Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Drive-About: First Stop

I am home from my Pacific Northwest "drive-about."  What a wonderful trip it was -- I spent time with wonderful friends, and I saw a lot of beautiful places, and I spent a lot of time in the car having a good time listening to audiobooks, singing along with music, and thinking my own thoughts.  One of the fun aspects of this trip was sketching and painting along the way.  I really enjoyed working on an illustrated journal as I went along.

It was good for me to travel alone at this point in my life.  I've not done that in ages, in over two decades, probably.  I remembered how much I enjoy driving and seeing the way the terrain changes as you go from place to place.  I loved being able to pull off and explore whatever I wanted along the way.  I loved being able to open the sunroof and let my hair blow crazily without any complaints from the back seat. I thought a lot about how I probably wouldn't have felt that comfortable doing a 2-week road trip alone when I was in my 30's -- I would have felt too self-conscious, too wistful about wanting a partner, to worried about what might happen.  Now, in my 50's, I've lost the self-consciousness, and I figure I know how to avoid and/or get myself out of most scrapes so that wasn't a worry.  And at this time and at this age, I treasured the time alone to just be me and enjoy what I enjoy.

I started my trip in Ashland, Oregon, a place I'd never been to before but always wanted to see.  It's about a 5 hour drive from home so it was not a driving day.  And Ashland turned out to be as charming as everyone has always said it is.

 The downtown area is full of cute shops and restaurants, and the surrounding streets had charming bungalow and older style homes.  Especially coming from brown, summery California, I appreciated how lush and green everything was.

I stayed at a charming bed & breakfast, Anne Hathaway's B&B.  I could have stayed for two days just sitting on the inviting porch.  It was a wonderful place to sit and sip coffee in the early morning.

 I was also amused at the stuffed moose over the front door.

I saw "A Midsummer Night's Dream" while I was there, which seemed perfect for my first OSU Theatre Festival Experience.  It was held in the outdoor Elizabethan Theater, which was a marvel all its own.  I didn't take any photos during the play (obeying the signs of course) but here's one that gives you an idea of the theater:

I checked out the three(!) fabric stores in town, and had a very fun experience at one called Quiltz which also carries needlework supplies.

 As I was roaming about, I spotted several designs by my sister, Laura Perin.  When I asked if I could take pictures to show to Laura, they got so excited to hear that I didn't just know her, I was related to her.  They treated me as if I were the sister of the queen.  They raved about how much they loved Laura's designs and made sure to show me the special bin they have for her patterns.

I can see myself returning there, now that I know how close it is and how wonderful it is.  And next year's line up of plays looks great too. 

It was a wonderful first leg for my trip. 


  1. What a fun trip! I've always enjoyed reading about Del's solo road trips and now your's. I just might have to plan one. I love your journal page, too! I hope we get to see a lot more.

  2. Thanks, Susan, I found myself thinking about Del a lot on my trip, too. She is a good inspiration.

  3. I love your journal drawings and am so looking forward to hearing about your trip. Good for you!

  4. What a great road trip, seems like life is settling down again.

  5. Anonymous6:17 PM

    Susan, my congratulations for your courage and for the good explanation about your trip. One day…...one day
    I want to go to Ashland and Portland too…...onde day...and to see the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
    You are a great woman.
    Cida – from São Paulo/Brazil

  6. Anonymous5:17 PM

    Diane, I am sorry for change your name at my comment yesterday.
    Sorry please.