Monday, September 17, 2012

Andie's Big Adventure: Road Trip Leg 6

I can hear you asking from the back seat, and no, we're not there yet. But almost!

We had some time to relax in Sydney since we didn't need to leave for the ferry until 2:30. So of course, we did laundry. And in doing laundry, learned a little about Canadian money.

Toonies. Two dollar coins. And let me just note right here that Canadian money is WAY prettier than ours. It's very colorful.

When I wasn't doing laundry, I was busy driving Pootie crazy about the dog. I was very worried about the ferry ride for him. We were putting him in a kennel room in his crate for the 15-hour trip. (Dinky, not Pootie.) I had no idea where we were going to walk him, if we'd be allowed to go feed him, etc. Their regulations on paper are pretty strict. I'd read some information about it on Travelocity and it sounded horrible. Then there was the whole unloading thing. For the ferry, you park your car, take your stuff and go to your room, if you have one. Given that we would have an absolutely enormous crate (seriously, I could fit in there with the dog) food and water and bowls for him, the dog himself, and luggage for us for overnight, it was a multi-trip thing, and I didn't know how long we'd have to do all that. Oh - and the dog crate had all our computer gear in it. So we had to unpack everything and redistribute it between vehicles.

In other words, I was stressed out.

But we did the redistribution and packing at the hotel, it went smoothly, and at 2:00, we headed for the ferry station and arrived about 2:30.

We parked in an orderly line of vehicles and got out to wait for loading. Turns out, the guy right in front of Pootie was from Greensboro, NC and living in Nova Scotia now. Small world.

While P was chatting up people from back home, I found a group of dogs and went to talk to them. Well, and their humans, too. Met a nice young couple who went to school at Memorial.  The girl was Lacey and her dad was there with them and their dog named Kobe. Another couple had Toby. He was a border collie mix and didn't like Dinky. Oh well. There were a few others with smaller dogs, and it was reassuring. A couple of them had done it before, and said it was just fine. And that you have a lot of time to make multiple trips to unload and get everything settled. So I relaxed. A little.

Pretty soon, they called us to board. As usual, my fears were mostly unfounded. We sat on the deck for a good while, waiting for them to get everyone parked and situated. They'd put all the dog people together, so we all got to chat while we waited. The traffic guide crew were amiable and helpful.

We had plenty of time to unload and get set up, and Lacey's father John helped us with Dinky's crate. The only thing that was as bad as I figured it would be was putting a muzzle on Dinky. They make you do that when you're getting them from the car to the kennel room. He did not like that one bit. He also wasn't too keen on getting in his crate, but I can't really blame him. There was some horrible, horrible little poodle that had a bark that would split eardrums and he did not stop barking the entire time. Poor Dinky.

That door that's open is the kennel.

Turns out, our cabin was on the same level as the kennel. We were on the 10th deck and just right around the corner. We put our bag in our room and went to poke around the boat. First stop - the lounge. We needed a snack. And I needed a glass of wine.

The lounge. Groovy, isn't it?
We poked around the boat and looked at the restaurants and the seating areas for people who didn't want a cabin and such. Then we went back to the cabin and I sat on the sofa and enjoyed our view while we got underway.

We left around 6:00 PM. Pootie and I went to dinner at one of the restaurants. Not the best I've ever had, but perfectly serviceable.

Yes. I am rumpled, slouching, and a bit the worse for wear.
I went back up to the kennel and met Lacey so we could walk our boys on the deck. No muzzles. We saw one of the crew and he just smiled. Didn't say a word to us about having the dogs out without regulated head gear. Thank goodness. I was afraid they might keel-haul us.

Then P. and I retired to our cabin and settled in for a little movie-watching.

 And on that note, I will leave you until tomorrow and the final (yes, FINAL) leg of our journey. We're almost there!

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