Ashland, April 2011

(I have to note the date of our trips, as John makes several trips a year.)

For my mother’s birthday, John and I gave her a trip to Ashland, OR in late April. We all flew into Medford airport, where I rented a car for convenience. The weather was lovely, and none of us had any problems.

We stayed at The Cowslips Belle Bed n Breakfast, which was a wonderful place. Specifically, we were in the Love in Idleness room and the Cuckoo-Bud rooms, which are just across the (small) backyard, in the carriage house. The rooms were very comfortable, although a little crowded by the ‘extra’ twin bed (perfect for families, I’m sure). The breakfasts were fabulous, and the conversation even better.  This is our ‘go to’ place for years to come, I’m sure.

On Thursday night, we had dinner at The Peerless Inn. The Peerless has a unique collection of ‘small plates’ that provide a variety of options for tasting, and we took advantage of it. A butternut squash gnocchi was a sublime burst of Autumn in the mouth. The mussels were good. The wild mushroom risotto was exquisite. The melange of vegetables (brussels sprouts, asparagus, bok choy and green beans) were tasty and perfectly cooked. The chicken tagine remains a favorite. We were all pleased and satiated by the variety and the quality.

Friday, John went to see August, Osage County while the ladies went for mani pedis. A good time was had by all.  For dinner we went to an old favorite, Pasta Piatti. Solid Italian for a price that won’t break the bank. We eat here at least once each trip.

Our play that evening was Measure for Measure. John’s review sums it up well for me, although I would say that I found the singing very irritating and jarring. Kenajuan Bentley‘s performance was superb, his timing excellent and his ‘jive’ pentameter just great. This is a tough play to begin with, another one that can be difficult for modern audiences to appreciate, and I think the cast did a good job with it But it compares poorly with their last production (in 1998).

Saturday saw my mom and I returning to the spa for further pampering. Afterwards, we wandered around the town a bit. Books were bought, and various items.  Our dinner that evening was at Amuse.

We began with an amuse bouche of asparagus soup — springtime in a sip. I had the grilled shrimp, and John had the soup. For our mains, my mom had an excellent skirt steak, John had the scallops and I had a delicious halibut. Dessert was the beignets, always superb.

Our play that evening was Julius Caesar, which now ranks as on of the top 10 plays I have seen in 16 years at OSF.  From the opening, you are drawn in and carried along in this timeless tale of power, betrayal, and politics.

We left on Sunday, feted and feeling wonderful. A truly special vacation.

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