Portland, OR

Well, I thought I added this to my blog, so this is a little late. In April, we took a trip to Portland, OR.  We’ve been to Oregon numerous times, with one trip to Crater Lake. That really is a spectacular site! It’s out of the way, so you really need to make a special trip to see it, because it’s not on the way to anywhere. But once you get there, this mesmerizing beauty awaits:

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Yes, that really is a photo I took!  It is incredibly beautiful and peaceful. There is a loop road that contains quite a few waterfalls, which you can visit up close as you can see in this photo:

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For this long weekend trip we decided to do something different, and stayed downtown without a car. We stayed in the historic Benson hotel, built by lumber baron and philanthropist Simon Benson in 1913. The lobby has rare Circassian walnut woodwork from Russia, Italian marble floors, Austrian crystal chandeliers and ornate plaster ceilings:

We did take a day trip to visit waterfalls along the way to Mt. Hood, and learned that Benson owned a lot of land along the Columbia River Gorge.  He donated land to the City of Portland for the Columbia River Scenic Highway as a means of sharing Oregon’s beautiful land with others. We did stop at some waterfalls, but never made it to Mt. Hood.  April, and a blizzard made the roads impassable.

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Back in the city, we spent two days walking everywhere. Downtown holds a little something for everyone. There is historic architecture, scenic waterfront park, creative and eclectic restaurants and food carts:

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Coffee houses are everywhere, and it is the home to Voodoo Doughnuts:

And, the pièce de résistance, Powell’s City of Books! We’re just a block away from more books than I could read in a hundred lifetimes!! Now, we have to go now!!! Faster, can’t you walk faster?!  This place was so large, it was actually overwhelming (the website says it is 1.6 acres of retail space). Truly, you don’t know where to turn first. We wandered up stairs and down stairs, from one room/genre to the next.  I could have spent my vacation there. Well…I could if someone would bring me coffee and doughnuts.

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