Let's Connect!


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Vaccinations and Travel

More and more talk is happening right now regarding what are being called vaccination passports. It's highly probable that you will need to have proof of a Covid vaccination when we start traveling out of the country again. These "passports" are nothing new and have been used for decades. You need certain vaccinations to be allowed entry to certain countries and throughout history, in order to travel safely for you and others, you had to keep your vaccination papers on you for things like smallpox and polio. 

So, I know there is a ton of outrage out there from people who think that vaccination passports are some sort of attack against their freedom, but keeping yourself and others safe from a highly contagious virus is a worldwide problem. If you don't intend to get vaccinated, fine, but don't get mad that the government is (and other governments are) imposing restrictions that are in the best interest of everybody.

Have you ever had to get a vaccine (or vaccines) in order to travel somewhere?

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Strolling the Portland Japanese Garden

Hey peeps. I planned to post something different today, but then things happened and I decided to move up my post for the Japanese Garden. Why? Because I've been listening to my AAPI community and what's happening in our country is appalling. I just happened to plan our trip to the garden right after the horrendous tragedy that happened in Atlanta where 8 people were killed, 6 of which were Asian-Americans.

The Portland Japanese Garden is a lovely respite from everything in life, overlooking the city.

This was a hate crime, pure and simple, no matter how the media wants to frame it. A white guy having a "bad day" is no excuse for murder. I've had lots of bad days, but I have never bought a gun to take out my frustrations. Like a rational human being, I eat garbage food and cry while I watch bad TV. Other normal people go running, or call a friend, or even play video games. 

If you've been following me for the last year or so, you know how much I care about civil rights and being anti-racist. You also probably know that I have Japanese heritage and I travel not just to have fun and try new food, but to immerse myself in new cultures and learn more about the world and people in general. I don't tolerate racism and I try very hard to understand ways I might be contributing to the oppression of POC and how I can change the way I act and live to grow as a person. 

As someone who just looks white, it's difficult to have conversations with other people in the AAPI community without seeming like an outsider. And while I have not faced the horrific racism that many of them have, I have seen this racism and discrimination surrounding my father and his family for having a different color skin. 

The Portland Japanese Garden is a lovely respite from everything in life, overlooking the city. I feel bad for not visiting more often. In fact, I visited twice when I first moved to Oregon (in the mid-90s) and haven't gone back since. The variety of greens are meant to be soothing and it really works. Though there are so many things happening in the world right now, it allowed me to just walk and relax and focus on the calm around me. 

I booked the first admission of the day, and while there were more people than I anticipated, it was easy to take a step away for a moment and find yourself alone again. Almost all my photos only have nature in them, or just the two of us. Normally, this isn't possible. 

Even though it wasn't warm or sunny out, the mix of plants, trees, water features, and many steps can really take your mind off things and/or give you time to reflect on life or nature. We've also been talking about a trip to Japan in the near future that this gave us some inspiration for such a trip. 

Japanese tea house

This tea house was so sweet and quaint and made me remember just how small many Japanese are, myself included. I joked with Eric that he was going to feel so uncomfortable and like a giant when we visit, especially if things are comparable size-wise to their little shelters, delicate structures, and this tea house. 

When you stroll through the garden, it's sort of impossible to think of anything about Japan and its people besides the beauty of it. There's brilliance in every bridge, stone step, and other structure. 

This zig zag bridge is one of my favorite things. It's so close to the water, it feels like part of nature, the barrier doesn't obstruct your view of the rocks and fish, and it made me feel kind of tall. 

As you can see there weren't any people on the bridge or surrounding area when we arrived. We did stand off to the side while I took some photos and let people go ahead. There were probably 10 or 12 other people there when the above picture was taken, and a lot of those people hung out for quite a while near the water, because it was really chill and gorgeous.

How are there even people who see things like this and hate on people who build such things? I have never understood racism, but I understand it even less when I visit countries and see the way people live and then come home and see the same people holding on to traditions and foods and way of life. These differences make our country great and interesting made it what it is today. It's the white supremacy that ruins it for all of us, whether you're aware of it happening or not. And if you don't believe that, even after reading my views on the police brutality, voting rights, and the ongoing BLM protests, then I'm not sure what you're even doing here.

If you want to support the AAPI community more than you already do, here are some great resources for educating yourself, being a better ally, where to donate, how to get involved, and more. At the very least, check out your local Asian grocery store or pick up something at the Asian-owned coffee shop or restaurant you love and tip well. You'll enjoy it that much more.

