Much Ado About Something
For those who have ever wondered if the hype about Ashland, OR is true, I’m here to tell you that yes, in fact, it is!
After a long stretch of cleaning, packing, scrubbing walls, and saying tearful good-byes in Salem, my mom and I packed the car, loaded the cat into her trusty carrier, and headed south of the border….
…with an overnight stop in Ashland for a little R&R.
Cleaning can make a girl hungry, so our first goal was to find some good eats, and boy did we.
Pasta Piatti in Ashland is a MUST try for those who love really good Italian. Off-white eaters listen up! Pasta Piatti can make most of their dishes with Spelt Pasta and all their bread are homemade – YUM and YAY!!!
I scored with a seared Ahi tuna salad with white beans and fresh greens – a great, naturally low carb colorful dish and mom took the proverbial cake with one of their signature dishes: butternut squash raviolis with a butter/brown sugar/gorgonzola cheese sauce. Was it a meal? Was it dessert? I’m still not sure but it WAS tasty…..and very much like the dishes we’d tried in our recent trip to the motherland Italia back in October.
Yes, certainly Ashland won our hearts from the get-go!
We tooled around town, walking, shopping and chatting and enjoying the ambience. Ashland provides a mix of young travellers, vacationers, and artisans. Its clean, hip, hippy, and quaint all at once, and there is no shortage of places to nosh.
Still full from lunch, but wanting a treat to accompany me to the evening’s highlight (we saw Don Quixote and it was spectacular), I meandered into the Enchanated Florist after being seduced by the words “CHOCOLATE BAR”.
I am now a huge fan of Alma chocolates, out of Portland. Organic, creative and made with Agave nectar…….all things enchanting in my book! PS: the Enchanted Florist website is complete with groovy, chocolate and flower enticing, music, like what you hear right here.
I will personally never forget the evening of sitting under the stars in the Elizabethan theatre with mom at my side, watching the players, and savoring the unique flavors of Alma chocolate (Dark chocolate lavendar and Sea salt + cocoa/chili/coconut). Could a girl ask for more? You bet I was sending thanks to the Universe that night for all the good fortune of my day and of my life!
A restful sleep gave use the energy to rise and shine, and get in a power walk before hitting the Saturday marketplace on our way out of town. I love Saturday markets. These are the heart of a community – artisans, growers, purveyors who all have a passion for keeping foods and goods the way we originally intended them to be: made with love.
On this day, we equated love with Tasty, as there was no shortage of tasty delights despite the rather small size of the market. Each vendor smiled, chatted and shared his or her story about the food. Mom bought ‘Cowboy Buns” from Cowboy bakery for my nephew and Strawberry syrup for dad and his Sunday pancake ritual. Me, still full from the day before, simply feasted my eyes and took a few shots.
In Short, I can now see what all the ‘ado’ is about Ashland!!
BTW: there is also a Market of Choice in Ashland, which makes a nice mid-way stop between Davis and Salem or anybody driving hte I-5 route. It’s an oasis of healthy food amist a long stretch of nothing but fast food and gas stations.