The Grotto, Portland

Smocked Midi at The Grotto Portland

At the end of our trip exploring Oregon a month ago, our last plan was to make it to Portland for food before going home. It was over Memorial Weekend, and that was that Monday night.

As I was busy calling for reservations at restaurants in Portland (most wouldn’t take reservation for 2, especially those Yelp-famous ones with lots of reviews), my boyfriend found us a photo spot East of downtown Portland. We went looking for the triangle shrine or chapel but couldn’t find one once we arrived. We ended up walking in the visitor room while there was a mass going on in the church next to it. Knowing it was a spiritual place, we really had to be careful when it came to photos. I paid $7 per person to have permission to enter the upper level where all of the shrines and the botanical garden were at. It was quite unique since it literally on the top of the cliff. They said they had to fence it off to prevent people from getting in from the other side of the road which seemed to connect to a hiking trail.

I brought an extra outfit after knowing there was a restroom to change.

On the left side of the elevator, there stood the triangle chapel that we were looking for called The Meditation Chapel. Apparently, it is the only shrine that has a full wall of glass and literally hanging off or built on the cliff and can be seen from the Interstate 206.

We walked around the garden and saw shrines of Mother Mary from different countries around the world, one from Vietnam, Duc Me La Vang, and many people praying. Some prayed out loud in groups, and some seemed to meditate or stayed quiet as they were walking enjoying the view. We were told that there was a labyrinth where we could stand in the middle, clap our hands, and could hear its echo. We walked pass by but wasn’t sure if this flat round brick floor was it. We had to ask the couple who had just left and found out about it. We ended up going all the way to the further end of the garden and found these red wood trees where we got these outfit shots below.

The labyrinth apparently is a replica of the medieval one in Chartres Cathedral, France. It is originally used as a ‘mini pilgrimage’ or ‘spiritual journey’ for those who couldn’t travel to sacred sites or the Holy Land but now continues to offer meditation for many who seek it. We went in for photos and also ran out of time to sit and meditate, otherwise we would. We did try clapping standing right in the middle of the circle labyrinth, and the echoing was quite vague. I couldn’t tell. But anyways, we made it to the other side of the garden where there was the incorporated landscaping of the Peace Garden and the Mysteries of the Rosary.

Whether you’re a Catholic or not, I think it would make your Portland experience pretty unique. Come check it out!


I featured this bag from Xinh & Co., here, and it was by far my best summer straw bag investment to date. I saw there were a bunch of shops that offered cheaper options, but I went for this round tote without any hesitation. I got a Medium pompom (made by Trang, Xinh & Co. shop owner herself I believe!) and attached it on the handle of the bag. Look how adorable!

This dress is incredibly flattering to my body type. I love its smocked and off-the-shoulder bodice, love how it’s a midi length with a slit, and love how the yellow vintage floral fabric as well. It is currently on sale on the Urban Outfitters website, so make sure you check it out! As said earlier, the straw bag is from Xinh & Co. which makes me smile every time I look at it. It is just such as beautifully and well made piece. I paired this outfit with field hat which came with a leather string from Brixton that I tucked inside for a cleaner look and my trusted Superga sneakers.


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2 comments so far.

2 responses to “Smocked Midi at The Grotto Portland”

  1. Adria says:

    What a cute dress! I love how ethereal it looks in the woods!

An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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