Before I go, I want to leave off on a lighter note regarding travel. I know more and more people are getting vaccinated, and we'll all be eligible sooner than we anticipated, but we still need to remain safe. There are still no travel advisories, because we need to remember that not everyone is vaccinated and not everything is open either. In light of that, I am still focusing on socially-distant, responsible, mostly-outdoor travel. Because of that, you'll still see photos of me wearing a mask, doing more things like the Chinese Garden and the Japanese Garden and staycations and street art, and road trips until travel restrictions have officially eased. If nothing else, most outdoor landmarks are in parks and are totally free. I'll be posting more outdoor shots on my Instagram account as well, too.

What is one of your favorite things you've done while in quarantine? Have you found something cool in your city that you didn't know about before?

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Must-See Ireland Locations (Part 2)

Last week we had an Ireland destination date night and celebrated St. Patrick's Day while also exploring some cool places in Dublin. Then we made a happy hour spread for the actual 17th and watched an Irish band via a live stream while we ate, so it felt like we were in a really comfy bar. 

It may be a while before we are allowed back into the UK and  things to reopen, this gives us all time to plan and also save for this amazing trip.
Photo credit to my wonderful cousin, Cassidy

If you missed part 1 of this post, go check it out first. You can work on planning a great Irish road trip between these two posts. 


The most well-known city in Ireland, Dublin is home to a lot of tourist sites and easily the most popular destination. One thing that I feel is iconic is the O'Connell Bridge over the River Liffey. It's not that long or that remarkable, but it is over 200 years old and wider than it is long. It's a great nighttime photo opp. Here are some of the other things.

  • Trinity College & Book of Kells - Built in the late 1500s, Trinity College is best known for its amazing, gorgeous library, the Book of Kells. It only costs a euro more to take the entire tour than to visit just the library, so you might as well get the whole experience and really see the beautiful campus through the eyes of those who love it. 
  • Temple Bar - This is Ireland's landmark pub. Though small, it has been expanded. The bright red facade is easily identifiable, and if you stand on the corner you can wave to Earth Cam, where people around the world watching the live feed can see you. I always love when I see people do that. 
  • Guinness Storehouse - While you can take an online tour for free, you can't recreate a visit to this interactive museum where you learn about the making of Guinness and all that's involved. Get a free pint with your tour and don't forget to check out all the cool branded merch.
  • Old Jameson Distillery - If you love whiskey, then this is probably already on your must-do list. If you don't, there's still something here for you. See how whiskey is made in Ireland, including the original distillery that still sits in front of the new, shiny, modern factory.
  • National Museum - Learn more about the people of this great land through Celtic artifacts in permanent and revolving exhibits. 
  • Kilmainham Jail/Gaol Museum - If you don't know much about the history of Ireland, this tour is exactly the place to start. Housed inside a 19th century prison, known for its harsh treatment of prisoners, has a free museum, or a paid guided tour.

Ann Schreck on Unsplash


Galway is a gorgeous seaside village that sits where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean. Like many other cities on the water, Galway emerged as a trading port and was populated by merchant families. Now it's a quaint village of 80,000 people that hosts a bevy of festivals throughout the year.

  • Galway Crystal - Established in 1967, Galway Crystal is one of the most well-known crystal factories in the world. Every piece is very well made and unique. They make great gifts for friends and family.
  • Kylemore Abbey - Built in the late 1800s, inspired by love, this estate was said to boast "all the innovations of the modern age". The Benedictine community have lived and run the abbey since 1920. 
  • Athenry Castle - Located on the banks of the River Clarin, this castle doesn't look like much, but is more interesting inside and has a very cool history. Parts of the original outer enclosure wall still survive for you to view. 

Jean Carlo Emer on Unsplash


Best known for its natural beauty, County Kerry is home to Killarney National Park and the Lakes of Killarney. It's the perfect destination for those that like hiking and doing other outdoor activities.

  • Ring of Kerry - This 111-mile circular tourist route has a ton of tings to see and phenomenal views of the sea. The road is narrow enough that buses can't travel side-by-side along it, so all tour buses must travel anti-clockwise. Those traveling by car are suggested to start halfway along the route in order to miss the buses, or travel in a clockwise direction instead.
  • Muckross House and Gardens - This British-designed Tudor-style mansion was built in 1843. After several sales, it was then presented to the Irish Nation in 1932, and the house and gardens became the very beginning of Killarney National Park.
  • Dingle - This little fishing town sits on the Atlantic Coast. After the war, the town bounced back with a thriving linen industry. Unfortunately, linen was pushed out by cotton and the town fell victim to the cholera plague, but was saved by its fishermen. The fishing industry grew even larger with the arrival of the railroad, allowing seafood to be transported further away.

