It was one of those weeks that requires all of your mental and emotional energy to persevere without bursting into tears at your desk. A visit to the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland's historic Old Town Chinatown neighborhood was the very best activity I could have chosen for that muggy Friday afternoon.
The Lan Su Chinese Garden was completed in 2000 in partnership with Portland's sister city of Suzhou, and is apparently the "most authentic Chinese garden outside of China." Below, we enter the Courtyard of Tranquility.
Finding our fortunes - apparently this was supposed to be a lucky day for me...
This tile pattern is called "plum blossoms on cracked ice."
I noticed an "Artist Membership" option when I was purchasing my ticket, and wondered what that meant - here's the answer! You can actually view and purchase paintings inspired by the Garden on site, though I found watching the artists work to be even more interesting.
You should definitely make time to have a cup of tea - and some snacks - during your visit to the Garden. The Teahouse is in the Tower of Cosmic Reflections, and the staff are very knowledgeable about the wide selection of brews offered for your sipping pleasure.
And the view from our table upstairs? Pretty stellar.