Yesterday started out earlier than perhaps we would’ve liked, because it would have been great to sleep in and get off to a leisurely (or even lazy) start. Alas, we had too many little stops we wanted to make before pointing toward home, so we managed to get ready, loaded up, and checked out of the hotel around 10:15. Our first stop was to Barista for some local coffee:
Inside, the place has all the charm of an old bar, with lots of dark wood and leather. I would have loved to take a few pictures, but it was jammed full of people reading, working on laptops, or just enjoying their cups of coffee. (I try to avoid stranger shots whenever possible, as I don’t like to be photographed by people I don’t know…) When researching the best local coffeehouses in Portland, the two I kept reading about were Barista and Stumptown Coffee, and this one just happened to be closer to the other places we wanted to hit that morning, but we were certainly happy with what we found. Becca had a triple latte, and was happy with its taste andthe beauty with which the barista made the leaf in the foam:
The barista apologized when she handed me my dirty chai with soy, as soy is “harder to make so pretty”:
We asked for two tiny bite-sized cappuccino cream sandwich cookies to go with our coffee:
And said hello to someone’s beautiful (and quite well-trained) puppy on the patio as we walked out:
While he was excitedly licking our hands and jumping around, I tried to capture a photo. I said, “I wish you’d sit down so I could get a good picture, pretty boy…” As soon as he heard the word “sit,” he put his butt on the ground with a “was that so hard?” look on his face. A few seconds later, he was up again, but I said, “sit?” and again he did. He was adorable.
Our next stop was just a half mile or so down the street. Every time I’m in Portland I visit Voodoo Doughnuts, but this time while I was doing my research before the trip I came across another name of a doughnut shop that locals consider “better than Voodoo.” Okay, I get that Voodoo would get tired with its super long lines full of tourist, or maybe you’d even get tired of the outrageous donuts (and prices) when all you want is a simple dozen doughnuts that are well made. Enter: Tonnalli’s Doughnuts & Cream:
If I hadn’t meant to stop there, I wouldn’t have given the place another thought. The exterior boasted burgers, bagels & donuts, and looked like your average donut shop:
What I’d read, though, was that the blueberry old-fashioned doughnutwas not to be missed, so Becca and I each took one home, along with a few others that looked interesting:
So…would I skip Voodoo next time in lieu of Tonnalli’s? No. Would I go back for a blueberry old-fashioned? Yes, if I was in the neighborhood. I also might try the choco-banana bar again, it was pretty good (it’s also available with plain or maple glaze instead). The apple thing I’d skip, it was forgettable. (And for the record, we did make a quick stop back at Voodoo so Bex could take a few with her for the road, it being her first visit to Portland and all. More on those goodies later, though.)
Next we hit a series of frustrations: my car’s GPS decided not to cooperate with us in downtown Portland, telling us to turn left or right 5 seconds aftereach street she wanted us to turn on, and then telling us to turn the wrong way onto a one-way street, so we had a hard time getting from points A to B and were unnecessarily wasting precious time. We finally found ourselves at friend-recommended Kenny & Zuke’s, but we were expecting a place with a little deli counter from which we could order sandwiches for the road. There was a take-out counter, but it looked more to be bagels and such than deli sandwiches, and we didn’t want to wait for burgers or reubens. Instead, we headed over to a tiny place called City Market in the Alphabet District,
where a deli called Chop
offered exactly the counter we’d been hoping to find:
While we waited the few minutes for them to make our sandwiches, we browsed the tiny market, a fun place to see things both common and unusual:
Becca’s turkey & swiss on sliced sour came with dijon mustard instead of regular, which turned out to be so spicy she couldn’t finish it:
And I could nothave been happier with my turkey & white cheddar on hoagie roll with yellow mustard and pickles:
One last stop a block or two from City Market, and we were off. You guessed it: a final stop at our beloved Salt & Straw. Up till this point, we’d behaved ourselves with only a small scoop or two halves of said small scoop. On our last day, we’d debated on buying dry ice and a cooler to transport pints home, but finally opted to let it be a special Portland treat…and the compromise in this decision? Waffle cones on our last visit! Becca got her two favorites (Sea Salt Caramel and the Skittles sherbet), so I did too (Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache and Banana with Walnuts and Caramel). While we were ordering, we chatted with lovely artist Abbie about how much we loved their shop and even that I had an idea for a deliciously outrageous flavor I plan to create and “sell” to them in exchange for scoops for life when I’m in town. When we’d paid, I realized we were nearly out of Portland and hadn’t taken a single photo of the two of us together, so Abbie agreed to take one of us (and really, it couldn’t be much more appropriate for this trip, anyway, than to have it taken here):
Oh, and for the record, the chef’s series flavor was different again. This time it was called Beast, and yes we tasted it (it was yummy, but not so that I was willing to forgo my fave):
And just like that, we were done. We jumped right onto the freeway as we left, and had half an hour to eat our cones before our last stop of the day: the Adidas outlet in Woodburn. Why? No sales tax for this Adidas addict, that’s why. I behaved myself, though, and only made a small purchase totaling under $20.