Ingo Doerrie on Unsplash


Kilkenny and Waterford are an extension of Kerry. It's a medieval town, settled by the Normans.

  • Smithwick's Brewery - Ireland is synonymous with beer/ale. Smithwick's has been an institution since 1710 and tours are conducted by knowledgeable locals who want everyone to know what sets their ale apart from all others.
  • Kilkenny Castle - Built in 1195 to keep people from fording the River Nore and crossing into Norman territory. In the 60s, the castle was "sold" to the people of Kilkenny for just £50. Awards and graduation ceremonies are now conducted on the lawn and the Parade tower is used as a conference venue. 
  • House of Waterford Crystal - Known as one of the best crystals in the world, Waterford dates back to 1783. Though the original factory closed and a revival was attempted several times, it wasn't until 1947 that one succeeded. Throughout its rocky history, it continued to produce high quality bowls, glasses and more. Now you can take home a part of that history.
  • Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum - This is actually three museums within walking distance and tell the 1100 year history of Waterford, including its inception by Vikings in the early 900s.

Lucas Miguel on Unsplash


Just a stone's throw from Dublin, Meath is known for its archeological sites and completes your tour of Ireland.  

  • Newgrange - This Irish passage tomb is a large mound that is surrounded by 97 stones. It covers just one tomb with highly decorated passageways.
  • Boyne Valley - Lush and green, this is a fantastic place to view the countryside and also much of the history Ireland has to offer. There's much to see and do within the valley. 
  • Hill of Tara - This beautiful site is the gem of the valley, used for burials and assemblies. Irish mythology places Tara as the home of the High King of Ireland. 
  • Trim Castle - The largest, best-preserved & most impressive Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, Trim was built in 1172. It has changed a bit with each in habitant, but much of the original Anglo-Saxon feel remains.
Now that you've taken a virtual road trip around Ireland, it's time to plan for you own in the future. It may be a while before we are allowed back into the UK and Northern Ireland and things to reopen there, this gives us all time to plan and also save for this amazing trip. 

Have you ever been to Ireland? If so, what was your favorite part?

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Street Art is Free Art

I love nothing more than an excellent mural or a street performer. You never know what you'll find around town, so keep your eyes peeled for cool stuff just waiting to be discovered. A lot of cities are partnering with local artists on beautification projects, so this is more and more common in downtown areas.

While we're not traveling, you can still be a tourist in your own city, which can help you learn more about where you live and also give you a feeling of being on vacation. One of my favorite things in London is all the different neighborhoods with different vibes. We have some of the best times just walking around looking at street art. 

Portland has become more and more of a hotbed for street artists. There are tons of murals on buildings, walls, fences, and even electrical boxes. The same can be said for many other cities, including Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Seattle, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. It's a cheap travel activity and you're not confined to an art gallery. Most cities even have a ton of sculptures scattered around. 

I always look out for street art, cool graffiti, and other artwork whenever I walk or ride through a neighborhood. It's an awesome way to find out what sort of artists your destination is home to and how a city sees itself. 

There are a lot of ways to save money on a trip and plenty of free and cheap things wherever you go. Street art is a great alternative to a museum, especially if you travel with kids who may or may not make it be able to hang out in a quiet and controlled atmosphere for long enough to make admission prices worth the visit.   

With more cities wanting to enrich neighborhoods, showcasing local painters is an affordable way to do so and also give them a wide, varied audience. 

What are some of your favorite cities for art, either traditional or street?

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Must-See Ireland Locations (Part 1)

One of my favorite things is to rent a car on vacation and drive around all over, much like I love a good road trip. As much as I enjoy walking and taking public transportation, you can cover a lot more ground in less time when you drive yourself. When we return to the UK, my hope is to road trip around Scotland, but Ireland is also a wonderful place to explore. 

