16 July 2011

playing "tourist"

Just a few days after my brother and his partner left town, my dad arrived for a week (or so) long visit. The weather has been a little more typical Portland... more interruptions of sun by clouds, slightly cooler temps, that sort of thing. And then there was yesterday - a beautiful Friday by any gauge! My father had been saying he'd like to make a trip to Washington Park, just on the outskirts of downtown Portland, in order to stroll around The International Rose Test Gardens here. Truly a sight, especially in mid-July!

But on the way, we did have to finally stop in and introduce him to Voodoo Doughnuts. Two wonderful, fresh doughnuts each and a steaming cup of coffee just taunting us until we arrived at the gardens and got out of the car to find a bench to sit and enjoy. And enjoy we did! It's probably been a couple of years since I had made it up to the rose test gardens, certainly at least as long since I had been there on such a beautiful day. So, I went a little camera-happy. It didn't help that I have garden planning and landscaping on my brain, with a sad, very mature rose plant on its last limbs possibly needing to be put out of its misery. So I documented lots!

I loved the powdery, cool lilac of those Lagerfelds

It's hard to see, but I was happy to catch a bumble bee doing what bees do best

I learned something new about my dad - this is apparently his favorite hybrid tea rose, "Peace". And below is what was labeled as a "Peace tree", but such a vivid difference in color!

I must have really liked those European designer flowers!

After spending a nice amount of time gazing at the flowers, we exited the city, in a most lovely and circuitous way, and found our way toward Forest Grove and Gaston, OR in search of some local wineries. Since we got a little off track while wending our way through NW Portland on Skyline Blvd., we arrived in wine country later than anticipated, and so only made it to 2 wineries this trip, Montinore and Plum Hill. Both located within half a mile of one another along Hwy. 47, they had dramatically different feels to them. Montinore is much more established, with gorgeous views of their vineyards and the outlying areas, but I have to say that the ladies at Plum Hill were fabulous. They've only been in the business for about 3 years, but you can tell that they LOVE what they are doing there.

A view of one of the fields from the balcony of the Montinore tasting room.

It was a surprise to see the school bus on this rural road on a Friday afternoon in the middle of summer.

As if I hadn't seen enough roses in the day, I was intrigued by the fact that they had a rose bush planted every 3-4 rows in this part of the vineyard.

The view to the south(ish?) from the parking lot outside the Plum Hill tasting room/shop.

And honestly, that wasn't even the end of our day, but the end of the picture-worthy part. I always forget how close all of these wineries are, and am now inspired to keep it in mind for a good outing as the season progresses.

Thanks for indulging!

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