Friday, July 31, 2009

Pacific Northwest Vacation: Day Four

Day Four (Sunday)
We didn’t stay out too terribly late at the wedding and we didn’t drink much either because we knew we had a full day on Sunday. We hopped out of bed bright and early and headed into downtown Portland. I had discovered several weeks earlier that there was a brewfest in town that day and Sheldon had been researching it and found out that there was a bike tour of the city that went through several neighborhoods and told the history AND pointed out nine breweries. Needless to say we jumped at the chance to do that!

Oh! What! Fun!

Our tour guide was a great guy who could be Morgan Spurlock’s younger brother. His name was Miles and he did a great job. At first there were five of us on the tour, me and Sheldon and then a girl and her boyfriend who were locals and her mother who was visiting. The bike ride was advertised as an easy nine mile trek and it was exactly that. After we had gone a mile or so the company van showed up and dropped off another rider. Now the first thing you need to know is that if I am on any kind of tour I always like to stay close to the tour guide because you can hear everything he says and in between stops you can ask other questions and learn more about the area. Well the new girl was the same way. At first this irritated me because I had been right on Miles’ back wheel the whole way and suddenly I had competition. I relaxed after a little while though, because I realized that she was exactly like me and was doing the exact same thing for the exact same reason. Her name was Kim…more on her later. :)

As we were biking through town enjoying the scenery and the beautiful architecture and weather we came upon a bright pink panel van. The name of the company was VooDoo Donuts and Miles immediately stopped and encouraged us all to have a donut. Although I had never heard of them they are a Portland tradition and people come from all over to have them. This was a mobile shop but they have a real shop in town and Miles told us we were lucky to come upon the van because the regular shop always has a line out the door. Although we hadn’t eaten breakfast I really wasn’t hungry and wasn’t all that interested in the donuts. I must have been suffering from brain damage because I’m pretty sure that it was the first time in my life I didn’t want a donut. Anyway, Miles kept talking and describing the various donuts and pretty soon I was calling out to Sheldon who was standing in line to get me one. The one I chose was called a VooDoo Doll and it was beyond delicious. It was shaped like a person and was filled with marionberry filling with chocolate icing on top and a pretzel stake through the heart.

It. Was. Beyond. Yummy.

This was probably the point where Kim and I bonded. She took a picture of my donut. We all gathered under a tree to eat our donuts and she and I started chatting. The tour ended back at the brewfest which was just getting started. We got our mug and map and stood there trying to figure out where to start. Kim was right there with us. Turns out that she is a Travel Nurse and is on assignment in Salem, OR and was there alone. We immediately invited her to hang with us and she was glad for the company. The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering from tent to tent and beer keg to beer keg tasting microbrews. We were each given four tokens with our mugs which would buy you either a full mug of beer or 4 tastes of different beers. Sheldon and Kim bought more tokens later on, but four tokens suited me just fine. I actually loved being able to get a little at a time because beer usually gets hot long before I finish it. I tasted a peach beer and a watermelon beer that I loved and a third one that I wasn’t so fond of. My last token was spent on another serving of the peach which was my favorite. I managed to get pretty sunburned even though I did my best to stay in the shade all day. I have to say though, that one of the benefits of getting older is that sunburns don’t bother me anymore. When I was a kid they were torture, but now they don’t even hurt and they fade away pretty quickly. I don’t think I’ll even peel this time.

By the time the festival was over I had bonded for life with Kim and we had exchanged Facebook and email information to stay in touch. She actually took most of the pictures I have of that day! Sheldon and I headed back to our hotel and hit the showers and went in search of dinner. We ended up at another brewpub, they are EVERYWHERE out there.

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