Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ashland Day 1

We left for Ashland around 9:30 on Wednesday morning (after watching the US beat Algeria in the final minute of stoppage time! If you missed the game, you must watch the highlights here). Our first stop was less than 5 minutes from our house - Psycho Donuts! This place is crazy (no pun intended), and we save it for road trips only. Otherwise, we would be eating donuts every day and each weigh about 500 pounds! I got the Fudgie, their vegan donut of the week. It was a cake donut with fudge frosting, rice crispy cereal, and peanut butter drizzle. Yum!


Brian got the Mood Swing, a cake donut with chocolate frosting topped with half peanuts, half coconut. Also delicious!


After that, we were off! We stopped once and made it to our campground around 3:45 in the afternoon. We set up camp as quickly as possible and then headed into downtown to pick up our tickets at Will Call. We splurged on more expensive tickets this year, so we decided to only attend two shows: The Merchant of Venice and Hamlet . I also bought tickets for a Folio Viewing, which I did several years ago when I went to Ashland for a week-long teaching seminar. I thought it was really neat and wanted Brian to experience it as well.

After picking up our tickets, we decided to grab dinner at our #1-most-favorite-restaurant-in-all-of-Ashland, Dragonfly. Once again, we were not disappointed! We ordered two appetizers, a roasted veggie platter, and the Ahi wontons. They were excellent (even the wontons, and I don't even like raw tuna).

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For dinner, I ordered an Imperial Bowl, and Brian ordered the Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos Three Ways.

Me and my Imperial Bowl - I must learn how to make these ASAP!
(big bowl of steamy lemongrass and coconut milk broth with shiitake mushrooms, brown rice, steamed zucchini, bean sprouts and julienne vegetables)


Brian and his fish tacos
(three mahi mahi tacos, topped with cabbage slaw, avocado, tomato salsa, and pineapple salsa with a side of beans and rice)

For dessert, Brian ordered a Coconut Flan (which I happily helped him finish!).


After dinner it was off to the show! The Merchant of Venice is one of the (few) Shakespearean plays I am unfamiliar with, having neither seen, taught, nor read it before this festival. It's most famous for the phrase "a pound of flesh" and the character of Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. I enjoyed watching a play I was not familiar with, because it allowed me to go into the show with zero expectations. As usual, the OSF company did an incredible job. The show was done outdoors in the Elizabethan theatre and we had second row seats (!!). It was great fun to see Anthony Heald (who played "William Shagspeare" in the world premiere of Bill Cain's Equivocation at the festival last year) steal the show as Shylock. I also really enjoyed the costume design, which was so ambiguous it made it impossible to determine what time period the story was taking place in. This worked especially well for Merchant, I think, because the themes of prejudice and alienation are so universal. Taking the play out of any identifiable time period allowed those themes to really shine through.

OK, enough English teaching talk for tonight! I am trying to get caught up from the trip so I can take a few days off to visit my mom while Brian is at a teaching convention in Monterey next week. Lots to do!

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