For the second leg of our vacation last week, PJ and I visited the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario. Until recently we thought that we wouldn’t be able to go on our annual trip to New York in December and we didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for airfare to England, so we thought a drive to Stratford (and then to the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake) would be a good alternative, which it was. (Right before leaving, we learned that we won’t be going to MLA this year, so we probably will be going to New York after all. Two theater trips in six months is great!)

We arrived in Stratford on Wednesday morning. We stayed at the Olde English Parlour Hotel, which is now the Parlour Historic Inn and Suites. It seems like a nice little hotel. Our room, or more precisely our suite, was really nice. We tend to travel as cheaply as possible, but this time we did a little better for ourselves — nothing outrageous, but better than the least expensive. Our suite had a living room with a couch, flat screen TV, and kitchenette. Then there was a separate bedroom, which also had a flat screen TV (I mention the televisions because, after spending three days in Pentwater without access to one, it felt great to be able to watch whatever was on.)

Our hotel was within walking distance of all of the three theaters we were going to as well as to the shops and restaurants in downtown Stratford. The downtown is really cute:

One of the first things we did on Thursday morning was find the Shakespearean Gardens, a beautiful garden along the Avon River that contains flowers and plants mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays.