Christmas in Peacock Lane

After living in Portland, OR, for many years, I finally got to visit this place that becomes magical during the holiday season. It’s in a neighborhood in the SE Portland which becomes pedestrian only area for the last two weeks of every December.

This is an old Portland tradition since 1920. Every house here are fully decorated with extravagant Christmas lightnings and ornaments. My girls had a blast walking in front of every house and checking out all the different themes and dazzling scenes.

The event is absolutely free, but we had to park couple blocks away from Peacock Lane. It does get crowded pretty quickly as soon as it gets dark.

Check out the pictures of Peacock Lane in Portland, Oregon…hope you like them.

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Painted Hills in Central Oregon

PAINTED HILLS STATE PARK (CENTRAL OREGON):  The yellow, gold, black, red, and orange colors of Painted Hills are some of the stunning works of mother nature and is one of the most unique geological attractions in Central Oregon. It reveals millions of years of history in the layers of mountains. Through the rugged landscapes of Central Oregon, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument near Mitchell, Oregon is nature’s one of the miracle. And Painted Hills in John Day is one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. The geographical beauty and colorful layers of these eroded hills are educational for kids and fun for adults to hike the small trails. All the trails are short and easy for anyone and offer spectacular view of the hills.

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Driving to Painted Hills in John Day National Monument…one of the most unique geographical attractions in Central Oregon

We were there with few family friends during the kids’ spring break, in end of the March, 2016. We stayed in Bend for two full days. 1st day was spent by driving around in our car (make sure to have sufficient engine oil) and going to Old Bend and The High Desert Museum and 2nd day was for Painted Hills State Park and Smith Rock State Park. The weather was nice, without any rain. But summer would probably be the best time to explore this place. We wanted to go to Newbury Volcanic Monument and Lava River Cave too, but both were closed and don’t usually open until April.

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Colors and layers of Painted Hills in Central Oregon

Painted Hills is not that big area and just took us couple hours to stroll and enjoy the colors of the small hills. If you are a passionate photographer, I would recommend to go there during sunrise or sunset for gorgeous colors combinations. It is out in the middle of nowhere…there is a toilette facility near the entrance but no restaurants or vending machines. There is no park entrance fee.

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Painted Hills near Bend…one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon

Get On The Road – Road-Tripping From Oregon To San Francisco

Road-trips are some of the best holidays to go on with your friends or family. You get the feeling of driving out to meet whatever life throws at you and a sense of exploration. There’s plenty of potential for great shared experiences to just pop up naturally on the road. That and you get to see all the best of several places instead of just one. One road trip that everyone should try to make is the trip from Oregon to San Francisco. From beginning to end, here are some tips that might help you do just that.

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Link to Wikimedia

 

Set off with a picnic

Start your vacation trip surrounded by natural beauty and with a lovely homemade bite to eat. Picnics are always a great, lazy way to start the day and it certainly beats starting the holiday with a mad dash to the car. Let stress go by having a picnic right in the middle of the scenic Silver Falls State Park before you hit the road.

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Link to Flickr

 

Calculate everything

It’s not bad to have a certain spontaneity to your road trip. That is, if everything’s going smoothly. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare as much as you can. Ensure that everyone has all the clothes and supplies they need and plan your route out all the way there. You can even do a bit of research to find some of the best feeding places to stop so you don’t make any stops you end up regretting after.

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Link to Flickr

 

What to see on the way

Of course, the whole point of the road trip, besides a sense of camaraderie, is what you can see on the way from one point to the other. There is lots to see on this particular trip, too. Start by stopping in at somewhere you might not know about. The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium might sound like something from Harry Potter. It’s actually much better. It’s full of curiosities, strange art and things like Portland’s largest kaleidoscope. On the other end of the trip, there are things like the Shine Drive-Thru Tree. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a giant redwood you can drive through.

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Link to Wikimedia

 

Where to stay

San Francisco is a haven for tourists, with some great places to stay. If you’re just looking for a place to crash, there are cheap bed and breakfasts just a hop, skip and a jump from the beaches. There are also those famous San Francisco vacation rentals for those who want to see the coast from the comfort of their own quality pad.

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Link to Wikimedia

What to see when you get there

Choosing San Francisco is a great idea because there’s just so much to see there. It’s a weird and wonderful town that’s full of some of the most colourful characters you’ll ever meet. Not quite unlike Portland. But then you have some of the most impressive structures you’ll ever lay your eyes on, like the towering San Francisco Bay Bridge. It’s a great place to catch the whole city’s skyline in a single view. Bring your cameras.

