Gadling Take Five : Week of August 30-September 5

This week, as the Olympics ended, we welcomed blogger David Breisch to the Gadling fold. This was a busy week of diverse travel options, breakthroughs and oddities.

  • Jerry tuned us into what travel to a volcanic island is like with two separate posts. The first post, of his two part series “The Krakatau Journal: An island paradise that can kill you,’ and the second post, offer Jerry’s personal account of his trip to this volcanic island in Indonesia. He also details other volcanoes one can hit on an adventure vacation.
  • If you’re thinking that Hooters in Beijing is like Hooters in the U.S., like the big Os in the word “hOOt,” think again. As Josh, pointed out, the waitress costumes and build are not the same, even though it sounds like the food is. Josh’s story caught my eye because there was a knock-off Hooters in the town where I lived in Taiwan–except the name was wrong. The sign said, “Hooties.”
  • We can chalk one up for consumer complaints. As Grant reported, United Airlines has decided to nix the idea of charging people for meals on international flights. Who would ever have thought charging was a good idea is beyond me.
  • If you’re looking to bed down for the night in an unusual place, Scott has the answer. In his post “Spend the night in a Jumbo jet without leaving the ground,” he gives the scoop on the Jumbo Jet hostel that will open at the airport in Stockholm. As Scott says, you need to be a mile off the ground a mile to join the Mile High Club. Having adult fun in a jumbo jet on the ground is not the same thing.
  • For entertainment that is not particularly expensive, Meg’s post on the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia presents an idea that might be perfect for a fall weekend. The ticket price of the plays are reasonable and the Blue Ridge Mountains, where the theater is located, are stunning when the leaves change color.

Have a wonderful weekend. I hope there’s a festival near you. I hit the Popcorn Festival in Marion, Ohio today and am heading to the Honey Festival in Lithopolis tomorrow. Last week was the Sweet Corn Festival in Millersport.

Shakespeare comes alive in Staunton, Virginia

The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is well known for its natural beauty. Visitors come from far and wide to hike the trails of the Shenandoah National Park and see the vibrant colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the fall — but there’s a new reason folks are flocking to the area: the theater.

In 2001, Shenandoah Shakespeare, which was to become the American Shakespeare Center, opened the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia. The playhouse is a replica of Shakespeare’s original indoor theater, and plans are in the works to build an open air replica of the Globe Theater as well.

Visitors to the Staunton playhouse can enjoy a rotating schedule of Shakespeare classics as well as modern plays and concert events in an atmosphere designed to recreate the Elizabethan experience. Next week marks the opening of the ASC’s production of Shakespeare’s Richard II:

An exploration about the nature of greatness is timely fare in an election year. Pitting Richard II, a man of words, against Bullingbrook, a man of action, Shakespeare raises the art of language to new heights while reminding us that rulers “feel want, taste greif, need friends.”

There are pay-what-you-will performances on September 10, 11, and 12, while regular ticket prices start at $20. Also playing this fall are King Lear, Twelfth Night, and Measure for Measure.