We had a few reasons for our recent trip to Ontario.
First we have decided that we need to spend some time traveling in the Fall every year while we still can, and before we head South for the Winter. Our time in the Arizona Sunshine is obviously a lot of Fun, but as we now have a second home in Gold Canyon, it really does feel like an extension of our lifestyle more than a Travel Opportunity.
That may be a bit difficult for those of you who don’t spend time in the Sunbelt to get your head around, but think of it this way: Yes, we are blessed with and appreciate the chance to enjoy sun and fun for more months of the year, but we still have to prepare our own food, make our own bed and clean our own house along with many other day to day tasks while we’re there. Plus, now that we head South for about 5 months, it really feels like not much has changed for us but the location over the winter. Although not having to shovel the Sunshine is a real treat.
Second, Sylvia found an article in the Canadian Snowbirds magazine last fall extolling the virtues of the Stratford Festival and lamenting that not many people from the rest of Canada spend the time to come to the festival and enjoy the plays and the experience. Since we have always enjoyed live performances of any and all types, we figured we were built for the experience.
And finally, we really wanted to see some of our friends from both Arizona and Campbell River and immensely enjoyed our time with both Jim and Cheryl and Jack and Marilyn.We ended up seeing 4 plays in 4 days in Stratford. The first was An Ideal Husband (an Oscar Wilde play about politicians, secrets and consequences. quite appropriate today). We were constantly amazed how they could change the backdrop and scene during the play and make it look seamless and at times comical.
The second play was a musical, The Music Man, which was spectacular. The opening scene took place on a train car and while the play was written in the 50’s and set in 1912, we believe we learned where the origins of Rap Music came from during this segment. It was quite special.
Our third play was Napoli Millionaria and was set during the last few years of WW2 and detailed how fortunes were made and character was destroyed via the Black Market economy during the end of the Nazi era and the beginning of the Allied Occupation in southern Italy. It was quite moving, although the couple behind us didn’t seem to appreciate it as she kept saying ‘It wasn’t really like that, you know’. I don’t think she had it figured that Artistic License is actually a thing…..
Our last play was To Kill a Mockingbird. I have seen the movie, but it was decades ago, and only remembered snippets of the dialogue and recall images of Gregory Peck looking stoic. This was a very great performance, and I don’t think there were many dry eyes in the house when they were finished. We really enjoyed it, and it was our favourite of the four we saw.
Between all the plays, we had numerous chances to wander around Stratford, which is a fairly small town, and enjoy the architecture, shops and definitely the restaurants. We had several impressive meals while we were there, and both need to go on a diet now that we are home.
In Guelph we found an impressive Basilica when we were looking for the local Museum. The museum was closed for renovations, so we wandered around the Basilica taking pictures. The building is 160 years old, but was built in the French Gothic style from the 1200’s and reminded us of things we saw during our trip to France a few years ago.
We finished off our time in Ontario wandering around the Grand River in a park we found, and too soon we were on the plane back to BC. At least we were in the airport waiting to board the plane. It turned out that there was a bit of a leak coming from one of the Engines (never a good thing) so they held us in the terminal while they fixed it and ran the engines for a bit to see if it returned. The technical description given by the pilot was that they ‘think’ something was overfilled. Not very reassuring, but we did get home safely.
Now it’s back to our regular routine. Pickleball, Painting and Playtime.