When I told people that went to visit the Lan Su Chinese Gardens in Portland, Oregon they corrected me and explained that I meant Japanese Gardens. No, they are Chinese Gardens, the most authentic Chinese Gardens outside of China. My friends and I got to the gardens by hopping the light rail in the rain. A short walk from our stop took us to downtown Portland’s China Town/Old Town where the gardens occupy a city block. The cities of Portland and its sister city, Suzhou, China worked together to create this tranquil and lovely oasis. The gardens opened in September 2000. They feature 500 tons of rocks from China, but no plants because of import bans. Instead all of the plants were located in Oregon nurseries and gardens. The tea room featured a menu of teas making me wish I could have tried several.
Dear Husband proclaimed that he gets to pick an activity once in a while and the Seattle Pinball Museum was his choice. It is located at 508 Maynard Avenue in the International District and is open Thursdays (6-9), Fridays (2-11), Saturdays (12-11) and Sundays (12-8). The cost of admission is $7 and for that amount you can play any or all of the machines (unlimited play). The space itself is relatively small, but not crammed. It is filled with over 20 pinball machines arranged by age from the 1936 Bally Bumper to the 2010 homemade Galactic Girl and above each machine there is an informational sign. The museum opened on September 4th and is part of Storefronts Seattle, a community-driven initiative to revitalize empty retail spaces in the Chinatown International District and Pioneer Square.