CHANGE YOUR DATES! DON’T CANCEL! SAVE OUR TOURISM!
Our thoughts are with every single person out there facing the threat of the COVID-19 virus. This is a time when we need to all work together for the safety and future of our country, its work force, the small business owner and our Tourism Industry. We therefore ask that before you decide to cancel your vacation with us this year: Think twice, Think about coming later in the year. It is with our true optimism as ex-Zimbabweans’ that we think ahead to a summer that may bring an end to our Social Distancing and a miracle cure for this awful virus. Give it some time before you cancel right now. Plan to enjoy some time with us later this year here in Ashland, Oregon. Come and see what more we have to offer other than just our Theatre!
COVID-19 where did this come from? After the fires of 2018 and the closure of the outdoor Theatre in 2019 here in Ashland, Oregon, it seemed unlikely that we would be facing yet another tough season in our town with its small business owners, let alone our tourists to this region. Tourists without whom would make it very difficult to remain in business. Yet here we all are – in 2020, having to live through this COVID-19 pandemic. I look back to our arrival in America in 2014. An exciting time for us as we were about to embark on a new life. A life without the increased stress and worries that we dealt
with on a daily basis living and working in Zimbabwe. We had four great years of running this beautiful old Victorian 1904 House making changes here and there. Re-investing our money to make the house more in keeping with a small hotel with all of the extra guest amenities. We have enjoyed new and repeat guests and hopefully this will continue for many years to come. People that we have gotten to know and that in turn have gotten to know us. People who send us thank you cards, Christmas cards and those who return with a gift or two – delicious homebaked cookies, homemade pickles, a delightful book or two and even an African Vase. Guests who have written great reviews and left notes in our house books. How thoughtful you have all been. Thank you!
So …. Here we are in 2020 and we feel somewhat, like we are back living in the financial and political turmoil that we left behind when leaving Zimbabwe. Life in Zimbabwe in the 80’s was booming for young people, as I was then – I was 20 yrs. old – suddenly we were receiving imported good through our borders. Something we had never had before, Lays Crisps, Cadbury’s Chocolate, Evaporated Milk, Frozen Seafood, South African wines, toilet paper, rice, clothing and on it went. It was like Christmas every day for the normal man on the street. Money was flowing and the Zimbabweans were living the life. Life was good … for a while. Then the Farm invasions started and with that began the rules of living life under a Dictatorship. Along with that came the recession. Inflation was occurring hourly we went from being the “breadbasket of Africa” to the complete collapse of our economy. Finally the powers that be agreed to $$$ – this effectively wiped out any capital that the people of Zimbabwe had in the banks overnight. The black market boom began.
People hoarding goods, clearing out the supermarket shelves, the storage of fuel in 50 gallon tin drums in their sheds and garages. Fuel lines, fuel line fights, people just fighting to survive. But survive they did on what little they had. The smart ones got rich and the poor just became poorer and more adept at surviving. The selling of water came next, generators for electricity, the little back “she” shed in a home turned into a under cover supermarket. Home industry was booming and the selling in the streets at traffic lights became the norm along with children and adults, begging at the windows of the cars. Crime became more and more rampant, roadblocks and police bribery also became the norm of the day. This is the life we left behind, to make a better future for ourselves. So …. as you see it is never far from us, that “financial” knock on the door! It just goes to show that no matter what, we will all fight to survive and that is what we are all facing today here in America. No difference… we are after all just people at the end of the day!
THERE’S MORE TO ASHLAND, OREGON THAN MEETS THE “EYE”!
On this note we ask that you, our future guest have a good look at Ashland, Oregon and what else it has to offer in the way of a vacation before you decide to cancel your stay with Adam and I. After all Ashland, Oregon is just not about the Theatre, although it is and always will be a major player in this town. A part of it will be your stay here at Abigail’s Bed and Breakfast Inn with Adam and I. We will continue to welcome you with open arms. Your rooms will be comfortable – cool in the heat of the summer with access to freshly baked goodies and a snack bar to pick from. Tea and coffee available 24/7 and a concierge service second to none. Let Adam and I show you what Ashland, Oregon can be like without the Theatre.
Where do we start – lets start with the Southern Oregon Wineries that are virtually on our doorstep. In town we have Platt Anderson Wine Cellars housed inside of our beautiful Ashland Art Centre as well as Ashland Wine Cellars behind the Standing Stone Restaurant. A little further afield to the Southside we have Weisingers Family Winery, Belle Fiorie, Irvine and Roberts, Eliana Wines, Grizzly Peak and Dana Campbell. Each one of these wineries offer a small selection of food to enjoy with your wine. The views across this valley are stunning at most of these wineries. Enjoy a chewy Tempranillo or a foosty Grenache. A lighter Pinot or a delicious Viognier. To the north side of town we have Pascal, Jaxon, Two Hawks,
Simple Machine, Parkhurst out towards Talent. A little further afield are a favorite threesome of mine Pebblestone, Stoneriver and Aurora with Pioneer Whisky distillery a little further afield. If you don’t want to drive we have Tour Operators such as Wine Hopper, High Siskiyou, Bravo and a few more that will arrange a wine trip for you.
