Stratford 2011
Saturday, June 18
4:11 p.m.

Good afternoon and I mean good. What a nice day it's been. It was a relaxing morning in which I even got to go to fitness. After lunch (12:30) we headed out and 90 minutes later we arrived in Stratford. This year I did not repeat last year's mistake and took my camera (check out photos). Our first stop was Tim Horton's for a snack and then Food Basics for some refreshments for the room. Then it was off to The Arden Park Hotel. Yes, you heard me correctly. After three years at the River Garden Inn we made a change. The reason was that when I was booking, the River Garden was going through a change in ownership and not taking reservations (more about this later).

This place is great. We have a nice large room with a flatscreen TV. Jordana and I went down to the indoor pool for a while but the water was too cool for our liking. Still, she enjoyed the whirlpool.

We just came back and are now relaxing and watching TV.

Well, guess that catches us up. Till later.

5:18 p.m.
Ok, we're changed and heading out for the evening. Will check in later.

10:45 p.m.
And we're back after a wonderful evening. So we left the hotel earlier and headed downtown. After ruling out the paid parking area (two hour maximum) we headed to our "usual" parking lot, only to find it was fenced off and the area is under construction (new campus for University of Waterloo). However Lisa noticed the next lot was open and also was also no charge, being a municipal lot. So we parked and off we went on foot.

We had Chinese dinner at Gene's, which is always delicious. Afterwards we went next door to Kitchen Connaisseur and bought jams, BBQ sauces, mustards and relish. Lisa and I took it back to the car along with my camera, while Jordana scouted out the Theatre Store. What was interesting is that while checking out, we found out the River Garden Inn has been converted to senior apartments.

After the three of us reunited, Jordana bought herself a bracelet.

Finally it was showtime. What a show. We saw Jesus Christ Superstar and sat in the third row from the front. The music, story and everything about it was fantastic.

After the play ended we retreated to Tim Horton's for some post production refreshments.

Well, it's almost news time. It was a great day, with amazing weather (not too hot, not too cold), good food and great company.

So that's it for now. Until tomorrow, sweet dreams.

Sunday, June 19 - FATHER'S DAY
9:04 a.m.

Good morning. Boy, did I sleep well, which is unusual as quite often the opposite is true when travelling.

So we got up round 30 minutes ago and I showered with gifts. I got a belt from Lisa and two gift cards from Jordana, one from Subway and the other from Second Cup. Even better was the beautiful cards. Now we are getting ready and going for breakfast at Demetre's. I hear its Jordana's treat this morning. Talk to you later.

11:40 a.m.
Hi again. Yes it's me (as if it would be someone else). So we left the room earlier as I mentioned and loaded up the car. However we changed breakfast plans as we came down in the elevator. I noticed the breakfast menu posted in the elevator and it looked interesting, so I suggested breakfast at the hotel. It was an excellent choice. The food was hot and delicious, which is not always guaranteed when you go for breakfast. It was omelettes for Jordana and I and French toast for Lisa. Before leaving the hotel we went to the washroom and while I was waiting for my family our waitress came over and gave me Jordana's sunglasses which she had forgotten at the table. As you can imagine, Jordana was so relieved.

Afterward we drove over to the River Garden which is now known as River Gardens Retirement Residences.

Then it was off to the dollar store where Jordana got stuff for her apartment and we managed to spend a "few" dollars on stuff.

Now we are at the mall. We checked out men's clothing at Sears and found nothing interesting. So I'm finished my part. Lisa and Jordana are off shopping now because "girls like to accessorize" and "you can never have enough pairs of shoes," as Jordana declared.

So we're caught up now and I'm going back to the mall (I'm writing this in the car) to read.

Bye for now.

5:45 p.m.
Dinner was pretty good. After I last left you we went to the play, The Grapes of Wrath, which was amazing. We sat in the fourth row, right behind where we were last night. Nice to see a musical and drama in the same weekend. Following the two hour and forty minute production, we went to Crabby Joe's for a Father's Day dinner. It was a hamburger and salad for me, ribs and wings for Lisa and chicken tenders for Jordana. Now it's done, over and we are ready to head home.

Will catch up later for a final wrap up. So long.

8:45 p.m.
Good evening. We got home shortly after 7:30, unpacked and got back to life (in the normal lane). It was a really great weekend and while Jordana would love to start over, I told her that this is what makes life so great; having amazing experiences to enjoy and look back on and treasure.

So that's that. Until the next time we talk, enjoy life and don't take it too seriously.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
As Camelot…

Guess what play we chose to finish our 5th season at the Stratford Festival? It was Camelot and it was absolutely fantastic. Actually we've been pretty lucky this year with the plays. All three we saw were great. While there are few duds at Stratford, some years the plays are better than others, in my humble opinion of course.

I know I've jumped way ahead in my narrative but had to get the review in first. Lisa and I left the house at 9:30 this morning as we had planned and headed to Oakville, where we picked up Jordana at her apartment. Then it was back to the 407 and 401 as we headed west to Stratford.

Unfortunately we ran into a traffic slowdown (and that's putting it nicely) shortly after passing Trafalgar Road and by the time we hit James Snow Parkway, the traffic had ground to a halt. So we left the highway and made our way along Steeles Avenue. We continued along to the end of the street and, stopping along the side of the road, we asked for directions. Good thing too, as we would have headed south, where we had to go northbound.

Eventually we did find our way back to the 401 and arrived in Stratford around 12:30, stopping at Tim Horton's for a bite to eat. Then it was off to the Festival Theatre and the play.

For some reason our ticket printouts did not register on the scanners so we had to go to the box office to get actual tickets.

We had great seats, around the centre of the theatre. Like I said earlier, the play, which is a classic, was terrific.

Coming out after the play at 5:00, the clear blue skies had turned ominous and it looked like a storm was on its way. Still we went to Crabby Joe's for dinner. We left the restaurant at 6:10 and around 7:50 we arrived home. All in all, the travelling weather was not as bad as we had thought, with only mild rain coming down in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. It slowed to a drizzle and stopped the closer we got to home.

So that's it for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival 2011.

So long…for now.

For a complete listing of Stratford plays seen over the years. go to Stratford Central.