Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Shakespear and Grateful Dead (Further)

The following is a brief description of a trip we took to Oregon last fall.  First stop was Ashland where we went to the Shakespeare Festival and also had dinner with John, Mysti and the kids one evening. Next stop was Eugene where we went to three Further Concerts. The weather was very cooperative.  We are certainly diverse in our choices for entertainment, I will say that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

     Our trip started Monday morning. All was going well, rather efficiently. We had our bags in the car, the doors of the house locked, coffee & breakfast cleaned up, plants watered, but as we sat in the car, poised and ready, turned the ignition, there was that tell tale clicking sound…uh oh! dead battery. Not to worry, we put it on our handy dandy car charger that we keep on hand for such occasions, and it wasn’t too long before we could leave, around 10:30. It’s nice we didn’t have a particular schedule, other than meeting Knowing at 7:30 at the Ram’s Head McMinniman’s here in Portland, after check in at the Park Lane Inn, a clean and adequate dwelling for the night.
     It’s warmer here in Portland, quite pleasant. We walked the several blocks to McMinnimans and got there early in time for happy hour for some brews and a snack. It was fun to hang out. Knowing showed up about 7:30 and we bought her dinner. She is a lovely girl, I will say. Very sweet and outgoing, very loving. She is getting excited about her upcoming trip to New Zealand. I am very proud of her. She walked with us back to the motel.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Glorious day, today is my parent’s 64th wedding anniversary. I didn’t pack enough clothes for hot weather, may have to pick up a top or something, or a skirt. It is supposed to be 91 today so we are going for breakfast and then to stroll around town before it gets too hot. Love shopping, as long as it doesn’t last too long and my feet get tired, or I get hungry and cranky.
    Dinner/happy hour at our favorite place, The Black Sheep last night, two half pints of beer and some chips for me! Very good, Ashland is such neat place, one of those magical places on the planet, I do believe. Play was excellent of course, Henry IV part two. Great acting, in the Elizabethan theatre, outside. The stars were twinkly. I rented a blanket for my lap, otherwise it was not cold, and it was like being at a baseball game. Tonight we have different seats, unless we can get them changed.
    We are staying at the Bard’s Inn which is a Best Western. We have a bunch of points so the three days are free. Upstairs, room 227. I am carrying all the suitcases, as Ari has been having hernia issues and cannot lift, but that’s OK.
    We stopped in Eugene on the way down and had a new battery put in the car so that is no longer an issue, had lunch while they put it in. I got a salad from the deli at Safeway, pretty good.
     I haven’t been sleeping well lately, not sure why. I go to sleep, but then wake up in the middle of the night and awake for hours. Sigh. I think about my kids a lot, and my parents, and their lives, want them to be well.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

     Another sunny day, up, dressed and ready for the day ahead. Last night’s performance of Pirates of Penzance was very good, I enjoyed it immensely. Called John last night. The plan is for us to meet at some point today. He and/or Mysti are supposed to call and let us know sometime this morning/afternoon.
     We strolled around town yesterday, window shopping and people watching. Had a margarita at Agaves, very good drinks. Nap in the afternoon, and then the performance. Our last day here in Ashland until next year. Will be heading to Eugene tomorrow, I have mixed feelings about this….and will be glad to be home. I have to get more active in the planning of things. Our plans seem to take on a life of their own, which is not necessarily bad but in this case after we got home from another few days, we’ll be taking yet another road trip up to China Bend which is way too soon after this one. Maybe Ari’s parents will change their minds. It is possible.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

     Here in Eugene at the motel getting ready for another day. I had more fun at the show last night than I thought I would. At first I was a bit reluctant because of all the “altered states” of consciousness, but Ari was really sweet. His brother David and his friend Woody, a guy in his 30’s who reminds me of a teddy bear, are also here in Eugene and are sharing a room down the street from ours. When I first met him I thought I was back at Slug Hollow, a “trigger” went off and it sort of made me nervous, but I got over it. All those days of pot smoking and hanging around all sorts of people. Good people, and those that sort of just wander through life, purposeless and unwashed. It still isn’t really my “thing”, though. I like security, a home, a center, at least, and good friends that I can count on.
     Weather is still good; it was hot yesterday, cooled down at night for the show. So many people. No dinner last night and so far bad coffee and no breakfast today. Hmmm…Oh well I am sure it will all work itself out eventually. Waiting for Woody and David to stop by. No smoking, guys, this is a non smoking room. I’m laying down the law!
    Otherwise I am feeling fairly rested after a couple of beers last night and long walk to the venue and back. If it rains on Sunday like it is predicted, I am opting out, as I am not that dedicated of a “deadhead”, or one at all for that matter, but it has been a good experience so far. I’ve learned to flow and glow for the most part and just enjoy what is happening in the present. They played some oldies that I recognized so that helped. Otherwise it was almost too long. The shows are from 7:30 to 11:00, with a break in between. People of all ages attend, lots of older people of my generation as well. Love is what makes the world go round.
    Update. Went to brunch at McMinniman’s with David and Woody. The waiter spilled a mai tai all over me. oopsie. Sticky, but gosh, it happens. He didn’t charge us for our coffee. Came home & napped, walked to the market for orange juice, discovered that we brought our good coffee after all. Motel coffee is truly awful. Had our second cup at McMinniman’s which was really good. I was able to nap, though, but now am feeling energy again. We’ll probably go soon to hang out at the park before the show starts. I hear it’s going to be a full and crazy night but I have learned to flow with it and not judge or worry about stuff, just experience what is happening…it’s a good thing to do. Thankfully Ari is such a good friend.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

