Living the Good Life
June 20-25, 2012
Celebrity Host Mike Darcy
Tour Leader: Cheryl Hedgpeth Nichols
Tour Limited to 24, reservations now open
Online booking available: Click Here
Watch Welcome VIdeo
Weds. June 20 Welcome to Portland
Travel independently to Portland and check into the Inn at Northrup Station for a five-night stay. The all-suite hotel,
located on the Portland Streetcar line, is surrounded by restaurants & boutiques. Meet the other guests at 6pm for an
informal rooftop reception at the hotel, then we will walk to nearby Wildwood restaurant, known for serving the finest
fresh and seasonal cuisine, for our welcome dinner including Oregon wine. Reception, Dinner
Thurs June 21 East of the River After breakfast, we head out across the
Willamette River to visit the charming gardens and neighborhoods east of the
river. Our first stop is the garden of Tom Vetter, known as “Portland’s Picasso
of Plant Combinations.” His personal garden is beautifully planted to shine in
every season as plants show off their textures and shapes. We continue to the
gardens of neighbors Linda Ernst and Joanne Fuller (Joanne is president of
the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon). We then arrive at Mississippi Ave
just before lunch. The hottest new restaurants and the hippest shops are only
a part of the allure. Steeped in tradition and history, this neighborhood and
community has a culturally diverse spirit, a sentiment you can feel as you stroll
the street. Lunch and shopping time is on your own so you can fully explore
this delightful neighborhood, although we are planning a special tour and
demonstration at The Meadow, a truly unique establishment offering salt,
chocolate, and so much more. After lunch & shopping, we'll walk over to
the garden of Peter Eastman, featuring lots of tropicals and sub-tropicals. It is
composed of garden rooms with an eye for design. Next stop is Garden Fever
Nursery, featuring a stylish and eclectic blend of tools, books, plants, art, and
more. After a full day of touring, we have certainly earned a visit to the
Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House, where we will have a taste or two and some nibblies while learning about
Portland's world-famous microbrew and pub scene. Stay on as long as you like, perhaps even for dinner, or stroll to
nearby shops and restaurants, then catch the Portland Streetcar back to our hotel. Dinner is on your own to sample
the many dining choices in this Pearl District neighborhood. Breakfast, Beer/Snacks.
Fri June 22 A Day in the Country After breakfast, we will head west and
south of downtown, stopping first at the Quirk/Neill garden. Next we
have an exclusive invitation to enter an estate garden that is rarely open
to visitors Our host Mike Darcy secured access to this garden, which is
so private that we must keep the owner's name a secret. Finishing with
garden visits for the day, we head to Red Ridge Farms where you can
taste Oregon-produced olive oils, sip wine produced on the property or
tour the nursery & gift shop to browse their selection of aromatic herbs,
specialty vinegars, gourmet salts, tea, books and other distinctive gifts.
We are planning a picnic lunch at Red Ridge and a tour of the olive mill.
We continue to a nearby vineyard for a tour and tasting which is sure to include one of Oregon's famous Pinot Noirs.
Return to the hotel late afternoon, the evening is free to explore the many nearby dining options
Breakfast, Lunch, Wine Tasting
Sat. June 23 Tale of Two Countries
Today we enter the Lan Su Chinese Garden
before it opens to the public for a private tour of this
authentically built cultural heritage garden and living
museum of Chinese trees and flora. Within this
authentic Ming Dynasty scholar’s garden, serpentine
mosaic pathways lead to harmonious landscapes
of plants, water, stones, pavilions, and poetry. We
will experience a private traditional tea demonstration within the garden at the Tower of Cosmic Reflections
teahouse. Built in 2000, it's a national landmark serving visitors from all over the world. A collaborative project
between the City of Portland and its sister city in China - Suzhou, the teahouse was named for the view one obtains of
the 'cosmos' reflected in 'Zither' lake in front of the teahouse. The teahouse was built by a team of over 80 artisans,
many of them coming from China over the year-long construction project. It is furnished with antique Chinese furniture
in the Ming and Sung dynasty styles. Our tea-tasting will be accompanied by light Chinese-style food. We will then
continue to Washington Park -- our destination is the Portland Japanese Garden, considered one of the most
authentic and beautiful Japanese gardens outside of Japan. It features five traditional gardens, a pavilion, and many
plants imported from Japan. We'll have time to contemplate the garden on our own before heading downhill for a
quick look at the International Rose Test Garden. Our coach will then continue to 23rd Avenue, a Portland
neighborhood full of boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. Guests may disembark there or continue to the hotel.
Balance of the day and evening at leisure to explore and enjoy Portland, the City of Roses. Breakfast, Chinese Tea.
Sunday June 24 Today we have a special treat, the private garden of Ted Mahar.
A creation of the late Dulcy Mahar, longtime garden columnist for Oregonian Homes
and Gardens NW, the garden's lush perennial borders are now under the care of
Dulcy's longtime friend and associate, Doug the Wonder Guy. Our next stop is the
garden of Susan Bates, known for her colorful plant combinations. We next head to
Lake Oswego where our local host Mike Darcy, will give us a personal tour of his own
garden including lunch alfresco. Mike is always trying new plants and pushing the
zone. His personal haven is a plant person’s garden, with many large ceramic pots
and lots of container gardening, with garden art scattered about. After lunch we will
enjoy a visit to Mike’s neighbors, Bob and Mignon Ervin’s urban farm on a hillside
overlooking Lake Oswego and Mount Hood. They've created a sustainable garden
mainly dedicated to organic food production. The Ervins have ducks, chickens,
honeybees, raised beds and a small family vineyard. They have also developed an
aquaponic vegetable garden and koi pond for fertilizer production. Return to the
hotel and freshen up for tonight's special farewell dinner at Meriwether’s Restaurant
named after the famous explorer and known for fresh, local farm-to-table cuisine.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Monday June 25 After breakfast, time to say farewell or perhaps continue on to see other sights in the Pacific
Tour Price $1445 per person based on 2 persons sharing a room.
A $395 supplement applies to have a single room.
Airfare, airport transfers, tips to coach driver, items or events not mentioned in itinerary.
To book online, click HERE
For more information and reservations, please contact:
Sterling Tours, Ltd Print Booking Form
2907 Shelter Island Drive Suite #105-262 Terms and Conditions
San Diego, CA 92106 Tel: 619 299-3010 800-976-9497 Print Itinerary