Having an Ireland staycation is great, & stress-free, but nothing beats seeing a place on your own to soak in all the culture, architecture & scenery.
Photo credit to my wonderful cousin, Cassidy

Having an Ireland staycation is great, and stress-free, but nothing beats being able to see a place on your own and soak in all the culture, architecture and scenery. Plus, there are a ton of castles. So, let's take a look at some of the must-see places in the country, whether you're planning a self-drive vacation or a stay-put vacation where you might take a day trip or just stay in one of these destinations:

photo credit


The capital and largest city in Northern Ireland that often gets overshadowed by Dublin as a trip destination, but it doesn't make it any less interesting. This was the originating sailing port of the Titanic and you can visit the museum with full-scale models and interactive exhibits and rides. But that's not the only cool thing to see in Belfast. 

  • Belfast Castle - Built in 1870, the castle sits on the slopes of Cavehill Country Park. If you've ever wanted to eat at a castle, this is the place to do it. Stop in for afternoon tea or lunch, and then hit up the museum in the cellars. 
  • Belfast murals - Like other cities, Belfast has a ton of murals on walls across the city. You can take a formal tour or you can just walk around and discover them on your own, too.
  • Botanic Gardens - Established in the early 1800s, the gardens are a public park full of tropical plants, exotic trees, and plants from the southern hemisphere. 
  • Shanes Castle - These ruins are found 20 miles from Belfast, nearby Antrim. It was used as a filming site in seasons 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones.  
  • St. George's Market - A market is always a good place to get a feel for a city and interact with locals. This market is no different and sells everything from food to handmade goods. If you're looking for souvenirs or gifts to bring back home. 
  • Ulster Folk & Transport Museum - Located around 7 miles from Belfast, this museum shows you the history of life in Northern Ireland. The transportation museum lets you explore all forms of transport from early Ireland until now.


Known as the Wild Atlantic Way, Clare is the place to visit if you love nature and the water and even enjoy a good hike. 

  • Bunratty Castle - The most complete medieval castle in Ireland sits right on the river. Built in the 1500s, but restored in 1954, it's full of authentic furniture and decor, and sits within a Folk Park that is like stepping back in time. This is the Ireland version of Colonial Williamsburg.
  • Cliffs of Moher - These cliffs overlooking the Atlantic are a popular tourist attraction, due to their sweeping and dramatic views. You can walk to the cliffs and avoid entrance fees. 
  • The Burren - This limestone plateau is home to wedge-tombs, caves, ring forts, and several castles. It's a great place to soak in the history of the land and get some amazing pictures while you're at it. 
  • Burren Smokehouse - If you're a fan of salmon, you can learn all about how it's smoked, turned into different dishes, and even taste some of the local organic salmon that is smoked here as well. 
  • Doolin Village - Located in the Burren, this little colorful fishing village is a must-visit. You can take a ferry to the Aran Islands from here, or take a boat to see the Cliffs of Moher from the sea instead.


A lot of people make the pilgrimage to Cork in order to kiss the Blarney Stone. I certainly wouldn't suggest that, as so many other people have done it, not to mention we're in a pandemic, and I hope we don't forget what germs can do, but that doesn't mean you can't touch it for a little luck of the Irish.

  • Blarney Castle - Home to the Blarney Store, but this 600 year old castle has much more to offer, and sits on a property with beautiful gardens. 
  • Blarney Woolen Mills - Originally a small cottage with a thatched roof, the mills is now the largest Irish store in the whole world. Purchase not only wool clothing and blankets, but also pottery, crystal ,and many other Irish goods. 
  • Old Midleton Whiskey Distillery - Also known as the Jameson Experience, the distillery began as a woolen mill and then turned into a military barracks before finally becoming a distillery. Here you can take a tour, explore the visitor center, restaurant, and gift shop.
  • the city itself - The second largest city in Ireland has much to see and do. The city center is actually an island set between two channels of the River Lee. Cork began as a monastic settlement until the Vikings invaded. The city was fortified with walls, and parts of the old medieval town center are still present. Many refer to Cork as the real capital. 
Photo credit - Cassidy Pappas


  • Cairncastle - If you're a fan of Game of Thrones, the surrounding areas of this quaint little town of 66 people was used for filming parts of seasons 1, 4 and 5.
  • Dunluce Castle & Carrick-a-Rede - The ruins of this castle overlook the sea and are full of historical significance. Carrick-a-Rede is a rope bridge open year-round that links the mainland to the small island of carrickarede. The island is said to be the best example of a volcanic plug in Northern Ireland, but you can also see Scotland from there.
  • Giant's Causeway - Shown above, the causeway is made up of interlocking basalt columns caused by a volcanic fissure eruption. You can walk upon the columns like stepping stones and this area is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. 
  • Derry City Walls - Originally built in the early 1600s to protect the Scottish and English planters, the Irish worked with a collection of London livery companies and the city was renamed Londonderry. Now, within the walls, you will find a number of important landmarks, like St. Columb's Cathedral.

