Hello all! Curt and I are having a great vacation in the lovely Northwest thus far. Saturday we flew in to Seattle and promptly drove to Portland to begin our mini tour. The primary reason we came out is to visit several gardens that have interested us for some time. Saturday, we visited The Grotto, a massive catholic grotto / garden in northeast Portland. Very lovely and majestic, but how many times can you view the stations of the cross in one life time? I love religious iconography, but come on. Maybe my Lutheran upbringing has something to do with it. We didn't have a bloody Jesus doing anything in our church.
Sunday, we drove to Canby, OR, just southeast of Portland, to visit Swan Island Dahlias for Dahlia Fest'07. Woo hooo! We had a fabulous time and very nearly overloaded on the thousands and thousands of glorious dahlias. There were over 40 acres of dahlias in full bloom, plus hundreds of huge arrangements of dahlias. Of course, all of this was designed to sell dahlias. Miraculously, we got away with buying only 6 varieties. Whew!
After leaving the dahlias fairly breathless, we proceeded into northwest Portland to view the International Rose Test Garden. About three acres of amazing rose varieties all in the lovely Washington Park area. Stunning.
After the roses, we ascended into the Portland Japanese Gardens. I had heard from a reliable source that this garden is considered the best Japanese Garden outside of Japan. It was STUNNING! That word is completely inadequate to describe the serenity and awe inspiring subtlety of the place. I highly, highly recommend a visit.
Monday, we decided to see the coast and fell deeper in love with Oregon all day. We stopped to pick blueberries about half way there and ate them for the rest of the day. The coast was lovely. We were really taken though by driving through the coastal mountains.
Tuesday, we visited my friend Kristin in Corvallis, then drove through Silver Falls State Park on the way home. The South Falls are 178 feet and drop from a thick basalt base into the river below. All this is surrounded by 100 foot pines. Gorgeous.
Today, we set out for Seattle again. We tooled around near the market and scoped out some restaurants for later in the week. Seattle is a beautiful city, but we did notice a high volume of homeless people and sort of wondered why the concentration was so intense throughout the downtown. Maybe it is the temperate climate? Anyway, tomorrow we are going to Victoria, B.C. and will be on our way to Butchart Gardens- another destination garden. Fun!