We decided to take our “Spring Break” vacation in Seattle and Portland this year. Since we had visited most of the tourist attractions in Seattle a few years ago, we decided not to revisit most of them this time. So, our plan was to focus on the following:-
- Drive along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway in Oregon.
- Visit Multnomah Falls in Oregon.
- Learn more about the Underground Portland and “Shanghaiing” from the Portland Walking Tours.
- Visit the tulip farms during the Skagit Valley Tulips Festival.
- Eat seafood in Crab Pot restaurant in Seattle.
Once we arrived in Seattle, we drove south to the state of Oregon and made a detour to the Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument. The drive to Mt St Helens was a little disappointing. Not only the Johnston Ridge Observatory was still closed due to the winter season, we didn’t have the opportunity to view the mountain from afar due to the foggy weather. The drive was treacherous, the road was slippery… it was raining, snowing and raining marble-sized hail… and most of the viewpoints were inaccessible due to the snow.
The drive along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway was a memorable one. We drove to Astoria, Cannon Beach and Oceanside for the entire day before heading to Portland. The rugged coastline and the crashing waves were just beautiful. We also covered two state parks along the drive: Fort Stevens State Park and Ecola State Park. We visited a few waterfalls during our drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway. The Multnomah Falls is by far one of the most beautiful waterfalls we have witnessed so far in the states.
We decided to learn more about the Underground Portland by taking one of the walking tours. The story about “Shanghaiing” wasn’t as disturbing as I thought it would be. In fact, the shady stories that I have read from the websites weren’t completely true in the first place. Nevertheless, it was a very interesting tour. We also learned that the Simpsons’ creator, Matt Groening, named all the cartoon characters (Homer, Mr Burns, etc…) based on the street names in Portland because he is a Portland native. The tour guide also talked about why there is a Portland in Oregon and another Portland in Maine. This tour brought us around the downtown area. The actual underground section of the tour was rather disappointing compared to the Underground Seattle that we did a few years ago. We were brought to some pizza restaurant’s basement and that was it… it wasn’t too exciting to say the least.
The tulip farms in the city of Mt Vernon was fantastic! Even though we know the tulip farms here are not as big as the ones in Holland, we truly enjoyed our time there as we spent hours admiring the beauty of the tulips. We visited the Roozengaarde Display Garden in the morning and the place became very crowded by noon.
We didn’t cover a lot of attractions in Seattle this time. While Angelina attended her conference sessions at the nearby convention center, I worked from the hotel throughout the day. Our only plan was to eat a lot of seafood before flying back to the Midwest, and I think we had successfully accomplished that. Throughout this trip, we consumed variety of food: American, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Greek and Chinese. This is probably one of the less taxing trips for us because we didn’t do much hiking this time. In fact, I think I consumed more calories than burning them, but it was worth it. 🙂