As expected, my trip to Oregon was utterly awesome! It was just a nice get-away, first off, and then there was the bonus of seeing my family and friends! Huzzah! (i almost wrote "added bonus", but that's pretty redundant, isn't it?) What was extra special was that my flight wasn't cancelled due to extreme weather, like another time that shall remain nameless. There was extreme weather, though, that was kind of wrapping up when I arrived. Oregon was experiencing quite the heat wave! It was hotter there than in Utah! Inexplicable.
Thursday night and Friday were spent with my family, who are fantastic and wonderful and fabulous and awesome and . . . well, you get the picture, right? I really didn't have any specific plans, so we just kind of hung out with each other, which was pretty much perfect for me. Dad, Mom, and I went out to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory on Friday, so I was pretty pumped for the dessert that you inevitably have to order at that particular restaurant. That night, both the Tom Jensens and Tom Kellys came over to the house for dinner. It was the calmest I've EVER seen Jack, and apparently it's the calmest Lucy's been in a while, too, so I got lucky with the niece and nephew. (my heart melted, i must admit, when jack said my name . . . naturally, he was prompted to do it by his mommy, but it was the first time he'd ever said it; beautiful sound.) I love my family. They're just great. But perhaps I'm biased.
Saturday morning, I drove down to Ashland with my good friend Melissa to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival! Oh, so awesome! We saw four shows in two days, and all were excellent. I think we must have been in a pleasant sort of mood, because all of the shows we saw were comedies. No sadness for us on this trip, thank you very much. Ashland's a cute little town, and we found a couple of good places to eat while we were there. Of course, eating wasn't our purpose, but it helped that there was good food around. I was pretty excited about The Music Man, and while the guy who played Harold Hill was no Robert Preston (which i knew was going to be the case, even without craig's warning), he was actually really good. I also recognized him from a previous trip to the festival eight years ago, when he played Antonio in The Merchant of Venice. Kind of cool. The show that made us laugh the hardest was The Servant of Two Masters, with all their in-jokes to budgeting, other shows in the festival, the economy in general, and then there was the improvisation they did when interacting with the audience. Oh, just fantastic. All's Well that Ends Well was really good; I think my favorite part was the guy who played the Clown, because he ended up kind of being the constant thread through the whole show. It was a rare moment that he wasn't onstage, playing some random part. Then Much Ado About Nothing was great, as well, and that was the one on the Elizabethan Stage. My favorite part of that show has always been when Benedick hears the trio of guys talking about Beatrice's "love" for him, and this show didn't disappoint, what with Benedick leaping into a pool of water to avoid detection. Oh, good times.
Melissa and I also found our way to a lake in the nearby mountains one morning/early afternoon to go swimming, and it was so beautiful there, surrounded by green and serenity. On our way back up to Portland on Monday, we also took a bit of a detour along the Rogue River, stopping to enjoy the water over our toes again and exploring the local wildlife. Quite a successful and fun trip with Melissa.
The rest of the time I was home (which was through tuesday night) was spent with Mom. We went to dinner and a movie on Monday night, then to the Rose Gardens on Tuesday afternoon. -sigh- I LOVE the Rose Gardens! I really think that park is my favorite spot in Oregon; it always makes me happy. I'm absolutely convinced that growing up in Portland is what made the rose my favorite flower.
Even though returning to work has been slightly gruelling, I was happy to return to Utah and the "normal" life, whatever that is. I could have stood a couple days more, probably, but you always want your vacation to last longer than it actually does. But, eventually, you must take up the dregs of your regular life if you want to be able to afford next summer's expensive excursion. But what will that be? I suppose I should figure that out to have something to look forward to.
"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." -H.L. Mencken