Around the Portland, OR Area
Miles driven today= 85
Total miles driven= 2249
The View Point Inn & the view of the Columbia River Gorge from the Inn
Leaving Olympic National Park early meant that we had a full day to explore Portland. It was nice for both of us, since Alicia had never been there before, and I wanted to see a couple of places I had missed my previous two times in the area, plus I didn't mind seeing some other things over again.
We had breakfast, then set off for Powell's City of Books. Yes, I had just been there the week before, but I love roaming around bookstores. Alicia is a reader also, so I couldn't let her miss out on a visit to Powell's! We ended up spending almost two hours there, which didn't help my book-buying problem. Remember how I refrained from buying too many books the last time I was there, and walked out with only two books? Well, I ended up walking out with three more this time around--Life of Pi by Yann Martel, Three Junes by Julia Glass, and a crockpot cookbook. They were all used, so I got a good bargain. So much for that library card I just got! Alicia was enthralled by the bookstore, especially the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section. Although she could have spent quite a bit of money there, she was trying to be good also and ended up getting only one book (technically)--it was a very large book that was a compilation of three books of a series into one.
Our second stop of the day was to another one of my movie-Twilight locations--a restaurant, The View Point Inn, where they filmed the prom scenes. I originally wanted to visit it for lunch when I was in Portland earlier last week. Monday was the only day I could have visited, and with my luck with Mondays, it was closed. So, our extra time in Portland gave me the perfect opportunity to visit the restaurant for lunch today. The View Point Inn is an absolutely adorable building that sits on a beautiful property overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. I fell in love with the place! The main room that you walk into is a large and inviting open space, with couches and a warm fireplace at the center of it. The main dining area is in the covered "patio" of the building, with large glass windows all around it, allowing you to take in the amazing view (hence, why it was named The View Point Inn)--the yard, fountain, and garden just outside, and the river in the distance. As we were waiting to be seated, the staff encouraged us to walk around and explore the building, including the rooms upstairs. We went up there to find the four rooms that the Inn has--all of them were cute and cozy and decorated a different way. For lunch, I had a soup, salad and sandwich trio--a chicken and celery soup, pulled pork sandwich, and green salad, and it was all delicious. It made me happy to know that not only was this place charming and had a wonderful view, but that it also served good food--what a great combination! I loved it there so much, that if I ever get married (ha!), I would seriously consider it as a location.
After filling up with the yummy food and walking around the grounds to take some pictures, we drove back towards the city center to visit the Oregon Zoo. The last time I was at this zoo, Haley and I spent most of our time behind the scenes meeting the sun bear, polar bear, tigers, jaguar, sea lions and otters, but didn't spend much time walking around and looking at the front-of-house exhibits. The zoo was great--lots of good interpretive signs (I especially liked the "Notes from the Keepers" signs, letting us know any cool new things happening with the animals) with new and pretty exhibits. It was nice to see that none of the enclosures looked old or run-down, everything was kept up very well. My favorite loop was "The Great Northwest", which focused on animals, habitats, and conservations issues that were in their own backyard. I think it's important for residents of an area to learn more about the habitats around them, and it's very interesting for outside visitors to get to know it better also.
Finishing up walking around the zoo made us ready for a beer, so we went to McMenamins Kennedy School. The McMenamins chain is genius, often converting historic structures into unique and fun locations for their inns and pubs. Kennedy School was a grade school built in 1915 that has now been turned into an inn, restaurant, movie theater, and several bars. It was neat walking around the school building, and it was a place that had a nice relaxed atmosphere to have dinner and a couple of beers at.