Much Ado about

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday with some of my best friends. The four of us drove about 3 hours south to the little college town of Ashland, Oregon for a girlfriend getaway.

Ashland is one of our favorite places to visit because it is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This year is the Festival's 75th anniversary and they have several wonderful plays on the performance list like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Pride and Prejudice as well as several Shakespearean masterpieces like The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, Twelfth Night and more. You can find all the information you need about the festival on their website at . We had tickets to Pride and Prejudice, which is my all-ti,e favorite love story! I am an Austen addict through and through. (The play was incredibly well done, by the way! Kudos to all of the Ashland actors.)

Going to Ashland, for us, has developed somewhat of a routine to it (though we've only been there 2 or 3 times now). We do our best to stay in the Plaza Inn & Suites hotel for several reasons. First, they are conveniently located within walking distance of downtown and the theaters. Parking spaces in Ashland can be rare and difficult to come by when the Festival is on and the town is so beautiful that we don't mind walking wherever we go at all. Secondly, they have beautiful rooms and a lovely garden where I, for one, could happily spend the entire day relaxing.

And lastly, the Plaza is famous for their late night snacks of warm cookies, icy cold milk and pbj's.

The best thing in the world after seeing a play is to get into pj's and sit in the garden room eating a toasted pbj with ice-cold milk and a warm chocolate chip cookie (or snickerdoodle, or oatmeal raisin cookie if that's your wish) and discussing what a wonderful job the actors did and how amazing the set was or the beauty of the theater. Ahhh....we love it.

The plays are not the only reason we go, however. Another staple of Ashland is Lithia Park. This gorgeous 93 acre park is located right next to the Elizabethan Theater and demands a mandatory visit each time we go. Beautiful in every season, a walk in Lithia Park is something I have often daydreamed about :)

Being avid letterboxers, my friend Jen and I often trek off on the hunt of either hunting or planting a new one. On this particular trip, we were saddened to discover that one of our previously planted letterboxes has gone missing. Our spirits were raised though, when we retrieved a box I had placed with my sister several years ago. She and I had written the clues to the box, but I had never actually posted them. To my knowledge, the box was waiting all these years untouched for me to tell people how to find it. Jen and I were surprised to find that was not the case at all! In fact, SEVERAL people had discovered the box and left stories and signatures in the logbook for us! What an incredible treat!!

Another highlight of Ashland is the wide variety in restaurant choices. Ashland boasts over 40 restaurants so it's always a challenge determining where we will eat. One of our favorite places to fill our bellies is Munchies. We simply cannot leave Ashland without a visit to Munchies and often we will take one of their enormous slices of carrot cake home to our hubbies as a thank you for letting us getaway to such a wonderful place.

Before our play, we chose to eat at Sesame Asian Kitchen. The atmosphere was really nice. A great place to enjoy good food and lengthy conversation. I loved the look of the place right away.

The food was really fresh and good too.

On Sunday, after browsing the downtown shops, we stopped in at Pangea to grab a bite to eat. Being a soup lover, I chose their Lentil Dahl soup and an "Eat Your Heart Out" pannini with chicken, artichoke heart, spinach and feta cheese filling. Mmmmm.... Yum-O.

If it were up to me alone, this would be how I spend every birthday from here to eternity. I loved everything about the weekend. Good friends, good food, good fellowship all around. I can't wait until the next trip to Ashland!


Kelly said...

First of all, happy birthday! I love your blog (it caught my eye on Julie's blog) and am looking forward to reading more. I'm all about handmade goodies, art as a lifestyle and simple, sweet beauty, so I can't wait to read more!

lemonade sun productions said...

Thanks, Kelly!