(wherein our heroes are exposed to a wee bit o' culture and it does them no harm)

Day II:

I woke up the next morning to find that not only was there NO coffee maker in the room NOR any offered at the check-in desk but that there were NO restaurant's or cafe's that offered me my morning fix of java this side of town and that was (almost) a mile away! And on top of that some enemy-of-society had stuck chewing gum nipples on the "sphinx-ette" at the courtyard's front entrance! NOT an auspicious beginning to our day!

-oh the horror!

So off I trudged to town, got myself said java and trudged the cold. Yes, it was decidedly colder today but still no big deal. After our morning toilets were done and me fortified by the caffeine we headed into town for the day. The play didn't happen until 1:30 in the afternoon so we had time to kill. We started off with breakfast at a delightful cafe featuring Jewish deli called "Brothers Restaurant and Deli." We recommend it. We were up and around fairly early and were seated right away but soon there was a long waiting line. The food was outrageous, the staff a delight and the prices fair. What more can you ask? After breakfast we strolled the town and poked around in the shops.

-me, pretending I'm literate

Passing a coven of newspaper machines we notice that the Pope has passed on.

..'tis sad but still, lives go on and one must make a brave face

We've heard rumors about how wonderful Ashland's Lithia Park is from both the locals we've spoken to and from online references. We decide to check it out. The park pretty much follows along Ashland Creek for a mile or so. It turns out to be simply stunning. It is on par with Central Park in NYC or Golden Gate Park in San Francisco...only smaller. For a town of 20K people it is unbelievable. Part of its secret is that it has been in existance since 1892 and has that "old park" feel to it.

-a poor homeless waif forced to live in the park while waiting to attend Richard III

Much of the park is a botanical garden with trees and shrubs, neatly labelled, from all over the world. Even in very early spring it's quite amazing.

-one of my favorites, a Blue Atlas Cedar with London Plane Trees behind

-one of Becky's favorites, a Magnolia...whooeee, sure smells good!

Back to The Black Swan for lunch (can't get enough of this place). Something light this time...a green salad, Welch Rarebit, and a Ploughman's Lunch (veggies, fruits, cheese, ham, turkey, yummy breads, Branson Pickle, etc., etc.). I actually gained 5 pounds during these few days...ouch!

-I think I may explode

Finally, it's show time! Off to the Angus Bowmer Theater to see James Newcomb be Richard III. The theater only holds 600 people and Becky has got us outrageous seats.

-me and about 60 gazillion school children...bless their hearts!

We are sitting in the first row, right next to an aisle that is used for the actor's entrances and exits. Some of the action takes place within arms reach of us. Swordsmen for the final battle checked us out to make sure they wouldn't hit us before drawing their swords for the final battle scene between the armies of Richmond and's totally awesome. I will not drone on and on here about how wonderful an experience this was (I easily could)...suffice to say it was amazing to see a live, world class performance of classic material and we will be returning again this summer (Dr. Faustus) and MANY times over in the was simply grand!

-an illegal photo (no cameras allowed) of the inside of the theater

Exhausted from our day of fun and culture (yes, they can co-exist) we stumbled back to the motel and our tiny room and our tiny COLOR telly and called it a day. Tomorrow we ride!