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Away from the farmette in stunning Stratford

It's a beyoootiful day at the farmette. Cooler this morning. Almost could say there's a bit of autumn in the air.

Last Sunday - another gorgeous day - we had our joint birthday celebration. As we're getting older, we've decided not to do big gifts...instead, we're opting for 'events' or 'experiences'.

It had been a few years since we saw live theatre, so we decided on lunch and a matinee at the Stratford Festival. Notice how much closer to my birthday (August 15th) than Rob's (February 1) the 'event' was. That's okay. He doesn't mind. Besides, the festival's not even running in the depths of winter.

It had also been a while since we'd done a selfie. Still can't really get the hang of it like the nieces, but not bad, eh?

We got there early, so we took a stroll down along the Avon. I forgot how many birds there are everywhere - ducks, geese, and, of course the famous swans. They're amazingly tame.

There were signs everywhere admonishing guests not to feed them, because human food sucks for the avians. Still, it didn't stop them from begging from the picnickers who were lined along the banks.

When we were ready for lunch, we toddled up to the Bruce Hotel, a five-star glitzy place with an amazing restaurant. While we'll probably never be able to afford staying there (room prices START at $400 a night), we did have a lovely brunch that didn't break the bank. Fancy-schmancy poutine and poached eggs for me, and eggs benedict for Rob. Needless to say, we waddled back to the theatre.

We were still pretty early for the 2 p.m. start of Julius Caesar, so we decided to take a walk through the gardens. They were stunning, truly. Everything was in full bloom.

There were themed beds taken from Shakespearean plays. Like this one named the 'witch's garden.'

This round bed just outside the front door had these incredible amaranth that looked like a cluster of purple human hands giving us the finger.

A touching plaque under a beautiful oak tree was dedicated to William Hutt, the towering talent who trod the boards and thrilled audiences for decades at Stratford. It was put there in 2005 by long-time artistic director and friend of the thespian, Richard Monette.

Finally, it was time to enter the Festival Theatre, a gorgeous building with the famous thrust stage. The play - one of Shakespeare's more masculine, bloody ones - was fantastically produced, with females in exactly half the roles, including Seana McKenna as Caesar and Irene Pool as Cassius. Both had outstanding performances.

We're extraordinarily fortunate to live in a time and place where we can see, hear and experience such beauty only a short car ride away. Until next week.

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