Stratford Road Trips

Hosts

Most come to Stratford for the theatre, but miss the rich diversity of the area; fabulous beaches, quaint towns, spectacular hikes, endless water sports, unique antique stores, and so much more. Jump on board for an afternoon journey with new found friends.
— Bruce Whitaker, Founder.
John Kivell   John is well qualified to lead our Blyth trip which stops at Cowbell Brewery and at the Blyth Theatre. Recently retired, this grandfather spent over 40 years in operations with one of Canada’s oldest breweries, Labatt’s. He is also a lover of rural theatre. John grew up on a farm near Glencoe, a small town in Southwestern Ontario. Though he didn’t farm long, he still loves the feeling of being outdoors and the smell of the crops.   “Whenever I hear the song ‘Nothing Like a Hundred Miles’, written by James Taylor in the 70’s, it makes me long for the road and for the sight of the yellow line disappearing behind me in my rear-view mirror. One of the lyrics goes “There’s nothing like a hundred miles between me and trouble in my mind. There’s nothing like a hundred miles somebody show me the yellow line.”

John Kivell

John is well qualified to lead our Blyth trip which stops at Cowbell Brewery and at the Blyth Theatre. Recently retired, this grandfather spent over 40 years in operations with one of Canada’s oldest breweries, Labatt’s. He is also a lover of rural theatre. John grew up on a farm near Glencoe, a small town in Southwestern Ontario. Though he didn’t farm long, he still loves the feeling of being outdoors and the smell of the crops.

“Whenever I hear the song ‘Nothing Like a Hundred Miles’, written by James Taylor in the 70’s, it makes me long for the road and for the sight of the yellow line disappearing behind me in my rear-view mirror. One of the lyrics goes “There’s nothing like a hundred miles between me and trouble in my mind. There’s nothing like a hundred miles somebody show me the yellow line.”

Jenn Parsons   After nine years in Toronto, Jenn returned to Stratford for her love of the community. Born and raised in Stratford, she knows the area well. Jenn works full time at the Local Community Food Centre, helping community members to grow and cook their own food. Guests will come to appreciate her peaceful demeanor, love for music and passion for the local community. Be prepared to take a back road or two in search of adventure.  “ Road Trips are like confessionals. In a matter of minutes you know the life story of your companions. Perhaps, it’s the looking out into the wonder of the world that makes judgement and fear drift off. It’s not about immediate gratification - getting to the destination. It’s more about the in between time, the getting there. I am especially good at seeing the tiny things and honouring the small moments in life. I embrace detours and pit stops along the way.”

Jenn Parsons

After nine years in Toronto, Jenn returned to Stratford for her love of the community. Born and raised in Stratford, she knows the area well. Jenn works full time at the Local Community Food Centre, helping community members to grow and cook their own food. Guests will come to appreciate her peaceful demeanor, love for music and passion for the local community. Be prepared to take a back road or two in search of adventure.

Road Trips are like confessionals. In a matter of minutes you know the life story of your companions. Perhaps, it’s the looking out into the wonder of the world that makes judgement and fear drift off. It’s not about immediate gratification - getting to the destination. It’s more about the in between time, the getting there. I am especially good at seeing the tiny things and honouring the small moments in life. I embrace detours and pit stops along the way.”

Bob Richards   Bob grew up in the Windsor/Detroit corridor as a huge lover of sports, playing basketball, hockey, football and baseball in high school and university. Scouted for his baseball talents by the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs, Bob decided teaching was his real love and stayed connected to sports as a PhysEd teacher for over thirty years throughout Southwestern Ontario. He recently moved to St Mary’s for love and is happily living in a newly built home.  “ My parents didn’t have a lot of money so our road trips were short but very memorable. The car was always packed at 8 a.m with my family and all of the friends we could fit into the car. It was a full day at the Bell River beach most weekends. The family picnic included potato salad and whatever my dad could catch in the river. We often had to settle for hot dogs.”

Bob Richards

Bob grew up in the Windsor/Detroit corridor as a huge lover of sports, playing basketball, hockey, football and baseball in high school and university. Scouted for his baseball talents by the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs, Bob decided teaching was his real love and stayed connected to sports as a PhysEd teacher for over thirty years throughout Southwestern Ontario. He recently moved to St Mary’s for love and is happily living in a newly built home.

My parents didn’t have a lot of money so our road trips were short but very memorable. The car was always packed at 8 a.m with my family and all of the friends we could fit into the car. It was a full day at the Bell River beach most weekends. The family picnic included potato salad and whatever my dad could catch in the river. We often had to settle for hot dogs.”

