Having a great time in Portland. The train ride down was fairly easy. We went out for a walk in the downtown area and scoped things out. Bought an all-day pass for $4.25 to ride the light rail, the street car, or the bus system. The transit here is pretty good. You can go just about anywhere, without a car.
Went to the Japanese garden, up in the Washington Park area. It was getting pretty hot out by then and we were roasting. But it was worth it. It's a lovely shady space, about ten degrees cooler than the rest of town. Beautiful and peaceful. I loved the koi pond surrounded by spent iris, the raked gravel garden, and the "Poet's Stone."
Today we had a relaxed breakfast at the hotel, and then went on the trolley to Powell's Books. It is every bit as huge as they say it is. With the different rooms of the bookstore painted different colors so you don't get lost. Still you get lost. But things could be worse than getting lost among books. I bought Joshua Clover's The Totality for Kids. And I saw Kathleen Flenniken's Famous there and turned it out so it looked like it was on display (as well as a copy of my own book, I am so naughty).
Then we went on to the Nob Hill area. Walked for blocks and blocks and looked at shops. Ate at a terrific little lunch spot called Jo. I had an exquisite ginger-pear martini and a crab avocado salad. Dean had a glass of Sauvignon blanc and a warm prawn and bruschetta salad. There was a gorgeous Faye Jones painting on the wall by our table. Perfect.
We came back for a nap and then went on to the visit the Chinese Garden. I just love these quiet, serene, inner-city garden spaces. The lotus flowers were amazing, with their large blooms and seed pods. We had iced tea and almond cookies in the upstairs of the tea house, with a cool breeze blowing through the windows. Ahhhh. Met a very nice man from New York who took our picture for us. We may do the boat cruise of the Willamette river tomorrow.
more later . . .