Friday, October 31, 2014

Jacksonville and Ashland, Oregon (Britt Festival and Oregon Shakespeare, August 2014)

 A couple of months ago, my wife and I made our annual pilgrimage to Ashland, Oregon, for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  However, we added a stop to our itinerary: nearby Jacksonville, home to the Britt Festival.  Here are the photos of our three-day end-of-summer weekend.

Jacksonville is quintessential small-town America.  Its buildings haven't changed much in about 100 years.

The Mustard Seed Cafe was one place we looked into for food, though it was closed when we went by.

We stopped by the Quady North tasting room, around the block.

My wife was in her element with Oregon wine (albeit non-Willamette wine).

We had pre-festival dinner at the C Street Bistro, home of regionally renowned chef Paul Becking.

I needed a Ninkasi after the day's drive.  Beer on a Friday evening is a must.

Nice salad.

I got the last Slap 'n Tickle burger of the day.  House pastrami, duck egg, provolone and mustard (plus the burger).  Outstanding.

By the restroom, there's a little homage to the chef.

Giada De Laurentiis is a fan.

As was the late Julia Child.

The main drag (Main Street?) has loads of character.

I tried to get a reservation at Gogi's Restaurant, and initially failed.  Then the owner called me personally to tell me there was an opening; I politely declined, given my reservation at C Street (the owner assured me that I made a good choice, as he had had lunch there that same day), but I vowed to come here the next time I was in Jacksonville.

A fountain en route up the hill to the Britt Festival.

A look back down from the hill.

A fun way to avoid walking.

Time to go to the Britt Festival, where we would see banjo player extraordinaire Bela Fleck, playing with the Britt Orchestra.

The orchestra played a piece before Bela Fleck took the stage, as well as one after he left.

A look out over southern Oregon.

If I'm not mistaken, it was the conductor's first year with the Britt Festival.

Bela Fleck emerges.

It was a great piece of music, written by Fleck himself (I think...).

Gorgeous late summer evening.

Time for some classical music before the end of the night.

We were staying in Ashland, and while we normally do Morning Glory for breakfast, we weren't in the mood for an hour-plus wait.  Thus, we went to the Breadboard.

There was zero wait, and the food was 99.9% as fantastic as Morning Glory.

We had some time before our afternoon play (The Comedy of Errors), so we went up the road to Medford to do some light shopping at Harry and David's.  Their beer selection is quite amazing, I should note.

Speaking of beer, we went to Standing Stone Brewery in Ashland after the first play.

Gotta love the tasting flight.

There was a new brewery in town, so we walked about a mile over to Swing Tree, literally on the other side of the tracks.

We both enjoyed their beers (only three on tap, if I recall).  I had the appropriately-named Obligatory IPA.

The girls working there were doing some Hawaiian dancing, for some reason.

Back in downtown, we walked by the lithia water fountains.  Blech...

Ahoy there!

Lithia Park is one of my most favorite parks in the world.

That's a dragonfly, if you look closely.

Dinner was at The Loft.  This was my French onion soup.

A beautiful Saturday evening.

Time to see Richard III on the Elizabethan Stage.

Next year's OSF offerings include Pericles and Antony and Cleopatra.  The full schedule gets released this coming week.