Apr 07

Charlottesville, Virginia

by in North America, United States

Home to UVA, Charlottesville is a large-ish college town surrounded by a multitude of smaller towns with their own personalities and good bed and breakfast options. Nearby Staunton boasts the world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, the Blackfriars Playhouse. Colleen and I have come here three times now, watching Titus Andronicus, Othello and Hamlet in that order. Staunton also hosts outdoor concerts, one of which we caught on our last visit, and features good dining options with an emphasis on organic and locally sourced foods.

Two other excursions we took near Charlottesville was watching a movie in a drive-in theatre, a first for me, and driving through Virginia Safari Park where we hand fed free-ranging camels, ostrich, llama, goats and deer as we drove through the 3-mile long safari park. The park also had a zoo-type section where the coolest animals were Bengal tigers, cheetahs, giraffe and several types of monkeys. Both experiences were thoroughly enjoyable, although an ostrich made a mess inside our car when it stuck its head through the window and tried to wrestle the animal food away from me with its beak. Ostrich necks aren’t very strong but what they lack in torque, they make up for in speed. Those beaks strike fast! You’ve been warned!

The drive-in theatre experience made a convert out of me. Car seats are far more comfortable than theatre seats. I doubt I’ll ever see a cinema with reclining, heated, ventilated seats with adjustable lumbar. The audio also exceeded my expectations. The theatre tells you what radio frequency to tune in to and you get audio through your car stereo, 13 speakers for two people in our case, which sounded quite nice. If you get a chance to see a movie at a drive-in theatre, jump at it. We saw “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and ducked out before “Captain America” started because it was getting late and also because it hadn’t received good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

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