And suddenly it was winter

This Saturday my sister and I and friend P hit the road for a day trip to Stratford. (The one in Ontario, sadly not the one in England). We’ve all been there often enough during the summer and fall when the theatre season is on, but since we’d never been in the non-theatre months and since November always has that vaguely dreary quality of oozing into the Dark Times of Winter, we wanted to break that up a bit with a jaunt. So a little while ago we hatched a plan in advance to make the trip and do the non-theatre Stratford things. All you folks in the other half of North America have Thanksgiving to transition you into the cold season, but up here we did the turkey dinner thing last month and November can sort of drift by and leave you blinking and wondering if you skipped the falling leaves thing and went directly to cold and grey.

Indeed, it seems winter has arrived. We’ve had a few light snowfalls in the Lake Ontario area of the province, but over in the more western parts of the province the snowfalls haven’t been so light. We got there and wondered if we should be singing Christmas tunes. After all, it looked like this:

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We did some leisurely shopping, taking in the tea shop for some re-stocking:

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And paused to contemplate whether the Vampire Tea is available year-round or mostly on weekends when Twilight hits the theatres.

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We perused Watson’s Bazaar and noted the advice:

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And had to pause to take in the mad-skeery icicles en route to the used bookshop:

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I’m quite sure Stratford parking metres aren’t the only ones around which advise you to use only ‘valid coins’, but all the same we contemplated what sorts of ‘invalid’ ones would be potential suspects.

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We finished off at Balzac’s for some wicked awesome hot chocolate:

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And on the way home the winter sunset was pretty great:

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Maybe we’ll do it again and see what Stratford looks like on the flip side of the Darkest Times of the Year.

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “And suddenly it was winter

  1. What a pretty winter wonderland! Oh man those hot cocoas look great! *WANT!*

  2. Elizabeth L in Apex, NC

    WOW! You just about transported me there – and I want to go so very badly. The photos are great, and enchanting, and the trip sounded really wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. What a great post! I’ve never been to Stratford during non-theater times, so it was fun to see it then.

  4. maurimoii

    Oh man, that last shot is beautiful! You should try submitting it to National geographic’s shot of the day thing.

  5. Absolutely wonderful little winter wonderland! I’m kind of hoping for a nice little bit of snow – maybe 6 inches – while I am home for Thanksgiving.

  6. Meg

    When I was in high school, I had a couple friends who would photocopy one dollar bills, front and back, and then tape them together. They would then use them in the vending machines. I doubt seriously it would work for coins.

    I wish we got that kind of snow here. Just keep posting photos so we can vicariously through your beautiful snowy days.

  7. How beautiful! All that snow is gorgeous, but the icicles look downright dangerous.

    Vampire tea — what would that taste like? Blood? Hmmm… not sure that’s on my to-try list.

  8. The photos are all beautiful… snow and mad-skeery icicles indeed!
    It was 60somethingF here today with still yet more yard/leaves clean up, I could do with a bit of snow and while I’m at it, a sunset like that one :^)
    I’m craving one of those hot chocolates.

  9. Brrrrrr! Personally I’m anxious for summer to arrive again. I’m already tired of cold and we haven’t even gotten snow yet this year.

  10. Beautiful post :) Though isn’t that tea misnamed? Wouldn’t it be anti-vampire tea? I wouldn’t be too interested in garlic flavored tea in any case.

    I have heard stories of people attempting to use washers instead of coins. Pretty sure it doesn’t work, but I imagine it messes up the machines often.

  11. That just looks beautiful! What a perfectly wonderful day!

  12. That sunset is amazingly beautiful.

  13. Okay I’ll stop with the ‘it’s cold’ about England now :o)

  14. LadyO

    Wow! It looks like your winter jaunt was much more entertaining and productive than mine (NTS- Stratford is way more interesting than Orillia)

  15. Used books and tea and hot chocolate?? That is the perfect day!

  16. Wow, that is a gorgeous sunset! I’ve never been to Stratford at this time of year either. Clearly I need to go some time :)

  17. Thanks for the great little vicarious road trip!

  18. I remember when I was young my aunt used to bring me up to tera cotta (sp?) and there was this one street we would drive down where the trees lined it and they would look like the icicles were about to fall off of them. It was my favorite street to be on in winter in Ontario.

    Then I moved downtown Toronto and all the pretty snow turned into ugly slush in 15 minutes after falling. Hah.

  19. Ooh, fun! When I lived in London we used to pile a bunch of students in a car and drive to Stratford on a whim sometimes just for coffee. (William’s Coffee Pub – I think it’s since become a chain). I’ve actually never been there during theatre season, but it’s on my list of things to do before I die!

    No snow in Newfoundland yet. You can keep it!

  20. Lin

    Thank you for the great pictures, the icicles are amazing!

  21. Wow! That sunset is amazing! So is the hot chocolate. A perfect place to break out your handknits. :)

  22. Ann

    The scenery is really pretty with all that snow. Wow – vampire tea – I am sure my daughter will love some as she’s crazy about Twilight.