My giddiness (and yes, the Pilgrim Hat song) continued as we made our way from Boston to St. John’s in Newfoundland. We knew that by the time we arrived we would be too late for the Ferry to Nova Scotia…so we would have to wait ONE. MORE. DAY.
We managed, while leaving the United States of America, to get lost only once. We missed one key turn off in Maine whilst following a giant pineapple in the back of a truck. We were quite taken with the pineapple, or whatever the vegetation may have been, and got carried away talking about it and missed our turn. We were able to right ourselves, I defended my title as the human map even despite our detour. And despite the fact that I had a panic attack when we crossed the border trying to figure out the speed limit in miles per hour when it was stated in kilometers per hour…until Lisa told me to look at the small numbers on the speedometer. Oh, yeah. Those.
Our night at the YMCA hostel in New Foundland was quite nice. It was just like living in a dorm. We both had our own room and shared the bathroom down the hall. We were very excited for our first taste of CANADIAN night life. I could have a drink here…legally! We wound up at a street dance in town where I was pestered by some locals, then we turned in early to be ready to go to NOVA SCOTIA in the morning.
We boarded the ferry and departed, no issues. It was a Sunday, and as we did not want to miss the ferry and had not found a Catholic church the night before…we held our own church service in the car while waiting to drive the Razzle Dazzle aboard.
Then it was boat ride time.
I love being on water. LOVE IT. You feel so free and it is so broad that you can see your goal and keep it in mind…especially in the case of Nova Scotia!
We rode out of the ferry, our short-lives goal achieved. We proceeded to drive around. A lot. We needed to find our campground…which turned out to be a couple of places to put up tents in this family’s backyard. We set up camp and set off to explore! We found water. And plants. There was a lot of land for sale…and many cemeteries.
We stopped in town to have a seafood dinner we were going to splurge on, and I was going to buy my first ever legal drink! When we walked into the restaurant…it was dead. I think it was probably early, because we hadn’t stopped for lunch, but there were no other customers. The hostess seated us with a view of the harbor on the deck, gave us our menus, walked back into the restaurant and yelled to the servers, “Two cute girls on the deck.”
We never did lack for servers there, and we discovered that Nova Scotia is For Sale, full of dead people, as well as eligible bachelors for two single girls. Our campsite hostess even tried to set us up with the gentleman up the hill that was camping alone. Instead of hanging out with him we chilled at our camp with Lulu, the dog that is not a bear. When she first came to meet us, we were both in the tent and only saw the dark shadow, so we had been a little afraid. One lick from Lulu and we knew it was all good.
Our day was taking us to Lake Kejimkujik, where we had reserved OUR OWN ISLAND to camp on. We would need to take a canoe to our location and set up camp. We only chose the single WINDIEST DAY EVER to canoe there. We had also, in our genius, decided we were going to be super cool and eat hiker’s food, that we had less to pack in on the canoe
Well, let me tell you…we were lucky enough to get to the island without capsizing, so once we were there…we stayed. And there is not that much to do on your own island. We read. We played cards. We walked around. We even posed for pictures to pass the time.
Then we made dinner. We made dinner because we were STARVING. We were not used to burning that many calories canoeing…and we savored every bite of that Chicken Tetrazzini and Raspberry Chocolate Cookie Crumble.
Which we then packed in the garbage bag, which was not, as I had previously thought the garbage bag that reminded us “Don’t Feed the Lobster.” At least, that is what I thought it was in half-starved state.
Lisa smartly pointed out that Lobsters can’t live in fresh water. We had canoed across FRESH water. She also pointed out that the picture was a red fox with its face stuck in trash and it was in English for me, as well as French, Littering Kills.
I think it was about that time that we dubbed the moniker Isla Loca appropriate for our camp, and because we were tired and sore and hungry and cold because we hadn’t brought enough clothes to the island…we went to bed.
The tent pad was up about thirty feet from the canoe landing and the picnic table. The outhouse was even farther beyond that hidden amongst some very towering trees. I am not sure what time it was…probably like eleven since we had gone to bed so early, but we were both awake and needed to hit the head. A little over a year before the trip, Lisa and I had gone to see this new movie that was all the rage: The Blair Witch Project.
We fought over who would go first. So we decided to go together. And sing, because that would keep us safe…obviously.
Heigh ho, heigh ho it was off the bathroom we go!
