When i travel i only do a little bit of research and planning.
I like to have a few goals in mind, a few must see and/or do things for the visit, but without so much information that it takes the adventure out of it. When i go to a new place i like to explore and discover which is easier to do if you have something that you are trying to find: it's like a scavenger hunt.
At the top of my list for Portland was Voodoo Doughnut. A team member told me about it after seeing it on Food Network. After perusing the website it looked fun, weird and different, plus it involves pastries so i was all in.
Apparently, so is the rest of the world.
On an airport run (i had a rental car so i did some wedding chauffeuring) before the reception I detoured through downtown to get a feel for Portland and to look for the Voodoo Doughnut. After much searching and U-turns i found it in a non-descript cinder block building that anyone would have driven past, if it hadn't been for the line. People were out the door, down the block and around the corner.
I had to get Francie's friend Amna to the airport so there was no time to stop and wait through that mess. But, it was a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon so it made sense that it would be mobbed. The next time there was room in the schedule for me to try again was Sunday night around 10:00. It is open 24 hours a day. Surely, there would be less people then and there were: the line only went out the door and down the block.
Screw that noise.
Luckily, i knew there is a second location, called Voodoo Doughnut Too that is open 21 hours a day (closed 3am-6am). Francie's step-sister Lynn had gone there earlier in the day and said that there was no crowd, so i set off to find it, armed with the address and a rental car city map.
Oh, and i knew it was a pink building, though in the dark i didn't know if that would help me.
There was a lot of driving and searching and turning because a river runs through the middle of Portland, but the city planners thought it wise to have the same road name on both sides of the river even though they don't connect.
Good choice, fellas.
But i was on the hunt and finally found it.
Yep, that's pink alright.
Even from the parking lot i knew that this place had character.
Hello, Ivy Monster on the fence.
Can you say crazy town?
That pretty much describes the oddly lit, oddly colored, walls covered in bits and bobs, crazy collection of furniture interior of Voodoo Too. It was all i had hoped for, but I was so overwhelmed by the sights and smells that i forgot to take a lot of scenery pictures.
The one thing that i looked for specifically to take its picture, though, was a velvet Elvis because at the original location you can get married under the velvet Elvis. Alas, the King was not in the building.
BUT, much to my great joy there was something not only as good as a velvet Elvis, but actually a little better due to the rare nature of the piece:
YES - velvet Kenny Rogers!!!!!!!
I thought that i might have been hallucinating when i saw him, but there was quite a bit of Kenny Rogers paraphernalia around the place so i knew it was true.
How can...? Where did...? Why don't I...?
I want to get married under the velvet Kenny Rogers; heck, i want to live under the velvet Kenny Rogers. How could something so pure, so wonderful, so bizarre exist and i didn't know about it until now? I wanted to call Mel and squeal with glee into the phone (you see, Kenny has never wronged us), but i realized that it was 1:30 in the morning in North Carolina and that might not be such a good idea.
I settled for a photo of the silver-haired magnificence and eating my doughnut at a table facing the velvet Kenny Rogers.
Speaking of doughnuts... there were a lot to choose from, including a whole shelf of vegan varieties. I went in thinking that i wanted the one with Captain Crunch on it (far left in the picture), but then became fascinated by the Tex-ass Challenge. If you can eat that huge, honking doughnut in under 90 seconds, it is free.
I was mesmerized by its size.
The employee on the counter said that she had only seen 2 people ever do it, though many had tried - most of them drunk at the time.
In the end, i decided that the huge one would be ridiculous cause i wasn't that hungry and that local places like the Fractured Prune might have the Captain Crunch one so i went with a Voodoo Doughnut signature pastry: Doesn't he look a fright?
I just love the pretzel voodoo pin sticking out of his chest. Not only was it hilarious, but it was tasty. After eating his head first (of course) and then his arms, i bit into his body to find that it had a jelly center.
This was the last thing i did in Portland since i flew out early the next morning.
[yet it is the first thing to get posted on the blog; hmmmm...]
It was getting late, given all of the weekend activities and my level of tiredness, but i am really glad that i found Voodoo Too. Now i just need to figure out how to get the velvet Kenny Rogers out the door next time...