Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pacific Northwest Trip: Day 2

We left the hotel in Seattle before 9am. I-5 looked rather busy so instead I went down 24th/23rd Avenue and got onto I-5 south of I-90. Whether or not it was faster is debatable but we got to see an entire swath of Seattle that neither of us had seen before.

The drive down to Portland was uneventful. It was very overcast, with the constant threat of rain. Using the directions I had copied into my Pocket PC from Google Maps I found our hotel on the first try!

I checked three different websites and all confirmed that the flight of our friend, Danny (coming in from Mexico City via San Francisco) was delayed by 45 minutes. So there was no rush to get to the airport.
PDX is a rather stunning place, with this magnificent glass roof connecting the front entrance with the parking garage.

Danny arrived without any problems. And even though he only got about 2 hours sleep the night before, he was able to get some Zzzzzz's on the 2 plane rides. Oh, thank goodness he hasn't grown any taller than me than he was last summer! Regardless, I'll still always remember him as the delightful 7 year old I first met in 1996.
We dropped off his luggage at the hotel and then went downtown to find something to eat. Portland has wisely preserved a great deal of its old buildings.
We happened upon a restaurant called Jake's Grill. It was the perfect place to have our first meal. Great food, spectacular service, and all located in an historic hotel. Our waiter was a gentleman originally from North Dakota, just a few miles from the Manitoba border. He was most recently in Phoenix, Arizona but had moved to Portland a year ago. He related to us some of the "interesting" people he has seen here since. During our meal I saw Jesus and a young man with bright orange hair wearing a woman's mink coat and a large purse.

Just after taking this shot, a gentleman came out and asked for a dollar. He turned out to be Kash Ross, a well known local tailor. While many make comparisons between Vancouver, BC and Portland, I must say that I find the people here much friendlier!

Los dos amigos reunited!
These ultra-thin onion rings were the very best I've ever tasted.
After dinner we drove up to nearby Washington Park. It quite large, located directly west of downtown. It's chalk full of different venues. I decided to show them the huge Rose garden. After seeing these, it's no wonder why Portland gained its "Rose City" nickname!

We had prearranged to have dessert with our friends, Phil & Denise. They lived quite a bit Southeast of Portland, near the community of Clackamas.
Phil, now retired, is mighty proud of his garden. Here are some examples grown there.

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