Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Weekend Road Trip

​Being a tourist in a place I haven't been is an adventure for me. This past weekend, I crossed out one of my bucket list goals under the category name "Visited States." So far, I've been to (obviously) California, Nevada, and Florida. This time, we went to Ashland, Oregon on a bus tour with the California Repercussions Marching Band, and it was an amazing trip. I haven't been to Oregon, and it's the fourth state I've visited. Hopefully, I'd get to see the other 46. *wicked evil grin*

Shaggy and I were on a double-decker bus (thanks to our fabulous bus driver, Tippy, the ride was smooth and safe), and we sat on a couple of the second floor seats. Honestly, it was my first time on the second floor of a bus (lame, I know). I normally rode on a regular tour bus and not on a double-decker, so it was all new to me. Can't blame me for being a kid-at-heart. It was the perfect bus for a bus tour, complete with DVD player, TV, and restroom. It was totally prepared for the cute kids. (Well, kids-at-heart, too.)

Our first stop was at the Farmer's Market in Redding, CA, located beside the Redding City Hall. A cute town with lots of friendly people. Everybody that I passed by happily smiled and greeted me. Of course, I greeted them back. (I'm friendly, too.) I felt good just by being there.

The band started their performance, and everybody loved it. There were people dancing behind the retail booths, and little kids clapped to the beat. It was magical to see a child laughing out loud, one tooth and pink gums out, because of being too happy with the music. The excellent weather swayed with everybody's happy rhythm. Great harmony and spectacular vibes! I would have probably danced my socks off, but I contained myself and focused on my photos and videos. *smile*

After the first gig, we had a marvelous lunch break at our Music Conductor's noble home. It was our chance to socialize with everybody in person, not through a cell phone or computer, and it was remarkable. Great food, groovy swimming pool, phenomenal pool slide, and unbelievable water mist equipment (I honestly didn't know how it was called.) Very relaxing! Shaggy enjoyed his slide!

Our next stop was Ashland, OR, and on our way, I took photos of the majestic Mt. Shasta. It was a breathtaking site. So many stunning natural places here on Earth, and I'd say that Mt. Shasta is definitely one of them. Magnificent nature work of art!

We reached our allotted rooms, checked in, left our bags, and went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Green Room (near Lithia and Pioneer) to drop off musical instruments. It was around 5pm when everything was locked in place, and Shaggy and I were ready for dinner. We walked around the block and searched for a quiet place. Plenty of interesting restaurants, but we couldn't settle in one until we ended up at Taroko Pan-Pacific Bistro Restaurant. Sushi!

A cute hole-in-the-wall place. We went straight to the empty Sushi Bar Area. Sushi Chef Nyoman, from Indonesia, greeted us. What a jolly fellow! We placed our orders and he promptly made our Rolls and Nigiri. We had Spicy Tuna Roll, Rainbow Roll, Caterpillar Roll, Philly Roll, Unagi Nigiri, and Red Geisha Roll. Scrumptious! The Red Geisha Roll was the best. The fresh cucumber blended well with the spicy tuna, jalapeno, and cilantro. Yum! ​​

The awaited hour finally commenced. I propped myself up on a brick bench straight across the Green Show stage to get a nice centered shot. I imagined the whole band being on it, and I told myself, "That's a small stage." The Green Show was an outside location in front of the Green Room (where the instruments were), and the stage sat at the bottom of a nice grassy hill. My brick bench sat on top of the hill with a great view of the stage. (I'm not really owning the bench, but I was there early.)

The band finally performed, and the crowd increased in number. The energy built up, and I witnessed several people dancing, singing, shaking their arms and shoulders while seated on the grass. Several people asked me where the band came from, since I wore the Red Camp Shirt uniform while videotaping the event. I delightfully answered their question about us coming from the Bay Area and from different Universities in California. They loved the upbeat songs. Several people wished that there was a dance floor. Maybe, next year? *giggles*

After the event, we went straight to the Oregon Cabaret Theater for desserts and a show called Ain't Misbehavin'. It reminded me of the Broadway Sparklers event I was in during high school. It made me a bit teary-eyed. *sniff sniff* The show didn't need a microphone since the acoustics were brilliant. Plus, the stage singers/performers knew what they were doing. Powerful vocal chords! I loved the song with the big feet part in it. It was funny! I also enjoyed the Caramel Swirl Cheesecake I ordered with my Hot Mocha. (My doctor will scold me. Don't tell him. LOL) After the show, we walked back to our rooms, all 1.2 miles of it. Burn those calories!

The next day required us to have more calories, but first, we did our walk back at the Green Room. Once at the area, we tried searching online for a great breakfast place (internet connection sucked), and we stumbled upon Greenleaf Restaurant. Their menu greeted us outside their windows, and it showed delectable breakfast plates. No questions asked, we went in, got a table outside their patio, and ordered. Delicious! We walked again, passed by street vendors with interesting stuff, and did a little souvenir shopping. The Tudor Guild Gift Shop was a marvel. I found exquisite souvenirs as well as postcards and pens. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Sadly, all fun and good things have endings. However, I captured wonderful memories through the photos and videos I took. Looking back at them gives me a smile. More adventures to come!


  1. What a great trip!!!!!! When i was moving to WA in 1999, we stopped real early the first day b/c I wanted to stay in Weed so that I could take pics of Shasta, and also I found the name of the town quite amusing and needed souvenirs. BTW, if you want to see impressive volcanoes, you MUST make the trip to Washington to see Mt. Hood outside Portland, Mt Adams, St. Helens, Mt. Baker and the crown jewel of the Cascades, Rainier. We traveled through Ashland but didn't stop till Salem.

    1. I wish we had more time to explore Oregon. Unfortunately, we had a very tight schedule. It's a nearby state, so I'm sure we will have a proper visit in the future.

  2. Hi Sonnia,

    Wow, just wow, my friend. I can also note the enthusiasm in JoJo's comment. So many of the places you mention, I have been to. Many years ago, as a bright-eyed nineteen year old, I drove my car from Vancouver to San Francisco. Your adventures are fantastic. Here's to you visiting the other 46 States. Head up to Washington State, keep going and you might find yourself in Canada, eh :)

    Thank you for this wonderful post.


    1. I'm glad you like it. I love exploring places.


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