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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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.

Cathedral Park and Historic St. John’s Bridge in Portland, Oregon

Cathedral Park and St. John’s Bridge, Oregon: As I am exploring Portland and its surroundings, I came across some pictures of Cathedral Park recently. And ofcourse, I had to pay a visit there. Weather has been pretty nice and warm past few days here. I drove about little more than half an hour to go to Cathedral Park and check out the historic St. John’s Bridge.

Historic St. John's Bridge in Portland, Oregon

Historic St. John’s Bridge in Portland, Oregon

It was still little early in the morning, around 9 when I reached there. Some joggers, runners, and chatters were enjoying the park with no disturbance. Giant St. John’s Bridge left me in awe after looking at it. It’ a majestic steel-suspension bridge from 1929 with two tall Gothic towers. Willamette River runs underneath the bridge.

Looking thru St. John's Bridge's in Cathedral Park, Portland, Oregon

Looking thru St. John’s Bridge’s in Cathedral Park, Portland, Oregon

The park itself is located in the middle of a small neighborhood by River Willamette. It didn’t seem so big but was a perfect place to enjoy an early spring morning by myself.

Cathedral Park and St. John's Bridge in Portland, Oregon

Cathedral Park and St. John’s Bridge in Portland, Oregon

Oregon’s Highest Peak – Mt. Hood

HOOD, OREGON: Last week in Oregon was a blessing for us, I mean weather-wise. After few weeks of gloominess and cloudiness and fogginess, I was eagerly waiting for a bright and sunny day to go out with my family and have some outdoor fun. And finally there it was. It was kind of an instant decision to head towards Mt. Hood last Sunday. But hey, it’s February and you can’t let a gorgeous day get away like that.

Driving towards Mt. Hood

Driving towards Mt. Hood

The girls were excited about playing in the snow, my husband was excited to just get out of the house, and I was excited to put my new lens at work. Mt. Hood was THE place. We got ready, packed some sandwiches, filled up the car, and off to the highest peak in Oregon.

Yep, with more than 11,000 feet in elevation, Mt. Hood is the highest peak in Oregon and you don’t have to be that lucky to see its crowned and pointed peak from any corner of Portland and surroundings. That’s a gift we Oregonians enjoy everywhere we go, a glimpse of Mt. Hood from here and there. This is where the locals and tourists go for skiing, tobogganing, camping, hiking, and any other outdoor fun or winter sports.

View of Mt. Jefferon from Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood in Oregon

View of Mt. Jefferson from Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood in Oregon

Mt. Hood is about little more than 2 hours of drive from Portland. Enjoy the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway on your way. Make sure to check out this must-see site of nature when in Oregon, you won’t regret it.

Once you are there, explore different sites, like Timberline Lodge and Government Camp. We were at Timberline Lodge this time. This is a major ski area, winter sports center, and a very popular tourist destination in summer or winter.

Mt. Hood and its guests

Mt. Hood and its guests

The lodge here, Timberline Lodge, was built in the late 1930s and is a National Historic Landmark. You can rent or buy sports/winter gears, stay overnight and have nice meals all under this roof.

Another glimpse of Mt. Jefferson in the distance, view from Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood

Another glimpse of Mt. Jefferson in the distance, view from Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood

Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon

PORTLAND JAPANESE GARDEN, OREGON: “Here, miles from Japan, I stand as if warmed by the spring sunshine of home” is what the Poetry Stone of Portland Japanese Garden inscribed with. Truly, this place makes you feel like you are in a place far away in the East. This 5.5 acre garden is proclaimed to be the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan. Tucked away in the scenic hills of Portland, this is a tranquil haven for anyone.

Heavenly Falls in Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon

Heavenly Falls in Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon

Portland Japanese Garden features five different garden styles and some of these styles are typically found in Zen monasteries. It changes its face with every season with different blooms and colors. Different trees adorn this place at different times of the year. My favorite is probably the autumn when colors change and you see eloquent beauty of this place. I still have to visit this place during the cherry blossom in April. Try to avoid weekends as this garden is packed with tourists and enthusiasts photographers trying to capture its striking beauty from different angles and perspectives.

Falls colors in Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon

Falls colors in Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon

The garden hosts different art exhibitions, festivals, workshops, and lectures throughout the whole year in the Pavilion. My first visit here was a brief one only with my camera and a tripod. During my second visit with my family and uncle-in-law from Chicago, there was an exhibition on Japanese lacquered art “Urushi”. Also standing on the veranda of this Pavilion offers a magnificent view of Mt. Hood and the valley.

Intimate pond and crane statues in Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon

Intimate pond and crane statues in Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon

Stroll around stone pagoda lantern, stand on the Moon Bridge, enjoy Lower Pond and crane stones, marvel at traditional constructions, walk along the Zig Zag Bridge that leads to Heavenly Falls where koi swim beneath the clear water. You will enjoy the trees, shrubs, ferns, mosses, and mushrooms that grow in their natural form. Make sure to stop by their gift-shop for unique Japanese arts and traditional trinkets at the end of the trip.

Mushrooms on the ground of Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon

Mushrooms on the ground of Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon

The garden is located on Kingston Avenue in Portland, very close to Children’s Museum and Washington Park. It’s open year-round. There is a paid parking space for the visitors. Entrance fee is $9.50 per adult and extra $5 if you want to use a tripod. Free guided tour is available few times in a day during summer time.

A small stream running down in the middle of Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon

A small stream running down in the middle of Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon

 

 

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