This past weekend we braved the cold mist and walked the Chinese Gardens in downtown Portland. I tried to get the boys to move slow, to take in the quiet, and contemplate the beauty but they had a scavenger hunt and everyone knows you can’t half ass a scavenger hunt. That is the way my boys see moving slowly and contemplating, the way Chip Kelly see’s punting on 4th down. That’s just for quitters. So we moved through the gardens not like pilgrims seeking peace but as Spanish Conquistadores in search of gold. What we found was a great time in a special place in the heart of the city. The truth is there are many places like this in Portland but I love the juxtaposition of the cars in trains just outside the ornate windows of the garden. I think the boys liked walking through the gates into a different world. But that is the business of the children isn’t it. Finding other worlds in the heart of their ordinary cities. I just had an easier time of tracking with them this time.
Today through Sunday January 9th admission at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens in Old Town Portland is free. Normally $8.50 a person this is not a great kid friendly deal because the kids will rush you through and these gardens should really be savored. But when it’s free it is a great family activity and one we took advantage of this afternoon with The Charge and his parents. It was burn your ears cold out but the garden’s were lovely and the kids were given a scavenger hunt card where they needed to find the items pictured on the card. It made the walk exciting, even in the freezing but sunny walled garden. The pond was half frozen over and the fish seemed to be stuck int he frozen area. I tired to get Primo to slow down and contemplate the garden but he was busy rushing around trying to stay warm. If you are in Portland this week make some time to check out this downtown treasure.