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Portland,OR 2009 Archives

September 23, 2009

Our Big, Fat, American Road Trip...

The last entry I've written on my blog was about three weeks ago; I was sitting on my breakfast bar,watching palm trees swinging ,and listening to waves crashing on the Pacific Ocean. Today, I am laying on my dad's recliner,looking out of the window, I see a big magnolia tree standing,oh so still, as if daring the humid heat of the south. The weather forecast predicted rain, but I don't see it, not yet. From Hawaii to South Carolina, and everything in between, we made our way from the Pacific Northwest to the Atlantic Southeast, the car odometer read 4200 road miles, and we've loved every mile and minute of it.

To be sure, we have not reached our final destination yet, and our trip is not yet over. But we are very close, a four or five hour drive to Jacksonville Florida is nothing compared to the trip we just finished.

We had a straight flight from Maui to Portland,Oregon on Alaskan Air. We retrieved our car,that has been stored in Portland for the last six months, and we spent five nights in Portland, visiting with our friends, and soaking up the city life that we missed so much living on Maui . Portland is a beautiful American city, green, clean and friendly. We visited some main attractions,biked a little, hiked a little, and ate A LOT. We really enjoyed everything we've done and seen in the city, but the food won the highlights hands down.

From Portland we headed south and east with Southern Utah as a final destination, stopping in Boise, Idaho, where loads of nostalgia came rushing through us; we lived in Boise for three months in 2007 and loved it. We also spent a night in Salt Lake City, before reaching the magnificent Zion. We spent five nights touring Zion National Park, now there is a part of America to be proud of.

Leaving Zion, we stopped at Bryce Canyon, another spot that is out of this world. And then of course the Grand Canyon that no words can describe. From the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, we had a long drive to Arches National Park, another American treasure. In Arches, we seemed to have offended the weather gods, as we drove into Moab to a top notch southwestern thunderstorm, with lightening and all. We canceled our camping plans and got a room at a local motel. We went to bed praying for a nice morning to explore the park.

Well, it was an overcast and drizzly morning, but looking at the bright side, it wasn't hot(yay). We spent half the day in the park and then headed towards Colorado, to Edwards,where my in-laws were staying in their summer home, high in the mountains escaping the Texan heat.We spent three days, watching the aspens turn golden, eating good food and enjoying stunning scenery. Of course, the great company, and winning the shuffle board championship with MIL(against Bill and FIL) made the stay even more sweet.

Leaving Edwards, we spent a night in Topeka, Kansas, and another in Nashville, Tennessee, before reaching my parents' place in Lake City, South Carolina. We've been here for couple days, eating a lot again, and enjoying spending time with the family. This morning, me and Bill went to ride horses with a couple of my dad's customers and friends.After the trail ride, we all went to my dad's gas station/diner,where he treated us with delicious(even if not healthy) southern cooking of fried chicken, fried pork chops, sweet peas, mashed potatoes, and apple cobbler. I love seeing how happy my parents are living here after moving from Michigan about four years ago. They blend in well in the country life.

I will blog in more details about our trip, but for the next couple days, I will be spending more time with my family, getting my photos organized and then doing some chores(yes, after all these years, chore rules remain enforced).

October 1, 2009

Highlights of Portland: Biking in Downtown

Although a bit late, I am excited to be back in the blog-sphere. The break was nice, but I did miss blogging. I almost feel that I forgot how to blog, lets hope it's like riding a bicycle and it'll come back to me.Speaking of biking, I've never had my own bike as a kid, another activity that my mother deemed "dangerous". But being the little rebel I was, I used to 'sneak' some rides on my friend's bike in the neighborhood. I don't even remember learning to ride a bike, I just remember borrowing the bike from my friend, while she kept watch to make sure my mother is not in the vicinity, and I would take a spin or two around the block. I think I was nine or ten when I last borrowed my friend's bike.

It wasn't until three years ago that I finally purchased my own bike. I was hoping that what they say about riding a bike is true and that I still remembered what to do,especially that I don't even remember how I learned riding in the first place. Well, the saying is true. It took less than half an hour, and I was comfortably balanced on my bike, I was very happy and proud. I do enjoy biking, a lot.