Portland’s Pittock Mansion – Going Back to the Early 1900s

PITTOCK MANSION: First time I visited Pittock Mansion was when we first moved to Portland back in 2007. Then when my mom visited us from Baltimore, I took her there knowing she would love to see something so Victorian and classic. All the pictures you see in this post are from my third visit to Pittock Mansion from last June of 2015. Summer just started here in Portland, Oregon and my uncle-in-law from Chicago was here to visit us.

Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon. The Pittocks spent somewhere from $190,000 to $350,000 building the mansion

Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon. The Pittocks spent somewhere from $190,000 to $350,000 building the mansion

“Pittock mansion is full of rich history and remarkable stories of one of Portland’s early families. It’s the perfect place to experience the story of Portland.” (Pittock Mansion) Every room in this mansion tells a story. Its 23 rooms are filled with stunning architecture, history, and innovations from that era. With five large bedrooms, two sleeping porches, and four servants’ bedrooms, its current value is approximately $5-8 million dollars. The Pittocks spent somewhere from $190,000 to $350,000 building the mansion and moved in with whatever furniture they already owned.

Some original decors and furniture inside Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon

Some original decors and furniture inside Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon

Born in London, Henry Lewis Pittock grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This former pioneer arrived in Portland on the Oregon Trail in the 1853. He found a work as typesetter at “The Weekly Oregonian” newspaper and eventually became the owner and publisher. Henry and his wife, Georgiana, Pittock moved into this home in 1914 with eight family members. By the way, this is the also the family who contributed to the construction of Vista House, a tourist attraction along the new Columbia River Highway.

Elegant interior of Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon

Elegant interior of Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon

Once you are done touring inside the mansion, spend some time to enjoy the vast ground of this place with panoramic view of Portland skyline, Mt. Hood, and its well-maintained garden. If you are a photographer, this is also a good spot to catch beautiful sunrise over Portland and the ground opens around 6am everyday.

View from Pittock Mansion garden in Portland, Oregon

View from Pittock Mansion garden in Portland, Oregon

Pittock Mansion is located in a beautiful setup near Washington Park which also houses International Rose Garden and Portland Japanese Garden. The mansion is open all year around from 11am to 4pm, little bit longer in summer. Members are free, adults pay $10 per ticket and children from 6-8 pay $7.

Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon. Built in 1914 by Henry Lewis Pittock, its current value is approximately $5-8 million dollars.

Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon. Built in 1914 by Henry Lewis Pittock, its current value is approximately $5-8 million dollars.

Bridal Veil Falls (Columbia River Gorge)

BRIDAL VEIL FALLS, OREGON: It was a gloomy morning of early autumn (October, 2015) when I drove to Columbia River Gorge in Oregon to capture some fall colors. I wasn’t going to visit Multnomah Falls or Latourell Falls or Horsetail Falls, because I’ve been there and done those. This time I decided to go somewhere, of course another falls in the gorge, but within short hike…I mean very short. I wasn’t in the mood of lots of walking, but I was in the mood for some yellow, orange, and red leaves. Unfortunately, it was drizzling the whole morning…making my camera wet and hard to work with. But still got to enjoy some quietness there with few other photographers and tourists.

Bridal Veil Creek, a short distance from the famous Multnomah Falls in the gorge

Bridal Veil Creek, a short distance from the famous Multnomah Falls in the gorge

Not too far from Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls is another spectacular site of this gorge in Pacific Northwest of the U.S.  The hike is short, perfect for beginners and for any ages. Start your journey to the falls from the Bridal Veil State Park. Parking is ample for the tourists. After few feet of steep but pleasant steps on a winding footpath, I was standing on the wet wooden bridge on Bridal Veil Creek. Did I mention, it is a calm place to enjoy a perfect autumn morning?

Bridal Veil Creek in an autumn morning of October, 2015

Bridal Veil Creek in an autumn morning of October, 2015

After the creek I went near the water to get some close up shots. Then came back up towards the ascending stairs to a vantage point with a good view of the falls. From there you can see the tiered falls with the upper falls dropping 60-100 feet and the lower falls dropping 40-60 feet.

Bridal Veil Falls, Oregon

Bridal Veil Falls, Oregon

I am planning to go back to the gorge again within couple weeks, may be to another falls for more colors. Hope you enjoy these pictures and make a stop here next time you are in Oregon.

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