After almost a full month on the road, I was finally at the last leg of the drive, the Maritimes.
First stop was my aunt’s place in Miramichi, New Brunswick (1 on the map) and the second was my parents place outside of Sydney, Nova Scotia.
My aunt lives in the house my grandparents build when my dad and his siblings were young (I like to lightheartedly refer to it as the “family homestead“.) I hadn’t been there since I was a teenager, but I love going when I was a kid. The house in deep in the Miramichi region, on a large piece of land out in the country. I have so many memories of running through the field, climbing trees and jumping off the wharf… I hope my aunt lives there a long time so that I can bring my kids, once I have kids.
As usual, our schedule was kinda tight so we only spent a night. I didn’t get a chance to show Ed my favorite neighboorhood attractions: Gordon’s Warf (apparently renovated from the ruined warf I used to jump from as a kid) and McDonald Farm. I did, however, make a point of visiting my grandparents before we left in the morning. The graveyard by the little church they used to attend is just across the street. It’s really not the same as meeting their physical bodies, but regardless, i was happy to introduce Ed to them.
We made it to Cape Breton in pretty good time. Even with my GPS getting all weird and sending us across a cute and short but stupidly overpriced and necessary ferry. (I suspect the ferry pays Garmin to have their GPSs send visitors.)
I hoped that a couple of days at my parents’ would have been sufficient, but it was still pretty rushed. My parents are very supportive of my adventures in a “we’ll be there for you but we’ll let you make all your own mistakes“, which is fantastic for my independence but perhaps not the most time efficient way of doing things.
After about 6 trips into town (my parents live almost an hour out of town so each trip is an en-devour) over 4 days due to my forgetting yet another piece of paperwork, we had my car tuned up and transferred over to my dad for safekeeping, and my banking arrangements made (other than the parts where the bank screwed up and I had to chase after them to fix. I love my bank but their Sydney branch makes me want to scream. My parents tell it’s the Cape Breton way – everything is sloooow and stress-freeeeeee. Except for that kind of pace just makes me more stressed out.)
In there, we did find the time to squeeze in a trip to Louisbourg (and I congratulated myself on bringing my family national park pass – that trip alone was worth almost as much as the whole annual pass) where I befriended a sheep, ate 17th century style bread and learned how to spin wool. I tried to teach Ed about French Canadian history, but I think by then he was a little tired of my constant lectures.
We also stopped by a McDonalds so I could show Ed that the McLobster is a regular thing in Nova Scotia.
We did a little scenic road trip too (my parents love scenic roadtrips – something I kind of inherited, I think), stopping at a canal. My dad caught a fish on the second cast so we figured the fish were hungry that day and gave fishing a try. Even though I’d fished a lot as a kid, I still struggled to get my line without accidentally assaulting my neighbours. Ed, on the other hand, picked up a rod for the fist time and fished as if he’d been doing it all his life. He’s such a natural at the most unexpected things. The fish my dad caught was a fluke, though (or perhaps it was the last fish in the canal), and no one there caught anything else that day.
Then, before I knew it, it was time to packup and head over to the airport for the very action packed flight “From Sydney, to Sydney“.