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This past summer (July 2012) I took a trip to see some family I hadn’t seen in years (about 22 years to be specific). Most of my extended family still lives in Poland and I have a cousin that lives in England. I finagled my way to get two weeks vacation time, booked my ticket and (over) packed my bags.

Leicester (sounds like Lester) is a nice city and to be honest I spent a lot of time hanging out with my family as I was staying with my cousin, her husband and their baby. I also had 2 other cousins and one of their boyfriends visiting from Poland during my visit so it was a full house and never a dull moment.

We did quite a few day trips and my first taste of the quaint English countryside was in Stratford-upon-Avon, otherwise known as Home of Shakespeare. I really had no expectations of the town but I was really blown away by the beauty of it.

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Henley Street. My first red phone booth.

Henley Street.

Henley Street.

The birthplace of Shakespeare is a major attraction (now a museum) as is the theatre next door.

My cousin and I in front of Shakespeare's birthplace.

My cousin and I in front of Shakespeare’s birthplace.

It’s entirely what you would imagine an old, sleepy English town to look like. Henley Street is lined with shops and cafes and you can easily spend an afternoon strolling around.

The weather was great (read: cloudy, constant threat of rain) while we were there so we enjoyed a picnic lunch along the river and went for a stroll along the paths afterwards.

Along the banks of Avon.

Along the banks of Avon.

Located about a two hour drive north west of London, Stratford-upon-Avon is a quintessential part of British and literary history. It’s well worth the time to visit and is a lovely change from the hustle and bustle of the city.

I know most of us likely haven’t picked up any Shakespeare since high school English class but it got me thinking back to that time. I think my favourite is still A Midsummer Night’s Dream but I’d like to hear yours.

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