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    Spring Break: Portland, Oregon

    February 24th, 2015 admin

    Spring Break: Things to do in and around Portland, Orgeon

     

    GiftTree’s headquarters and West Coast shipping hub is based just outside of Portland, Oregon in beautiful Vancouver, Washington. If you know anything about the Pacific Northwest, you know it rains. As you can imagine, the mention of spring and drier weather excites most residents of this region. However, the traditional timing of spring break can be a bit tricky in this neck of the woods if you’re not a fan of damp weather. Many people in this region will use spring break to head south to sunnier climates. If you don’t mind damp weather and do a bit of planning, there are still many great things to do in the Pacific Northwest during the usually drizzly spring break. Here are a few things to do in and around Portland for spring break.

    The Coast

    With the wet weather, heading to the coast might seem like a bad combination, however it can provide for some awesome storm watching. You probably won’t be able to get a tan, but spending a relaxing day indoors near a fireplace while the weather wails and huge waves pound the beach is the next best thing. Spring break also falls within the “off season,” so getting a good hotel deal shouldn’t be a problem. The drive starts at 90 minutes to Cannon Beach and Seaside, with a few other beach towns within a three-hour drive.

    Mt. Hood

    Just a short drive from Portland, Mt. Hood offers many options for recreation, and during this time of year some of the ski slopes are usually still open. With a number of ski areas to choose from winter weather lovers have a few options. One of the ski areas on Mt. Hood, Mt. Hood Skibowl, hosts a spring break themed bash called the Snow Beach Festival. The festival features live music, contests, beverage tasting and of course snow sports. This is a good chance to get some powder time in before it warms up.

    Powell’s City of Books

    Does a bookstore really deserve it’s own section in a post about spring break? If you’re asking this question, apparently you’ve never been there! They claim to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world and with over 68,000 square feet of retail floor space at their main location alone, that claim sounds pretty accurate. The main location is in the Pearl district of Portland and occupies a full city block. Featuring three levels, 122 subject areas and a café with coffee tea and food, you can easily spend a day browsing.

    OMSI

    The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is as the name implies a science and technology museum located on the east bank of the Willamette River. There are a number of exhibition halls, three auditoriums, a submarine and more. OMSI is another place where you can easily spend a day if the weather is not cooperating. This is also a very family friendly option with many things geared directly at children. Some options include the Science Playground (geared at those six and younger) and the Empirical Theater, which offers some family friendly films.

    Breweries

    Now for a less family friendly option… along with roses and rain, Portland is well known for it’s plethora of breweries. Having more than 60 breweries (more than any other city in the world), Portland can claim it’s title as Beertown. Most of these breweries fall into the microbrewery category, however there are a few better-known brewers such as Widmer and BridgePort. Although not in Portland some nearby Oregon cities also have excellent breweries. Rogue Ales and Spirits is located on the coast in Newport, Oregon, with a couple of pubs in town. Full Sail Brewing Company is located in Hood River and Deschutes Brewery is located in Bend. A brewery tour around Portland, or a day trip to one of the other nearby cities are great ways to spend a day during spring break.

    Parks & Gardens

    If a little wet weather doesn’t bother you, Portland has many excellent gardens and public parks. Dressing appropriately will keep you warm and dry and is simpler than you think; all you need is a few layers and a light waterproof shell up top, some waterproof shoes and an umbrella. The umbrella will make you stand out as a tourist, however it’s worth staying dry, so you can enjoy the sites. A few of the well-known gardens are the Lan Su Chinese Garden, the Japanese Garden and the Portland International Rose Test Garden. The Japanese Garden and Rose Garden are next to each in the Washington Park area along with the Hoyt Arboretum and the Oregon Zoo. If hiking, biking or running is your thing; Forest Park has over 70 miles of trails! Listing all of the great parks Portland has to offer would need it’s own post, however a quick web search will help you find them all.

    The wet and chilly weather may not fit everyone’s idea of the perfect spring break, but as you can see, there are still tons of great things to do in the Pacific Northwest. These highlights only include Portland and a few of the more popular destinations nearby, there are even more in opportunities in the rest of the Pacific Northwest.

