Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stop and Smell the Roses

      Every town has its "must see" things. The things that no self respecting tourist would miss. Things that a town might even be famous for, but sometimes, when we actually live in the town, we put off visiting those things. Last week I got to play tourist in my own town. My mom was visiting from California, so I gave her the nickle tour of Portland.
     Portland is known as "The City of Roses", and we have a large and famous rose garden. Despite the fact that I am a floral designer, I had never been there. I decided it was time for me to visit, so this was the first stop on our  Portland tour. The Rose Garden is HUGE! 10,000 plantings of 500 varieties of roses grow on a terraced hillside overlooking Portland. What a beautiful place to wander around and smell the roses.

    The Rose Garden also has a  Rose Store. If it looks like a rose, smells like a rose, or has a picture of a rose on it, you can find it at the Rose Store. The only thing you can't buy there is a real rose. No rose bushes or fresh cut roses for sale. Oh, and the penalty for cutting or harming roses in the garden: $500. (...or was it more? I can't remember.)

     Near the Rose Garden is the Japanese Garden. We walked up the hill to the gate, but we didn't want to pay to go inside and see it. We can do that next time. I did take a picture over the fence, though. 

Lush and lovely looking Japanese Garden
     Leaving the Rose Garden area, we drove past some beautiful hillside homes, and made our way up to Portland's most famous home, the Pittock Mansion.

     The Pittock Mansion was built in the early 1900's by Henry and Georgiana Pittock. Henry was the owner of The Oregonian, newspaper.


  The mansion sits up on a hill with a spectacular view of Portland and Mt. Hood. Mt. Hood is not visible in my pictures, due to all the haze from wildfires in the Oregon Cascades.

My mom having lunch with the best view in town.

As far back as I can remember, my mom has enjoyed looking inside houses. It shouldn't have been any surprise to me when her curiosity to see what was inside this house was much stronger than her curiosity to see what was inside the Japanese Garden, and she paid for us to go inside and have a look around. Marble staircases, intricate wood floor patterns, and fancy moldings. A very beautiful and interesting tour.

     We spent the rest of the afternoon in downtown Portland, poking around in stores and looking at the local oddballs. We took a quick peek inside the "Elephants Delicatessen", where we ogled all the fancy meats, cheeses, and desserts. They had 19 different kinds of salami! I just had to take this picture. Yumm!

We saw quite a bit of Portland. I think we covered most of the "must sees". I can't believe it took me this long to see the Rose Garden. I will have to get back there before winter comes and the roses are all gone until next spring.



  1. Stacie, thanks so much for the visit and comment. I enjoyed seeing your photos. That mansion is gorgeous! Is it rented out for weddings?

  2. The mansion is not rented out for weddings. If you are a member at the "Gold Level", you can rent the mansion for corporate events, but private parties and weddings are not allowed. They also only allow casual photography without a flash. Professional photographers need to get a special permit from the parks and recreation department. At Christmas, the mansion is beautifully decorated. Here is a link to the website where you can see some pictures and read about the history. It's very interesting.

    :-) Stacie