Not to be missed, a day trip out to Crater Lake – a short two and half hours drive away from us! This has to be one of those greats in this wonderful country of ours. We always advise our guests to take the trolley trip around the Rim just to hear the wonderful story of how the Lake came into being. Visit the small museum on your way up to the lake and learn about the area. Stop at Beckie’s famous
for their pie. Munch on a piece of Cherry or Blackberry Pie freshly baked. Visit the lava rocks a short distance away and walk through a small green fairy land of forest and streams.
Of course Ashland, Oregon is also known for its Parade days. I have never, before seen Parades celebrated the way that they are here in Ashland. Such joyous occasions. July 4, Halloween, SoPride and the Festival of Lights. The whole of Ashland comes out to play on these days. The streets are lined with people from all walks of life. Laughter, music, children, dogs, cats and families put a show on for everyone. As for our yearly festivals, I am a huge fan our Culinary Festival in November and this is becoming quite the event to attend if you are a real foodie. We love our restaurants here and highly recommend a weekend spent tasting food and wine at the Taste of Ashland weekend in August this year. In March of each year The Chocolate Festival is held followed by The Cheese Festival. Keep these in mind for next year.
Have a foodie shopping day and visit Harry and David’s famous for their Pears, Moose Munch of any type and wonderful delicatessen with local wines, beers and ciders. Head to the Rogue Creamery famous for having the Best Blue Cheese in the World along with their toasted cheese sandwiches. Pop into Lilli Belle Chocolates and have a piece of their fiery chilli chocolate. Sip on some wine at Ledger David. Go further afield with a picnic from all of your shopping and head to Del Rio to enjoy your picnic in their garden with a tasting of their delicious wines. Their Pinot Noir is a firm favorite of mine.
For entertainment in town – well why not take in a Cabaret Show at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre. Their shows are loved far and wide – take in their dinner option and of course do not miss out on dessert during the interval. Visit the Glass Studio and the Art
Galleries that can be found in all the “nooks and crannies” of Ashland, Oregon. Shop to your hearts content in our boutique stores such a the famous Paddingtons , Travel Essentials, Tree House, Manzanita, Bloomsbury Books, Bransons Chocolates and many many more. Eat out at our eclectic restaurants that will cater to any dietary or food requirement. Spanish Tapas at Ostras, Basque cuisine at Eleven, Italian at Cuccina Biazzi, Indian at Masala, Thai at Thai Pepper and many more. Sit in the sun during the day and sup on a Coffee in the Plaza and watch the world go by – drink from the Lithia spring water fountain and take a beautiful, meandering walk through Lithia Park. Visit the Japanese Gardens, the swimming reservoir and see the Rhododendrons. Book a relaxing Spa appointment at Chozu or Blue Giraffe. See a movie at the old time Varsity Theatre. Enjoy the outdoor market on a Tuesday or Saturday as well as the Lithia Artisans Weekly summer market. Just relax and enjoy!
For those wanting to spend time on outdoor adventures – How about a Rogue River trip for the day! If you are in town you can meet down on the
Plaza and go out on the river with either Noah’s River Adventures or Indigo Creek Outfitters for the day. We are happy to supply you with sunscreen and towels – the Rogue River is a stunning outing for the day Adam and I have done it a few times now and come back feeling in love with the world all over again.Take a short drive out to Emigrant Lake with a picnic basket and go swimming, fishing or boating. Drive up to Mt Ashland and get in a great hike. Even better bring your bikes or hire a bike locally and go cycling along all of the wonderful trails that surround this town. We have access to some great hiking maps if you love to hike. Ashland Parks and Rec are working all the time to update and improve our trails constantly. We have two golf courses Oak KNoll and Centurion for those keen to be outdoors swinging clubs. Of course there is always room for a fisherman in this house with my son being an avid fisherman from a extremely young age. I always say that I grew up with the smell of fish in the house! Ashland Fly shop will guide you in the right river/stream direction for that excursion.
Those who like the bright lights of the night – we have Hearsay with a wonderful speakeasy like bar with a piano player, saucy cocktails and a selection of delicious appetizers.If you do fancy Cocktails then Ashland, Oregon is the place to be – Mezcal, Alchemy, Oberons and many more. There’s always the sound of live music that comes floating out through the doorways of our local pubs as they open and close. Try out The Black Sheep Pub for music, Eleven for dancing or Louies for Trivia nights.
Finally after a busy day filled with laughter, food and great company head back to the comfort and warmth that we offer you here at Abigail’s Bed and Breakfast Inn – welcome home. Come in an enjoy a cookie and a cuppa before heading to bed in the comfort of your room. Wake to the wafting smells of fresh baking, bacon and delicious coffee in the morning and a cheerful “Good Morning” from your Innkeeper. Think twice before you cancel your vacation, come and enjoy the Ashland, Oregon that you have never had the chance to see before today!