April 7th, 2012
What a busy day we had, yesterday!
Among other things, we got lost repeatedly, pulling us miles out of our way. I swear that they used a snake with a broken back to lay out some of these roads here!
We started with going to Voodoo Doughnuts in the morning. There was a line, but not as severe as there would be when we wandered past later. I had a bacon maple bar (eh...), and a Mexican chocolate devil's food cake doughnut (very good). One problem I had with Voodoo Doughnuts is that they don't really explain the oddly named ones; you're supposed to already know, I think. What with the long line, I felt pretty constrained to figure out what I wanted before I got to the cashier. Oh, well.
We then wandered around a bit. We stopped first at the Portland Outdoor Store, a few feet from the doughnut place, because my beloved wife saw on the building that they sold saddles. While there, I pondered a somewhat classic jacket...initially said "no", but I think that if we have a chance today, and end up in the same neighborhood, I might just get one. We'll see. They had three floors of flannel and horse gear. Third story was mostly saddles.
We continued to wander, and didn't stop in certain other places, since they weren't open yet (though they were supposed to be!!!); finally we stopped in a pharmacy that was one of those old full-service types, not a chain. Cool. Picked up a couple of things we'd forgotten to pack, and then onwards.
This is where we got lost. Trying to find the Homestead Supply store, we got severely turned around, and went back and forth over bridges a few times. Finally, we got to the place, and parked a bit of a ways off. They have some of the cheesemaking gear that my wife needed, and we made a few purchases. They are another resource, in the future, for starter cultures, as well.
We wandered that neighborhood more extensively and found a few places to look into including Sock Dreams, where my spouse found a few things to pick up, Tea Chai Te, where we stopped for a cup and unwound. It was a very pretty place, quiet and restful.
Back to the car. We then went to Wallace Books, a new and used shop that is essentially a house that is packed tight with an enormous number of books, jammed in everywhere. We spent a little less than an hour in there, but you could clearly spend days, and not find everything you might want to read.
Following that stop, we were a bit peckish, and so we started looking for a "place" called Chowdah, that supposedly had very good clam chowder. We got into the neighborhood, and parked, but we didn't see the "restaurant". However, there was a corner lot with a half dozen trailers...turns out one of them was the spot we were seeking. We got the soup, and it was outstanding. It deposes Lobsta Truck from its spot in the top three chowders I've ever eaten! Less than a block away was a game shop, Cloud Cap Games, which was a nice little place, and I found an item or two. Then we walked up the street, taking in shop after shop, relaxing.
Finally, we returned to the city district where Powell's resides, and spent some more time (and money) there. When nearly exhausted, we sat down and figured out where we wanted to have dinner, and we walked some blocks away to the Park Kitchen. Due to the fact that it was Friday night, and we didn't have a reservation, we sat at the bar for dinner, and I tasted a couple of rums I'd never had before (delicious), and we had a terrific meal!
Afterwards, we decided to hunt up Ground Kontrol, just to tip the hat to the similarly-named events of SoCal; outrageously busy place, with a bar and a huge number of classic arcade games.
Then, back to the hotel for a well-deserved rest.
We've been noticing several things. Average age of the folks we see is lower than we're used to in our area; average body weight is vastly lower. I suspect people walk a lot in this city. Food is very tasty, but is delivered in smaller portions (not that I'm complaining).
More fun today!
The snake with the broken back is probably close. In the Virgin Islands the roads were first donkey cart routes. Somehow, donkeys never understood cars. I hope your vacation remains magnificent.