Autumn Reflection on Commonwealth Lake Park in Oregon

COMMONWEALTH LAKE PARK, OREGON: It’s been about three months since we’ve moved back to our home in Oregon from Europe. We are enjoying our lives here no doubt, but we miss the fact that (along with thousands of other things about Europe) there is no more eager waiting to go to a new place in weekends or holidays. I don’t really look forwards to the weekends anymore, because it’s not like we can drive couple hours and visit a different country, experience new culture, try different dishes, or appreciate old architectures. So, before the weather got really wet and gloomy here in the Northwest part of America, I tried my best to get of the house with my camera and see the unseen of my city…trying my best not to miss my life in Belgium.

Commonwealth Lake Park showed up in my smartphone map as a blue/water area while I was searching for something else. And I jumped and zoomed in to see what it actually was and where it was located. To my surprise, it’s only 10 minutes from my place in Beaverton, Oregon. What? There was this lake in my city and I didn’t even know about it? I had to go visit it while the mesmerizing fall colors were still at peak.

Commonwealth Lake Park in Oregon

Commonwealth Lake Park in Oregon

Commonwealth Lake Park is a nice little haven for walking, strolling, fishing, bird-watching, or just simple family time for the locals. It was middle of October 2014 when I made my first time trip there. The park was proudly showing off its vivid autumn colors on the trees, grounds, and as reflections on the lake.

Autumn reflection on Commonwealth Lake in Oregon

Autumn reflection on Commonwealth Lake in Oregon

Here are more pictures of my autumn experience in Commonwealth Lake Park. Enjoy…

Chasing mushrooms in Commonwealth Lake Park, Oregon

Chasing mushrooms in Commonwealth Lake Park, Oregon

Mallard ducks in Commonwealth Lake Park in Oregon

Mallard ducks in Commonwealth Lake Park in Oregon

Famous tree of Commonwealth Lake Park in Oregon

Famous tree of Commonwealth Lake Park in Oregon

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Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

LAN SU CHINESE GARDEN: I enjoy visiting Chinese or Japanese garden more than any other types of gardens there are to visit. I don’t know if it’s the landscape, sound of the water, small bridges, ancient architecture style, fountains, collection of trees, or just the atmosphere that attracts me the most. The only oriental garden that we visited in Europe was Hasselt Japanese Garden in Belgium. I regret not seeing the one in the heart of Brussels; we made couple initiatives to visit it…but never worked out.

Beautiful landscape of Lan Su Chinese Garden in the heart of Portland, Oregon

Beautiful landscape of Lan Su Chinese Garden in the heart of Portland, Oregon

After returning to Portland, I was determined to pay my visit to Lan Su Chinese Garden for the second time (first time we went there was about 4/5 years ago). I was supposed to go for a photo-shoot (just my camera and I) that morning but somehow ended up in Pearl District near Portland downtown. After making some frustrated turns, I saw the sign to this garden. I quickly searched the address in my phone and started following my GPS. I was destined to visit this place that morning, and I was happy that I ended up here.

Trees, pond, and bridge in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Trees, pond, and bridge in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Lan Su Chinese Garden is a piece of wonderland that gives you the opportunity to peek into Chinese culture and heritage in the heart of busy Portland in Oregon. The garden was built in 2000 by expert Chinese artisans using traditional materials and methods. It took sixty-five artisans for 10 months to assemble and complete the structures that were crafted in China. It’s considered the most authentic Suzhou-style Chinese garden outside of China. Most of its building materials, including few hundred tons of rocks actually traveled from China.

Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Other than few hundreds of plant species, visit the Courtyard of Tranquility, terrace, Moon Locking Pavilion, Rock Mountain and Waterfall. Don’t miss the carved ginkgo wood or some penjing that contains trees that are over one hundred years old. The garden around you is a spiritual and peaceful place that will help you escape the daily lives. When you are done with everything have a cup of hot tea in the Tower of Cosmic Reflection tea-house. The tea-house is a separate entity which promotes social art and culture of tea from the Far East.

Traditional architectures in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Traditional architectures in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

The ticket to the garden is around $10. I ended up buying their annual membership for $60. I wanted to take advantage of their free Tai Chi class every Thursday morning at 10am which is available for anyone.

Tai Chi class on Thursday mornings in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Tai Chi class on Thursday mornings in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

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