My excitement upon arriving in Ashland, Oregon can only be compared to the jubilance of a child receiving the perfect Christmas present. Familiar sights as Starbucks and Subway are lost in the shadows of new, shiny spectacles. Cozy little shops line clean compact streets, and the hard, unnatural glare of industrial cities is pleasantly absent.
Ashland has an old-town feeling that tickles my inner child and the comprehensive atmosphere seems like something out of a novel. Modest boutiques snuggle together, offering anything from retro collectibles to fine jewels. Coffe shops are easy to find, but the more adventurous will be pleasantly surprised by underground eateries. A one minute walk from our temporary residence, the Columbia Hotel, leads to an enjoyable underground Thai restaurant with great food and service.
The hotel itself is a time warp from modern day commercial hotels to Victorian England. Smaller than a Motel 6, the Columbia is in no way cramped. The establishment is charming, with traditional wood furniture and even an authentic, working telephone booth capable of international calls. Complimentary tea and coffee is offered to complement a well stocked library(which range from encyclopedia's to Cliffnotes on Romeo and Juliet). The hot water for tea is the perfect temperature too!
The evening entertainment was "A Wrinkle in Time", which was comedic as well as thought-provoking, and featured in an indoor theatre named the Angus Bowmer Theatre, whose seats were comfortable and had plenty of leg room. Love as strength is a somewhat overused concept, but there were plenty of other new ideas and hilarious scenes to retain the audience's attention. Comic relief was succeasfully employed, although there were a few allusions only older viewers understood.
However, regardless of age or culture, every audience member can relate to at least one character or situation portrayed in "A Wrinkle in Time". Tomorrow is another day of exploring the quaint town, and I only hope the following plays live up to their reputations as "A Wrinkle in Time" did.