Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ashland Here I Come!

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*


  1. It sounds like a fun filled adventure! We will miss you, but we'll take comfort in knowing that you will have much to write about when you return. Have Fun and Good Luck! ::bows to the future Cork Queen::

  2. Your plans sound fabulous! Every single thing you'll be doing is lovely.

    I can't wait to hear all about it and to see the picture of you with the winning label.

    Have a blast now, ya hear?

  3. Well, I pushed the button before I changed the posting date. I meant for this to come out on Friday, as that's the day we leave. But, the cat's out of the bag now! SO, thanks for your well wishes! I'm busily running around getting things ready for my husband and mom for the coming week. Not to mention packing, selecting recipes to take, taking the kitties to the vet and, well, you know....

  4. Wow, that sounds like my dream weekend!! And on top of it, to have an annual event like this sounds so relaxing, enjoyable and downright fun. We expect at least a few stories out of this! :-)

  5. I should be able to come up with at story or two. And I will have some new Shakespeare quotes when I return. (You recognized the ones in the bold print, right?)

  6. What a GREAT week you have planned! It sounds wonderful. And what I love so much about good friends is that you can just pick up where you left off last, whether it was last week or ten years ago, without skipping a beat.

    Have fun, and come back with lots of stories!

  7. Natasha - that is so true about picking up where you left off. I wrote a letter to them all (I think it was something Ann had us do in BWW), and said that very thing. It will be a great week! And I will have time to write. I'm taking a couple of books on time travel and spells to read about how it's done. A Knight In Shining Armour (Deveraux) and The Wizard of Seattle (Hooper).

  8. This is TOTALLY off-topic to your post but I wanted to respond to a comment you made on my blog (about my spending a lot of time in emergency rooms, I think.) Lamentably, it has been the SAME person each time and A's and my only thought is generally not IF the next crisis will arrive, but WHEN. All of their friends have called it quits and bailed out on them (with good reason) and I am the only one left who even picks up the phone when she calls -- though if it's not the middle of the night, I let it move first into voice mail.

    It's a neighbor, not even someone I consider a close friend. It's hard not to throw a life preserver out when someone's drowning, though.

    Just didn't want you to think all my friends -- and I by association -- were hatchet-wielding loonies or anything. :)

    Okay, maybe the loonie bit but I don't do hatchets.

    And, DUH, I didn't connect all the Shakespeare references. Don't know 'chance may crown me.' You are SO clever -- and I can tell you are gearing up for a wonderful time!

  9. Oh, I am so jealous! Can I come? What a fun-filled weekend. I've actually heard of this festival. A lady I used to work with moved to Ashland after she retired, but she would go up there every year.
    Have fun and tell us all about it when you get home.

  10. Tee Hee - I cheated and looked at a list of the top 200 Shakespeare quotes and picked the ones that fit! That list is amazing, by the way. I didn't realize how many "Bardisms" were attributed to him: Method in the madness, A sorry sight, A tower of strength, Bated breath, Budge an inch, For goodness' sake, Foregone conclusion, Neither rhyme nor reason.

    And you truely are St. Natasha, with your compassion for your neighbor. May you have a peaceful week.

  11. Dayner - You aren't that far away! Come on up - we have room!! We will be there for a WHOLE WEEK! YaHoo! I'm so half-there already!

  12. oh.oh.oh. I will be in Galveston TX all next week. Is that close enough to shuffle on over? If I AM a saint (most definitely NOT) I should be able to spread my wings and fly.

    Have a wonderful time.

  13. Shuffle on over - there's more than enough room.

  14. Thanks for the link! Have a wonderful time, I need to make a trip there again soon myself.