These aren't the only things to see in these cities, nor is this even a full account of places to stop on a road trip, just some of the ones with more than a handful of interesting things to see and do. In Part 2, we'll look at another list of cities/counties. 

Have you ever been to Ireland? Or is it on your wish list?

Saturday, March 13, 2021

St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Home

We're coming up on yet another celebration that's going to be odd for a lot of people. Possibly, this is the second pandemic St. Patrick's Day for people, as lockdown started right around this time last year. We've been learning to do more on our own, without the backdrop of a packed restaurant or bar around us. In fact, this might be one of the most pleasant holidays we've had (not including Christmas), because there weren't a ton of drunk people around us.

Those of you that know me personally, probably know I worked in an Irish store for several years and it really ruined me for a long time for wanting anything to do with Irish food, music, or culture. When you're inundated day in and day out with people telling you about their family heritage, it sort of loses its shine. Also, my boss and her daughter were the literal worst when it came to supervisors, so that probably had a lot more to do with it. Ireland is gorgeous and full of amazing people and it is a lot easier to see that now that it's not my actual entire job. 

In fact, Ireland was not a place I was that terribly interested in seeing, until I went to Scotland and learned more about it firsthand. 

I get asked frequently if I'm Irish. It could be the green eyes and that I usually have a red tint to my hair or my fair skin (or a combination of all three). My family isn't Irish in the least, but I am always intrigued by the interest. 

So, this weekend we decided to do an early celebration with traditional food and a few walking tours of Irish factories, including the Guinneess brewery and the Jameson distillery. Both are on my list to visit whenever we get there, but this was fun for both of us while we sat at a table "outside" the famous Temple Bar and had a few drinks, then had some traditional dishes.

Our tablescape was pretty easy to pull together. I threw on a dark green tablecloth. I already had these sparkly shamrocks in a green vase on one of my shelves, so I pulled it down and added a little Irish flag. This light-up shamrock necklace has been a fixture here as well, since Snape (scroll to the bottom) usually dresses up for every celebration and holiday. We borrowed it, added some of our Mardi Gras beads, and then heaped a cauldron (because of course I have a bunch of cauldrons around here) with chocolate coins. 

You've already seen these plates and I have a variety of cake plates as well, so I thought a matching white one would go perfectly. All pubs serve drinks in pint glasses, and we brought home some Glencairn whisky glasses from Scotland, so I poured myself a dram of one I've been sipping on at home.

You know I can't resist a good chance for headwear. I don't remember why I had this Irish flower circle, but I do, so that clearly needed to be reused. I got Eric this fantastic leprechaun hat. Isn't it perfect? It'll be one of those things we can reuse for a future Harry Potter party.

I love how large and vibrant this backdrop is. Plus, my apple cake looks pretty awesome, too. If you follow me on Insta, you saw a sneak preview of it, but here it is in all its glory (and in the main photo). But, let's talk actual food first:

Though we have a lot of Irish restaurants in Portland, there aren't any super close to us or that deliver. I did consider making this whole dinner, but then decided I didn't want to, plus I couldn't find any corned beef like usual, so I ordered from a great pub I'd been to pre-pandemic. I ordered corned beef and cabbage, which came with roasted carrots and potatoes. That's what's on our plates. In the container is shepherd's pie made with pork. 

I ordered ahead, chose my pick-up time, masked up and got curbside to-go. Easy peasy. The verdict?

Holy cow! Why have we never had corned beef and cabbage before?! It's delicious! My incredibly weird thought was that I already had pastrami, so why did I need corned beef? I enjoyed the cabbage, but I think I'd much rather have colcannon instead. The shepherd's pie was yummy, too, and a nice spiciness to contrast with the rest of our meal. 

Since it didn't seem like anyone serves Irish desserts, or ones that aren't totally boozy, I decided to go with something easy and not super sweet. This Irish apple cake recipe sounded perfect and it totally was. I remembered how quick a custard is to make, and will, hopefully, not forget again before I decide to make it for something else. 

To go with this meal-ender, I made Irish coffees. One with whiskey and one without. I cheated a bit and used peppermint creamer, topped it with coconut whipped cream, and added some fun sprinkles and stars. It was a great complement to the apple cake. 

