Trip Report: Albany, Oregon

When we saw that our friend Pat was starring as Granny Weatherwax in an adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s The Wyrd Sisters, Sanguinity and I knew we had to be sure to catch the show. Sang’s a Pratchett fan and likes the witch series especially. We’re both fans of Pat, who invited us to stay overnight with her and drive home the next morning (Albany’s about 90 minutes by freeway from Portland).

Leboyfriend dog-sat Louie overnight. I feel so much better knowing Louie’s with his favorite guy while I’m gone, especially since Louie’s not a “hold it for twelve hours” dog anymore now that he’s an old man dog. (In fact, other than two trips I’ve agreed to with my in-laws, I’m srsly thinking of not traveling until the post-Louie era. We’ll see if that holds.) Leboyfriend has been battling a major bug for the better part of three weeks now, but still came over. He’s so good to us.

Sang and I hit the road around two in the afternoon. It was sunny and I’d been running around all day with no coat, just a hoodie. Freedom! We crossed the 45th parallel. We neglected to do the spedometer test. Does anyone pull out their stopwatch and do that? Are they planned on purpose for boring stretches of road? Do certain people who fix up old cars or whatever use them over and over?

We mostly know Pat from the internet, though we’ve met up a few times. But hanging out with her still includes seeing the stars of her blog posts, sort of like seeing characters in a book come to life. It’s the VW Bug! It’s the wisteria over the porch! And the kitties Mojito and Margarita, who are just as pretty as their photos! (The first time I went to a play Pat worked on, she introduced me to a man named Don Taco who builds sets, repairs stuff, and solves problems. I’d been thinking Don Taco was an internet pseudonym, so I blurted out “You’re DON TACO?” with a look on my face that clearly said some mix of you’re real?! and wow, a celebrity. Mr. Taco gave Pat a sidelong look, wondering what was going on.)

And most notably, we got to meet Pat’s boyfriend J, who turned up as a surprise for the weekend! I know he wasn’t exactly as I’d imagined from the internet– I remember thinking his voice was different– but close enough that now I can’t call up my original made-up version of him.

We had really good food (and alcohol, lemon drop, whee!) at a place that started serving dinner before five p.m., which is good because Pat had to do her makeup and get to the theater. And because we were hungry. Everything was within walking distance; Albany is a very appealing small town with lots of Victorian houses and old buildings. I did a little sock-knitting and chatting and then the rest of us wandered to the theater too. The ticket reservation system for out-of-towners involves calling the jewelry store down the street and requesting seats, and the nice lady really did right by us– fifth row center. The theater is small and cozy and festive.

And the play was fun! They whipped smoothly through a rather astounding number of scene changes, juggling a plot of witches and princes and Shakespeare. I’m definitely going to read the novel, though I might start with Equal Rites, in which I understand Granny Weatherwax is introduced. When I get to the letter P in alphabet reading, if not before. Pat ruled the stage in a wimple and Fluevogs.

Hanging out, a big and wonderful breakfast (featuring, for me, potatoes with sausage gravy), and a drive home talking about Pratchett. Turns out it was almost exactly a 24-hour trip, and precisely what a weekend jaunt should be.