Our second day in Portland was quite rainy but full. We began with a complementary breakfast in the dining hall of our hotel (Embassy Suites Downtown Portland.) It was very convenient with a good selection of food. This is perfect for families with picky eaters.
We chose to try out the light rail (Trimet) to Washington Park for a visit to the Oregon Zoo. We only had to walk a few blocks to get to the nearest station but it was easy to purchase our tickets and hop on. It was a very short wait to get on light rail for the 15 minute ride to Washington Park. It was so nice not having pack everyone into a car to drive over. Plus it was neat being able to show our teenager another form of transportation.
When you exit the light rail at the zoo you are several hundred feet underground. There is an example on the tunnel wall showing how deep you are with an arrow of where that falls on a cross-section of a core sample performed at the site. A timeline describes how the area (Washington Park) was formed over millions of years as a result of sedimentary buildup as well as very early volcanic flows. We had walked on around the corner to the elevator only to realize that my geeky husband was still transfixed on the wall’s data, slowly making his way through the years.
Up on the surface we were back in the present, and the elements. Since it was pouring rain we opted to start indoors with the World Forestry Center. It was neat for our kids to see how important it is to replenish our forests and keep them alive and healthy. The kids seemed to really enjoyed seeing and visiting the hands-on exhibits. Our toddler’s favorite part of the visit was pretending drive the all terrain vehicle. She was generous enough to take turns with her big brother – after gentle prompting.
After a nice visit at the center we headed over to the Oregon Zoo just down the road. Most of the exhibits as are central to the light rail and a central parking lot, which makes it very convenient. The city really did a great job when they planned out Washington Park as there is much to see and so much to do.
The Zoo was a hit! The kids were absolute troopers and while the rain kept coming down we didn’t let it stop us from seeing all the sweet, and not so sweet, animals.