Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The main reason for our West Coast visit was to spend 5 days at the OSF( Oregon Shakespeare Festival) in Ashland, OR with our son Raven and his wife Becky. They are part of a group of 10 people who visit the festival each year and we tagged along.
We headed south, Monday morning, from Seattle stopping in Tacoma, to visit the "Museum of Glass". Continuing on to our destination, that day, Lake Oswego, a beautiful southern suburb of Portland, and a meeting with good friends who came from Bend OR to spend a day and evening with us.
That night, along with 8 family members we celebrated the Grandma's ( our friend) Birthday at a downtown, Portland hotel, which houses a pleasant, "old fashioned", Italian restaurant. Meal was fine, company wonderful.

Our Granddaughter is teaching sailing, this summer, in Eugene OR before entering the University of Washington law school, this September. Tuesday morning, around 10 AM we met her and her "boyfriend"( old fashioned term) for breakfast at "Off the Waffle" 2540 Willamette St. Eugene, OR 97405 (541) 515-6926. This small neighborhood spot, run by 2 Israelis, turned out to be delightful. They specialize in Liege (Belgium) Waffles with as many toppings as one can imagine. I was prosaic and stuck with bacon and egg and real maple syrup, but the younger generation went for Gouda, apples and Canadian bacon or another combination of Feta, berries and cinnamon. All with an assortment of syrups and other additives. When we left the line was "out the door". They say they have expanded once, currently about 10 tables, but I feel that another move is in the offing.

We drove on to Ashland, taking the "boyfriend" to his Mothers house before checking in at our hotel. That night, with our son and wife we dined at "Thai Pepper", 84 North Main St. Ashland, OR 97520 (541)482-8058. The place had been touted by a young chef friend of ours, currently working in Seattle. He did not lead us astray. We had a table, outside, by a heavily running creek( snow Melt), which added plenty of ambiance to a wonderful dinner.The table shared; Cucumber Salad, perfectly marinated, Fried Calamari, crisp and firm, beautiful, medium rare lamb strips marinated and served in a wonderful Asian sauce, outstanding, and a Crispy Fish, fresh and succulent, before we piled into a Chocolate Torte and grilled Banana's wrapped in a flaky, light dough ( egg roll wrapper), with the mandatory Carmel and chocolate sauces. What an introduction to Ashland and the OSF. In our opinion the best meal we had in Ashland.

After two plays on Wednesday we took a daytime trip to Crater Lake, about 75 miles East and 4000 feet up. For the last ten miles we drove through cleared highway and piled snow, which eventually reach 6 to 10 feet. The snow doesn't melt till Aug 15 and starts again Oct 15, a short summer. The lake is all it is cracked up to be and the Lodge dining room serves much better food than the average park fare. Our attractive server, DeLacey, was not only helpful, suggesting we split a salad and a Pasta ( "Forest", including mushrooms, cherry tomato's and asparagus) but added a pleasant and polite demeanor to our lunch.
The ride back had to be down-hill for the first 10 miles( what a place for a "soap-box" derby race) but fun seeing the snow recede and spring and summer approach, as the altitude changed.
We stopped in Medford, OR for a visit to "Harry and David" where we stocked up on giant Bing Cherries and red plums, a mainstay for our son.
That night before the play the group ventured to a Greek Restaurant, "Blue" having had Italian, Macaroni's" the night before. If not gourmets we are certainly cosmopolitan.

More reporting in a week or so, after we finish a trip to Northern WI and then Chicago.

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