Friday, April 16, 2010

A tranquil place


Zen Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh says: "Make each moment an occasion to live deeply, happily, in peace." The Portland Japanese Garden exemplifies the spirit of this quote. Surely this is one of the most tranquil places on Earth - and we spent several hours here today. Between the two of us, we took over two hundred photos! I'll post a few of my favorites in my Mac Gallery and on Facebook.

Getting to the Japanese Garden was an adventure. We had to take the TriMet MAX (light rail) train through downtown and into the Northwest District, through a tunnel to Washington Park, which has to be one of the coolest city parks anywhere. Here you have the Oregon Zoo, a children's museum, an arboretum, the International Test Rose Garden (HUGE!!! But the roses are not in bloom yet), and the Japanese Garden. After a few hours in the Japanese Garden, we walked down the hill to the Rose Garden, and then took a bus back to the train station.

We took the train to PGE Park, home of the Portland Beavers baseball team and the Portland Timbers soccer team. Oooh, oooh, how cool is it that Portland has a soccer team?!!! Opening night for the Timbers is Saturday. Would love to go, but we'll be somewhere else then!

After a very long walk up to NW 23rd and Irving, we had a late lunch (here comes the food part, Mom) at Papa Haydn, a fabulous restaurant that was recommended by our bed and breakfast. We were very impressed with the organic, local, sustainable selections . . . I (someone who will NEVER eat ground beef dishes at restaurants) ordered the hamburger because it was labelled as house-ground and all natural. It was served with Applewood bacon and Tillamook Cheddar cheese, which comes from Oregon. Sandy got the organic grilled chicken sandwich, which was served with a very nice cucumber salad - I'm going to try to duplicate that recipe when the cucumbers start coming in this year!!! For dessert, we shared a Panna Cotta (a really yummy vanilla custard) topped with a raspberry sauce made with with Oregon raspberries. Since we had such a late lunch, we didn't need dinner!

We rode the streetcar from NW 23rd through the Pearl District to Pioneer Park, then caught the train and came back to our B&B . . . where we have crashed now. Our feet are sore from all the walking today, and we have to get up very early tomorrow in order to get to the next destination. It will be VERY LATE when I post tomorrow (and of course, my ability to post is contingent upon my ability to get online) . . . but I will post as soon as possible.

Goodnight again, East Coast people!