Trip Start Mar 26, 2006
26Trip End Oct 20, 2006
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As it turns out, one of our long-time friends from Denver, Davol, is renting a place here for a month, and over the weekend, Tony, another friend of ours from D.C., is flying in for the weekend and doesn't know we're in town
We duck into Powell's Books, the largest independent bookstore in the U.S., followed by a stop into the Chinese Gardens, an enchanting oasis that makes you forget that you're in the city center. We visit the teahouse to enjoy tea and appetizers under the calming gaze of a Kwan Yin statue, snap tons of photos of perfectly feng shui'd settings, and Tony walks around barefoot on the smooth stone walkway to receive the relaxing benefits of an accupressure foot massage, which the walkways are designed for.
We ride the free (yes, free!) light rail to densely treed Washington Park at the edge of town and view the Japanese gardens. Davol and Tony give me a quick photography lesson as we snap pictures of shrines, Zen rock gardens, waterfalls, and perfectly manicured bonsai.
The next morning we saunter past Fenouil, a French restaurant that catches our eye, and spontaneously decide to stop in. The smoked salmon hash with poached egg and hollandaise set down before me is pure culinary magic. This meal alone is enough to make me want to book a return trip to Portland.
To round out the weekend, we drive the Willamette River Gorge and hike the trails that wind up steep hillsides past gorgeous cascading waterfalls that rush past lush, moss-covered stones and boulders. It's hard to believe that so much recreation is available so close to the city, and we find ourselves talking about how tempting it is to make Portland home.
Though we'd promised ourselves that we were going to eat cheap last night, we were too tempted by our friend Bill's recommendation to try the mussels and frites at Paley's Place. So we threw our dress shirts on again and headed to Paley's for some of the most delicious mussels we've ever tasted. (Thanks, Bill!!!) There were a million entrees on the menu that sounded incredible, so we'll be visiting this spot again.
It's our last night here. It'll be hard to leave Portland in the morning, but there's more to discover further down the coast, so off we go.