United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland [2005]

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day 4 [] August 5, 2005 [] Stratford-Upon-Avon, England

We went to breakfast on the bottom floor of what was a maze of a guest house hotel. We ate with 2 men from Brazil, one which looked like he could hardly move his neck. He was very proper. He told us a joke about the natural disasters in Brazil. - When God was creating the Earth, someone asked him, "God, you forgot to put any natural disasters in Brazil." God responded, "Ah, but you should see the people I put there."

After breakfast, which was cooked by the mother and daughter, served by the father, and laundry done at least on other daughter (a whole family effort), we took a train to Lemmington Spa and when we arrived learned that the final leg of the trip to Stratford-Upon_Avon was not for 2 hours. We took an hour to explore the city, leaving time to get back early. We saw a couple old buildings and a lovely park with 2 fountains. A duck was standing in one fountain, and the way the drops cascaded down his back made us want to shoot a sexy duck commercial, but we couldn't think up a good one. Back at the station, we waited with eight or so other people going to Stratford, one girl was dancing to an iPod that was far to loud for her eardrums. The bus that we were expecting was actually a mini bus

(aka mini van) - an extension of the rail service and replacement because of a collapsed train tunnel (yikes). The mini bus ride was pleasant though, even the girl's music. The view is able to be taken in much better and different from the back roads and freeways - highways and turnabouts. We spied a pub to eat at Stratford and decided to walk to the hotel and then go eat before the cheap lunches were over. We ate at Cafe Uno, and Jon learned just about how much wine he can Biblically intake - 250 ml. We walked to Shakespeare's birthplace, a museum trust that, while offering a nostalgic view of Shakespeare and many important documents, was a bit of a joke to us. - He may have sat in this chair, etc. From then we walked to Holy Trinity Church, the burial place of Shakespeare. It cost one pound sterling to go in, but they were trying to charge two pound sterling extra for some flower competition. Lots of people unwittingly paid the extra charge. Jon went in the church - keen to their trick he only paid one pound. While Lisa waited outside she say three English women walk out of the church. The jolly woman in the middle expressed the need to go to the lou (the bathroom). The woman to the right explained that the car ride back would not be more than two minutes. As they turned to the left the woman on the right passed gas rather quick and loud, she let out a surprised gasp. No one else acknowledged it. With Lisa's maturity level she found it hilarious but did not laugh till after they had left.

At this point, Lisa was not feeling well, sick mixed with allergies?, so we took the route along the river back to the hotel watching a ton of swans feeding at the river bank. Lisa napped until we dressed to go to As You Like It at the Royal Shakespeare Theater. We ate a lovely meal (by the avon) of jacket potatoes (lisa) and hamburger and fries (Jon) - English mustard is not as good. We had balcony seats, left side, at the play. The stage had an enormous tree in the center that was used throughout the play. For the first act, we were both tired, Jon nodding off in the musical asides. The second act was hysterically well-acted, all around a fantastic experience and well worth the five pound each. At the Hotel, our two down pillows on each twin bed (uggh) offered a peaceful night sleep.

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