Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas in the City of Roses

      Portland is an escape; partly for the simple fact that I'm on vacation, and partly because it is such a town of contrasts. It is at once a big city and surprisingly accessible, abundant though conscientious, familiar and totally unique. Portland is also the city of roses. And I saw signs of this all over...
   ...but until this morning I wasn't sure why. When we woke up the sun was shining and clouds were parting: a glorious Christmas morning! So we bundled up (it was 35 degrees), made coffee, and struck out on foot to Forest Park. We walked up many mossy, tree-lines steps (hello, yoga calves!) to the international rose test garden. 
Ivy-covered tree
Fern-like tree
   Though little was in bloom, everything was gorgeous in the bright morning light, an oasis right in the city (Kristin said it's the nation's largest urban park). 
The Shakespeare garden was an oasis within an oasis! Methinks Shakespeare was on to something.
      There is also an incredible Holocaust memorial in the park. Tucked away, quiet, haunting and beautiful... definitely worth a visit.