We braved the drive-through Chandelier Tree which is about 2,400 years old. It's amazing how these trees survived time and witnessed the real life stories of people who have lived thousands of years ago. If I have the power to make the trees talk, I would be living half of the year in that forest just to listen to their stories without reading history books.
We left Orange County right after dinner and arrived Portland just in time for supper. The weather was absolutely fantastic. They know we're coming so it did not rain at all! 3 nights and 4 days wasn't really enough but it was a good vacation to experience a bit of Portland.
The people were really nice. It was more like a laid back type of lifestyle and all you can see pretty much is nature. And as what we expected, golden leaves were everywhere! The girls were so thrilled to play with the maple leaves on the ground. We thought we were a bit late because some of the trees have fallen off their leaves on the ground.
The style of the houses were different from the kind of houses we have in Southern California. Most of the roofs were pointed and the garage is not attached to the main house. I have to say that I would keep on coming back to Portland for nature exploration. Who knows when the kids have grown up maybe the option of living in Portland is open. Did I say Oregon is free of tax too? =)
On our first day we went to see the gorgeous Columbia River Gorge. Locals and tourists were everywhere but not nearly as full as what the visitor information staff claims during summer. It was in the middle of October when we came so the season was about to go low.
The Japanese Garden was amazing! The red and golden leaves together in one garden is just so fascinating. Skip the Rose Garden in early autumn or you will be disappointed. The roses are not in for the season so go straight to where the action is.
From the parking lot we had to ride the free shuttle bus all the way up to the Japanese Garden. We wanted to walk but we have kids and we did not bring the stroller with us so we took the easiest way up.
The next day we took the kids to Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, something the kids would enjoy more. They had fun exploring inventions and those colorful springs that pump water whatever they call it. The best part I love was the Sherlock Holmes Exhibition where everyone was invited to solve a mystery. Half the day we spent at Woodburn Premium Outlet. Ok, don't get me wrong but coming from California, tax-free on everything is something that we don't normally experience everyday or at all.
We stayed at our favorite hotel Residence Inn for more comfort. Two bedroom suite with a day bed is big enough for everyone in this trip. On our way back home we took the I-5 and dwell on the road for about 18 hours. We just made our route back home shorter that going up. Portland is such a nice place with friendly faces. I am happy we finally made this trip happen and most of all with the people whom we share our common interests: Food, Travel, and Nature. =)