This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Late Night and a Sore Butt

(Written in the wee hours of 8/3/13)
This morning several couples from our group treated everyone to an outdoor pancake breakfast.  In addition to pancakes we had bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, and coffee.  The cooking was done on three or four electric and gas griddles setup on picnic tables.  It was really good.  The rest of the morning was free and Carol Ann and I just took it easy until the bus picked us up at 2:00PM for a trip to Charlottetown, a city of about 40,000 located on the south shore and capital of PEI.  On the way we stopped at the Cows Creamery, makers of perhaps the best ice cream in Canada.  In addition to over 32 flavors of ice cream they also make cheese and chocolates.  They are also quite famous in this part of the world for their “whimsical” T-shirts.  Such as “COW OF DUTY – Black Spots”, “Dr. Moo”, “The Milking Dead”, “Harley-Dairyson”, “Duck Cowmander”, “Angry Herds”, “Big Barn Theory”, “50 Shades of Hay”, “Cows and the City”, etc.  We got a tour of the creamery to see how they printed the T-shirts and made the ice cream and cheese.  A young employee led the tour and when she started to introduce a video about the company, she said something to the effect, “I’m going to show you where Cows came from” and everyone had a good laugh, including the tour guide.  At the end of the tour we had a small sample of their best selling ice cream (maybe Cowie-Wowie?).

After Cows, we had a bus tour of the city and then were dropped off in town to do what we wanted until time for the musical, “Evangeline”.  Carol Ann and I went to the Old Dublin Pub and had appetizers and beer.  Stacha and Dan came in right before we left.  They had gone to Gahan’s, across the street, but left when they were told it would be a forty-minute wait. 

I haven’t been to a real theater in quite a while, the last musical I attended being “Phantom of the Opera” before we left the Chicago area 14 years ago.  It was a very nice theater and I wasn’t surprised to find a gift shop just in the lobby.  We seem to find them everywhere we go.  However, the seats were not very comfortable.  There wasn't enough cushion in the cushions so that your butt sank down to the wood or metal bottom.  I had to keep shifting pressure from one buttock to the other to keep my butt from falling asleep.  With seats that uncomfortable your butt would be the only thing going to sleep, for sure.

Let me make something absolutely clear before I continue.  I am no theater critic.  Especially when it comes to musicals.  My genre of choice is blues.  My favorite XM Radio Channel is #70,  B.B. King’s Bluesville.  This show, “Evangeline,” was adapted from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem of the same name.  I have not read the poem but Claudia has read it and told me that it was long and boring, which was enough for me.  It is a story about the Acadians of Nova Scotia being kicked out by the British in 1756.  You may know that some of them ended up on Louisiana and became Cajuns.  

"Evangeline" is mostly a love story about Evangeline and Gabriel.  My hearing is not what it used to be and I had trouble understanding the words to a lot of the songs but I got the gist of the story.  The heroes get married but before their wedding night all of the men are rounded up by the British and put on ships to be expelled from Nova Scotia (the British were afraid they would side with the French).  The women and children are loaded later and the newly wed couple gets separated.  Gabriel’s ship is headed for one place and Evangeline’s to another.  I don’t remember where Gabriel’s was headed but Evangeline’s was going to South Carolina.  However, when the villain tries to rape Evangeline, she jumps (or falls?) overboard and swims to Philadelphia while everyone assumes she drowned.  Gabriel and some of his fellow Acadians manage to take over the ship they are on and change course to South Carolina to look for Evangeline (he doesn't know she "died" and swam to Philly).  To make a tedious story short, they spend the next twenty some odd years walking up and down the Eastern Seaboard and Mississippi and Louisiana trying to find one another.  A couple of times they come very close but manage to miss one another in all of their walking (and sometimes riding in canoes).  At the end, Gabriel winds up mortally wounded while fighting in the American Revolution (he wasn't going to let the British push him around again) and is in a Philadelphia hospital where he supposedly dies.  Some nuns come to prepare the body for burial and, surprise, we find that Evangeline is one of them.  She recognizes Gabriel, who isn’t really dead yet, leans over him, he wakes up singing “Am I in Heaven?” and then he dies and it’s over.  Curtain.

Let me reiterate.  I am not a theater critic and this was my first musical in a long time.  But I know what I like and what I don’t particularly care for.  I liked “Phantom of the Opera”, “Jesus Christ, Superstar”, “Hair”, and “Cats”.  I’m sorry, but “Evangeline” didn’t make my favorites list.  Of course, that doesn’t mean it was bad, just that it wasn’t my kind of show.

Most of the people I spoke with, particularly the women, seemed to enjoy it very much.  A lot of the guys weren’t real crazy about it.  The production itself was pretty slick.  The sets were well done and the acting and singing were strong.  But I thought the story a bit too long and drawn out (it ran almost three hours), plus it just wasn’t my kind of music.  I had expected perhaps some Cajun music but it was just typical musical music.  You can't remember any tunes to hum once it's over and, like they would say on American Bandstand, "I didn't like the beat and you couldn't dance to it." They did pick up the pace of the story and the music in the second half.  The second half was mostly just Evangeline and Gabriel walking up and down the Eastern Seaboard for twenty years and by then my butt was sore.  As we were exiting the theater I spotted a couple carrying seat cushions.  Obviously, it wasn’t their first time there.

Tomorrow is a free day and Carol Ann and I will attempt to see everything on the island that we haven’t already seen.  Especially the lighthouses.  Our farewell dinner is tomorrow night, followed by our farewell breakfast the next morning before we hit the road back to the states.

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