Seanie at Oak Street Station
Our first full day in Ashland was pretty awesome. We woke up and went downstairs for an amazing breakfast. Our hostess had themed it to Marilyn Monroe. There were gloves and pearls arranged as the centerpiece of the table, and Marilyn Monroe's face smiled at us from each of the coffee mugs. The menu was as follows:
The Misfits Martini - "Are you getting Fresh?" Minty Melon Melody
Some Like It Hot - Poached Eggs
Here's to you, Joe DiMaggio - Polenta
Sausage for Sherman's Conscience: Love Apple & Herb Sausage
For dessert (breakfast dessert! Best friggin' idea ever!) Silky Panna Cotta with Caramel
It was delicious and filling. The Panna Cotta was to die for. We sat at one large table with the rest of the guests; there were eight of us, total. Seanie and I were the youngest, naturally. Nearly everyone was Californian, up to see the plays. An older couple from Cool, California (apparently it's a real town, who knew?) had brought their niece, who seemed to be about our age, but she was shy and didn't seem interested in talking to us. Luckily, there were plenty of chatterboxes at the table so conversation was pleasant.
After breakfast, our original plan was to go up to Medford, OR to see the Harry & David factory. Unfortunately, breakfast ran late and Seanie drives at the speed limit, so we were late and missed our chance to go. I was mad and pouted for the next half hour, until Seanie found us an alternative entertainment. Since I couldn't watch men mixing Moose Munch, we went to Rouge Valley Creamery, and watched a video about making cheese and sampled all sorts of exotic cheeses. That was fun. Cheese is awesome. There was a lavender-flavored cheddar that we ended up buying, and another cheese with coffee mixed in. The best was this cheese that had all sorts of spices blended in. It was a peppery flavor, really nice. For some reason, I was extremely entertained by the fact that after a slice of cheese was cut, it was wrapped using the exact same technique we use at Lush to wrap soap. No wonder people ask if we're selling cheese!
You can see the wheels of cheese in the background. Yum.
Right next door to the Creamery was a small chocolate factory, so of course we went there. We tried samples of their caramels, dipped in chocolate and topped with sea salt - wonderful. Then we saw a candy bar called DO NOT EAT THIS CHOCOLATE, with samples of cut-up pieces next to it. What do you think we did?
How could anyone resist this?
OH MY GOSH I THOUGHT I WAS GONNA DIE. The chile peppers totally sneak up on you. You take a bite, and as the chocolate starts to melt you shrug and think "Gee, that's not so bad." Then WHAM! IN COMES AN ARMY OF SPICY DEATH SETTING YOUR TONGUE AFLAME. The sales clerk was laughing at us as we frantically started shoving more caramels down our throats to suppress the burn. Naturally, we had to buy some of the candy bars to gift to unsuspecting friends. I also bought an assortment of truffles, and a little pot of chocolate-blue cheese spread (much better than it sounds) to take home to my Mom. It's weird food. I figured she'd like it, or be freaked out by it.
Lilli Belle's resident chocolate team also makes sculptures. There was a pretty spring tree surrounded by flower blossoms displayed at the center of the shop. It looked so cute and charming until you got up close and realized that all the bunnies hopping around the base of the tree were zombies or something equally terrifying:
After blowing huge wads of cash on chocolate and cheese, we went back to Ashland. We had a play to attend - Throne of Blood, a stage version of a Japanese movie based on Macbeth - but first we popped into the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's front office/mini-museum/help desk/I'm not sure? to check out some costumes they had displayed from the previous year's productions.
The best costume by far was this bodice, spliced together from bits and pieces of cast members' clothing:
Throne of Blood was...interesting. It had some pacing issues, though. I'll write about it in great depth later.
After the play, we went shopping for a while. There are so many cute shops in downtown Ashland, all of which are small, tourist-supported businesses. The only chain stores we saw on the main strip were Starbucks (of course) and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. It's a fun place. I popped into Gypsy Rose and bought some clothes, including a pale green skirt with skulls printed on it. (Last year, I bought the black version.)
I also bought this dress, which (trust me!) looks a lot cuter when I'm ACTUALLY wearing it.
We at dinner at Martino's, which has the tastiest food in Ashland. At least, I think so. I am in love with their Tri Citrus Pollo, which is cold chicken dripping with a citrus sauce, served over a mountain of fruit. It's the perfect dish for a hot day, and it was in the 90s this afternoon Much warmer than I had expected, to be honest. Isn't Oregon supposed to be kinda chilly?
So yeah. Ate dinner, it was delicious, and that gave us just enough time to drop the leftovers off at Oak Street Station before running back to the theater to see The Merchant of Venice. Does that count as two Shakespeare plays in a single day? It was a very good production; it was really neat to see how the director interpreted the racist elements to make the play (more) acceptable to a modern audience.