Several hours into our drive, we were enjoying our conversation and our playlist, but were a teensy bit bored nonetheless, and a brilliant idea occurred to me. I discussed it with Becca, and a few details had to be worked out, but I thought I might be a genius. In the end we had to wait for the sun to go down, but Bex talked to Siri and found out all we needed to know on that subject. (Okay, and much more important questions, such as, “what’s the meaning of life?”) When the sun eventually did drop below the horizon, we were all set. We’d changed after leaving Portland into comfy pajama pants for our ten-hour drive, and as I mentioned earlier, we’d made a quick & final stop to Voodoo Doughnuts on our way out of Portland so Becca could bring a few goodies home. With my laptop in the passenger seat, we were all set.
Here’s the cure for the common (long-distance) car ride. Bear with me, I realize it might sound dangerous, but I promise I didn’t let it become so. Fire up a portable DVD player or laptop, on the passenger’s knees, but still visible to both parties. Play an episode (or two) of your favorite television show, or select a movie. In our case, we were positively giddy to be watching back to back episodes of Game of Thrones while stuck in the car. Add a fantastic donut between episodes, and you’ll see why we were so near-delirioiusly happy. (A quick shout-out will shut me up for quite some time about this doughnut shop: I’d never seen or heard a thing about the flavor I picked up that morning. Habanero jelly-filled? I swooned a bit, and that was before eating it. I’m not going to try to sell you on it, because I either already have or am not likely going to – I couldn’t even get Bex to taste it. But…wow. Heaven on earth yesterday, I’m telling you.) Oh, and it was the episode when Joffrey gets bitch-slapped by Tyrion. I’m telling you: best. Roadtrip. Ever! And I swear, I firmly had my eyes on the road. We had the sound plugged in to play through my car’s speakers, so listening was sufficient, and I was able to see most of the show out of my periferal vision with the occasional glance so that I felt I was continuously “watching” without actually doing so. I paid attention to the road the entire time, yet killed two episodes of my current favorite show, and when we were done, we went back to our chatter and music feeling refreshed and happy. Trust me, I’ll be doing that again sometime soon.
And there you have it! We pulled up to my house just before midnight, unloaded, and said a quick sleepy goodbye. I managed to unpack and brush my teeth before falling into bed with a book, and now my “holiday hangover” has set in hard. (That’s the feeling I get after a fun trip, when I’m happy to be back in my own bed and ready to get back to my real life I love, but bummed that the fun and exploration of lovely new things and places is over.) It’s alright: it won’t be long before I’m headed back to sunny, sweet San Diego next month with my friend Ziggy. Trust me, that’s going to be an adventure you won’t want to miss! Be sure to join me!
Tags: apple filled, barista, beast, blueberry old-fashioned, cappuccino cookie, chai, cheddar, chocolate, chop, city market, coffee, deep-fried banana buttermilk bar, deli, dirty, dog, donut, doughnuts and cream, dvd, game of thrones, habanero jelly doughnut, hoagie roll, latte, long drive, mustard, peach fritter, portland, regulars, road trip, salt straw, soy, tonnalli's, turkey sandwich, voodoo, waffle cone