To’ing and Fro’ing

What do you know… I’m behind on my writing again.  Shocking!  I’m sitting in the dining car on the Ocean route, somewhere in Quebec.  We’ll be getting into Montreal this morning, then to Toronto, then back on the Canadian for a few nights on our way to Winnipeg.  But that’s the future… right now I’m dwelling in the past.

We’ve had such a good week.  After PEI we were off to the Annapolis Valley to visit/stay with a friend of Bo’s.  The drive was lovely, and we didn’t get lost (Bo had figured out the route beforehand and didn’t need my stellar map reading skills).

We stopped at the Grand Pré National Historical Site – our education on the Maritimes continues – and then to the water.  I believe we were at the Minas Basin, part of the Bay of Fundy.  The tide was out really far, and I had a good wander among a lot of sparkly stones… what a gorgeous place.  I managed to restrain my need to pick up a literal ton of stones, and limited myself to two tiny ones.

Then it was off to Margaret and Darcy’s house.  They live in a cozy and wonderful octagonal log home, with a view that could take your breath away.  We had a great visit with the two of them and the enchanting Basil – I think Bo and I both contemplated catnapping her.  Basil was probably very relieved when we packed up and left – she got a LOT of attention.

Margaret spent the next day and a half of our visit driving us to Mahone Bay, Lunenburg (where we saw the Bluenose II), Chester, Annapolis Royal and a variety of fishing villages (Blue Rocks, Harbourville and many others).  I loved the area, and the fishing villages were everything a photo junkie could want.

Margaret and Darcy spoiled us with a comfy place to sleep, amazing meals and really good conversations.  They had multiple bird feeders on the deck, and I got to see many woodpeckers, mourning doves and an Atlantic region blue jay.  I continue to know very little about birds, but I do find them fascinating to watch.

Thank you both so much for your hospitality – I really enjoyed the visit and hope to see you all again.

After the visit we made the trek back to Halifax – we had some issues at the toll for the bridge, but made it through unscathed (we were yelled at a little, but sticks and stones…!) We found the hotel, in an area of town we’ve never been to, and proceeded to tear apart our disastrous luggage (which had morphed from two suitcases and two train bags into two suitcases, train bags and a variety of knitting bags, laundry bags, souvenir map bags, etc.)  Putting it all back together took some time, especially as we weren’t sure if we would be able to check our suitcases on the first leg of the journey.

There wasn’t much in the way of restaurants around the hotel, so we went to Randy’s Pizza Seafood Donair cafe for takeaway.  We decided that pizza would probably be the safest bet, and it was surprisingly delicious (surprisingly because it was a rather… unprepossessing cafe… the name might have clued you in).

The next day it was back to the station.  Our tickets said departure was at 11, but it turns out that departure was at 12.  Luckily we had the very comfortable business lounge to sit in for two hours.  And we were so lucky… not only were we able to check our bags, but he checked them through to Toronto.  Seeing as our train was an hour late getting into Montreal – we had to run to catch the connecting train as they were already lifting up the mat to cover the gap between train and station – we’re not completely sure our luggage will end up in Toronto, but happily we have a long layover so hopefully it joins us…

Being back on the train was lovely.  The staff was, as always, wonderful, and we felt very looked after.  I think my favourite part of the trip was when we were in the dining car going through a particularly scenic area.  Bo leapt to her feet and starting dashing to windows, trying to get a good picture of the sunset over the water.  The entire car was giggling with her as she hopped from table to table.  She is very recognized now… heehee!

On to Toronto!

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