I have had the craziest summer in a long time. When my show, Get Happy, was cancelled, and I had no work lined up until the end of August, I had to determine what to do with myself. KJ and I decided to go on a road trip. We have been dreaming about going to New York for a long while and we love road trips. We had our trip planned out so that we would camp across Canada to our friend Davids in Milton, just outside Toronto. From there we would spend another week in and around the Shaw and Stratford festivals. For our third week, we planned to spend it with our friend Erin in Toronto, and seeing friends, friends and more friends. After Toronto we would drive down and stay with another friend in New York. Sounds good right?
I love summer camping. I had a goal this summer to do as much swimming as possible, and see as much as I could.. As an actor I rarely get to experience summer. I am usually always working, entertaining everyone else, so this time I was determined to get it all in. We camped at Grand beach Manitoba. Grand Beach is on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. Three days of beautiful, sandy, hot perfection. There were a lot of bugs at our campground that wanted to eat us alive, so we stayed at the beach most days. We ended up seeing a show in Winnipeg at the dinner theatre on one of our nights, Ghostbusted I think it was called. We had a great time. Next we camped at a little camp site in Aaron Park somewhere in Ontario. Beside a really nice lake, it was shallow like Lake Winnipeg. Both lakes were at the most 30 feet deep, strange. After 2 nights at Aaron Park we drove to Thunder Bay. While there we ate some Finnish pancakes. Heading back on the road we stopped along the shore of Lake Superior. Lake Superior is Huge it really is like an ocean. It was rough and cold , I loved it. Finally we spent the night in Sault St. Marie at a hotel.
We decided to drive through the states instead of driving around the last leg of the lake. That part of the us is a lot like parts of Saskatchewan. Flat, rolling hills, etc. It did cut about two or three hours off our drive. We were checked at the border as if we were the dreaded bad guys all Americans fear. I think some times they want drama, because the seemed almost disappointed to find nothing, and discover that we were good people. It’s a little sad.
As we made our way into Milton, we were relieved to find a warm friend, with an amazing house to stay in.
David is a long time friend of KJ’s so she and him were catching up. I was admiring the style of Ontario. Brick, and more brick. Coming from BC, it is just so different. I love it. David was able to take us all over the place. We went to an Ostrich farm, a Berry farm, and a farmers market where I bought some of the best honey I have ever had. I just have to say that David made us some of the greatest Chocolate Banana Bread I have ever had. KJ and I did get a chance to swim in Milton in a little community man-made lake, it was perfection. I loved hearing old stories of KJ in Toronto so it was a treat to me to listen in on their conversations.
Making our way into Niagara On The Lake, to see the my friend Tom in The Shaw Festival was awesome. I have to say, being at both Stratford and Niagara On The Lake, I liked NOTL. I am not sure why, the energy the quaintness, maybe the proximity to 2 other little towns in wine country. We just liked it. Stratford is a bigger festival, and a bigger town. It is quite beautiful, on a river, old historical downtown done up for travelers.
The energy is different though, a bit LA if you know what I mean. We saw so much theatre on this trip. With friends in both festivals it was hard to see it all. We saw Misalliance at Shaw, Henry V, Cymbeline, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, and Wanderlust at Stratford. Wander lust was our favorite it was a new musical about the early life of Robert Service. It is a beautiful show, I would like to produce it. It was nice to see some old friends like Victor and Amy at Stratford. We even got to stay with a friend Diana overnight. It really is an amazing place, so much talent, so much theatre; I could have stayed for another week.
Saying goodbye to David and the festivals, we moved into Toronto. We were hit by a heat wave of +47. I am not kidding. We were cranking the AC, and heading for the beaches. The Beaches is an area in Toronto were the city swims. It is also a funky part of town. I love Toronto. I just love it there. We went everywhere. Swam in Lake Ontario, visited Toronto Island, ate some of the most insane ice-cream banana split extreme desert ever. We saw theatre of course, A Mid-Summers Night Dream in Hyde park, Warhorse downtown, and The Royal Comedians in the distillery district. We saw some of my old friends like Ryan and Daniel and Erin and tons of KJ’s old TO friends. We were on the go every minute. We went for the loudest Sushi experience of my life on Church St, every time a person would enter or leave the whole staff would yell AHHHSJYTUDUYGOOO!!!. I have no idea what it means, but it was loud.
We stayed with our friend Erin. Erin is a very cool chick. She works for skate Canada at a private members only club in Toronto, and has Kurt Browning as a boss. Cool hey! Erin was able to show us around her neighbourhood, Bloor st Village etc. One night we were all out for a nice evening walk, and we happen to stop at a desert place.Personally I thought it was a great idea. I had the best piece of chocolate cake I have had in a while. Erin also joined us for the night of Warhorse Downtown. My friend Ryan is in the production so he was able to take us onstage, backstage etc. It was an awesome experience all around. Warhorse is a stunning piece of theatre, the kind that does not shy away from its theatricality.
I have to say some of the Toronto highlight were: Dutch Dreams ice-cream, The Chocolate cake place, nachos at Sneaky Dees, Toronto Island, The Beaches, Hyde Park, Erin Daniel Ryan and the heat. Oh and Warhorse, and the city and King st, and Bloor St and Church St………..and
Seeing some Saskatchewan friends was awesome too. Our friend Daniel has been doing the Soulpepper Academy for the past year. Soulpepper is a very prestigious place to do theatre. Hard to get in. That is where we saw The Royal Comedians,. You know when you see shows, and the only person you like in the show is your friend. You can tell them that, all you want , and you will only sound like you favoured them. I couldn’t help it, Dan was the only one I enjoyed watching. There can be many things that make someone watchable, and Dan has it. I think that man will go very far if given the right chances.
After feeling like we saw the world in Toronto we headed off to New York. Ha Ha Ha. Driving to New York is really not that hard at all. It is only about 6 hours away. New York City! So where do I begin……..The rest I will post in a few days.
The rest I will post in a few days.