Six Days and 4300 Kilometres Later

Yup…..you read that correctly. When we do a road trip…..WE DO A ROAD TRIP.

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You might be asking yourself just about now, “why drive 4300 kilometres in six days…geez you’re averaging 700km each day your out there.”

Well, that’s what the math tells us.

Actually this trip started way, way back in the summer, when our daughter quietly informed us after she graduated college, that her and a friend from school were going on an adventure and move to Halifax to work and live for a year out there.

So…..let’s summarize…………No apartment…no job and a small 4 door Mazda 3 to move the belongings of two twenty something year old girls.

Instead of me re-hashing the whole story, read it here to get the background for this trip.

So….last August the concept was simply……take the girl’s winter coats, boots and such out to them.

Easy right…….well sort of.

Let me put it this way….Kijiji and other buy and sell sites are a wonderful concept. Except when that involves a $10 micro-wave, plus a couple of other things Lynn managed to find. Needless to say, the Saturday night before we left, was an adventure in packing and reorganizing our car to get everything to fit.

Poor Katie was relegated to a some-what smaller than normal section of the back seat, at least for the trip down.

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Katie doing her “Whack A Mole” interpretation from the back seat

So, our thought process from the end of August that got us to this point in time was simply………….” if we were going to travel that far….then it makes perfect sense to add more driving to the mix and make a two-day trip to PEI and visit with a friend that Lynn made.”

And thus the adventure began.

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Sunday, October 15. And of course, it was pouring rain as we loaded the last of the stuff and Katie into the car.

Our goal was to drive Sunday to Edmunston, New Brunswick; stay the night and then continue on with a relatively short drive Monday to arrive in Halifax by mid-afternoon.

Not sure that Lynn took any pictures of the drive from home to Edmunston. It was at the time a dull and dreary day, offset by periods of sun, and then back to mist and a general dreariness.

Much to Lynn’s chagrin, we cruised along most of the day listening to CBC Radio One and alternating with an audiobook I had downloaded.

We rolled into Edmunston about 6:30 pm Atlantic Time making a total of around 12.5 hours on the road. Not bad I guess considering, we stopped for gas and to get Katie out to the bathroom and walk around a bit.

After checking-in at the hotel and some St. Hubert chicken take-out we settled in for the evening watching a bit of tv.

After breakfast the next morning, we hit the road about 8:15 and settled into the trip into Halifax. Like Sunday, the day started kind of misty but started to clear as time passed.

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Along the way, we saw a sign noting the “Worlds Longest Covered Bridge” in Hartland, New Brunswick. Being so close, it seemed a good idea to detour off the Trans Canada and check it out.

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It’s actually a National Historic Site and only about 10 minutes from the Trans Canada.

Here’s a bit of information on it:

NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE OF CANADA AND PROVINCIAL HERITAGE PLACE

Declared a National Historic Site in 1980, and a Provincial Historic Site in 1999, the Longest Covered Bridge in the World is, like all covered bridges in New Brunswick, a “kissing bridge.” Kissing bridges date back to the years of horse and wagon traffic when young men “trained” their horses to stop about halfway across the bridge, wait while the couple shared a couple of kisses, and then continue to the other side of the bridge.

The bridge was covered in 1921-22, to considerable opposition and concern, and sermons were even preached in the area, cautioning how a “covered” bridge would destroy the morals of the young people. However, the bridge was covered anyway. For some years after, snow had to be hauled each winter and placed on the bridge floor to allow horses and sleds to travel across it.

This 390-m (1,282-ft.) bridge officially opened on July 4, 1901, and was purchased by the government of New Brunswick in 1906. Lighting was installed in 1924 and a side walkway was added to the bridge in 1945. It has suffered some incidents over the years, but it continues on, roadworthy and dependable. When constructed, it was an engineering wonder, much as the Confederation Bridge across the Westmorland Strait is today.

Seeing as my “morals” are questionable at best, we decided that stopping in the middle of a “kissing bridge” would certainly add to the further decline in my somewhat sketchy character moral.

Back on the road, we chugged along exiting New Brunswick and into Nova Scotia, finally taking the McKay Bridge over The Narrows and into Halifax.

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And after a quick 15 minute trip from the bridge and through downtown we arrived at our daughter’s apartment.

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Although for some reason we never took any pictures, you can see the cruise ship terminal from their front window. Here’s a couple of pictures taken from the grass area in front of her building of one of the ships in that day.

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After unloading the car and a quick visit, our daughter was off to work.

Yes, they both found jobs!!

If you remember, they arrived in Halifax with only having the apartment and a few things packed in the car.

After handing out some resumes over the course of a few days after they got settled in, both of them got jobs at the Westin Nova Scotia hotel. Our daughter got a full-time position as a bartender. Her friend got a position in Administration and also helps in the bar when it is busy.

Here’s the kicker…….it’s less than a one minute walk from their apartment.

I decided to walk over to work with our daughter; checked out the hotel lobby and headed back to the apartment to figure out something to do for dinner.

Shortly, I got a text saying “come over to the hotel for a drink.” 

So, not wanting to offend anyone or decline the invitation, off we went. Now, after having spent 19 to 20 hours driving the last two days, and after my first beer in a comfy seat, I wasn’t too excited about moving anywhere and walking in the downtown to find a restaurant.

So, our daughter brought over some menu’s and we decided at have dinner and another beer right where we were.

