Tag Archives: Ashland

He has no idea what he’s getting himself into.

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When I was a kid, my family went out to eat approximately never. My mother will tell you that it was out of frugality, because my family was broke (not in a depressing, Charles-Dickens sort of way, but a charming and somewhat hilarious let’s-throw-a-blanket-over-the-kids-so-we-don’t-have-to-pay-for-them-at-the-Drive-In kind of way).

I’m sure our reluctance to eat out also had to do with the fact that restaurants don’t like patrons who sit around the table for three hours after the meal is finished, yelling at one another about nothing. This is a part of Italian culture, and if you think that I am over-generalizing, then you have never had dinner with an Italian family.

Seriously, my family can fight about what time it is, if you let them.

I find it all rather hilarious, and I often just sit back and enjoy the conflict, occasionally stoking the coals (“Don’t forget about daylight savings!” I’ll innocently add, and another hour will be lost to the yelling). Sometimes I even make a bag of popcorn and nibble on it as I watch the show, and they don’t even notice.

Before you judge me on my choice of entertainment, I will kindly remind you that it’s in my blood: the ancient Romans used to watch people tear one another apart in the Colosseum; by comparison, our family dinners involve fewer casualties, though there is just about as much sword-wielding and yelling.

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The Lithia Springs Resort is imbued with a sort of Shakespearean vibe.

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Rand had read about Buttercloud Bakery online, and decided we needed to go there for breakfast. This might have caused me to squeal a little bit.

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I like having breakfasts at bakeries. I like having practically any meal at a bakery. Hell, I’m beginning to think that maybe we should have gotten married at a bakery, but that would have been risky, because I likely would have ran off with a baker, or possibly just a very big cake.

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Some days, you go for a walk.

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Every time that Rand and I stay in an old hotel, we have a similar exchange:

Me: This place is nice. Too bad it’s haunted.

Rand: Baby, this place isn’t haunted.

Me: You’d like for me to think that, wouldn’t you?

Rand: Yes. Yes, I would. I would very much like for you to believe that this place isn’t haunted, because it isn’t.

Me: Whose side are you on, anyway?

Rand: Um … logic’s?

Me: SO NOT MY SIDE, THEN.

Or something like that. The point is, I’m rather steadily convinced that every time we stay at an old, remodeled hotel, we’re going to be haunted right out of there, and Rand’s convinced we aren’t.

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Rand and I have been planning out the year’s travel – or parts of it, anyway (There are a number of trips for which we can never plan. They come up last minute, usually in the early hours of the morning, when Rand will shout from his office something along the lines of “I need to be in Boston in May,” or “I need to go to Las Vegas next month,” and ask me if I want to join him. Usually the answer is yes, but occasionally it is “COOKIES!” because I am fast asleep and that is primarily what I dream about). And when he mentioned that we’d have to move our annual pilgrimage to Ashland because of scheduling conflicts, I realized something: I didn’t write a word about our last trip there.

I figure it’s understandable: that trip was cut short – sandwiched between visits to Peru and Barcelona, and the six days we spent in Southern Oregon, going to the same place we go every year, didn’t seem worth writing about at the time.

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Southern Oregon is idyllic.

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It’s also the site of one of the most horrific things I’ve ever seen in my entire life (note: on the grand scale of things, this isn’t saying much. My life is a cakewalk, minus the walk).

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Folks, what I’m about to tell you may not apply to very many of you – it’s the sort of niche, uber-specific travel advice that only a few of you will benefit from, but I still think it’s worth sharing. For those of you who to whom it doesn’t apply, I hope you will at the very least find it entertaining. Sort of. Maybe.

The advice is this: If you go to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, I highly recommend taking the backstage tour.

Take it, because it’s only $12 a person, and you get to see parts of the theater that only cast and crew get to see.

Take it, because you’ll get the chance to see the stagehands tear apart a set and build a new one with such speed and ease, it feels like something out of Inception (even if you haven’t seen the movie. And I haven’t. Tell me nothing).

There were only three of them. They tore the place apart like a Fraggle destroying a Doozer-built creation.

There were only three of them. They tore the place apart like a Fraggle destroying a Doozer-built creation.

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