Monday, August 4, 2014

The Portland Zoo, Donuts, and a Mansion!

With relatives on both my maternal and paternal sides of the family living there, I really should visit Portland more often!  I always have a wonderful time when I go.  My cousin Nancy and three of her four children (and their children) live in the area, and my cousin Priscilla drove in from Walla Walla for the week. Nancy and her husband do missionary work around the world and always have interesting stories to tell.  So when they invited us to their house for a lovely brunch one morning, we were eager to catch up.  Nancy and her husband had been picking blackberries the day before and she prepared a delicious blackberry cobbler, egg souffle, potatoes, and fruit salad.  While "the ladies" sat around the formal dining room table, indulging and visiting, we noticed Nancy's husband would walk by with various and sundry items, en route to the breakfast room.  Sometimes it was a towel, sometimes baking pans, sometimes sticks with leaves dangling!  We soon figured out what he was doing -- creating fossil prints with the kids!  That kept the children well engaged so we older cousins could really catch up with each other.

Another day we all went to the Oregon Zoo together.  Surprisingly, this also turned out to be one of the best ways we could visit with each other!  Everyone was well entertained and the kids were occupied looking at the animals while we adults visited in small clusters, sometimes with this person, sometimes with that one, so we had some nice one-on-one personal time with everyone. My cousin Becky joined us, too, so got to know the other side of my family better.  Who would have thought the zoo would provide such intimate opportunities?

As for the zoo, it was lovely, complete with a variety of bears, hippos, lions, monkeys, elephants, giraffes, birds, and more.  We had planned to visit the Japanese Garden afterwards, but were all walked out, so grabbed lunch in the food court, then parted ways -- until next time!
Beautiful eagles....
We were there for the polar bears' feeding time -- they were beautiful!
 Can you see all the parrots camouflaged in the foliage below?
One morning my daughters and I woke early, before anyone else, and made our way to the famous Voodoo Donuts shop.  As we got off the freeway and were following our GPS system, we suddenly got a whiff of the donuts coming in through the car windows.  "I smell donuts!" I exclaimed.  Yes, another block down and there stood the bright pink building with a line already forming to get in!
 Fair warning ~ cash only sign:
  The weird and eclectic decor of Voodoo Donuts:
I don't know what happened to the color here -- the box was actually bright pink, but I took this picture in the wet bar lighting at the hotel and it came out...yellow!
We selected donuts for everyone back at the hotel and Uncle Don's house, based on personality!  Lys tried the Bacon Maple Bar (which made me sick to look at, in all honesty, but she said was actually very tasty).  Some of us had the Portland Cream.  We got a Memphis Mafia for the 50's generation (all of Elvis Presley's fav ingredients -- peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate) .  There were Dirt Donuts for the kids (and the kid in all of us).  We got an Apple Fritter that was the size of a dinner plate for Uncle Don.  There were some donuts with names I can't print here!  For an entire list of the weird and crazy donuts, click here:  Voodoo Donuts.

One other field trip we took in Portland was to the beautiful Pittock Mansion.  It is worth the trip for the beautiful views of Portland as well as the delights in the mansion itself.  A picture is worth a thousand words....
 We were fascinated with the standing sewing kit:
 Such tiny waists back then:
 Can you see Mt. Hood in the distance below?  It looks like a cloud in the middle, but seemed much closer in person.  We also had views of Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams at various times.  It only rained the first two days -- otherwise we had beautiful, clear weather.

So ended our Portland vacation.  Wonder where we'll go next year?  Any suggestions?

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