Stratford Festival of Canada

The Stratford Festival is an internationally recognized annual repertory theatre festival running annually from April to October in the Canadian city of Stratford, Ontario.  The Festival’s primary mandate is to present productions of William Shakespeare plays, but it also produces a wide variety of theatre from Greek tragedy to Broadway style musicals and contemporary works. For some years, Shakespeare’s work typically represented about a third of the offerings in the largest venue, the Festival Theatre.

We’ve been to Stratford a number of times as both of my girls are Shakespeare nuts and just love his books.  I was not too thrilled with going there the first time we went as unlike them, I do not care for Shakespeare.  However, they talked me into it since there are musicals that they also put on there.

The little town of Stratford is very quaint.  The first time we went, there were lots of small shops to go through.  However, the last time we visited the area, most of the shops were sadly closed.  It is still a cute area and there is lots to do if you are into theater.  There are four theaters there; the Avon; the Festival; the Studio and the Tom Patterson.  All four of these theaters are very unique.  The Festival Theater is shown below in a picture that I took and has a thrust stage which is one that extends into the audience on three sides and is connected to the backstage area by its upstage end.

Every play that we saw in the various theaters were all fantastic.  I was worried about seeing a Shakespeare play but they usually make them unique.  One of the plays we saw, they updated it as if it were 1960 which made it  fun to watch.  Below are some of the sights we saw while there.  The gardens are wonderful to check out when you go.

Of course as I’ve mentioned lots of times, the guys are homebrewers so we had to make a stop by Labatt.  Labatt Brewing Company is a Belgian-owned Canadian beer company founded by John Kinder Labatt in 1847 in London, Ontario. Labatt is the largest brewer in Canada. In 1995, it was purchased by Belgian brewer Interbrew.  I remember how elegant I thought this place was so it would be worth a stop if you want to taste some of their beers.

I hope you enjoyed this short visit in Stratford.  It is a quaint little town with lots of history so be sure to stop by and visit if you are in the area.  We stopped there after we went to Niagara Falls one year and it is not too far of a drive.

Please join me again next week as we head for another adventure.

Seattle

Our last stop for this trip was Seattle.  Seattle is a city on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest and is surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests.  It is Washington State’s largest city, and is home to a large tech industry, with Microsoft and Amazon headquartered in its metropolitan area. The futuristic Space Needle, a 1962 World’s Fair legacy, is its most iconic landmark.

The space needle is an observation tower that has a restaurant located in it.  We made reservations to eat at this restaurant and the food was delicious.  The views from the observation deck are awesome!

Next to the Space Needle is the Chihuly Garden and Glass.  Dale Chihuly is an American glass sculptor. His works are considered unique to the field of blown glass.  If you go to the Space Needle, I would highly recommend seeing this exhibit as well as it is very interesting and beautiful.

Another iconic place to visit while in Seattle is the Pike Place Market.  Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States.  It is a must to walk through and enjoy the many smells and sights that it has to offer.

We decided to tour Seattle by taking the duck tour boat.  It is a fun ride that will take you by land and by water to see various sights in Seattle.  Out on the water we saw the houseboats that you see in the movie Sleepless in Seattle.

The homebrewers again wanted to check out all the local breweries in the area and there are several in the Seattle area.  We visited almost all of them, but the one we kept going back to was The Pike Brewing Company.  It might have been because it was located closest to where we stayed.  We stayed at another Bed and Breakfast that was called the Inn at Harbor Steps which was another Four Sisters Inn.  However, it is no longer in operation.

We all enjoyed our visit to Seattle.  Join me next week on another travel adventure.

Mt. Ranier, Whitbey Island and Seattle

On the way to Whitbey Island, we stopped off for lunch at the Harmon Brewery and Eatery.  We really enjoy checking out the local brew pubs in any area that we visit and they make nice places to stop for lunch.  This place was a great place to stop for lunch and a brew.  Below are some of the beers that they had on tap.

We took a car ferry across to Whitbey Island.  It was a fun little experience.

On Whitbey Island we stayed in Coupeville.  Whitbey Island is 15 by 35 miles long and 1.5 to 12 miles wide.  Coupeville is one of the towns that make up Whitbey Island.  We stayed at a bed and breakfast called the Lovejoy Inn and had one room in the main house and one in the carriage house.  The carriage house had a small deck attached to it so we spent a lot of time on it just drinking wine/beer and enjoying the view from the deck.

The town of Coupeville is very quaint and the views are simple awesome.  Here are some pictures that we took of the harbor area.

We all love lighthouses so we visited the Admiralty Head Lighthouse.  The lighthouse stood watch over the entrance to Puget Sound and guided sailing ships towards their designation.  Today it looks over Fort Casey towards the Olympic Mountains, the Port Townsend Ferry and Admiralty Inlet.

We also love lavender so when we found out that the Lavender Wind Farm was on the Island, we just had to go see it as well.  I’m not too sure the guys enjoyed it quite as much as we did, but they found some hops on the farm and got a kick out seeing that.

Of course, we had to visit the brewery on the Island.  It was called Flyers Brewery as the Whitbey Island Naval Air Station is right there.

We enjoyed this restful Island.  Next week join me as we go to our last stop on this trip; Seattle!

Mt. Ranier, Whitbey Island and Seattle

We flew into Seattle for this trip and on the way to our first stop which was Mt. Ranier, we stopped at Elliott Bay Brewery for a little lunch and a drink.  It was a great place to stop at.

After we had lunch, we continued on to Mt. Ranier.  Mount Rainier National Park, a 369-sq.-mile Washington state reserve southeast of Seattle, surrounds glacier-capped, 14,410-ft. Mount Rainier. Atop 6,400-ft.-high Sunrise, the highest point in the park reachable by car, visitors can admire Rainier and other nearby volcanoes, including Mount Adams. The park’s 5,400-ft.-high Paradise overlook offers mountain views, summertime wildflower meadows and hiking trailheads.  This place was absolutely spectacular to see!  As you can tell from my pictures below, I was obsessed with taking pictures of Mt. Ranier.

We stayed at Paradise Inn which is inside the park.  Here are a few pictures of the Inn as well as some of the animals we saw around the Inn.

This cute little deer was looking at us from our room.

The view that you see each morning when you come out of the Inn was the main reason we stayed there.  This picture below is what we saw every morning we were there.  The rooms at the Inn are very tiny, but since we were seldom in them, it didn’t bother us at all.  They have a big lobby area that we hung out in every night.

Mt. Ranier is a must see if you are in the Seattle area.  We enjoyed this stop and really wished we had booked more time here.  Next week join me as we go to our next stop; Whitbey Island.