Saturday, May 03, 2008

Portland-Seattle-Vancouver Trip (Day 4 - Seattle, WA)

14-April-2008

The 4th day of our Oregon-Seattle-Vancouver trip was spent in Seattle. We vacated our hotel in Kent and went to Seattle Downtown. We walked around the downtown and saw Qwest field, Smith Towers, and the totems in Pioneer Square. We took some snaps and went to "Ride the Ducks". Riding the ducks was a marvelous experience. We boarded a small truck full of passengers (about 30 of them). The duck (truck) took us around the Seattle city and plunged into Lake Union. The driver/captain of the duck kept us occupied by cracking jokes.

We spent more time walking around the Space Needle (which was close to the Ride the Duck office). We wanted to see the Fremont troll but couldn't find it. We then headed back to Oregon to board the flight at 9.00 pm.

We enjoyed our Oregon-Seattle-Vancouver trip and if you are planning for one, you can use the details in my Trip Planner.

Portland-Seattle-Vancouver Trip (Day 3 - Vancouver, BC)


13-April-2008

We drove to Vancouver, Canada from Kent, WA in the morning. It was my first experience to cross the international border by land. It was a very simple process. The officers asked me the usual legitimate questions and let me go. I grabbed some downtown maps in the small visitor center close to the border crossing booths. Our first destination in Vancouver was the Buddhist Temple. This is my first visit to a traditional Buddhist temple. I was spell bound on seeing the magnificient and colorful statues of Lord Buddha. The authenticity of the temple will definitely make a deep impact on the visitors.

We then visited the Capilano Suspension bridge. You can spend about 1/2 day or more in the Capilano suspension bridge. They have a number of hiking trails and tree walks. They had a few totems near the enterance. It was very adventurous to walk on the suspension bridge - especially when it was wobbling here and there :) We spent about a hour and a half there. They charged $27 per person and I felt that as too much for our short visit.

We went to the downtown, parked our car in a parking lot and walked to the Vancouver lookout. You can get a full view of the downtown from there. We then boarded a trolley that took us around to various places in Vancouver. We saw the sea wall and totems in Stanley Park. We took a short ferry to the Granville Island. We then took the trolley back to Vancouver downtown.

We had an interesting experience in Downtown Vancouver. An Afro-American along the road side offered to help us with the route and finally threatened to get some money from us. In the future, we should be careful not to get help from road side strangers. We crossed the border and drove back to Seattle.

Portland-Seattle-Vancouver Trip (Day 2 - Columbia River Hwy)

12-April-2008

We got up on the 2nd day, had complimentary breakfast at the hotel and vacated the room. We then drove to Columbia River Highway. Wow ! How could nature be so partial? The drive was so amazing and breath taking. There is a beautiful river that gives company to you throughout the drive. We stopped over at Crowne Pointe Vista House. It was very windy there. Throughout the drive, there are several waterfalls along the way and nice vista points. We stopped at Horse tail falls, Sheppard Dell falls and Multnomah falls. Mutlnomah is the second longest waterfall in US and about 2 million visitors come there every year. There is a popcorn store and coffee shop close to Multomah falls. My wallet lost some weight there.

We then drove to Mt Hood (actually, half way to Mt Hood). We stopped in a village where we got a full view of Mt Hood, took snaps and returned back.

We came back to Portland and went to "The Grotto - National Sactuary of Sorrowful mother". It is a very calm and relaxing place. If you are visiting this place, make sure that you take the elevator to the top of the hill. They have beautiful gardens out there.

From, "The Grotto" we drove to Kent, WA to stay in "Crossland - Extended Stay America Hotel". They had a small kitchen with the basic stuff.

Portland-Seattle-Vancouver Trip (Day 1 - Portland)

11-April-2008

Spring is a beautiful time to travel. Thanks to mother nature for making the season so colorful !

We decided to go on a trip to Portland, Seattle & Vancouver. One of the main drivers for this trip is the Tulip Festival in Woodburn. We flew to Portland and rented a car at the Portland International Airport (PDX).

We drove to Willamette Valley and reached Woodburn at about 10.30 am. Spring had painted the whole city with fresh green color. I was expecting to see a lot of colorful gardens on my way to Woodenshoe Tulip Farm. Until I parked my car in the Woodenshoe farms, I was not convinced that I'm going to see a lot of colorful flowers today ! Woodenshoe Tulip farm is the best garden that I've ever seen. Its a place soaked in colors. For a moment, I couldn't believe that the tulips are natural. They had a very nice compilation of tulips and the memories are hard to erase. You can even spend a half day or more in Woodenshoe farms. They've a lot of activities for kids.

We then returned back to Portland city and reached OSHU's campus. We went on the Portland Aerial tram and it was nice to see the whole city from the top. The view was beautiful.


We drove to the downtown and saw the Pioneer Courthouse Square. I was amazed to see so many people hang in there. Many of them were just sitting there relaxing, reading a book or just having fun talking. Starbucks at Pioneer Courthouse was one of the busiest locations that I've seen.

We wanted to go to the International Rose Garden, lost our way and got trapped into the Rose Garden Arena. Thanks to all the folks who rightly guided us to the wrong Rose Garden :)

We then visited Portland Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden and finally the International Rose Garden. International Rose Garden is located very close to the Japanese Garden. Both the Chinese & Japanese gardens are very unique and had a lot of cultural value. You had to hike for about 1/2 mile to get to the Japanese garden - however, it is worth the hike. We spent some halcyon time in the gardens.

We then drove to Vancouver, WA and stayed in Staybridge Suites hotel for that night. The hotel had a fully furnished kitchen and we enjoyed our short stay there.