    Posted in Ask an Expert, Spring Break | Permalink | No Comments »

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    Top Flowers: GiftTree’s Best Blooms

    February 12th, 2015 admin

    Valentine's Flowers: GiftTree's Best Blooms

    Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if you haven’t gotten anything for your sweetheart, the time to do so is now. Flowers are a great way to express your adoration for the one you love and appreciation for all they do. At GiftTree we offer a wide selection of arrangements to express all of your sentiments, however we consider ourselves to be Valentine’s Day experts. Here is a selection of GiftTree’s Best Blooms.

    Classic Red Roses Bouquet

    Valentine's Flowers: Classic Red Roses BouquetFor this classic bouquet, we hand-select a dozen 60 cm, long-stemmed red roses for their freshness and beauty, and elegantly display them in a clear glass vase. We use only the finest roses available to ensure a spectacular presentation. The “Best” version features generous amounts of baby’s breath, salal, ferns, and various popular greens to make an even grander impression. An upgraded vase is also included.

     

     

     

    Dreaming in Pink Rose Bouquet

    Valentine's Flowers: Dreaming in Pink Rose BouquetConvey an unforgettable message of love, friendship, and appreciation with the stunning gift of eighteen fresh pink roses dramatically arranged with lush ivy. The 60 cm roses are artistically arranged with garden greens to create a large and eye-catching display. When hand-delivered to the recipient’s door, this classic bouquet always fills the recipient’s heart with joy and amazement.

     

     

     

     

    Two Dozen Red Rose Delight

    Valentine's Flowers: Two Dozen Red Rose DelightWhen it comes to romance, nothing compares to this stunning arrangement of twenty-four premium, 60 cm red roses delivered in a classic glass vase. The fresh roses are selected for their size and beauty, then artfully arranged with bupleurum and salal to create a dramatic contrast of color and form. When delivered to the recipient’s home or office, this dramatic display will dazzle and delight any recipient.

     

     

     

    Kensington Gardens

    Valentine's Flowers: Kensington GardensSo beautiful and graceful, this premium bouquet brings the charm of one of the world’s most famous gardens into the home. Freshly cut blooms overflow from a lovely glass vase, and include garden-fresh favorites such as Oriental lilies, red roses, sweet pea, miniature carnations, hydrangea, stock, and more.

     

     

     

     

     

    Cupid’s Creation Bouquet

    Valentine's Flowers: Cupid’s Creation BouquetA lovely display of color and fragrance, this charming rose bouquet is the perfect choice for expressing affection. Exquisite red and pink 40 cm roses are intermixed with delicate spray roses and fresh greenery in a contemporary vase. Delivered fresh to the home or office, the bouquet is sure to make that special someone feel loved.

     

     

     

     

     

    All of our flower arrangements come with a free gift card with your personal message and can be delivered same day if ordered by 2pm in the recipients time zone. Click here to see some more of our flowers.

    Posted in Flowers, Gift Ideas, Holidays, Valentine's Day | Permalink | No Comments »

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    Plan a Romantic Valentine’s at Home

    February 11th, 2015 admin

    Valentine's Day: Planning a Romantic Night at Home

    With Valentine’s Day just around the corner it’s probably too late to make reservations at your favorite restaurant. No need to panic though, here are a few simple tips to plan a romantic Valentine’s evening in. Although a night out is traditional, an intimate night in can be even more romantic! You’ll discover a few advantages to having an amorous night at home and you may even start a new tradition. The key here is to keep it simple, wearing yourself out before your big evening will certainly ruin the mood. Here are some tips on how to plan a romantic Valentine’s at home.

