Thursday, September 03, 2009
A Journey Home - Part Two
Warning: Unlike my last post, this post is very picture heavy!
The rest of our trip went much better. I think the knowledge that we had no more schedules to keep, other than getting DH to the East coast by Sunday the 26th to begin work on the 27th, changed our mood into a holiday one and that certainly helped with the driving.
On the morning of our third day of travel, we arrived into Port aux Basques, NL around 5:00 AM and to a beautifully calm and clear morning. Daybreak promised a beautiful sunny day and we headed to the hotel, where we were supposed to have spent the night, to cancel our reservation. As luck would have it, they had no record of me booking two rooms, despite my having a confirmation number! It didn’t really matter as we no longer needed the room but could have been an issue the night before had we arrived on time to a ‘no vacancy’ sign. DH had the discussion with the hotel people leaving Mudder and I with the boys and pets to fend off the mosquitoes (we call them ‘nippers’) – the only downfall of a windless summer morning – out in the parking lot.
Our next stop was at a Tim Hortons for breakfast and then we hit the road again, with the people van only stopping once to nurse Aidan before pulling onto the highway again and making the three hour drive to Deer Lake in good time. The zoo van stopped more often for coffee and we arrived with poor Mudder having a caffeine withdrawal headache. Luckily, we had two rooms booked at the Deer Lake Motel and one of them was available for us to check into early. By that time, I decided to use my “‘we’re all exhausted after getting off an unexpected overnight ferry with a two week old’, can we please check in early?” card.
After showers and a bath for Iain, we headed to the beach. When planning our trip home, DH and I had tried to factor in short driving days, ideally when the kids were napping, and hoped to incorporate some fun time over the course of the trip. To me, fun time on the West coast of Newfoundland in the summer means ‘beach’. Our day in Deer Lake was ideal as the weather was beautiful and there is nothing our toddler likes better than to play in a lake with his dog. The newborn and I enjoyed the view from our sun shelter (well, as you can see, Aidan enjoyed the view of the back of his eyelids). I got a row of knitting in before succumbing to the chip wagon up on the parking lot.
Playing with Iain in our motel room.
Bath time for little boys!
Mudder and DH went for pizza for supper while I stayed behind in the people motel room with the children (the pets stayed in the ‘pet’ motel room with Mudder). After supper, we all went to our respective rooms and, at least in the case of our room, quickly fell into an exhausted sleep.
The next morning dawned bright and sunny again and marked day number four. While DH packed up the vans, Mudder, Iain, Aidan and I crossed the TCH (Trans Canada Highway) to the Irving gas station across the road from the motel to check out the giant moose that Iain had had his eye on. I’m not sure which he was more entranced by: the moose,
the big rocks or the transport trucks!
Off we went again only to have the people van pull over at the Howley exit to tend to Aidan. By that time, we were enjoying the drive without the stress of a schedule so stopping did not hold any of the stress it had on day two. Unlike most of our forays off the highway to tend to the boys, DH was able to meet up with us for this one and he, Mudder, Para and Iain played while I nursed and changed Aidan. We set off again and made it as far as Lewisporte for a late lunch. Here are some pictures of Iain showing how much he loves his new little brother.
A hug from big brother - aw!
After Lewisporte, the feeling of getting closer to home really set in as we drove to our destination for that night: Victoria Cove, Gander Bay where my parents intend on eventually retiring and where we had ‘booked’ accommodations with my second cousin, Mudder’s first cousin and one of her best friends. Thanks for the room and board again, V!
News of our arrival had preceded us and, in true Newfoundland Labrador style, we had people dropping in to see us (lets face it – they came to see the boys!). We had a nice evening chatting and relaxing.
The next morning, we visited my great-great grandfather’s house that is the construction zone where my parents intend on retiring within the next couple of years. Doesn’t it look great?
And here is the view from their sun room and the front rooms. Wow.
We left Gander Bay after gasing up at my cousin’s gas station in Gander Bay South, our usual stop when in that part of the island. We managed to see a few more relatives there and to show Aidan and Iain off to a few more people. Our next food stop was at a park in Clarenville where Mudder and I entertained Iain and Aidan while DH brought us lunch. Iain really enjoyed the jungle gym and it amazes me how good a climber he is at his age (amazes and terrifies…)! Day number five of travel brought us all the way to Upper Gullies, Conception Bay South and my parents house. Mudder had been away for 5 weeks and was, I think, very pleased to be home. Although we were tired, it was so nice to drive in the drive way, be greeted by Dali (the family dog) and to see the Atlantic from the back windows.
Before we left NS, DH asked me if I wanted to do something special or symbolic on our way back to the island to signify the importance of me moving back home after being away for thirteen years. At the time, I could not think of anything. Now that I’m here, I’ve found that what I want to do and what has become a symbol of this journey home for me is my intention to bring my children to as many of those spots that I remember from when I was a child as possible. More on that in another post!
Since arriving home, I have seen two pothead whales from Mudder and Fadder’s back windows (on two separate days). The children and I have visited many family members, friends and many St. John’s city parks. Most exciting of all, we finally found and bought the third house Aidan and I viewed our first week back! We take possession of it on September 15th. All in all, it has been an exciting first month here.
The adventure continues in my next post and there might even be knitting content!