How many more times can you see Beauty and the Beast? One more.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is a well-known professional theatre located in Ashland. We have never been and so when I was working on my 101 in 1001 list, #32 was to go the festival. Last week, Taelin and I took a little overnight trip to Ashland and saw one of the plays at the festival this year, Beauty and the Beast.

Why Beauty and the Beast? Well, Taelin’s voice teacher has worked at the festival before and this year he is one of the musicians for Beauty and the Beast. I was thankful that he was able to get us discounted tickets (because they are not cheap) and we made a little girl’s trip out of it.

After meeting for lunch and getting our tickets, Taelin and I went to the local independent bookstore Bloomsbury Books. It was an amazing little bookstore and since we were there….

We spent a good hour there and left with some books that we just couldn’t resist. I would like to say for the record that this pile could have been a lot larger.  I was reserved in my purchase.

After we left the bookstore, we went to check into our hotel and after a mandatory nap, Taelin went swimming and I read poolside. Talk about it officially feeling like summer!

After some downtime, we got ready for the show. They gave ample warning that it could get chilly since the show doesn’t start until 8:00 and the theatre is outdoors, so we made sure to dress in layers and we even took a blanket with us. I had no idea when the doors opened but Taelin was so excited we got there VERY early.  So early we had no trouble finding parking or being able to snap a picture in front of the outdoor theatre.

(As an aside, you may have noticed the boots making many appearances in photos. I got them a few weeks before the end of school for $3. She seriously wears them everywhere.)

The doors were finally opened and we found our seats. I was impressed with how roomy the seats were, both for behinds and for legs. Because we were outdoors, we were able to have drinks and snacks, which was nice. We both had pretzels and bottled water but there were a lot of different options. As we were waiting, Taelin’s voice teacher waved to us and Taelin was giddy! She knew someone on the stage!

The show started on time and, from the first moment, grabbed our attention and didn’t let go. It was the Disney version, so the story was familiar but there were many added songs and a few twists that were unexpected. All in all, it was a great experience and I know it will not be our last visit to Ashland. In fact, I am trying to figure out how I can squeeze a show in when we go on our road trip in August.

Not that I am an expert, obviously, but I would highly recommend The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. If you are wondering what else is playing right now, you can visit their website here!

This Month I Read…June 2017

This month was another great reading month! Three of the books I read this month were written by authors I have read (and loved) before. The other three were brand new to me. Here’s what I thought of them all…

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins was a mystery/thriller that was full of twists and turn. If you are afraid of drowning, you should not read this book. The story centers around a woman that is found dead at the bottom of a river. Hers is not the first death connected to the river that runs through the town and as the story unfolds, you find out just how connected the other deaths are. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

White Fur by Jardine Libaire was a book that I received from Blogging for Books. You can see my review of it here!

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson was an absolutely beautiful book. I have been a fan of Woodson’s writing for many years; my first introduction being a children’s book. This story starts with August returning to Brooklyn after many years of being away and running into an old friend on the train. The encounter sparks the memories of four girls growing up together in the 1970’s. This is a coming of age story that should not be missed. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was another favorite of mine this month. One of my top five favorite books was written by Diffenbaugh so when I saw this book, I grabbed it immediately. I didn’t love it as much as her first novel but I still loved it. Letty is a teenage mother that, for years, depended on her mom and dad for support to raise her children. Her world changes when her parents decide to return to Mexico and she has to step up. Letty and her two children, Alex and Luna, are hard not to fall in love with in this story. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Language Arts by Stephanie Kallos was a book that I bought on Independent Bookstore Day and really wanted to love. Charles Marlow is the main character that the story follows both in present day and in flashbacks to his childhood. Charles is a high school language arts teacher at a pivotal point in his life and we watch as he tries to find a path for himself. The story was a bit tedious at times and I didn’t love it all that much. My friends agreed. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Behind My Eyes by Li-Young Lee was a short poetry book I found at the library. I chose it for no particular reason other than I liked the title. It is not hard to see that Lee’s own story inspires his poetry. Of the four sections in this book, I enjoyed the poems in the third section the most. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Have you read anything lately that I need to add to my to-read list?  Let me know in the comments!

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