Monday, May 6, 2013

Andie's Big Adventure: The Rest of the Drive Home

We left off (three weeks ago) in Corner Brook. Still in Newfoundland. You've probably figured out that we're not still there. If you haven't, and you think we're still in that hotel room waiting to leave, rest assured, we are not.

Rather than give you a blow-by-blow of the long journey home, allow me to hit the highlights. And provide crappy phone pictures to go along. Pootie and I are not Instagram users, so these pretty much suck.

We drove from Corner Brook to Port Aux Basque the next morning. It was about 2 1/2 hours. Absolutely breathtaking view of the mountains. And these pictures are a disgrace, but they're all we have. Try and get the gist.

Yes, this was taken with a camera phone by the driver. Yes, the car was in motion at the time. No, it was not me.
We arrived with plenty of time to relax and explore a little. Port Aux Basque is pretty, and we had a very nice day.

We were staying at a place right by the ferry, so we took Dinky for a walk and checked it out. Then I had a long talk with him about the ferry, and about how the mean, horrible, awful, no good ferry people wouldn't let him come up to the cabin with us, so he was going to have to stay in the car for the trip. He was not happy. (They were actually very nice. But Dinky is a little bit of a drama queen.)

The next morning, we went to board. I reluctantly left my poor dog in the truck by himself. The crossing was about 5 hours, so we had time to get some lunch and spent the rest of the time in our little cabin, making use of the wi-fi.

In the second picture, I am trying to text Dinky, but he wasn't speaking to me. See how sad I am at lunch? Granted, it could have been the not very good salad they gave me, but maybe I was sad about my dog. Maybe.

Ice. In the water. In case you wanted to know just how far North we were.

I was reunited with my poor boy and he was most unhappy with me. Fortunately, we were in Sydney NS, close to the hotel, and I was able to unload him and spend some time apologizing. The Cambridge Suites there took good care of us again, and really pampered Dinky. They had a little blanket for him to lie on (to protect their sofa) and dog bowls with a placemat (to protect their floors) and scoop bags for walking (to protect their grounds) and dog treats (to protect their reputation with the canines).

Obviously, he was appeased.

I'd say out of all the hotels, the Cambridge Suites in Sydney NS wins hands-down.

From Sydney we drove to Moncton, New Brunswick then the next day we set out for the USA. !!

We hit the US/Canada border around noon. There was a nice plaque before the booth that said, "'We pledge to cordially greet and welcome you to the United States' and ' We pledge to treat you with courtesy, dignity and respect'."

Yeah... not so much. The guy was a complete troll. I half expected him to say "Who's that tripping over my bridge!?" Sad. We were so excited to be coming home, and instead of being welcomed, we were treated like something unpleasant the guy had stepped in. Maybe because I'm from the South, my definition of "courtesy" is different. But I'm pretty sure I know Rude when I see it. I would have liked to have been the biggest Billy Goat. Who flew at the Customs man - um... troll - and poked his eyes out with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and bones, and tossed him out into the cascade.  Man, those Norwegians are violent. I can see why Disney hasn't done that story.

We were hoping to utilize our cell phones as soon as we crossed the border - because we could suck up data with impunity! - but that didn't work out. We were driving through Seriously Rural Maine and most of the time didn't have any cell coverage at all. We got into Camden late afternoon. It was so nice to be back in the states, ugly border patrol troll notwithstanding. It gave me an opportunity to catch up with my family and see how my dad was doing.  Dinky did some serious chilling while I texted and talked.

Dad had his kidney removed while I was on the ferry in the middle of a bunch of ice and snow and freezing rain.  I have a pretty pitiful picture of him in the hospital, but I'm not posting it because my mom would kill me. And I wouldn't blame her. Dad had a really rough time. I'm glad my brother could be there with him and Mom for the surgery since I was kind of out of reach.

Once I'd talked to Mom and found out how Dad was, ("in an inordinate amount of pain"), I needed a drink. Not nearly as bad as Mom and John did, but I still needed one. We went to dinner at 40 Paper, where we'd eaten on the way up. We both ordered a Knutty Knob (Knob Creek bourbon with lime and amaretto - it was absolutely wonderful) and had a very nice dinner. I highly recommend that place.

We had enough time to enjoy the scenery in Camden - I'll remind you we honeymooned there. It was good to walk around. And I was honestly surprised at the fact that I was glad to see an American flag. I'm not exactly all that sentimental.

We were up and at 'em early the next morning to hit the road to Mystic, CT. We were still a pretty long way from home. We tried to eat at Chicken Little again, but they'd apparently switched to a Breakfast/Lunch only place while we were in Canada, so we wound up at a really good Italian Bistro downtown. And for the first time since I'd been gone, I ordered an Old Fashioned, and the bartender knew exactly what I was talking about. (I had a seriously awful experience in Quebec City when I was there for work - the bartender said she could make one, and I got a glass full of ginger ale with a splash of Jack. First of all... nope, nope, nope! No ginger ale. What the hell? And second of all, Jack is NOT bourbon.) Anyway, I was VERY happy. As you can tell.

Maker's Mark. Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is an Old Fashioned.
Next morning was a drive to Hagerstown, MD. We went West to avoid New York City and DC. That was a good call. Saved us an hour or more of sitting in stop and go traffic on I 95. We wound up on some smaller highways, but the scenery was gorgeous. Rolling hills, horse pastures, and lots and lots of green. Spring just got more solid and vibrant the farther South we went. It was a joy to see. I hadn't realized how much I missed all the color until I saw it. We got to Hagerstown, had a decent dinner, my dog got some snuggle time, my husband got to wear flip flops for the first time in many months, and we had a field of sheep outside our hotel window. Beautiful. And we were in the home stretch.

Finally, our last day of driving. It was uneventful except for the excitement of getting back to North Carolina.


And then we got HOME!

But that's another story. For another day. And another blog post. Because seriously, you have to need a break now. So stay tuned. I promise I'll be back sooner than I was last time I told you that.

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