We had the privilege of meeting our daughter’s supervisor who expressed his great pleasure in having her on staff and then proceeded to inform us that dinner and drinks would be compliments of the hotel and that if we came to visit again, we should stay at the hotel as they would arrange for an employee discounted room rate. SWEET!

Had I known that dinner and drinks would be covered by the hotel…..I’d still be sitting there. Just kidding. It was a wonderful surprise for us and something they certainly didn’t have to do.

After dinner and just plain relaxing for a bit, we made the one minute walk back to the apartment; chilled with another beverage or two; watched some stuff online and hit the sack.

The next day dawned with our daughter quite sick with a sinus and cough thing that had caused one eye to appear to have “pink-eye.” A quick trip to a clinic confirmed it wasn’t “pink-eye”, but an eye infection caused by the sinus and cough thing. A prescription of eye drops from a pharmacy and she was good to go. So, we thought……..wait till the end of the story.

Lynn and I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon along the waterfront boardwalk checking out the three cruise ships in port; the Seaport Farmers Market and generally just walkin’ and chillin’. The girls were out doing their thing and Katie was on guard back at the apartment.

We finished up our short stay in Halifax with lunch at the Henry House Pub. A National Historic Site of Canada in that it was the home of William Alexander Henry, one of the “Fathers of Confederation.”

One last quick picture.

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So, as quick as we arrived………………. we were gone.

A leisurely 3.5-hour drive got us to the PEI side of the Confederation Bridge just as the sun was setting.

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A quick 30-minute drive from the bridge, got us to our hotel in Summerside and after a quick trip to pick up some dinner and a side trip to the liquor store, we settled in for the night anticipating a big day on Wednesday.

Wednesday morning arrived sooner than expected and started at 8:00 am by meeting a friend Lynn had made for breakfast.

Lynn and Cheryl had met online through an FB group. Cheryl is semi-retired living just outside Summerside but works May through October giving walking tours through the historic areas of Charlottetown to passengers from cruise ships that stop in Charlottetown.

Prior to heading east, we put together a list of things we wanted to check out and combined with a few things that Cheryl thought of, it looked like a full day……it was!

After breakfast, our first stop was Indian Head Lighthouse located about 15 minutes outside Summerside. In fact, the lighthouse can be seen from the harbour-front in Summerside.

Our goal was to walk out to the lighthouse at low tide, a distance of about 1 kilometre from the point at the top of the picture where the break-wall starts

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Indian Head Lighthouse at low-tide: Source Google Images

Unfortunately, the morning arrived with strong winds and rough seas. Nevertheless, pretty neat!

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You can see the lighthouse off in the distance. From where the picture was taken to the lighthouse is just shy of 1 kilometre.

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Our next stop of the day was something I had never heard of before. The International Children’s Memorial Place. It’s a former provincial park that was taken over and developed by a couple who lost a son due to a drowning accident. It was their dream to create a place in nature where people and families could come to reflect and heal from the loss of a child.

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After our short time there, we headed to Thunder Cove Beach on the north shore of the Island. Our plan was to hike along the beach to reach a formation known as “The Tea Cup.”

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Source: Google Images

Unfortunately, the seas and wind just weren’t cooperating at all this day. We managed to make it a point from which the “Tea Cup” was just around the corner. The wind, however, was pushing the waves too far up the rocky ledge, even though it was just about low tide.

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When your heart was left on the Island.

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Katie doing some investigating of the cliff face and caves.

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I took this photo with my phone. I was actually able to walk into those two openings at the back. The cavern was remarkably large.

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Just around the corner from this point was the “Tea Cup” formation.

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After leaving Thunder Cove, we parted ways with Cheryl with the plan to meet up again for dinner that night.

Lynn and I spent the rest of the afternoon driving the north shore, stopping along the Gulf Shore Parkway in PEI National Park snapping pictures as we went along.

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If there was ever anything such as the perfect boat name this has to be it…..wouldn’t be the spelling I would necessarily choose. Just kidding!

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We had dinner in Summerside that night with Cheryl and her daughter and as fast as arrived on the Island, we were gone the next day.

We made one last stop at the Confederation Bridge to snap a couple of pictures in daylight.

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Our original plan was to drive to Ontario without stopping. Unfortunately, Lynn woke up not feeling well(a touch of food poisoning) so we decided to drive only as far as Edmunston, NB for the night, and then continue on the Friday back to Midland.

And that was it. From about 5:00am on a Sunday morning to 9:00pm on the following Friday, we travelled through to Halifax and Prince Edward Island on yet another whirl-wind tour.

I’ve had people look at me like I’ve got two-heads, asking “why we drove so much in such a short time.”

Well, that’s a good question. Like I said earlier, the original idea was to bring clothing and others things out to the “two Sara(h)’s.” But like in life, plans change; ideas morph into different ideas and that’s sort of how life is.

Realistically, it all worked out in the end. Remember, the trip to the clinic? Our daughter ended up getting the flu the day we left, so she spent the next two days basically sleeping. She summed it up, saying, “I’m kind of glad in a way you didn’t stay any longer. Wouldn’t have been much fun for any of us, with me sick.”

So, we did enjoy ourselves and ultimately I guess that’s the only important thing.

Lynn and I got to connect with a friend on the Island; we checked out places to head back to next year, and Katie had fun sniffing and peeing in three new provinces.

Most importantly we got to visit for a brief time with our daughter who we won’t likely see again until the summer of 2018.

So…….six days and 4300 kilometres later….would I recommend it????

Absolutely!

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