Monday, June 08, 2009

Portland Adventure Pants

One of my oldest and dearest friends Cara came to visit this weekend. She's put up with me since junior high, so she's pretty much a saint. Isn't she adorable? Don't be fooled, folks, under that winning smile and those killer curls there lurks a brain like a steel trap. She's currently a U.S. women's history professor, and she's applying to PhD programs this year. What a smarty-pants! In any case, she wanted a whirlwind tour of Portland and I was happy to oblige.

It's funny how showing someone around your own town can make things seem new and interesting all over again. (Warning to local readers, this post is full of shameless tourism.) We hit up a wide variety of local tourist haunts, and none of them disappointed. First we took pictures of Klickitat Street, of Beverly Cleary fame. Here I am, pointing helpfully to the street sign.

Continuing along that theme, we went to Grant Park, which borders Beverly Cleary Elementary, to check out the bronze fountain featuring Ramona, Henry, and Ribsy the dog.

Wilder briefly suspected that it was a real dog, and investigated accordingly.

After that, we met up with Cara's long-time family friend Geoffrey and his wife Moonstar for sushi at Zilla on Alberta Street. We tried out the sparkling sake.

From there we followed the blinking neon lights to the Alibi to soak up some tiki-tastic ambiance.

The next day we braved the Rose Parade traffic to get a taste of the west side of the river. Cara bought a monster stack of books at Powells, and gave me some great title recommendations for brushing up on my women's history. Even with my impending move to Eugene looming, I couldn't resist the temptation to buy JUST three books. I blame Cara's infectious enthusiasm.

Cara had read about the bizarre doughnuts at VooDoo, so we walked over there next. Despite taboo options like raspberry-filled voodoo doll and cream-filled cocknballs, we opted for classic glazed. Cara got a good picture of the case of doughnut wonders, though... and the painting of zombie doughnuts being controlled by their voodoo master.

After a quick Stumptown Coffee fix for Cara at Backspace (Amanda makes a beautiful mocha), we took a scenic drive out to Multnomah Falls for lunch. Local wine and smoked salmon were had, along with tasty turkey cheddar burgers.

Oh, and the falls were pretty nice, too.

On the way back into town, we went on a mission to get some Twilight-themed photos requested by the angsty-vampire aficionado Nancy Van Martin. After some twists and turns, we found the Viewpoint Inn where the prom scene of the movie was filmed, I am told. There was a wedding in progress, so we had to do a drive-by photo shoot to get the close up.

We also stopped off to see the view from the Portland Women's Forum viewpoint. The Columbia River Gorge was breathtaking, as usual.

Cara wanted to get a taste of each of the five quadrants (quintrants?), so we drove around to see the fancy houses by Laurelhurst Park and explored Hawthorne a little bit to check South East off the list.

Finally, we stopped off for a quick photo shoot in the rose garden at Peninsula Park, back in my neighborhood. There's a reason we're called the city of roses!

We were pretty exhausted by the time we got back home, but Cara still managed to make an amazing arugula salad for dinner. You'll have to ask her for the recipe. It was to die for. We fell into bed happy and full.

Thanks to my neighbors' chickens, we had fresh scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast with fresh sage and rosemary from the herb garden. Topped with Tillamook sharp cheddar and a couple dashes of hot sauce, it's my new favorite breakfast invention. So good!

I was sad to have to take Cara back to the airport so soon. It was so fun having her as an excuse to put off packing and say a proper good-bye to Portland. I'm keeping my fingers crossed UO stays on her short list. She even got the cloudy weather she was hoping for!

Ok, back to packing. Sigh.


Nancy Van M said...

Why you gotta out me? And it was totally Cara's idea, don't let her fool you.

Vanjarama Split said...

You must tell me more about this sparking sake.

And, why are there scenic voodoo photos that don't include the self-portrait of me as a doughnut?

madeline said...

Nancy: I'm blaming Cara for impulse purchases, so I clearly support you blaming her for your teenage Mormon vampire needs.

Vanj: Is your doughnut self-portrait actually at VooDoo? If so, you get ten gold stars.