The town of Ambrosia recently celebrated 162 years with the largest population since 1941. Many new families have been drawn to the affordable housing, great schools, low crime, and low unemployment rate that characterize the city. Ambrosia is one of the most attractive towns in Oregon as titled by The Oregonian newspaper. The streets are clean and the houses are all clean.
"That's where we're going," Zach says.
"Yeah, you've said," I respond, smiling.
"Well now you extrally know!"
I laugh. "Extra-lly?"
"It's a new word..."he says in his classy 1950s radio-person voice, "that I've created,"
We catch our first glimpse of the gorgeous Ambrosia, sighting the historic City Hotel's corner tower, the gothic St. Basils cathedral (Not to be confused with the one in St. Petersburg), and the Art Deco Marsh tower.
Google maps says something.
"What!" He shouts, turning the music down.
"I do—," I respond.
"What did she say?"
"Lemme see..." I notice something tragic.
"We missed the turn,"
"Shit, we can't turn yet," he sighs.
"Maybe we could just drive around up here," I suggest.
"It is very pretty,"
We drive through a ridiculously ornate tunnel, onto a gorgeous mountainside road lined with giant old, mossy trees and old street lamps. On either side, there are extremely fancy wrought iron gates. One of them is dark green with golden details. There's a sign that says Willoughby probably the name of the family that built whatever was behind those gates. Another is labeled Carson with similar coloring to the last one. We pass one that slightly confuses me. The sign says Morrow. I don't know about you, but I've never seen or heard of anyone with the last name Morrow but me and my family.
"Ya see that one?" He points to the one that confused me,"Isn't that your last name?" He asks.
"You're house is behind that one?"
He rolls his eyes,"Yes, Our house is behind that one,"
"I don't want to claim something that isn't really mine,"
"We're getting married soon aren't we?" He asks.
"Well, yes. But I did—"
"Then... it will be yours,"
"You're not listening! I'm telling you that I don't feel comfortable claiming it!" I say, very defensive.
"No! You're not listening!"
"If we bought it together, then I would—"
"Just take it, Bitch!" He raises his voice.
"I can't!" I cry.
"Why not, Oli!"
"I'll— I'll tell you some other time..."
We sit in silence for forever, Zach looking straight ahead, and me studying the trees outside my window. My mind wanders between cartoon characters like Scooby Doo and the Gang (Tee Hee) to the Peanuts. Then I move on to Dora and then I remember a night, years ago... a belt slaps my buttocks over and over and over...
I'll just look ahead.
After our really stupid 'fight', Zach decides to get his house ready and I go into town to take pictures and meet the locals. He drops me off at the edge of town, after asking him to do so. I take my camera out of my bag to get ready for Ambrosia's closeup.
The welcome sign is a gorgeously decorated and painted 3x5 wooden board. It's decorated with different plants and animals native to the area (northern Oregon), like Grey wolves and spotted owls, as well as evergreen huckleberry and vine maple. The iconic painted town hall rotunda sits in the center with the city's name in marvelous scrolls and trees. I take a few snapshots of the sign before walking into town.
The walk into town is just as pretty as the drive there. The surrounding forest is dark and wet and green. There are some roads leading into residential neighborhoods. About a mile from the welcome sign is a large wooden arch carved with the town name, as well as famous landmarks. It's got the palatial Ambrosia opera house from 1918, the Queen Anne Lavinia Wallace House from 1888, and the classical styled town hall from 1901.
There's also the obvious city hotel, Marsh building, and St. Basils Cathedral.
I can see Main Street from here! I put my eyes down to not spoil anything. I walk as I take pictures of assorted wildlife and a flowerbed made out of an old car.
I finally emerge from the tree-tunnel of sorts. And I feast on the perfect storefront-lined street. The sidewalks are cobblestone, as is the street itself. There are large maples in the flowerbed that runs down the middle of the road.
I pass many clothing stores as well as renowned restaurants and bars, one of which inspired Tiana's Place from the Princess and the Frog. This city has no nationwide retailers like Walmart or Target, instead supporting smaller supermarkets native to Ambrosia. Even the original General Store is still operating. All around the town are kiosks explaining the histories of certain places, like the previously mentioned city hotel, in all of its Art Nouveau glory.
Today I decide to visit a few famous neighborhoods packed to the brim with Queen Anne, Italianate, and second empire homes. Then I'll have lunch before exploring the old mills (open for self-guided tours in parties of 1-10, don't shoot me).
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