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Sunday, May 14

Travel Log, Entry #1: Oh Canada

I think it would be a fun thing to do a travel spotlight every once in a while on here. So, I'm going to start now.

Now, I must admit that Canada was not top on my list to visit at any point. I've heard a lot about the beautiful wilderness and such, but I was surrounded by plenty of that in WV. But, before even becoming an English major, my friend Lori and I decided that we would go on the trip with the English department to The Stratford Festival, which features several Shakespeare plays each theater season in Ontario, Canada. We knew no one else going (it was a somewhat exclusive group of majors who usually took the trip), but we both thought it'd be a fun trip. We were so right.

After a fairly simple drive, we arrived in this town that reminded me of a quaint little tourist town plopped amidst farm country. The city of Stratford sits conveniently along a river, thus its similarity with Stratford-Upon-Avon in England. Are you feeling the Shakespeare motif yet? Anyhow, it's a wonderful town, and we sat in the very theater, pictured above, for our very first Stratford experience of Pericles. It was spectacularly done, and I will always remember my first true theatrical experience...it was like I had fallen temporarily outside of reality and into this intense world of the imaginary. In this same theater, we would see Taming of the Shrew, MacBeth, and A Much Ado About Nothing. At another theater down the road, we would see The Birds, King John, and Timon of Athens. These all spanned two trips to the festival, but each year, we'd leave on a Thursday, go to two Friday shows and two Saturday shows. That's a lot of Shakespeare in very little time. But, it was so much fun.

I will definitely take this trip again in the future. Because in addition to outstanding theater, there's always the Boar's Head Pub where Lori and I were graced with the presence of a rodeo rider and clown with whom we threw a few rounds of darts. And the town also affords a great chance to shop at some very unique shops...especially great for jewelry aficianados like myself--most of which is fashioned and designed by local artisans, making it even better.

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