Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Visiting Portland: Rose Parade

I was lucky enough to be in Portland on the day of their famous Rose Parade, so I thought I'd take a gander. Here are a few of the places I visited. 

More than one coffee afficianado suggested I stop by Stumptown Coffee. This latte was delightful- the foam was so thick and rich the sugar didn't sink through. Always a good sign. The espresso was strong and caramelly from being perfectly roasted.

Next, I popped over to Voodoo Doughnut. I was undeterred by the line around the corner- they really do keep it moving fast. The brick wall was all done up in glitter! 

The mardi gras vibe carries on inside with vividly pink and yellow walls, a chandelier and lots of neon. I chose the Voodoo Doll, Maple Bacon and No Name (peanut butter!). I tried a few bites of each (I'm only one person after all!) 

While this one is the least attractive of the lot, it was my favorite. It was filled with custard, and I especially like the pretzel "needle". It could have been studded with several more. 

The other slight disappointment with these doughnuts was the fact that none were served hot. The maple bacon in particular would have been vastly improved by being hot and toasty. It was still delicious, don't get me wrong. Just imagine the joy of a freshly made one!

Peanut butter, rice crispies, chocolate- pretty decadent. I think the fun of these doughnuts is their kitsch and whimsy. Many of them are decked out with cereal pieces, powdered drink mix (tang anyone?) and loaded down with sprinkles. This strikes me as just right. A doughnut is the last thing in the world to take seriously. Have fun with it! Go wide & over the top!

While I munched, I watched the Rose Parade  pass by. Each float is made with papier mache figures coated in bits of flowers, seeds or petals. It's awfully fun to see the detail up close.

The parade moves at a pretty glacial pace, so kids entertained themselves by drawing on the sidewalks, launching balloons and tooting on little plastic horns.

This float was my favorite- I just adore Elephants, don't you?

During the parade, I did some shopping downtown. There are lots of pretty little boutiques everywhere you turn. On Sarah's suggestion, I spent happy hour on the 30th floor of the U.S Bank building at Portland City Grill  checking out the amazing view of PDX. I enjoyed a blood orange mimosa, a delicious little plate of roasted pepper bruschetta and made conversation with a local charming couple sitting beside me at the bar. All in all, a perfect way to end my short stay in Portland.

Next stop, New York City! I can't wait to share all the adventures I've enjoyed already.

How's your summer so far?

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