our (unexpectedly) sunny day off

We set out to see cherry blossoms on the second of our two days off this week - undaunted by the "90% chance of rain, possibly thunderstorms" forecast that was looming. Surprisingly enough - or not, this seems to happen pretty often here - it ended up being absolutely beautiful! One of the things that we thought we'd miss about NY was

hanami

at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden - but here, we don't have to visit a special garden to see cherry blossoms because they're basically everywhere. Today we went down to the park on the west bank of the Willamette, which is completely lined with cherries - all in peak bloom.

We hadn't ever been to the park before (somehow) and were really impressed with it - there were so many people out running, it was incredible! It was as if there was a race going on - but it was just normal weekday afternoon traffic.

After we'd had our fill of cherry blossoms, we walked over to Lan Su - the classical Chinese garden in Old Town (Chinatown). It's such a calm, relaxing place - and amazing that it only takes up one city block. The design makes it seem so much bigger as you wind around, in and out of each section.

A lot of the plants were flowering today, but the camellias were pretty much stealing the show - they're everywhere in this town.

Before we left, we had some tea and snacks in the teahouse (better known as the Tower of Cosmic Reflection). The windows were all open, there was a live musician, and we could sit drinking tea for as long as we wanted - all in all, not a bad day out.