAND JAPANESE GARDEN
So many layers of green, on green, on green.
I loved the crane sculptures–they felt so at home. Hey, I'd like to live here too, and I'm not even a crane.
I think water features are some of my favorite things about a Japanese garden. I am definitely a "water person."
This was a little window in a maze-like boardwalk through Japanese irises and a koi pond. Definitely one of my favorite spots in this garden.
Awh, a zen garden. Or shall I say "Om?"
The clincher was turning a corner and getting our first full view of Mt. Hood at the end of the gardens. Seeing the city in front of the mountain really encapsulates the symbiotic relationship that Portland has with its natural surroundings.
INTERNATIONAL ROSE TEST GARDEN
Though Jeff has bought me beautiful flowers more than once, he is not a "flowery" kind of guy. In fact, he claims he can't smell roses. But he could smell these roses! We stumbled across this rose garden after the Japanese garden, while we were waiting to catch the bus home.
We had no idea! It's levels upon more levels FULL of roses. In every color and size you can imagine. I was in heaven.
PACIFIC COAST TRAIL
While we were staying in Portland, we took a half-day hike on the PCT.
And finally saw our lush, mossy rainforest!
And our goal? This (almost) secluded waterfall. Well worth the hike, don't you think?
GOODBYE PORTLAND, HELLO OCEAN
Jeff and I were on our way to the coast, and on the highway we passed a pumpkin farm sign that said "Roloff Family Farm". Suddenly it clicked for me. I don't have a great memory, but for some reason I remembered that this is the family farm from the reality show Little People Big World. We turned around and went to the farm, but unfortunately, as you can see by this sign, it's not open on Monday. So close!
Here's a little beach we stopped off at on one of our coastal drives. What great tree trunk shapes!
We were so lucky to have mostly sunny says in Oregon. But the last few days of our trip were more typical for this area–cloudy, gray, misty. It didn't get us down though–this kind of weather creates such wonderful atmosphere and colors.
I found myself fascinated by these little washed-up vignettes. I'm so inspired by the color palettes that Mother Nature creates, and these were like her tiny masterpieces.
A mini water-filled volcano, at least that's what Jeff and I like to call them. We found one in Kauai too.
Gotta leave a beach totem.
CANNON BEACH (where we stayed)
So, I had to save the best for last. This is the famous Haystack Rock, and I'm pretty sure it's the same rock the ship sails out from behind at the end of Goonies.
When the tide is in, you can't get to the rock at all because it's surrounded by water. But when the tide is out, you can get up really close and see some pretty cool things stuck to the rocks...
...like starfish in lots of colors!
And donut-shaped sea anenome (or something like that, I am not an expert).
I loooooooove sea life, so this was an incredible spot to explore.
So, purple starfish...
...mossy green rocks...
...birds playing in cloud reflections...
...mountains peeking through the mist...
...a beach recreation of Stonehenge...
...and spectacular sunrises and sunsets–
What more could you ask for in one spot on the globe?