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June 15, 2015

Our Portland Vacation

We just came back from our mini-vacation to Portland, OR to see our son and his wife.
Our daughter joined us out there too and we all toured the area together.

We drove to Grand Rapids and flew out to Portland.  Our plane was late coming in so when we got to Chicago we missed our first connection.  Fortunately United Airlines re-booked us quickly onto American Airlines and we were off within the hour.  
My husband had the window seat and was taking pictures and caught some nice shots of Mt. Hood as we approached Portland. 

I know it can be boring to look at other people's photos so I decided to group things in a collage format.
The first day we toured along the Columbia River Gorge.  This is the Vista house along the historic Columbia River Highway that offers expansive views and was created as a comfort center to travelers as well as a memorial to the Oregon pioneers.

Next we visited Multnomah Falls.  Dan and Ryan worked their way up to the bridge and I stayed back taking pictures.  This is a 611 ft. waterfall drop.  It was fairly busy with a lot of visitors and there are trails you can follow along the mountainside.  Right off that bridge on the left is a path that people were taking.  It gives me the willies looking up there so I'm good on the ground!

On Sunday we went to The Grotto which is an outdoor shrine and Catholic sanctuary that we attended the morning service at. 

This is the International Rose Test Garden that we visited.  You just can't imagine how many roses there are.  Some of these roses measured a good 6 to 8 inches across- very stunning!

It was very hot while we visited and it hit 92 deg. that day so we did our best to see as much as we could but didn't see it all.  In hind sight we should have been there early in the morning.  At least they don't have very high humidity so that was great!

There are several mountains you can see if you are lucky while visiting Portland.  
We saw Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens at various times.  This particular afternoon we were trying to get a better picture of the mountain and found ourselves roaming the countryside when we came across this little winery.  I scoped out the scenery, flowers and the kids went in for some wine.  I think I heard Julie Andrews at some point!

We usually ate a late breakfast and an evening meal on the road.  The Black Bear Diner was a favorite and not too far away so we ate there several times.  One morning we ate at Helser's on Alberta.  (I saw it on a tv program on PBS) They offer a nice variety of unusual breakfast food.  Our favorite downtown restaurant we visited is called Deschutes Brewery- I highly recommend it! 

One evening we were all just too tired to go anywhere but when someone mentioned pasta our daughter in-law Angela jumped to the kitchen and went to work to make us a homemade spaghetti dinner.  As you can see she even made homemade pasta!  I've seen this attachment for the Kitchen Aid mixers but haven't ever seen it used.  They have a little garden area growing in a raised planter my son built so our salad greens came right from the garden!  My son is always "posing"- he's my funny guy! 

They had a new fire pit they wanted to try out so we helped them break it in on our last evening.  You can see part of the cedar planters and arbors my son built for their vegetable garden.  It's a fairly small yard and this works out nicely to give them a chance to grow some vegetables.  He's still in the process of finishing some hardscaping so we were sitting on gravel.    Dan is looking into making a quick trip back there to help him finish it.

On our return home Dan took more pictures out the window and caught three mountain rangers in the one picture!   
It seemed much easier going West and getting on board with their time zone than it was to come back home to ours! 

This is the first vacation we've taken in years and we need to do it more often!  Flying wasn't as bad as I anticipated although I have to admit we saved up extra to fly first class and that's the way to do it!

I want to give a plug for a new party called
Celebrate It Sunday
for celebrating your parties, your home decor, your recipes and your crafts


  1. Liz,
    Beautiful country and lovely family, it looks like you had the best time! Those mountain ranges are something else aren't they? I'll never ever tire of looking at them. I think I could have joined in with you singing! My sister lived in Portland and I have been to that very Grotto-it is breathtaking and one of a kind.
    Thanks again for recommending Life and Linda-she is a dream to work with and is updating my blog as I write this.
    Have a lovely week,

  2. What a treat to visit the International Rose Test Garden! What a beautiful family and what fun you must have had visiting. Love that fire pit! Oh and those mountain ranges are just magnificent! Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip and loved the out the airplane window too!

  3. OH, Liz! What a great trip. That area is so beautiful. I've never been to Oregon but my daughter and her family lived in Washington state and they are similar. Before the children, she and her hubby hiked up Mt. Ranier! I thought they were crazy! :) Loved seeing where you went and the lovely family snaps. Nothing like a great meal! Glad you're home safe and sound.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  4. Thanks for sharing your trip, Liz. I am actually going to Seattle, WA and Portland, OR next month. I have never been there before and will keep your suggestions in mind. xo

  5. Hi Liz, so nice to catch up with you tonight. What a lovely time you had on your trip. Your pics are beautiful and show how special the area is. Love your collages and those roses are stunning.
    You have a beautiful family and your son is very talented. Beautiful planters and arbors.
    Great shots from the plane too.
    Thanks for sharing your trip.
    Hugs, CM

  6. A little too hot for me, but it looks like a wonderful time with your family, and in such gorgeous surroundings! I'd love to visit there sometime.

  7. Liz, it sounds like you had a great mini vacation. What could be better than having your children together and exploring the sights of Portland. The waterfall is amazing and those flowers are so gorgeous! I am so glad you and Dan took this vacation. It is well deserved! Thanks for sharing my info with Jemma. I am updating her blog.....

  8. It looks like you had a great time and the pictures are beautiful. I've heard so much about the food scene in Portland and I definitely would like to go there.

  9. Liz,
    What a beautiful vacation, dear friend!!!
    I adore that you spent it with your children and toured together!!!
    Lovely scenery, lovely gardens and decadent dinner, too!!!
    Like you, I'd have been down on the ground taking photos. . .
    heights make me dizzy and for sure, I'd take a fall!!!
    Welcome Home!!!
    I'm going to check out your party suggestion!!!

  10. I lived in Oregon for 18 years, such pretty country. Great pictures.

  11. Isn't Mt. Hood beautiful? When we go to the Rock Farm, we drive "over" the mountain and it's breathtaking every time.
    I'm so glad you got to do the scenic highway. We got married at Oneonta falls, you may have seen the signs when you were up there. On our way back to Portland for the reception, we stopped at Crown Point for photos. It's so pretty up there. My parents both grew up in Hood River, so we spent a lot of time there as a kid, and still go see family several times a year. Just driving by Multnomah Falls is impressive. We're about five minutes from the Grotto. See, ya coulda dropped in. Hahahahaha
    I have that pasta attachment and have never used it - what a special treat that she did that! What I can see of their backyard looks great. They've really done a lot of work already back there. It looks, and sounds, like you guys had a lot of fun. Are ya ready to move out here yet? ;o)

  12. When I read "Grand Rapids", I got all excited, but then I realized it's probably Michigan. We were in GR, Minnesota last week on our motorcycle trip. I enjoyed your pictures very much. Your "kids" look like they're doing well and like to enjoy life a little. You son's raised garden boxes are wonderful! I'm sure he'd appreciate your husband's help...dad/son bonding time, too. I'm glad you finally had a vacation. Hope you get to do it again soon!


Thank you for your comments! I don’t always get a chance to reply but I do read them!


Welcome to Home and Gardening With Liz. I have combined my previous blogs “Infuse With Liz” and “Sit With Me In My Garden” into this new blog. I love interior decorating and gardening. I enjoy redefining interior spaces by moving things around and reusing decorative items already found in the home. I also enjoy creating tablescapes and an occasional crafting project. I'm so pleased you've stopped by. I invite you to follow me and I do hope you will keep coming back! Liz
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