We weren’t going to be meeting Hilary, Jason, Avery, Anderson and Ella until around 10:00 so Val and I slept in before heading over to their house. It was partly cloudy and we could see heavy clouds to the west so it looked like the predictions of rain might come true.
We all (including the family dogs) piled into their Suburban and were on our way. We started out through a beautiful forested area, which we found to our surprise was a still part of the city of Portland. We arrived at the top of a hill with a great view of Portland below us and it was also the sight of the Pittock Mansion, which was the home of one of the early prominent families in the area. We took a tour of the mansion, which was very interesting, but the view, at least for me, was really the star of this stop.
Our next stop was the Rose Garden, which was the biggest garden of roses I had ever seen. Despite being late in the year, there were many roses still in full bloom with, what seemed like, all the colors you could imagine. The rain was really starting now so we decided it was time to look for a place for lunch.
|A view of Portland from the Rose Garden.|
|Hilary takes time to smell the roses, while Anderson patiently waits.|
|Ella and Anderson|
|Ella's turn to smell the roses.|
|Anderson, Ella, Avery, Jason and Hilary|
As we drove around it was evident that Portland was a food lover’s city. There were restaurants everywhere with an eclectic array of food and styles. We had a great lunch at The Fireside restaurant, and ordered some interesting appitizers such as "pig candy" and beet chips (everything was exceptional). Then we walked down the street to a very popular ice cream shop called the Salt and Straw. Hilary and Jason told us that sometimes the lines are very long and there is a wait of two or three hours to be served. Luckily on a rainy afternoon, it was a short line and only about a fifteen minute wait. Val, Hilary, Avery, Anderson and Ella got in line for ice cream and Jason and I headed across the street to a specialty donut shop. The donuts were very good although they were almost out as they bake one batch in the morning and when they’re gone, that’s it for the day. After our donuts, Jason and I headed back across the street to catch up with the ice cream eaters. I sampled Val’s ice cream and while I’m not a big ice cream eater, it was really, really good; I can see why people might line up for hours for it. Val actually rated it better than the Taos Cow in Arroyo Seco, New Mexico that we sampled last year.
By this time rain was falling harder so it was back in the Suburban and we took a driving tour of Portland. Portland is a very interesting and beautiful city. Jason is an excellent tour guide and we were impressed with Portland's ability to mix very old and very new architecture, which makes for a beautiful city. After our tour, Val and I went back to the hotel to relax a bit and get ready for dinner.
We met Jason and Hilary back at their house around 6:30 and they took us out to dinner. The kids all had their own activities tonight so it was just the four of us. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, but dinner was very good and the conversation even better. Jason and Hilary are very easy to talk to and we had a great time. We actually ended up sitting there for four hours talking and enjoying the evening. Eventually we called it a night and Val and I headed back to our hotel.