Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Lazy Days of Spring

I've just returned from a week in Portland OR, where I had a very nice time, stayed in a posh hotel which had a real sense of humour about itself, exemplified by this exerpt of the room service menu. The weather there was pretty good (no snow, for example) although I did get rained on a bit. Comes with the territory. There was some really nice warm sun the last couple of days, which really made the city look so beautiful and green.

In truth, I had many plans for Portland that didn't pan out in the week I was there. I had, for example, planned to make a trip to a couple of Portland's cupcake shoppes and have an impromptu contest for who makes the better Red Velvet Cupcake. (Admittedly a bit of an unfair contest for Northwestern bakers, as Red Velvet is really more of a Southern specialty, but I never said I was fair.) As it turns out, I only made it to one of the shoppes (but I made it there twice.) For the record, their Red Velvet could use a bit more cocoa. But the cream cheese icing was perfection. Really. Of course I didn't take a photo of the Red Velvet cupcake. I fully intended to, but before I knew what I was doing, there was suddenly a swipe through the pretty icing. And then another swipe. And then a bite. Pictured here are a vanilla cupcake with pistachio buttercream (yum) and a little baby cupcake that is banana chocolate chip poundcake.

I had also planned to do a lot of fabric and yarn shopping while there, but didn't really manage much of either. I spent a lot of time searching up and down the downtown streets for a particular fabric shop, only to eventually realize that it was now empty and up for rent. The other fabric shop I found was rather small and mostly uninspiring. I made one extravagant purchase of some Koigu at Knit Purl (only I would go to the States to buy Canadian yarn, I know.)

I spent a fair bit of time (over two days) at Powell's Books, which truly has to be seen to be believed. It is a full city block in area and even has more than one level. Anything you can imagine is there. I even got a coffee table book of the complete pinups of Gil Elvgren for only $15. Sweet. I actually managed to only buy a half-dozen books or so, but I could easily have bought a hundred.

The last discovery I made before I left town was this little chocolate shop hidden behind Jake's Famous Crawfish. It is called Cacao and when I saw their sign: "Drink chocolate" -- obviously I had to check it out. This tiny little gorgeous shop serves the most decadent chocolate drinks and sells all sorts of international chocolate bars and cocoa and nibs and perfume... amazing. Pictured is the little shot of Spicy Special Dark Drinking Chocolate that I had on my last afternoon in Portland. It was thick and spicy and fantastic. Then I bought a Smoked Bacon Milk Chocolate bar to bring home for my HLM and I. Surprisingly good.

That last photo really captures my time in Portland -- sitting in various coffeehouses (or chocolate shops) with my book and a hot drink. Heavenly.

Knitting content: I was working on a pair of simple socks for my trip, but they are not quite finished. I will post them asap.

No comments: