John and I spent September in Canada’s beautiful Maritime Provinces, travelling with two gal pals from the Cariboo. We had a fabulous time throughout, flying into St. John’s, Newfoundland, and leaving from Halifax, Nova Scotia just as the famed fall colours were beginning to show themselves. We loved the people we met and enjoyed many chuckles from start to stop; a street in St. John’s suited our mood: “Merry Making Street”. Nearby was a dog grooming business named “Pup’n’Suds”.
As we travelled further, we discovered there are more “ponds” (which can be any size of standing water, it seems) than there are ducks to swim in them. Road signs in small towns often ended in “Drung” or “Drong”. The Dictionary of Newfoundland English via Google tells me that there’s also “Drang”, all of which mean “A narrow lane or passage between houses, fenced gardens, etc.” And indeed, that’s where they were. When we drove into Harbour Grace, the name sounded familiar and a fine, friendly local reminded us that Amelia Earhart took off from here on one of her trans-Atlantic flights. He also toured us through the oldest stone church in NL, huge St. Mark’s Anglican Church, which dates back to 1835. This kind gentleman, seeing us photographing this edifice as he was about to drive past, had pulled up to make sure we didn’t miss a detail.
A sign that greeted us as we approached the community of Heart’s Content on the Avalon Peninsula sent a ripple of laughter through the car: one of the main attractions is the House of Commons, which convenes at Bill’s Grocery Store!
Speaking of hearts, nearby, all on the eastern shores of Trinity Bay are villages named Heart’s Desire and Heart’s Delight.
On our trip to Bell Island, and in the nummy department, John and I had happily shared an apple flip but we couldn’t wait to have a McLobster, an inexpensive taste treat which we have raved about ever since being in Newfoundland in 2001. Our travelling buddies also drooled seeing posters showing they were available “for a limited time”. We should have been warned on seeing they were “new”. With the seafood chopped finely and drowned in sauce, any lobster flavour was long gone. We tried Triple Thick Shakes, another staple of that earlier trip, only once as well, another disappointment.
Much better edibles were available. We dined on fish’n’chips often, everywhere relishing fresh thick fillets of fish in light batter. While a-waiting our meal, and sitting at an outside table in delightful Trinity, a young fella and his Dadda went by. “Wotcha got?” He pulled his bag of mint chocolate out to show what he’d bought at nearby Aunt Sara’s Chocolate Shop. Of course, we went there for “dessert” and mentioned him to the nice young lady behind the counter.
“He wanted to know what mint was,” she smiled, “so I gave him a sample.”
“Who’s Aunt Sara?” I asked as we paid for our haul.
“I am,” she responded. We said she was too young.
“I’ll get my hair net!” she offered.
After doing one of our usual wandering side trips, we were aiming for Grand Falls/Windsor on the Trans Canada Highway, everywhere signed as TCH, when an “All Day Breakfast” sign caught someone’s attention. Food, when it eventually arrived, was good, but the best item was a photograph the chatterbox owner showed us.
“This is a Newfie snow blower,” he explained. Attached to the snow shovel was a hair-drier. How delightful to be able to laugh at yourself!