Every year in May, six girlfriends and I leave behind our daily lives (husbands, jobs, kids, and pets) and travel to Ashland in southern Oregon for a week. (http://www.ashlandchamber.com/) I have been a part of this group for the past 20 years. A few of the friends have changed, but the core group remains in tact. What is the draw, you ask?
*The play’s the thing* Plays, plays, and more plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. (http://www.orshakes.org/) If you only choose one link to look at, this should be the one. This year, I will be seeing Pride and Prejudice, Hamlet, Well (by Lisa Kron), and She Loves Me (by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock). This is the 75th season and it looks to be stunning. The plays are magnificent, the settings are truly a work of art, and we are always wonderfully entertained.
*A dish fit for the Gods* Great food! We pair up and share breakfast duties and our results outdo any of the local B&Bs (and Ashland has the most B&B’s per capita than any other city in the USA). We enjoy one of Ashland’s many and unique restaurant fares each evening. Our choices have included Amuse (http://www.amuserestaurant.com/), the Peerless Restaurant and Hotel (http://www.peerlessrestaurant.com/), and New Sammy’s Cowboy Bistro (http://razzlestravels.blogspot.com/2007/07/new-sammys-cowboy-bistro-ashland.html).
*Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears* Good friends and good company. We all look forward to this week. We discuss the plays, what has gone on in our lives since we saw each other last, wander the town looking in all the shops, tour a winery or two, read a book, go for a spa session, or just kick back and relax. It’s usually sunny, but we have been there in rain and once in snow. The house we rent has a covered porch along the front that affords us a view of the foot traffic headed to and from town. Two years ago we watched several beekeepers corral a swarm of honeybees that were moving in mass from tree to tree in the yard next to us.
*Chance may crown me* The Cork Queen competition. Each year there is a wine label theme. We all bring entries for the theme, vote on the best label, and the winner in crowned Cork Queen for the upcoming year. This title comes complete with crown, scepter, and the duty of selecting the wine label theme for the next year. It also comes with a lot of laughter, giggles, and outright guffaws.*Laugh oneself into stitches*
*Such stuff dreams are made on* Did I mention wine? Well, yes, all the bottles of wine that are brought for the CQ competition must be consumed, right??
*Brevity is the soul of wit* So, for the coming week, I will be absent from my blog page. I’m not taking my computer, but do plan to take my notebook and pentel pencils to write away on my goals for the month. I’ll also jot notes or write about anything else that catches my interest and report in when I return. And if I win the Cork Queen Crown for 2010, I’ll include a picture of me with the winning label!
*This above all: to thine own self be true*