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The main focus of this photography trip was to meet up with Jon and Todd from Seattle and shoot this Japanese Maple Tree in the Portland Japanese Garden. The weather forecast showed a high probability of rain all weekend with no breaks. I joking said if there are no photographic opportunities, then at least our bellies will be full!

My family and I flew up to Portland on Alaska Air. The plane was a newer 737-800 with power outlets in front of every seat! It can accommodate USB as well as an electrical plug for laptops! Sweet! Unfortunately, the flight is only 1:20 to Portland. We arrive near 11am, got the rental car, and had to feed the kids. We did a bit of shopping before Todd arrived first. Jon and Abi arrived later, in time for dinner. Todd and I went out to the Columbia River Gorge in this blog post before dinner.

The main item on the list to photograph was the Japanese Maple tree. I had bought a membership so that I can get in early to photograph it before the masses. Jon, Todd, my family and I were supposed to wake up early in the morning, eat breakfast at the Fairfield Hotel and then make our way over. Jon, Todd, and Abi didn’t make it down to breakfast. The night before, it was quite stormy and the power in the neighborhood of the hotel had a power outage. They didn’t get a chance to charge their phones and they over slept. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity so just my family and I made our way to the Japanese Garden. At the Japanese Garden, Matthew and I went out to photography the tree. There were some people there already. They were all very nice. Read more in this blog post here.

Todd decided to hang with my family and I Sunday night. He spent one more night in the hotel. Jon and Abi left to go back home after lunch because Jon had to get home and pack, and then had to fly out to Alaska early in the morning. The first night we all ate at a burger place called Tilt. The burgers were huge and the portions of fries were huge! We were all stuffed! The next morning, since the guys missed the maple tree shot, we decided to eat dim sum at a restaurant Todd was brought to back in 2010. It was called Ocean City Seafood Restaurant. The dim sum was very good. The size was very good! The place was quite crowded. We stuffed our bellies for $55 bill. $55 for 5 adults and 2 kids???!!! Crazy! and worth it! That night we were going to have pizza, but Todd wasn’t too hot on the idea. So, we decided to eat Japanese. I found it on yelp with very good reviews with a 4.5 star rating. It was in the Pearl District of Portland. The food was indeed very good. Again, our bellies were full. The next morning Todd was supposed to eat breakfast with us at 730am, but he texted me saying he can’t get out of bed. He decided to miss breakfast and we texted our goodbyes. My family then went to the Columbia Flagship store in downtown Portland because I had a 30% off coupon that came with my Japanese Garden Membership.

We had to make our way to the airport and return the rental car. All in all even though the weather forecasted rain the whole weekend, it was off and on, luckily, and Monday was free from rain! It started to taper off Sunday and we were able to capture some pics. All my talk about having to return because I didn’t get my picture of the Japanese Maple Tree, has quieted down. No need to return for now. Maybe next summer to try to do the Oneonta Gorge through the river hike.

I can’t wait to return to Portland and enjoy more what that city and the surrounding areas have to offer.

~Greg