Day One: Newfoundland in the Rear View
Saying goodbye to our family wasn’t easy to say the least. We woke up early to head over to Kyle’s parent’s house for heartfelt farewells. Then, it was back to my parent’s house to begin loading the car and tending to last-minute errands. Hugging my mom and dad goodbye pulled on all of the heart strings, and I choked down tears as we drove off, Kyle and I hand in hand and our dog in the back seat. I reminded myself that everything I needed to make me happy was sitting in that car. It was time for the roadtrip to begin and we hit the highway to trek across the island. Somewhere between Chapel Arm and Clarenville, it occurred to me that for the second time in my life, I was embarking on a huge, life-changing move to a place I knew nothing about. The comfort of having family and friends and familiarity slowly disappeared the further we drove and before we knew it, we were sitting at the bar on the ferry, staring at each other, dumbfounded. This is really happening. My emotions rocked harder than the boat did and the only thing left to do was to get some sleep while we floated to the mainland. Newfoundland will always be my home…I just don’t live there anymore.
Day Two: Cute Little Towns & French Signs
We docked at North Sydney at 7:00 a.m., and we were both eager to get moving. Day two’s destination? Moncton, NB. But first, breakfast! We fuelled up and headed to the sweetest little town of Baddeck, NS. We found a small little cafe called Bean There, where the owner, Joyce, greeted us with a gentle smile. We ordered our bagels and coffee and sat at the table in the corner, admiring the view of the quaint little houses and local shops. The corners of my mouth curled a little more every time someone would come in. “Good morning, Joyce!” an elderly man hummed. “Good morning, Martin. Tea this morning? You still taking skim milk?” She knew everyone’s order and seemed to genuinely care about her customers. They were her neighbors and friends. The quick breakfast stop set the tone for the the whole day. Maisy slept the entire drive, cozy in her bed and we chatted and jammed out to some music, typical roadtrip stuff. We arrived in Moncton in the afternoon and checked into our hotel room. It was time to eat some dinner and explore the city. We ate at a darling little Indian restaurant and walked to the RCMP memorial. The memorial included statues of three fallen RCMP members involved in the Moncton shooting. Despite the lack of snow-clearing and the rather underwhelming view of the muddy, frozen-over pond, the memorial was incredibly moving and I couldn’t help but shed a tear. It was worth the walk, regardless of how cold our feet felt. We got lost trying to find Walmart and then headed back to the hotel for some rest and relaxation. In other words, we slept for 13 hours.
Day Three: Parlez-Vous Français?
Well rested, we woke up in time for the hotel’s free breakfast, and once we had filled our bellies, it was time to check out the fitness room. With very little equipment, we did the best workout we could and after working up a sweat, we packed our things and headed out! Before we made our way to Edmundston, NB, we met with a fellow RCMP member, to catch up and shower her in well wishes as she begins her new career too! We sat and enjoyed coffee and conversation with her for a few hours. I was sad when it was time to leave because I felt as if we had become fast-friends! Alas, it was time to move forward with our journey and it was to Edmundston we were headed. It was raining when we arrived and we didn’t feel like going anywhere, so we decided to have dinner at the hotel restaurant. We were the only English speaking people in the entire dining room, and we stuck out like a sore thumb! Kyle had a disappointing steak and I had a satisfying stir fry and after he downed his second Guinness, it was back to the room, where I quickly fell asleep while watching the hockey game.
Day Four: Quebec, Je me souviens
A short day of driving for us! Seulement 3 hours between Edmundston and Quebec, so we slammed in a quick workout, piled into the car yet again, grabbed a Tim Hortons breakfast, took a nice selfie and it was on the road again! The drive was smooth, with dry roads and sunshine! As we approached Quebec City and traffic became heavy and chaotic, Kyle’s stress level soared. Whoops. Remembering that this was the one place I wanted to go during this roadtrip, he put his preferences aside and drove into the madness, his sanity hanging on by a thread. We made it to the hotel alive and I was pleased as punch to learn that we were only a few minutes walk from Old Quebec! I had fond memories of the area since I had last visited when I was 16 years old, and I knew Kyle would really appreciate the atmosphere and architecture! We grabbed a coffee and spent some time walking around the city, taking photos and admiring the scenery. Old Quebec City is like stepping back in time! The environment is magical and the overcast skies added even more charm to it. When it was time to head back to the hotel, it was not a moment too soon! As it began to rain and we got hungry, our exhaustion set in and tensions ran a little high. Back to the room we went to order a pizza and get some rest. With our stomachs full and a king sized bed to lay on, we felt much better!
So, here I sit, with my man sleeping beside me, reflecting on the past 4 days and the cool moments and the many emotions they contained. I’ve thought a lot about what this move means, and what exactly is next for me. Though I have been very positive and energetic about this move and the community I am headed to, I’ve had my moments where I’ve wondered “what the heck am I doing?!” Ultimately, though, I know that not only am I capable of handling this change like a queen, but I am confident that I am going to make the absolute best of this move, and that great things are waiting for us at our final destination!
Next stop: some little hole-in-the-wall town in Quebec! (Which, by the way, is the most beautiful province in Canada as far as I’m concerned). A longer driving day awaits, and come the morning we face 7 hours of open road. I’m ready for Day 5! Onward and upward.