The drive down was beautiful, but a little on the warm side since our AC went out in May. Because it is generally cool in Washington we decided to put off fixing it until we are a little more stable. For the most part this has worked out well because we haven't been in the car too much, but with the combination of us being in the car for 3 hours and it being the hottest day since being here, it was slightly uncomfortable.
Once we stepped into the temple nothing else mattered. It was a gorgeous building. There was a garden in the front lobby and parts of it reminded Matthew and I of the Las Vegas Temple. Matthew mentioned that he thought the Las Vegas Temple was built around the same time and after doing a little research we discovered that in fact the Portand Temple was the 42nd temple dedicated in August of 1989 and the Las Vegas Temple was the 43rd temple dedicated just a few months later in December of 1989, which explains some of the similarities.
After the session Matthew and I walked into the celestial room together and were even more impressed than usual about its beauty. What set this room apart from the other celestial rooms I have been in thus far was that it was two levels. When you walk into the room you notice the high vaulted ceilings and as you turn around, above and behind you is the second level. You have the option of going up one of two staircases that meet at a landing that puts you at eye level with a magnificent chandelier and overlooks the bottom level. The feeling I had as I stood on the landing looking all around me was, "This is what a mansion in heaven is like." It was truly awe inspiring.
After a short visit we started back home and were met with a beautiful view of the river and the the lights of downtown Portland. We got home late, but both felt that the trip was worth it. We hope to go back soon to spend more time exploring.