The trip was GREAT! Better than I could have expected! I didn’t know how it would go – I was travelling with the staff member that I’ve had the least contact with and didn’t know if we’d gel or not, but we did. It was worth the investment – to build a relationship that needed a little work.
Here are a few of the highlights:
1. A visit to Peggy’s Cove (the first 2 pictures below). It’s a rugged rocky area with crashing waves beating against the shore. It was a grey day, but still pleasantly warm. The woman on the plane said she HATED Peggy’s Cove, but I think she was deluded. I don’t know what’s to hate. ‘Course she was a transplant from Barbados, so she compared every coastline to her home – not a fair comparison. We had “Finnie Haddie” (I think that’s what it’s called) which is a local dish of smoked haddock, at the restaurant overlooking the shore and the lighthouse.
2. Reconnecting with my friend Tim. He was one of my travelling companions in Africa. It was fun to meet his wife and three kids. His oldest son Noah was quite determined he would help me figure out when to pay the waittress at the restaurant, his second son David was more intent on figuring out my digital camera, and his daughter Laura was fascinated with my beaded African bracelet.
3. Riding the ferry to Prince Edward Island. (Sixth picture below) I love ferries. I love looking out over the ocean looking for land. I love spotting lighthouses. I love the faraway lights of other ships. I love the dipping, gliding seagulls diving for fish. I love the swirling water at the back by the propellor. I love the sea breeze on my face. The only part I’m not too fond of is the foghorn – when I’m out on deck and it blows right in my ear (remember, D & C?).
4. Picking pumpkins with about 40 people from the local community – people ranging in age from 3 to 80. (Fourth and seventh pictures below.) Wonderful people, who give up a Saturday morning to wonder around a field collecting pumpkins because they believe their efforts will help feed a hungry family somewhere overseas. And the sight of plump orange pumpkins, with a background of the Annapolis valley just seems like a scene begging to be painted.
5. A visit to the parents of a good friend of mine – in a beautiful home on Prince Edward Island. Tea and cookies and pleasant conversation.
6. Two words… LOBSTER SUPPER! (Fifth picture below) There’s a trend on the island that I believe was started by community centres in small towns. They put on a lobster supper that’s similar to a fall supper in churches across the prairies. It’s in a big room like a community centre, with very little decor (other than red checkered tablecloths), but AWESOME food! You get a full meal deal (and I do mean FULL!) – mussels, seafood chowder, salads, beverages, lobster and dessert. YUMMY!!!
7. I got to stay in a hotel. (Third picture below.) I thought I’d be staying at the home of my colleague, but his son and daughter-in-law had just moved into their spare room, so they didn’t have room for me. Yay! I got privacy and lots of time to myself, and I didn’t have to think about being social and making polite conversation all the time. The hotel (actually it was a motel) was rather primitive, with seventies decor and no phones in the rooms (or even a pay phone anywhere that I could find), but nonetheless quite lovely, relaxing, and picturesque. It was just outside Truro, so there weren’t any modern conveniences close by, but it was on the edge of a valley, with a river flowing out to sea right in front of it, so the surroundings made up for the lack of conveniences. And it had a GREAT restaurant, with some of the best service I’ve ever had in a restaurant.
8. A very quick visit to Green Gables (yes, you’re right AC, it’s the ninth picture). We had a bit of time to kill before our lobster supper, so we stopped. It was closing in 15 minutes, so it wasn’t really worth paying the entrance fee, but then, almost by accident, I snuck in the exit to snap a few pictures, and soon found myself wandering through the house. It was a bit of a drizzly day, so the tourists had all disappeared, and I was all alone wandering around the house and yard. It was a brief, but rather enchanted moment. Not too many people get to see that overly commercialized tourist attraction alone, so I count myself blessed.
9. Speaking in three different churches in one day – 2 in the morning and one in the evening. They were 2 very different denominations (Presbyterian and Pentecostal), so it was kinda fun to see the different traditions and realize what things people incorporate into their faith traditions and accept as “gospel truth”. It was also nice to realize just how GOOD our church is. Not that any of these was bad, just that they were way more stuck in tradition, and less grounded in community than ours is.
10. A rather rainy day that I got to lounge around and hang out by myself (mostly – I had to go to a meeting in the evening). I get so few of those opportunities these days. I was a little disppointed that it rained and I couldn’t wander far, but it was delightful nonetheless. When I wandered over to the drink machine to get a drink, covered up in my rain poncho, a friendly staff person said “miserable day, eh?” and almost by instinct I agreed. But then I realized that no, in truth, it was FAR from a miserable day. I got to curl up with a good book in a quiet hotel room in Nova Scotia – what’s not to like? When the rain let up, I wandered into town to visit the infamous Frenchies (a second hand store that’s known for having lots of good quality used clothes) and found a few bargains. I had to buy the rain poncho there, though, because when I was done shopping, the rain had started again.
11. Reading a great book recommended by Linda. It’s called “In Praise of Slow” and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants to enrich their life (and who doesn’t?). I may blog about it more another day. I bought it at the airport when I was leaving and finished on the flight home from Toronto yesterday.
12. A great meeting in Toronto. I was hosting and chairing the meeting with about 15 people, many of whom I’d never met, so I was a little nervous and felt frightfully ill-prepared, but it went quite smoothly and exceeded my expectations.
And now I’m happy to be home. I had a really lovely day off today – a visit to Sugar Mountain with the girls, lunch at Bread and Circuses, a bike ride, a visit to the library, date night with supper at Homers with my wonderful husband, and then a public lecture at the university with an inspirational address from Dr. Lloyd Axworthy.
A good week, all in all.