There are still a few days before St. Patrick's Day, and if you want to throw your own celebration at home, you still can! You don't have to do much prep to make it special either. Here are few things you can set-up or order right now to be ready for Wednesday:
There you have it. A fun and easy St. Patrick's celebration at home. I'll be doing something else on Wednesday, too, so follow me on the 'Gram to see my special homemade fun, where we will eat and watch a livestream of an Irish band (It's called One Night in Dublin and you can sign up with Goldstar.)

Slainte! And stay tuned for a follow-up post on traveling to Ireland.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I may be compensated should you choose to make any purchases through them. This allows me to keep this blog running for you. Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Still Celebrating Chinese New Year

Lunar or Chinese New Year runs for 15 days in China (and other Asian countries), but Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland has been running it the whole month of February and even extended it an extra week. I has been 20 years or so since I've been and I saw they were doing an event right now and thought it time to return. With Covid, tickets are very limited and timed, meaning we would be able to be spread out within the garden.

Lunar or Chinese New Year runs for 15 days in China, but Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland has been running it the whole month of February.

Beyond limited capacity, everyone must wear masks, they also had strict one-way path rules, hand sanitizing stations throughout, and 5-person limit inside any enclosed spaces. Since we missed out on the nighttime tickets where everything is lit up, I decided to purchase the first entry of the day. This turned out to be really smart on my part, because there were probably only 10 of us there.

You're greeted by a pair of Chinese lions (with babies even!) at the front gate, you check in and are briefed on safety protocols. You have the option of taking a paper guide, which you're encouraged to recycle at the end of your tour, or you can use the QR Codes at the front to get the guide on your phone.

There are lanterns everywhere, and I can only imagine how beautiful this is at night time. The gardens only takes up one full city block downtown in Portland's Chinatown, but they've made the most of the space and blocking out the city. 

Halfway through, there's a teashop, The Tao of Tea. Normally, you can grab a table and order from a long list of awesome teas and snacks. You can't sit inside and they limit occupancy to your group, but you can still order off their pared down menu to get something to-go. You're able to sit outside. I tried the chai tea, while Eric chose 8 treasures tea, and we split this red bean mooncake. Ordering was quick and easy, and our teas were up very quickly.

The teahouse is on the edge of the pond, allowing you to watch as other people stroll around and take photos. Here I am in the Moonlocking Pavilion. 

And here's Eric in front of the teahouse where we were sitting outside enjoying our tea. There's really no bad view in this place and I don't know why it took me so long to return, but we'll make sure this is a yearly tradition for us now.

You cross over several bridges and footpaths throughout the garden, allowing you to get a view of everything from many different perspectives. If you're lucky, you can catch a glimpse, or more, of the koi that call the water home. We were able to see a bunch of sizes, and seeing how much space they had to swim freely in. 

In the middle of the "lake" is a large dragon and a peacock. These are special for Lunar New Year and also lit up at night. They're absolutely gorgeous.

There are two main buildings that you can go into. The rooms are large, but you still can only have 5 people at a time inside. This wasn't a problem at all when we visited. We only had to wait a few minutes each time for them to clear out. Luckily, everything outside is lovely to look at, and the weather was really nice, so we didn't exactly feel like we were being held up at all. Inside the exhibits change. They showcase artist works and other traditional Chinese tableaus.

Right now, you'll find many interesting facts and photos surrounding the tradition of Lunar new Year, including this table with offerings for ancestors. You'll also find photos of those that are no longer with us, short poems called couplets, lanterns, fortunes, and more.

You might also like to take tea out by this very relaxing waterfall feature. There's a poetic inscription engraved in the rocks that says "Ten thousand ravines engulfed in deep clouds."

We took in the lanterns and other lovely celebratory decor like this wishing tree. Everything is very colorful and vibrant and really makes you feel like you have stepped into another place. Because 90% of the Chinese Garden is outside, this is a relatively safe activity right now. As you can see, there are hardly any people in my photos. This wasn't true the last time I visited, but I think visiting early in the day will enable us to get a less crowded experience, as well as the first nighttime ticket time. You can view more pics of my visit to Lan Su on my Instagram.

Now that the weather is getting warmer and more things are opening, you can expect more posts on what to do around Portland (and possibly your own town) during the pandemic that will keep you safe and healthy, but still get you out of the house.

Do you have a favorite outdoor attraction where you live?

Pin It button on image hover