Thursday, August 15, 2013

Portland — Stop and Smell the Roses

Sometimes you must take the time to stop and smell the roses. Literally. There's really no better place to do that than in the City of Roses itself — Portland, Oregon. The picture above was taken at the biggest public test rose garden in the U.S. at the International Rose Test Garden. While the roses were definitely not in their prime at the end of June, it was still a pretty sight to see. I have always been fond of rose gardens since playing around the Reinisch Rose Garden in Gage Park in my hometown as a youngster.

We had such a wonderful time in Portland but sadly, we didn't get to spend much time there. After a busy week, it was nice to simply relax, or rather, stop and smell the roses. If you take a trip to Portland, be sure to give yourself ample time when visiting. Although there aren't as many sites in the city like Seattle and Vancouver, you'll want to drive outside the city to visit places such as Multnomah Falls, the Oregon wineries, and the coast. We didn't have the time (or a car) to do any of those things, but the good news is that we now have an excuse to travel back! 

My good friend Chris and his soon-to-be wife Susan, live in East Portland and showed us places that we would have never gone to without their local perspective. From studio rooftops to a Belgian bierbrasserie and more, we had such a fantastic time hanging out with them. We weren't on a time schedule with specific sites to see. We had lots of laughs while enjoying the beautiful city that is Portland. We stopped to simply smell the roses. Life is good. Friends are good. Traveling to new places where you have friends is even better.

I love these three.

I returned to our hotel one night with a bellyache from laughing so much with them. Chris has been my pal since as long as I can remember and we have countless childhood memories together. I thought about digging up some old pictures from the archives, but then realized that this post could easily turn into a roast, when I should be giving them a toast. 

So... cheers! The sour beers above were from a tasting we had at Bazi. Chris and Susan are getting married this weekend at Lake Crescent in Washington and I couldn't be more happy for these two insanely talented, smart, and fun-loving people. While I wish that we could be there to celebrate, I'm thankful for the time that we got to spend with them while visiting.

How cool is this model treehouse Chris built for the Kansas Children's Discovery Center? He made this model a reality for kids to enjoy in Topeka, Kansas, which happens to be in the same park as the rose garden I loved as a child in our hometown. Don't you just love it when things come full circle?

I'm wishing them lots of love and happiness on their big day and forever. I'm hoping they a) "Make the best better." (4-H motto for Susan) and 2) Be in a tree. (for Chris, world treehouse builder and photographer extraordinaire).

My advice for their wedding day: Stop and smell the roses. 

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