Perfectly Portland : The Japanese Gardens

28 March 2014

The first few weeks of spring in Portland are always a game of cat and mouse.  It's beautiful, sunny, and hopeful one moment and the very next moment it goes back to grey, rainy, drab as it has been for the past 5 months or so.  Despite all the rainy months, Portlanders are nothing if not optimists.  We make the very best of every single ray of sunshine we see and we brave the chance of rain just to soak up the small moments of sunshine in between.  We know each rainy season has an end and this one is in sight.

Yesterday, I grabbed a friend and took advantage of a break in the clouds to enjoy a bit of wandering in the Portland Japanese Gardens.

The Japanese Gardens are a lovely thing to do when you are in Portland.  They gardens are a part of Washington Park - a 400 acre natural oasis just outside of downtown Portland.  Washington Park is also home to the Oregon Zoo, The World Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum, The Portland Children's Museum, and the International Rose Test Gardens.  It's a great place to relax, explore, and take in some amazing views.  You can drive or hop on a blue line or red line max train to the Washington Park stop.

The gardens aren't very big, but there are a lot of little moments of zen and beauty as you walk around.   From waterfalls to serene coy ponds, it makes for a perfect day.

After you visit the gardens, be sure to step across the street to visit the International Rose Test Gardens to see over 550 varieties of roses and learn why Portland is known as Rose City.  Roses are in bloom from about April - October, so sadly we missed out this time!

31 before 31

26 March 2014

I know I am a little behind the ball on this list.  I've been making it for a few months, but I haven't really shared it just yet.  It's a big list, but I have 8+ months to complete it.  There are a few things from my 30 before 30 list that were carried over - no shame, this is the year! This year had a really hard start with the surgery, health issues, and so many life changes.  Despite all of that, this year is full of possibilities and adventure for me and I feel really optimistic about this list!

1. Get back to blogging
2. Take a boat ride through a floating market - read about it here!
3. Feed an elephant - read about it here!
4. Visit a night market in Thailand - read about it here!
5. Snorkel in the Andaman Sea
6. Take a Thai cooking class - read about it here!
7. Celebrate Songkran (Thai New Year) with a water fight festival
8. Hang out with a tiger - read about it here!
9. Learn more about buddism & explore temples
10. Connect with extended family
11. Make bagels from scratch
12. Co-host a wedding shower
13. Learn to make wine
14. Recovery from neurosurgery and focus on self-care
15. Travel alone and make a new friend while doing it
16. Attend GeekGirlCon 2014
17. Go bungee jumping - read about it here!
18. Find a new job that makes me happy and leaves room for a work/life balance
19. Find a new bar trivia night and create new traditions
20. Get a good bra fitting
21. Reorganize the Pyrex collection
22. Go to a distillery tasting
23. Celebrate Galentine's Day

24. Make one piece of clothing for myself
25. Attend the Cherry Blossom Festival
26. Find a new volunteer opportunity and also take in more fosters
27. Finish an embroidery project
28. Host a dinner party
29. Plant a fall garden
30. See Crater Lake
31.Turn 31 in a special place I've never been before

What do you hope to do this year?
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