 
Bruce Whitaker   Bruce travelled the back roads of the Alberta foothills during his early years enjoying the ranching lands with his father. Around every corner was something new; a beautiful Rocky Mountain vista, a stray cow, vehicles abandoned in a backyard, or kids playing a summer game of baseball. Adventure has stayed with Bruce since, having enjoyed road trips throughout Canada, Central America, Brazil, Egypt, Norway, India, Ghana, Jordan, Lebanon and Southwestern Ontario.   “When going on road trips It’s about the road tripping experience. It’s about all the fun breaks, the pranks, the landscapes, the chats… simply everything! A road trip is about the moment! No need to worry about things from the past and that are waiting down the road. It’s about everything and nothing!”

Bruce Whitaker

Bruce travelled the back roads of the Alberta foothills during his early years enjoying the ranching lands with his father. Around every corner was something new; a beautiful Rocky Mountain vista, a stray cow, vehicles abandoned in a backyard, or kids playing a summer game of baseball. Adventure has stayed with Bruce since, having enjoyed road trips throughout Canada, Central America, Brazil, Egypt, Norway, India, Ghana, Jordan, Lebanon and Southwestern Ontario.

“When going on road trips It’s about the road tripping experience. It’s about all the fun breaks, the pranks, the landscapes, the chats… simply everything! A road trip is about the moment! No need to worry about things from the past and that are waiting down the road. It’s about everything and nothing!”

Larissa Mota    Born in Brazil, Larissa moved with her family to Canada at the age of 12. The travel bug lives large in Larissa’s heart. Often she arrives home only to be preparing to fly out to a new destination. Larissa, most recently, spent 1.5 years in Peru working at a language institute both as an administrator and as an English teacher. As for her future, who knows, but one thing, she plans to travel every chance she gets.   “I love road trips. It’s where adventure begins. You never know where the road wll take you. The best part is being flexible to what pops up, not having to move on but rather experiencing the now. While in Colombia travelling with my boyfriend, we missed a bus and the next one did not come for six hours. We decided to walk. The longer we walked, the hotter and grumpier we got. Finally, a truck stopped and asked if we needed a ride. That experience led to us hitchhiking throughout Columbia.”

Larissa Mota

Born in Brazil, Larissa moved with her family to Canada at the age of 12. The travel bug lives large in Larissa’s heart. Often she arrives home only to be preparing to fly out to a new destination. Larissa, most recently, spent 1.5 years in Peru working at a language institute both as an administrator and as an English teacher. As for her future, who knows, but one thing, she plans to travel every chance she gets.

“I love road trips. It’s where adventure begins. You never know where the road wll take you. The best part is being flexible to what pops up, not having to move on but rather experiencing the now. While in Colombia travelling with my boyfriend, we missed a bus and the next one did not come for six hours. We decided to walk. The longer we walked, the hotter and grumpier we got. Finally, a truck stopped and asked if we needed a ride. That experience led to us hitchhiking throughout Columbia.”

Shawn Atlee    Since moving to Stratford from Toronto almost ten years ago, Shawn has never questioned his decision. He loves exploring the many hidden treasures of the area by car and by bike. An avid cyclist, Shawn recently completed the Friends for Life Bike Rally from Toronto to Montreal. He took on a new challenge this year of traveling to the Middle East with his three sons. His next pursuit will be spending time in South America.   ”When I lived in Toronto, just getting out of the city was a journey, one that I didn’t take often as the traffic was often crippling. Living in Stratford, I can be in the outdoors in five minutes. One of my favourite things to do in Stratford is to get to the beach, even on a week night. The waves are so calming, the lake so beautiful and the sunsets are to die for.”

Shawn Atlee

Since moving to Stratford from Toronto almost ten years ago, Shawn has never questioned his decision. He loves exploring the many hidden treasures of the area by car and by bike. An avid cyclist, Shawn recently completed the Friends for Life Bike Rally from Toronto to Montreal. He took on a new challenge this year of traveling to the Middle East with his three sons. His next pursuit will be spending time in South America.

”When I lived in Toronto, just getting out of the city was a journey, one that I didn’t take often as the traffic was often crippling. Living in Stratford, I can be in the outdoors in five minutes. One of my favourite things to do in Stratford is to get to the beach, even on a week night. The waves are so calming, the lake so beautiful and the sunsets are to die for.”