Posts tagged ‘canada east coast’

GGE, part 2

if the adventures in my last post made you cringe, then i’m sorry/not sorry, because we continued to have more face-palming adventure even after arriving in nova scotia.

our first morning in NS, derek and i decided to go for a run. we’d spent days in the car, and just had a great night of sleep. what better way to explore? damien told us of a great path through the woods, and then went to work. derek and i laced up our sneakers and set off. the path was right where damien said it would be. and then there were more paths, and trees, and paths and trees… it was a bit of a tangle. we ran our 5k, and then started walking back.

i’m not sure at what point we realized we were lost. i mean, i’m pretty much always lost! derek is never lost. we don’t run with our phones, so, not only did we not have maps, but neither of us had memorized damien’s address or phone number.

long story, short (or short run, long): we were thoroughly lost in a strange province with no means of getting back. we walked for so long, looking for familiar landmarks. at one point we asked for help from a kind eastern stranger. he asked where we were going: “um, we don’t know”. he asked where we’d come from: “um, not sure.”

eventually we found a blue barn, which led us back towards the wooded path, which revealed my vibram 5-finger shoe print in the sand. we tracked my strange footprints backwards until 9km of wandering aimlessly after our run later, we found damien’s house.

plus side: the wild blackberries along the path were ripe for the picking and rather sustaining, damien had the best laugh of his life at our expense, and team gilmore became a cautionary tale for all future visitors.

the rest of the visit was more typical: lots of visiting, swimming in the pool, and a few touristy things like visiting the airforce museum, and walking on the ocean floor at lowest tide at a local hidden gem, baxter’s harbour.

i must say, the very best part of our trip was visiting friends. derek and i clearly don’t know how to vacation, but one thing we do right, is to make travelling more about the people than the destination. there’s just no value that can be placed on sustained and continued friendships!

this is my advice from lessons learned in NS:

  • always memorize the address and phone number of your home base.
  • people make the places.
  • locals have better recommendations than google.

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August 26, 2018 at 15:04 Leave a comment

gilmores go east, 2018

we’re not great travellers, but we love to travel. a few years ago, we made our way out to newfoundland, but didn’t have time to stop in prince edward island. we’ve long-since regretted not being able to check the island off on our “canadian provinces visited” list.

we were planning to visit our buddy damien this summer at his new home in nova scotia, so we decided to add PEI to the list and declare the east coast done.

we’re travellers who travel with an extremely loose schedule, flexible directions, and no real plans beyond the destination. so when great stuff happens, we’re always pleasantly surprised!

i’m hoping to chronicle our trip on here, but it was 10 days long, and i’m not willing to write it all out in one go.

here are the highlights from the drive to NS:

we’ve been friends with steve and andrée-anne since 1998 or something ancient like that, and they just happened to be home briefly from their mission in cambodia and available to meet up. so good to catch up!

after a really rough night in which we brushed our teeth in a tim horton’s bathroom, then changed in a dark parking lot, then drove to a walmart where the 4 of us attempted to get comfortable for a partial night of sleep in the car; we stopped in grand falls new brunswick to stretch our legs and attempt to feel human again.

we also planned ahead and booked a hotel room for that very night, not willing to risk no vacancy again! the hike was beautiful, the exercise rejuvenating, and the frozen yoghurt satisfying (for the dairy-eating percentage of this family!).

we were only 2 days into the trip and we’d learned valuable lessons: plan a route! then book a hotel! and also, don’t travel on weekends unless we have to.

while i DO have amazing powers of being able to sleep anywhere, i sincerely hope that i never have to sleep in the hatch of my car in a walmart parking lot ever again (although i’m so thankful that sleep in a safe and dry environment was possible).

the trip could have been done in 2 days, but we took 3 so that we wouldn’t be exhausted (ha!). a great night of sleep and some good breakfast later, we were ready to finish the driving and see our friends in nova scotia!

we only made one more significant stop en route, and that was at famous magnetic hill. i don’t have any pictures of it, because the whole thing is nuts. derek has explained it to me about 20 times, but i don’t get it. regardless of the science vs magic debate, it was a great experience!

and then, we were there! rolling into damien & karissa’s driveway and seeing their excited kids who were way too big, was balm for the weary traveller’s soul.

but actually, it was a great drive despite my highlights in this post. the kids were amazing, the scenery was breathtaking. the spontaneous picnics, the quality conversations, and the shared aventures were a fabulous start to our trip!

August 23, 2018 at 17:18 Leave a comment