13 October 2011

Mom and Dad's Visit--Part Five: Stratford-upon-Avon. . .

I had been really excited to visit Stratford-upon-Avon; when I was an English major in college, I took my electives in Shakespeare courses and had even helped to teach an Intro to the Bard freshman course when I was a senior.  I love Shakespeare (although mommy-hood seems to have crippled my ability to read him!!) 

On one of the weekdays of Mom and Dad's visit, we decided that we would head over there because we had heard that there was a ton of good shopping to be had, but that it was always busy.  I was a bit disappointed to find that there was not a lot of educational focus on the Bard, but that the town had gone tourist--with most of the focus on selling something to the hordes of people streaming into town.  Of course there was the house that was Shakespeare's birthplace and street entertainers, etc, but it really is a tourist trap--a somewhat quaint tourist trap--but still a trap!

Lunch at The Pen and the Parchment pub

Me and Will. . .the girls were enjoying watching him until he started squirting Hannah with a water bottle. . then a little later we saw him with the head of his costume off and the illusion was completely lost!

Just like bubbles will do. . .the balloons thrilled them the most!

Shakespeare's birthplace. . .we decided not to go inside. . crowded/expensive. . I am thinking I might go sometime on my own (I guess just to say I have).

Not a very quaint scene here. . .ugh!

The statue behind Hannah is The American Memorial Fountain and Clock Tower presented by a man from Philadelphia in 1887.

Little piece of home!  I do miss Publix!

Since the majority of you didn't grow up in or around Sandwich, IL. . we had to take this one because the Lamplighter is a gentleman's club near where I grew up!  This was just a regular old pub.  .not a dancer in sight!

This building was unreal!  It is medieval--built around 1450--and called Mason's Court.  It is the oldest dwelling house in town.   The bookshop keeper across the street said that people still live there today.  She mentioned that one of her friends used to live there and that once she took her granddaughter to visit.  Upon leaving, the little girl told her it was "the best house she had ever been in". . guess everything inside also looks like a Disney fairytale cottage--uneven stone stairs and low doorways, etc.  It looks like the Seven Dwarves could have lived there!

The family strolling by River Avon.

River Avon--there was a really nice park along the bank.

The last three pictures are parts of the Gower Memorial. . .presented to the town in 1888.