Ten days in Portland

I've just spent a glorious ten days in Portland, Oregon and returned with 1330 photos. I've always wanted to see the Pacific Northwest and a chance came up on the spur of the moment. Our friends Todd, Rebecca and daughter McKenzie just sold their home here in Florence and they are moving to Portland. Rebecca and McKenzie were heading out there to find a house and I tagged along.

We spent three days looking at houses (which was fun and I learned some things about real estate) before Rebecca found the house she wanted. It was a great opportunity to see the various neighborhoods of Portland. It was then time to play and I toured the incredible Japanese Gardens, Rose Garden, Lan Su Chinese Garden, Multnomah Falls, etc. and had some fantastic food. I'll do a post on each place I visited but for now, some various photos of what is to come and words to describe Portland:
SCENIC (the Columbia River Gorge) - I would not necessarily want to live in the city
but I would love to live in this area.

GARDENING - Okay, I knew there would be lots of gardens in Portland but what I wasn't prepared for was the fact that almost every home has an extensive garden. It is the complete opposite from Alabama. Here, you might see one or two fabulous gardens in a neighborhood but in Portland, almost every home has one. And they are gardens like this! It was mind blowing.

ECO-FRIENDLY - Portland is a very green city - everyone recycles and it is very easy to find freshly grown organic produce. This stand was inside a market/restaurant called "Proper Eats" in the St. Johns community where Rebecca found their house.

TASTY - I had some incredible meals and my favorite came from a charming little vegan restaurant called "The Loving Hut" in downtown. This was sooooooo good. We went there twice!
SHOPPING - I'm not much of a shopper but an underwear store for men? Color me happy!!
ACCESSIBLE - Portland is a large city spread out over a wide area but it is easy to get to any part of the city via the Public Transit System which provides bus, light rail and commuter rail transit services. I didn't get a chance to ride the bus but everyone said that I had to experience it - maybe next time! I'm not sure who these folks were walking in front of us - pilots?

ARCHITECTURE - There are many beautiful buildings, old and new, but surprisingly, not too many skyscrapers. The city is similar to Florence in that it expands outward instead of upward.
BRIDGES - This is just one of the many bridges that cross into the downtown area. The most beautiful is the St. Johns Bridge that I will show you in a later post.
TRAFFIC - One thing I didn't like about Portland was that there were just way too many people and the traffic was horrendous if you ventured out during peak hours (I know, it doesn't look like that in this photo!). However, the traffic did move at a slow pace so it wasn't frantic or nerve wracking like Birmingham. The speed limit on the freeways was usually 55 and under. Drivers are very courteous!

FUNNY - A crocheted planter cover - why not?
ROSES - Portland is the city of roses and you see them everywhere, even along the freeways. Wait until you see the Rose Garden!
And yes Weird! - delightfully so!
Up next - the Japanese Gardens.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. can't wait to see more pictures. So did you fall in love and want to move there? I know what you mean about not being able to leave Alabama.

  2. I'm so glad to hear you had a great time here in the PNW. I fell in love about seven years ago, after living my entire life (50+ years) in snowy New England. We moved here not long after that visit. It is gardener's nirvana. Looks like you got a little taste of yarn-bombing (that's what they call the crocheted stuff). I hope you come back for the Portland Fling next year.

  3. Hi Jen, yes I did! haha Who knows what will happen?

    Alison, do you cope well with all the rain? There were only 2 days of it while I was there but everybody said that it rained all the time from November-May.

  4. Glad you had a great trip. I enjoyed mine to CA also. My sister and I saw so many beautiful plants and gardens that my nephew asked "Have yall seen enough flowers yet?" Well, NO! I am posting some videos on my blog. They don't do justice to what all we saw. Visit and watch if you get a chance! Looking forward to seeing yours.

  5. 10 days! How wonderful! Looks like fun and I love that Columbia River Gorge pic.

  6. Phillip, I cope well with the clouds. It doesn't actually rain ALL the time. It spritzes or showers most days, off and on, with an occasional span of days where it does indeed rain all day. Spring starts in February and lasts till June, and is a long, slow build-up. I prefer it to being under two feet of snow from December to March, when I lived in Massachusetts.

  7. Hi Phillip, Thanks for sharing your trip to Portland with us. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful photos.

  8. Thanks for sharing your visit. Blogger (or my slow ATT internet) is showing only every other photo. I'll have to come back later and try again, but at least I could read the text and captions.

  9. It sounds absolutely dreamy. Can't wait to see what all you have time to show. Welcome home.

  10. I agree too about the food in Portland. Though I mostly ate I restaurants, it was superb, creative and lots of healthy choices. Jeannine

  11. My fav photo is "Keep Portland Weird." That would make me feel right at home.

    My fav photo is the one of the river. aww geez.

    My fav photo is the underwear shop...
    Oh well you get the picture, I can't decide.

  12. Oh Phillip, I can't believe that I've been missing your posts from the PNW! Blogger is doing some weird things to me! You'll visit again and again now that you have friends here. Perhaps someday you'll even move out west yourself.

  13. You feature many of my own impressions of Portland. On one of my visits my son took me walking through some of the neighborhoods. I too was impressed that everyone had a lovely garden. The mild climate (This was in August) was perfect for all those flowers!


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