    Atmosphere

    Setting the atmosphere is an important step to a romantic evening in. Don’t get crazy here and spend a ton of money on satin sheets, fancy pillows and ceiling mounted mirrors. A few simple changes can turn your house into a love nest. The first step to setting the atmosphere is cleaning, no need for a deep clean, but putting away those dirty dishes and picking up those smelly socks is a good start. Once you’ve got things cleaned up, start by turning the lights down… or out. If you have dimmer switches, put them to use, if not by a few low wattage bulbs, or better yet scented candles. If you have a fireplace, even better, move the furniture out of the way and place a blanket in front of the fireplace for an indoor picnic. One last thing, don’t forget the kids, get a baby sitter or send them to grandma’s house. Nothing will spoil a romantic evening as quickly as screaming children.

    Food

    This is definitely another area to keep simple. If your sweetheart’s favorite meal is Beef Wellington, cooking this would be a very generous and romantic gesture, however the blood, sweat and tears that go into the preparation will put a damper on the rest of the evening. Something simple such as a picnic of finger food, or soup that can be cooked in advance are great ideas to keep the focus on romance. Also, don’t feel obligated to surprise your significant other, remember this day is for both of you. Cooking together can bring you closer and set the mood, it also cuts the work in half.

    Take it further

    Here are some other simple suggestions to have a night to remember.

     

    • Music – Pick something romantic, a mix CD is an extra special touch.

     

    • Watch a romantic movie – Guys, suck it up. It shows you care and don’t forget, she puts up with football season.

     

    • Massage – Get some massage oil and turn your bedroom into a relaxing escape.

     

    • Clothing – Just because your staying in doesn’t mean you need to dress down, remember no sweat pants.

     

    • Drinks – If you’re not teetotalers, don’t forget the bubbly, wine or fancy cocktails.

     

    • Games – Find a new game to play together. A little competition can be healthy, just play nice.

     

    • Try something new – Whether it’s a new cuisine, a new game, or a new movie, it can offer some fresh perspective and spice up your relationship.

     

    • A great way to start the day is Breakfast in Bed, click here for a link to a great article from OregonLive.

    Posted in Holidays, Valentine's Day | Permalink | No Comments »

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    Infographic: Valentine’s Day By The Numbers

    February 10th, 2015 admin

    Having provided great gifts to millions of customers for over 17 years, GiftTree knows a thing or two about Valentine’s Day! This year, we decided to dig deeper. We hit the books (or the Internet), broke out our calculators and crunched the numbers to give you Valentine’s Day by the numbers.

    Click the image to view full-size and make sure to share this with your friends & family by using the social media icons!

    And if you’re looking for fun & festive Valentine’s Day gifts, check out our collection by clicking here.

    Valentine's Day Infographic: Fun facts and figures about Valentine's Day

    Posted in Holidays, Valentine's Day | Permalink | No Comments »

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    Valentine’s Day Contest 2015

    February 6th, 2015 admin

    Enter to win the GiftTree 2015 Valentine's Day Contest

    Win the Sweetly Yours Valentine's Cookie Box

    Have you ever had a bad Valentine’s Day experience? Most people probably have to some extent, but we’re lookingfor some real Valentine’s horror stories. Anything from receiving a bad gift such as gas station chocolates or a vacuum cleaner, to a bad date like fast food or a microwave dinner, share your less than romantic story with us and you’ll have the chance to win the gift you really deserved, our Sweetly Yours Valentine’s Cookie Box. We may not be able to go back in time and save the relationship that was inevitably doomed by a dinner of chicken nuggets and $3.00 sparkling wine, but we can sympathize and send you some delicious cookies.

    To enter the Valentine’s Day Contest:

    • Tell us your horror story in the comments section on this post

    • SHARE this post on Facebook

    • FOLLOW our Be My Valentine board on Pinterest for more clever last minute Valentine’s Day gift ideas

    https://www.pinterest.com/gifttree/3-be-my-valentine-3/

    • RETWEET on Twitter (don’t forget to include @gifttree somewhere in your post!)

    • RECOMMEND this post on Google+

    5 Ways to Enter! This contests ends Sunday February 8th at midnight PST. Two winners will be chosen on Monday February 9th.

    Posted in Contests, Gift Baskets, Holidays, Valentine's Day | Permalink | 7 Comments »

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