I’ve discovered the perfect Halloween outfit, courtesy of the trip we took to Portland in April. To be fair, I’m constantly thinking of what would make a good Halloween costume (Parker’s hair is getting long enough to be Doc from Back to the Future, and I’m secretly always looking out for an orange vest…), but this is just pure gold. If I was a guy living in Portland I would be all over this.
I saw it after our visit to the Japanese Gardens as we were wandering around the then-dormant rose garden. I had recently learned that Portland is known as The City of Roses when we came across a statue of a man dressed similarly to Bert in Mary Poppins I understood how seriously the city takes their roses. Lo and behold, a Royal Rosarian:
There’s a great article about the Rosarians here but, in essence, they are ambassadors to the cities beloved roses. From their website: “As Ambassadors of Goodwill and Official Greeters for the City of Portland, Royal Rosarians welcome visiting dignitaries from around the world and host hundreds of out-of-town visitors each year. Known as men and women who represent the outstanding character of the citizens of Portland during the Portland Rose Festival, members march in parades here and throughout the world, promoting the Rose as the Queen of Flowers and Portland as the Rose Capital of the World.”
This. THIS would make a fantastic costume. And the whole idea was even more sweetened when I read the plaque at the foot of the statue: “For You A Rose in Portland Grows.” Talk about a fantastic pick up line! I brainstormed with Parker and his cousin, whom he were visiting, about the whole idea and the latter figured he would need actual roses to help make the outfit come alive.
However, the outfit isn’t without risks. What if he were to use the pick up line, give the girl a rose, and then she rejects him? Does he take the rose back? No, we thought, that would be wrong. (Unless it was the last rose, then grab it quick and run.)
The Royal Rosarians is just one of many reasons why I enjoyed the trip to Portland. The city itself is beautiful, if a bit overcast. There was so much nature within the city and just a quick 30 minute drive outside. We went an explored a waterfall (whose bridge had a giant whole in it created by a falling boulder!) and we would have seen more of the Columbian River Gorge, but we were so absorbed in the beauty that we didn’t see the rock nature left in the road.
Interestingly enough, a couple of people stopped by to chat while Parker was changing the tire. They were straight out of Portlandia, I swear. Dreads, reeking of pot, and very personable. It made me like them instantly.
But Portland isn’t quite like it’s shown in Portlandia. Yes, we did run into a feminist bookshop that looked like it was from the 90s and yes, we did see plenty of people with plugs in their ears riding their bikes and yes, we may have waited in line for 30 minutes to eat at Pine State Biscuit (but not Voodoo Doughnuts, which apparently the locals don’t think is that good).
My favorite part of the trip is easily the Japanese Gardens, which were BEAUTIFUL, and SmashPutt, an annual artist-created-designed-engineered putt-putt course where you have to sign a disclaimer saying you won’t sue if your injured. SmashPutt was fantastic, if not loud. Between having to maneuver through a room with fog and motion-sensored beams of light, to shooting golf balls out of air canons, we had a blast.