I love coming back to our old stomping grounds. Every time we are in Ashland we are greeted with hugs, squeals and smiles. We lived here for about 2 1/2 years, which isn’t terribly long, but this is just the type of town that is easy to flow right back in to. It is comfortable in the best way and we feel at ease hopping from one favorite spot to another.
We arrived Saturday, with rains battering our truck and just enough time to spend with our lovely hostess (thank you Arica!) before we had to get ready for our other friends wedding. We donned our best (and looked quite spiffy I might add) and headed up the mountain. The wedding was taking place at the top of Mt. Ashland at the ski lodge. It is still June mind you, so the weather can be unpredictable. Rains were pouring in town but as we climbed, those little water droplets quickly transformed into snowflakes. Initially, the ceremony was to take place outdoors but it was obvious that this was no longer going to happen. The delicate flakes that danced around our vehicle suddenly became a sideways blizzard with almost whiteout conditions. The husband dropped me off at the door which was ever so gentlemanly of him as I was not dressed for the occasion- a little black dress and red heels is not snow weather attire. I found a familiar face and was directed to the bridal dressing area where I was welcomed with anticipating and happy faces. The wedding was beautiful of course and we ate, danced and spent the evening laughing uproariously.
Apparently, we arrived during a cold front because the next day was full of ominous clouds and sprinkling rains as well. After waking, we made our way to one of our favorite parks where I used to have weekly hoop jams. Which is why we were there this day! I got out the hoops, waited for the friends to arrive and spent an hour twirling and swirling until we all decided we were famished and ready for sushi! Now Kobe is one of my all-time favorite places to eat in Ashland. The crunchy cheese roll is out of this world amazing- almost dessert like. Stuffing ourselves silly and leaving with the biggest smile on my face, we were ready for darts at the Black Sheep! So many epic and fun memories have been spent here and this time was no less great. More friends arrived and we stayed until closing time.
Of course by this point, you are pretty wiped out but since you are on vacation and have such a short period of time with your amazing friends, you suck it up and keep going. We were a bit more lazy and struggled getting out of bed by day 3 but we felt we should get out. We wandered to a place we have driven past many times but never spent time at. The trails and gardens at the North Mountain Nature Center are beautiful! I have always dreamed of having gardens like these in my backyard but now that we are in the desert, the possibilities are not quite the same. We strolled along some of the paths, took a nap in the grass but the rain was back again (that’s Oregon for ya), so we left and went to a friends house to hot tub (and yes, I am using that as a verb). Soaking and relaxing so deeply that it was hard not to fall asleep, is just awesome. Soon it was once again time to prepare for the evenings next outing- jazz at Martinos- which used to be one of our Monday night rituals. My girlfriend has been singing with the jazz trio for a couple of years and she gets better and better every time I see her perform!
Yesterday was spent walking Main Street to do some shopping. And cupcake eating. Larry’s has the best cupcakes and I make it a point to go anytime I am in town! The sun had finally come out so our walkabout was much more enjoyable. The time had come and our final evening was upon us. And what better way to spend it than with a BBQ and gathering of our closest friends? The food was amazing of course. We drank wine, cuddled and giggled, smoked from the hookah, took endless photos and sighed through the night at our upcoming departure.
So here I am on our final morning, cleaning up the happy messes from the blissful night before and reliving the wonderful events of our time spent in this heart warming town. I will be out of touch for the next number of days as we backpack along the Rogue River and ultimately make our way a bit south to the Redwoods. To our favorite places, super amazing friends and more memories to someday come- thank you all! Ashland, you will always hold a place in our hearts. We love you!