Ashland, love, and frosting

Posted on
Oct 1, 2009
Posted in: City Guide

Deep down, I think we all want to be brilliant.  We don’t really talk about it. But I suspect that every single one of us quietly works on our novel, or practices our Oscar acceptance speech and thinks that maybe, if the stars aligned and we got a couple breaks, we could really do something wonderful.

Ashland makes me feel this way.

I don’t quite know what it is – it might be that everyone in town is an aspiring something-or-other: a musician or an artist or an actor. It might be that the things that everyone longs for – whether it be fame or fortune or just a really, really good bagel – don’t seem so out-of-reach there. It might be because the entire philosophy of Ashland is that nothing should hold you back.  Because if a dusty little town in rural Oregon can be transformed into an artistic hub and tourist destination (and make it into The New York Friggin Times) there might just be hope for all of us.

Man, do I love it down there.

Rand and I headed down for our first wedding anniversary. We got married in a vineyard just outside of Ashland. So, understandably, my love for that town is inherently tied to my feelings for my husband. I love them dearly, perhaps irrationally, and I even find their flaws and quirks charming. In my esteem, there’s no other place to be, no other person with whom to be.

I think I just barfed a little. Sorry.

This is what Ashland does to me. It makes me wax poetic, it makes me fall stupid in love again, it makes me think that there is nothing more reasonable than running off there and opening up a little sweet shop called “Much Ado About Frosting”. I would name a red velvet cake after Ophelia. Life would be good.

And while I truly wished that I could have used a Shakespearean sonnet as inspiration here, I’m afraid his works just don’t lend themselves to blog posts (Sorry, Will). So I’ve taken a page from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, instead (Just think of this as a sequel to “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship”. Which, in a lot of ways, it is. ).

So … how do I love thee, Ashland? Let me count the ways …

1. We get to see Matt and Kim in Portland on the drive down.

2. Local businesses with awful, wonderful names, inspired by the Shakespeare Festival.

Not pictured: Puck’s Doughnuts (No, I’m not kidding)

3.  The Ashland Springs Hotel at night.

4. The Black Sheep Pub

5. Random puzzles at The Plaza

6. The Sunday Morning Weekly Hippie-Wackjob Lovefest, at Key of C Bagels

7. The incredible creativity that goes into naming the grocery store.

8. The mimosas at Morning Glory.

9. Lithia Park 

10. The Green Show

11. The Railroad Crossing

12. The hills at sunset

13. Bloombury Books

14. Chocolates in bell jars at The Enchanted Florist

15. The I-hope-they’re-never-updated motel signs

16. This girl.

17. The first and last courses at Chateaulin.

18. The Tuesday morning Farmers’ Market

19. The you’re-not-supposed-to-take-pictures-so-I-snuck-a-couple-in Elizabethan Theatre

20. And, of course …

Jew + porkchop = happy everywhereist.

Jew + porkchop = happy everywhereist.


See? That’s all it takes to make me happy.

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