     Last day in Eugene. We slept in until 8:45 this morning, now getting ready to go have some lunch. We found our good coffee, just had forgotten it in the car. We had some scones this morning so already the day is a pretty good start. The weather has changed and it looks like rain. Sigh. I am all geared up and ready. How bad can it be? I just figure, might as well complete the vibration of this trip. This will probably be the longest show of all because it will be wet. The whole thing is an experience; I do understand why people attend. It’s a cultural event. Part of me thinks I am crazy, a little. Just think I could hang back here and watch the season premier of Desperate Housewives!
    I still feel out of place, a little, like I can’t really let go, not really feeling at home, that sort of thing. I am probably over thinking. Ari and I have been doing our own thing as far as sitting together, although the 4 of us have been walking back together. I only had one beer last night, as we sat down further and I didn’t want to have to use the restroom, especially in the later part of the night when things start to fall apart and the bathrooms overflow, and people are staggery from all the alcohol. And then making the way through all the people. I can do it, I have done it, but sometimes I am not in the mood to handle it. All in all I am adjusting pretty well, I feel. We have a nice motel room which is wonderful, clean sheets, hot showers, a fridge & microwave and we are in walking distance of the places we want to go, so there are the blessings. Plus Ari has been very sweet, he’s been to so many Dead shows in his life, never with me, he goes for the music. There are lots of people my age there, us old hippies. Music is good, I must admit, reminiscent of my rock and roll days and how good it is to have a peaceful and unified gathering, those golden moments in life. From experience in the Family as well, the garlic festival where a mini culture is set up for a few alternative from the main stream unreality of the world.

Our accomodations in Ashland:
The Green Show:

 Happy Hour at the Black Sheep:
 Grateful Dead: (Further)
 Walking to the Further Show:

Dinner with the kids

Knowing and I at McMinniman's in Portland

Saturday, March 17, 2012


First Stop New York

It was time to travel again. This time our destination was Italy and on our way took the opportunity to stop in Manhattan to stay in the Best Western Hotel President. We had stayed there before on our honeymoon trip to Paris because we liked the location near Times Square not that far from the Lincoln Center where the opera house is.

New York is exciting, full of a palpable energy, which, since I had been to New York before, was learning to enjoy. After a morning stroll through the remarkable Times Square, we lunched at the landmark Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue at 55th Street. It amazed me that, although it was very crowded and there was a line outside waiting to get in, we didn’t have to wait very long to get a table or to place our order. For me, being here was the embodiment of the New York experience. While we waited for our Rueben sandwich (where else but in New York can you get a $25.00 sandwich, but they are sandwiches like no other. They are huge. That is why we split one) we munched on pickles, people watched, and observed the “walls of fame” filled with photographs of celebrities, dignitaries, and athletes. The Carnegie Deli is also famous for its home made cheesecake, but we were full. Maybe next time.

Next stop was Guggenheim museum which is Frank Lloyd Wright's last major work. The building is distinctive and from the street looks like a white ribbon curled into a cylindrical stack, slightly wider at the top than the bottom. Inside, the viewing gallery forms a gentle helical spiral from the main level up to the top of the building. Paintings are displayed along the walls of the spiral and also in exhibition space found at annex levels along the way. The rotunda is lit by a beautiful skylight.

That evening we dined before the opera at restaurant called Rosa’s Mexicano near Lincoln center and Metropolitan Opera House. Rosa’s was the most upscale Mexican restaurant that I had been to and as quoted on their website: “When we opened the first Rosa Mexicano in 1984, New York Magazine applauded us for introducing New Yorkers to a “hitherto unfamiliar, elevated version of Mexican cuisine.” After the appetizer of chips and guacamole made to order at the table we decided this would be sufficient refreshment, accompanied by a pitcher of sangria which was delicious!

This year’s opera was an Italian one; Bellini’s La Sonnambula. This opera, originally based on a ballet, was light and romantic and tells the story whose heroine Amina who gets herself into all sorts of trouble by ending up in a stranger’s bed. You can imagine all the twists and turns of the plot. The music was lovely.

After the performance we strolled to a nearby café called Pigale where we enjoyed a nightcap of absinthe. Absinthe is a flavored distilled liquor emerald green in color that tastes strongly of licorice. Known also as the Green Fairy, it is said to be the favorite beverage of artists and writers such as Van Gogh, Monet, Oscar Wilde and Earnest Hemmingway. There was a procedure that went along with the serving of this drink. The waiter brought a water container with a spigot on each side. This served to drip water over a sugar cube which was placed on a special slotted spoon which is held over the glass. It was an especially entertaining way to end the first segment of our journey.