This past weekend, we packed our bags and a picnic lunch and ventured off to Stratford to watch Shakespeare's "All's Well That End's Well" at the Stratford Festival. I had never been to Stratford before, but was pleasantly surprised as soon as we came across the quaint antique shops, worn and aged signs that paid homage to the town's heritage and traditions, and the vast amount of rich, green farm land - complete with horses, cows, and sheep....everything a city girl dreams about coming across one day!
We spent our days walking up and down Ontario Street - Stratford's version of L.A.'s Rodeo Drive. This street stretched for what seemed like miles and we shopped through the small boutiques hunting for bargains and small-town treasures - including books, clothes, home decor, and my personal favourite...kitchen items at Bradshaw's. This was a store established in 1895 and it has grown to include everything from dishes and home decor items to linens and the most unique and modern kitchen appliances you could think of. I ended up buying a beautiful glass mannequin hand which will display all of my bracelets and rings.
I, of course, had to make a 'pit stop' to the nearest Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and pick up some Rocky Road fudge, a caramel apple, and some ice cream (the bare essentials), all while stuffing my face with free samples. What can I say, I'm a multitasker. To top it off, I showed off my natural born talent as a crazy city tourist taking numerous shots of the master chocolatier and his chocolate wheel (which I've already asked for for Christmas). I can only imagine what the locals thought...
We spent each morning enjoying breakfast down by the lake, taking copious shots of the famous Stratford swans, the stunning lake, and the beautiful trees while enjoying the gorgeous weather. In the evening, we divided our time between swimming laps in the enormous pool, relaxing in the hot tub, playing pool on the hotel's antique billiard table, and dining in the downtown bistros. We spent our last evening enjoying the play "All's Well That Ends Well" at the Festival Theatre, starring Brian Dennehy. The play, by the way, aside from the occasional obscure Shakespearean jargon, was fantastic!
Although there was no meet 'n' greet with Brian Dennehy after the show (sorry Susie!), it was wonderful to get out of the city, away from the noise, pollution, and dare I say, shopping malls, and spend the weekend in beautiful Stratford, Ontario!