Friday, September 5, 2014

Summer Wrap-Up: Portland, Day 1

Even if I’m not all that keen on saying goodbye to Summer, after Labor Day is past, it seems like time to wrap up any loose ends and get geared up for the Fall back-to-school/holiday rush that lasts from now until about January 1.

A couple of those loose ends include the pictures I took over the summer and the posts I never wrote! I showed you pictures from Joy Creek Nursery near Portland recently, but that was only one tiny bit of the Garden Bloggers Fling I attended in July. I thought you might like to see more about that? Well, I hope so.

Flying to Portland in the evening made for an interesting fade to the end of the day out the airplane window. Going west meant it got dark behind us first. I'm not sure which mountains the two peaks are—Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier are all visible from the air near Portland.

Since I arrived the night before the Fling started, I had most of the next day by myself. While I waited for the others to arrive, I went for a walk around Portland.

Powell's Bookstore was at the top of my list of places to see, and it was an easy walk from the hotel. This bookstore is hard to describe. Huge is the first word that comes to mind, but it's friendly, comfortable, and even cozy, too. There was an entire building devoted to science books, which is where I found this wall full of botanically-themed books. I could have stayed all day in just that spot, but there were more floors, more buildings—I had to keep moving!

I was excited to find this "staff pick" for Plant by Numbers
written by fellow blogger, Steve Asbell (The Rainforest Garden
along one of the rows of gardening books

There are used books mixed in with the new ones at Powell's. I loved that! You could choose between hardcover or paperback, old edition/new edition, high price/low price, for so many books! I had never seen anything quite like it before. I'm thinking Powell's is awesome enough to move to Portland for. I guess it might help if you're a single, young nerd. ;)

After looking at books all morning, it was time to find the food carts. There are several streets full of these, making choosing lunch a little difficult. I finally decided on dumplings from The Dump Truck, and went to a nearby park to eat—such a treat! Food always tastes better outside for some reason, doesn't it?

My (thoughtful, smart, incredibly well-traveled) cousin had told me about Voodoo Donuts just before I left home, so after lunch I went by, waited in this long line of curious tourists, and picked up a box to take back to the hotel with me. I know what you're thinking, but I didn't eat them all! Still, I couldn't pass up a chance to try several, could I? I might never get to go back!

Voodoo donuts are homemade, fresh every day, and they come in an unbelievable array of flavors. Or should I say, an array of unbelievable flavors? I'm not sure whether it's true, but I heard that they used to make Nyquil-iced donuts until the FDA made them stop. Just so you have an idea.

I wasn't particularly adventurous with my choices, but what I got was really good: Portland Cream, with chocolate glaze and vanilla cream inside; Mango Tango, mango jelly inside, vanilla iced outside, with Tang sprinkled on top; and Maple Glazed (no bacon, but don't be disappointed…it was so good even without!).

The nursery smelled of gardenia…I felt right at home!

A quick rest in the afternoon and then it was time for the pre-Fling cocktail party at Pomarius Nursery. Catching up with friends and meeting new ones was too distracting to get many photos, but there was delicious food, wine, and plenty of interesting plants to look at and chat about. It was a lovely place for a party and a perfect start to the Portland Fling.

Conifers and patinaed terra cotta pots defined one of several garden rooms at
 Pomarius Nursery in Portland, OR

Powell's Bookstore
Food Carts Portland
Voodoo Donuts
Pomarius Nursery

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