Last September my husband, my mother, and I set out on a three-stop trip for my 57th birthday. (I know this blog is a little birthday heavy, but, hey, it’s the only time I get to travel!) We hit the road and headed to Ashland (a place I have been trying to get back to since I moved here 23 years ago), then proceeded on to Crater Lake (a place I have been yearning to see for an equally long time), and then on to Bend where my husband and I had been years ago, but my mother had never seen. We stayed at the Black Swan Inn. I had bookmarked this bed and breakfast a long time ago and would periodically go into the website and view each room, trying to determine which one I would offer me the best stay. We didn’t attend any Shakespearean plays, just ate and walked around, which is kind of our specialty.
The next stop was Crater Lake. I must say that it is quite possibly one of the most stunning places I have been in my life. We stood at the edge of the crater, breathing in the crisp air and feeling closer to god than any of us had ever felt. All I could think was, “Why have I waited so long to get here?” We didn’t stay at the lodge – although I wanted to with all my soul. Instead we stayed at the more economical Cabins at Mazama Village which were a seven-mile drive from the crater. I will stay in the lodge one day – overpriced as it is – because that piece of land calls to me and I want to go to sleep being as close to it as possible.
Our last stop was Bend and quite accidentally we ran across McMenamins’ Old St. Frances School, another place on my list. We spent just one overnight, but enjoyed walking around the town, eating, and waking up to freshly ground coffee outside our door at the hotel. The entire trip was wonderful. We all got along. We felt refreshed by the natural beauty, the good food and company of each other. I felt blessed to have both my husband and my mother with me and becoming another year older was really quite painless.