The guest posts continue…
When we left you last, we were bedding down for the night in Rivière du Loup. The next day started off poorly though, as some city workers had knocked out the water supply to the better part of the city, including our hotel! So un-showered and unshaven, (like good road-trippers) we put Riv in the rearview mirror and sped through the rest of Quebec and northern New Brunswick. We veered off the Trans-Canada at Grand Falls heading to the Miramichi valley based on a reports from an old college friend that The ‘chi is beautiful,… and it was! On the way, we stopped for lunch at Plaster Rock,known for hosting the largest pond hockey tournament in the world (hey, that’s something!) and a Tim Horton’s stop in Miramichi which, as it turns out, is the “Irish Capital of the Maritimes”… who knew?
At sunset, we were cruising over the Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick and PEI, and by nightfall we were having fish and chips at a little place I remembered on Water Street in Charlottetown.
The next day was another beautiful, sunny and warm one, and Dad and I took advantage of the nice weather to tour the Island from West to East. We drove out to Summerside and then followed the shore north and all the way back to Charlottetown, passing through Anne of Green Gables country – replete with all the gimmicks and Trilingual (Japanese!?) signs. But I think the highlight was definitely Cavendish Beach which was stunning. Miles and miles of soft red sand, a little surf, and basically we had the place to ourselves as this is the “off-season”. I recommend you drag the kids out there: a fraction of the price of a Nantucket vacation, and the water’s just as cold, guaranteed!
Yesterday, we took the ferry from Wood Islands PEI to Caribou, N.S, and pushed on another few miles towards Antigonish to stop for and visit my friend Paul and his family at their cottage. Paul is also recently back from London, and for the occasion, his brother Chris and Sister Kate had come up from Massachussets to visit, so it was a very full house! But Paul’s mom pulled out all the stops and the family whipped up a fresh seafood feast of epic proportions: Pan-fried scallops and fresh oysters literally just out of the bay behind the house, smoked Atlantic salmon, trout, all kinds of other goodies from a family of serious “foodies”, and I am proud to say I sampled everything despite my strong dislike of seafood. I must admit that, prepared properly and being that fresh, I would eat it all again!
As the night wore on, a nice neighbor from down the road popped in for a nightcap. He is a retired lighthouse keeper.Seriously, I am not making this up!
We had set dad up in a B&B just down the road, so dad adjourned, and I stayed up later with the 3 Basile kids, and crashed in the guest room. Our visit all ended too soon, as we were off this morning for our next destination.
We drove along the back road past Cape George to Antigonish, had a bite to eat and went to check out the STFX campus. So much has changed, but somethings were still exactly the same, and I was so pleased when I popped into the old Kinetics building and ran into the former chair of the program as well as another one of my profs. Truthfully, I was pleased to be able to gloat about my involvement with the last 2 Olympic games…
Finally, we continued on our way to Cape Breton, looking for (former senator) Lowell Murray. We drove and we drove on an on northbound along the Cabot Trail until we found his home…. but he was not there. So we went to get a bite to eat, killed some time, and came back…. but he was still not there! So we decided to carry on to Baddeck, which is stunning, and which is where we are camped out now. We sat by the water enjoying the warm breeze and the sunset, then found a nice Inn, played some cards and are about to crash. We hope to hear from Lowell before we leave tomorrow AM so that we can meet up with him.
UPDATE: Lowell just called, and we are meeting him for lunch tomorrow at a place called The Distillery, midway between Inverness and Mabou.
After that, looks like we will be heading home. Having seen the highlights on the way out, we are not sure what is in store for the return trip: we will either go to Qc City or through the states. As with most things on this trip, we will play it by ear.
It will be sad to get home to the empty house and try to start fresh, but this has been an amazing trip full of laughs and old memories with dad, and I like to think we created some new ones along the way. Paul said it reminded him of a Hemingway story, and like those, I will cherish this one.
À la prochaine!