12 November 2014

Day 4 - Oregon and Yellowstone Trip


A trestle we pass under to reach the rental ... Trolls, under the bridge!  Where else would you find them?  ;)

Bridges, Portland has many

A lovely flower at the garden (this is a gardenia of some type, perhaps a variety of Gardenia jasminoides, the single ring of petals is rare in my experience with Gardenias)

Chinese Bonsai ... called Penjing ... this is approximately 1.5 ft tall (46 cm)

Chinese gardens are heavy on the rock ... they imported tons for this location

Breakfast repeat, and I've finished the peanut butter.  :(

Drive to Lan Su Chinese Garden via bridges and wherever our hearts lead us.  Some of Portland reminds me of older Michigan areas, some are reminiscent of St. John's Newfoundland.  We definitely see the people who would turn heads at home: tattoos, extraordinarily long hair on guys, and mega big plugs in earlobes (almost non-existent in Houston).  The bearded male ratio is high here, facial hair is usually eliminated at home.  So there are some visual adaptations to make.

But, I rarely see high heels, people dress comfortably, and I never hear any discussion of fashion.  

The weather has cooled and the sky appears to look more like what I expected, a bit clouded.  I'm quite enjoying myself with this turn in the season.

Our first stop for the day is Lan Su Chinese Gardens.  Their propaganda shares the large number of Chinese artisans, stone placers, and gardeners temporarily imported to build the garden.  And the grounds consist mostly of Chinese plants (any plant with chinensis as the species name is almost guaranteed originally discovered in China: Rosa chinensis, Tsuga chinensis, and Juniperus chinensis).  Not to mention that the vast majority of landscaping plants we find in the local Home Depot or Lowe's evolved in China.  

While the garden's focus on all things Chinese is understandable, I can't help but wonder "what about the Oregon-based effort that went into the build?"  No illumination.

I do wander through the gift shop (I am determined to find myself a little something as a trip reminder) and see a beautiful scarf.  I am somewhat off-put by the price, but the loose weave is the kicker that ruins it for me.  I cannot wear loosely woven scarves for long, they tear up on dog nails (or human nails), furniture, or door knobs within 30 minutes of donning said item.  Onward.

We decide to skip the River Tours we originally planned to experience.  They do not show what himself wants to see (the bridges) unless you are in a speedboat, and the lone independent operator does not go out until 7 pm.  A wee bit too late to see the bridges well.

Lunch at Tangier Restaurant, I stick with their vegan menu, which may be on the way out since they are transitioning to a Moroccan menu under new management.  Himself orders from the Moroccan options.

Vegan Mezze platter, Ful Maddamas, Moroccan Eggplant Dish, and Moroccan Chicken.  Everything is extraordinarily tasty.  I would go back.

We drive out to Woodburn Outlet to see the Icebreaker and Helly Hansen shops.  The hubby finds 3 t-shirts and various socks and I find a tank.  I wish they had more natural colors for gals.  Is green available?  Only if it is a bright, eye-searing green!!!  Yuck, gimme an olive or sage.  I'm very tempted by the guys side of the shop: warm, inviting colors.  Too bad it would not come close to fitting ... this is why I sew. 

Back to our rental for laundry, packing, and planning our next day in Corvallis.

We do find that GPS and the street signs in Portland share very little in common, making 3D navigation of overpass/underpass/bridges that much more difficult.  I'll blame Garmin.

Himself's opinion of the area?
"Driver's more realistic about the situation than Houstonians."

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