Portland Oregon,considered one of the most bike friendly cities in America, has more than 200 miles of bike ways,both off-road and along the streets. So we had planned on renting some bikes to use around downtown during our recent trip to Portland. We were lucky,however, to find out that our hotel offered bicycles for guest use. The Crowne Plaza Hotel is very well located, near the Lloyd Center, a walking(or biking) distance to shopping, dining and all of what downtown Portland has to offer. The hotel is also clean and the staff is friendly. I would definitely stay there again.

Continue reading "Highlights of Portland: Biking in Downtown" »

October 4, 2009

Highlights of Portland: Saburo's Sushi

The beautiful city of Portland,Oregon has many great things to offer;great food definitely tops the list. During the five days we stayed there, we've had amazing meals, all fresh, all affordable, and all delicious! The one food experience I'd like to highlight here is my favorite of all:sushi!

Saburo.jpgSaburo's Sushi House Restaurant doesn't just serve any sushi, but I would say the best sushi I've had. Sure, there are many restaurants all over the country(and the world) that offer great sushi, but I've never seen a place that offers as big of pieces(referred to as Texas-size sushi),at such low prices, all with keeping the high quality and absolute freshness. If you are a sushi person,even an occasional sampler, you would love Saburo's sushi.

The restaurant itself,located in the Sellwood district, is so small, more like a hole in the wall type of restaurant. It is identified by the name on the window(no other signs) and the long line of people waiting to get in. Unfortunately, Saburo does not take reservations, and seats people based on first come first serve basis. You get there, sign the sheet on the door, and wait for your name to be called. Trust me,the food is well worth the wait, the service is excellent, and it is hard to beat the prices. The restaurant is open for dinner only, at five I believe, and the last seating is at nine pm.

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We went there with our friend S, who lives in Portland and dines at Saburo's every chance he gets, and ordered a lot of sushi with beer, and the whole bill was less than sixty dollars! I knew S said it is very affordable, but still couldn't believer it. We've never walked out of a sushi restaurant(as full as we were) with that small of a tally,and it is normally just the two of us not three. It is truly a great sushi experience that is very hard to beat. I highly recommend it. For more information and directions to the restaurant, you can visit its website.

October 8, 2009

Highlights of Portland: Washington Park

I've been trying to get back to my routine blogging, but what can I say? I guess I have more free time when we are working than when we are both off. It looks like it might take me a while to blog about everything I've been meaning to write about, or read so many of my favorite blogs, or catch up with Sunday Small Bites, I will get to it though, I promise.

Anyway, back to the attractive city of Portland, Oregon. Our friend S invited us to join him on one of his favorite walks in the city, we ended up in what he referred to as the "backyard" of Portland: Washington Park. I am always amazed at the peace and the tranquility that can exist right in the heart of a big city. The further we went inside the park, the easier it was to forget that we were inside a city, not that Portland was a bad place to be, but it is comforting to think that a short drive and a walk, and one is transferred from buzzing crowds and traffic jams, to a green and peaceful forest.

In addition to the hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails that Washington Park has to offer its visitors, a wide array of attractions make Washington Park an ideal place to spend the day.

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We mainly just hiked through the park, admiring monkey puzzles, trying to learn about some of the other trees that grow in the park,listening to birds chirping, talking stories with S, watching squirrels go about their business(mainly trying to avoid us), and just enjoying the forest settings. But we did stop at the International Rose Test Garden and gazed upon the many roses, of all colors and scents, that were still blooming(to my surprise) in September. Admission to the garden is free, but donations are welcome.

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I am not quite sure which trail we were on, I know we started and ended at the Hoyt Arboretum. It was nice to have S as our navigator, I didn't even get a map, I just surrendered to the beauty of the park.

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Continue reading "Highlights of Portland: Washington Park" »

March 25, 2010

Roses

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Candi's Corner: Wanderlust and Passions in the Portland,OR 2009 category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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