Sunday, September 25, 2005

Back from Ashland, Oregon

We had an excellent time in Ashland, OR this weekend. We did all of the things you might expect. We had some great conversations with Jenn’s Dad and his girlfriend, we had some excellent meals at several area restaurants, and we saw some great live drama at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I think Jenn and I enjoyed Twelfth Night the most. It was a fine production and we laughed a lot. Richard III and Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus were also very good.

For the festival, we usually stay in a lousy, overpriced corporate-chain hotel. But this year we stayed in a B&B called Nightingail's. The innkeeper, Gail, does an excellent job of making you feel at home. She is a retired high school English teacher who is very knowledgeable about Shakespeare in general, and also knows much detail about the festival. The house is beautiful, the beds are cozy, and the breakfasts are delicious. I highly recommend!

Naturally, I had to engage Gail about the house. She bought the 1902 Four Square a little over 10 years ago. It had been turned into a pink mock-Victorian (gasp!). However, she lovingly restored it to its "less pretentious" originality and prepared it to be a B&B. This included tearing the insides down to the studs and upgrading the electrical, plumbing, and heating systems. The transformation took a little over a year. And, it doesn’t seem the house has aged a day since then.

I asked Gail about this curious window in our room that faces the interior stairway. She says it is original and was used to help vent the upstairs. Nice stained glass.

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