August 10, 2013
This morning went much better than yesterday’s! After Bennett’s nap, we went to a small park that’s next to our hotel; it’s called Holladay Park. Its main feature is a fountain in the center, with water spraying up from the ground so kids (or adults!) can play in it. There were also benches, picnic tables, and lots of trees. I just let Bennett wander around and get muddy, and he loved it! It was kind of an ordeal when play time was over; he was not ready to go! An interesting note about the park’s namesake: he was a jerk! I don’t remember much about his story, but I do remember that he was described as a “rake” and that he was not well-liked. I guess he just made a lot of money. Anyway, Bennett and I went to Lloyd’s Center Mall across the street for lunch and to kill some time until it was time to pick up Justin. After much discussion, Justin and I finally settled on going to the Japanese Gardens as our final big activity in Portland. Here’s what I have to say about it: It was beautiful, and I think it would be a great place for quiet reflection. They had little, tucked-away spots here and there, and the babbling brooks gave it the perfect finishing touch. There wasn’t much reflection happening with a toddler who is very persistent when it comes to his “requests,” which are frequent! He had fun, though. He just wanted free reign of the place, and it’s not really the safest area for that. There are narrow stone paths, steep steps, and dangerous heights for little, wobbly ones. Overall, we thought the gardens were pretty, but that the ticket was overpriced for the small size of the place. After the gardens, we drove through a trendy area of town Jen F. told us about, on 23rd Ave, but decided to have dinner at a reportedly haunted restaurant, called Old Town Pizza. The service was far from stellar, but the awesome food and atmosphere made up for it! We had the house special, which was pepperoni, salami, Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, green pepper… I think that’s it. They say the place is haunted by a prostitute named Nina whose body was found in the elevator shaft when the building was a hotel. Below the building are tunnels where men were “shanghaied” back in the 19th century. We now regret doing the underground tour in Seattle and wish we’d chosen the Portland one instead! We didn’t know about it, but it sounds more interesting! We’ve spent so much money on this trip that we decided that another underground tour would just be an unnecessary expense. Anyway, this is our last night. Back home tomorrow!