We meet all kinds of lovely people when travelling, and have had a variety of experiences that link us as Canadians. Memorable moments during our recent trip to the Maritime provinces demonstrate this perfectly.
Perhaps the best one was in the tiny Newfoundland village of Trayton, where an array of balloons at roadside caught our attention. Swinging down the lane, a local festival was in progress – and hot dogs sizzling! We chatted with a couple of locals as we enjoyed them, purchased gourmet goodies from the bake sale, and reluctantly decided to leave. When John and I prudently did an about face to use the facilities first, a tiny lady who had been talking to our table mates, dashed across towards us.
“I have to give you a hug!” she exclaimed. “You’re here all the way from B.C.”
We bent down happily to give and receive, and left with a feeling of joy and togetherness as fellow citizens of Canada.
One of the reasons for going in September was to see the fall colours, with my bestest buddy Joan, born in New Brunswick, arranging her holidays to suit.
“I wonder,” she mused, “if there are B.C. people living here who are homesick for the golden poplar and birch of the Cariboo.”
We were a little early, but pockets of colour enchanted us, hillsides giving glimpses of the reds and bronze to come. Now home again and driving around Clearwater, and to Kamloops recently, we revel in the changing colours in our own province. A line of flaming red trees near Rayleigh rivalled any sight we might have seen on the east coast.
Many folks we chatted to and laughed with had “a sister in Surrey” or the equivalent. Others had family working in the western provinces. How they must miss the ocean if Fort McMurray is now home. One gal we met in Port aux Basque where we spent a foggy day while awaiting our ferry crossing from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia was looking for a place to call home. Her search is taking her east and west from her apartment in Toronto.
On learning we were from Clearwater, she said, “I was there last year.”
“Did you go to Wells Gray Park?” I quizzed.
“Ah, too many names,” she responded sadly.
“Waterfalls!” I suggested, of course.
“Yes, indeed. They were spectacular,” she remembered happily.
We wished her well in her continuing exploration for a community in which to retire.
And then there was a lovely coincidence too. While swimming in the BC Senior Games, I met more Kamloops people, including one couple who were driving across the continent in their VW camper, leaving immediately after her last race. Would you believe we met up in Province House, Charlottetown, birthplace of Canada in 1867?
In Twillingate, Joan and I, setting out for a twilight stroll, met two laughing ladies.
“Do you know where you are?” one giggled. “Haven’t a clue,” we said, joining the fun.
“We’re staying at By the Bye or By the Sea or something.”
“Sea’s down there,” I suggested.
At that moment a car rounded the corner beside us.
“We’ve been rescued!” they chortled, showing a leg and raising a thumb. Oops, wrong car!
Soon after, the right car with two husbands aboard did come.
“Ladies, can we give you a good time tonight?” the passenger grinned wickedly. Giving us hugs before drifting to the car, one gal said, “I think the wine is starting to wear off.” Or maybe not.
These Canadian gals too were soaking up the joys of travelling in a different part of our country….