Of course, when we returned, we were just as frightened to get in because neither of us had stayed behind to watch the tent.
Somehow, we survived the night. And as soon as that sun was up, we were in that canoe headed off to shore for second breakfast, because a granola bar was easy to pack – but just didn’t cut through our hunger pains.
Now, the majority of our trip through Nova Scotia consisted of the two of us driving around, stopping in cute towns and shopping and finding our place to stay. Our next night we were to stay at the Ovens. I had no idea what those were, but all I could picture was Hansel and Gretl. The Ovens, in actuality, turned out to be these pretty neat holes in the ground created by the ocean spray of the cliffs. The park was fun to roam around and we met our friend Wolf there.
This is our stalker picture of Wolf as we ran into him leaving the next morning.
Wolf was from Austria. Wolf was ripped. And HOT. Our college girl syllogism may have been slightly faulty as we decided that: Arnold Schwartenegger was Austrian. Wolf was Austrian. Arnold Schwartenegger was ripped. Wolf was ripped. Therefore, all Austrian men were ripped. He and his girlfriend had rented an RV and were driving around…NOVA SCOTIA! Unbeknownst to us, there was a very strong PR campaign in Austria for this type of relaxing vacation.
We met Wolf, but we never met his girlfriend. Apparently, his vacation was failing to impress her. So we OBVIOUSLY invited him to join in our fun. Of course, when he came to our camp site we were making s’mores on our camp stove since we hadn’t bought any fire wood , so I am not sure how much of a good time we seemed to be. But to our delight, Wolf spent the evening around our camp stove and not in the RV with said friend.
Fun Fact: See the Orange Nalgene above? I still have it and use it every day. This is also our proof Wolf hung out with us — he took the picture.
I won’t bore you with all the little towns, cemeteries and shops we stopped at…but we did enjoy Prince Edward Island. Okay, I enjoyed Prince Edward Island, and Lisa got hot curly headed boys at the Hostel so it was almost even. The hot boys almost ALMOST cancelled out the smell of the nasty girl who was also in our bunk room that night.
For those of you who are not familiar with my idol, Anne Shirley aka Anne of Green Gables, she is a fictional character created by Lucy Maude Montgomery. Anne’s stories center around Prince Edward Island, and especially Avonlea. Where you can bet your loonie that they are going to capitalize on that! I was a diehard. I kept shrieking, “Look! It’s the lake of shining waters” or “That’s the hill that…” I even made Lisa pay money to go and sit in the replica of Anne’s school.
That is how you know Lisa is the best friend in the world.
I went to GREEN GABLES!
Our campsite that night was so awesome, it was literally set amidst the dunes by the ocean. God love Lisa, she even took pictures of me gazing at the sea as though I was Anne. BEST. FRIEND. EVER.
We enjoyed the largest roller coaster in Eastern Canada that night, I failed at black light mini-golf and we both fell asleep at the drive in movie. Our tent felt so good after that long day, where we stayed OUT after dark. (And our parents were worried.) Sadly, it was the last night we would ever spend in that tent.
It rained that evening. It rained hard. Before we could pack up we had to try and dry it out a little. So we stopped at the laundry building of the campground before we left. We put it in the dryer. Neither of us thought to start the dryer without heat.
And that is how we melted the tent.
In the dryer.
In Nova Scotia.
Nothing was going to cheer us up – we were broke. Like, we had enough money to get home. Hopefully. Buying a tent was not in the budget. But Tim Horton’s was.
Thus began my love affair with Tim Horton’s. I chased them down wherever we went from then on. Luckily, it was Canada. They were EVERY WHERE!
Apparently, after an hour of driving around without finding it and breaking our vow not to ask for directions, we pulled in a gas station and asked.
They had no idea what it was.
They said you could probably get one at Zeller’s.
We had been chasing down the wrong place.
But once we were to Zeller’s, we found Jean. And, thanks to the emergency credit card and the fact that we both deemed this an emergency, as we needed somewhere to sleep, we bought Jean and brought her into the fold for the return journey.
I will not share every story from our travels to Canada, but we eventually made it home safely. After two and a half weeks with each other, neither of us had killed the other. We were quite proud.
Sadly, our family’s dog Harry, did not survive. Actually, he did, until the day after we got home. He waited until we were all home, all five of us, so he could say good-bye and then he let his little heart go.
This one’s for you Harball.