Friday, 29 June 2018

On the Road Again

Road Trip

No matter how where you travel, there are always adventures. Travelling through three New Brunswick counties on Pete’s Tours in May was a memorable beginning to my summer jaunts. My latest trip took me to Ontario for 12 days.

Destination: Ontario

I set out from Fredericton with my cousin Lynn and my sister Kathy on our way to Ottawa. As expected, there were very few moments of silence for the next 12 hours as Lynn chauffeured us through three provinces. What do three aging cousins find to talk about for 1000 kilometers? Car-shopping, bra-fitting, gender fluidity, Trump, hypnosis, the price of gas, Royal weddings, fermented milk, canoodling on the couch, haunted houses, sperm sales, lawn pests, the f-word, etc. As T.S. Eliot says, it’s “the journey, not the arrival, that matters.”

Words of Wisdom

Of course, my sister and I had to have at least one major disagreement. It centered on potato salad this time. Listen up:
Barb: “Mom used to cook the potatoes in their skins, then peel them when they were cold. I think that’s what made her potato salad taste so good.”
Kathy: “I don’t think she cooked the potatoes with their skins on.”
Barb: “Yes, she did, Kathy.”
Kathy: “I don’t think so, Barb.”
Barb: “Yes, she did. I remember.”
Kathy: “No, she didn’t.”
Barb: “Yes, she did.”
Kathy: “No, she didn’t.”
Barb: “Yes, she did.”
As usual, our discussion was very productive. Lynn just gripped the wheel and kept us moving forward. That got us to Woodstock. 

Heading West

We were avid Canadian tourists in Ottawa. We had a private meeting with New Brunswick Senator, David Adams Richards, we had lunch with Marc Garneau, and we hung out with Lisa Raitt. Well, I embellish a little. Marc Garneau came into the Parliament cafeteria while we were eating, and we had to walk by Lisa Raitt’s office on the way to the washroom. But we really did have a private meeting with DAR. 

Marc Garneau, MP

Lisa Raitt, MP

 David Adams Richards, Senator

We sat in on the House of Commons and the Senate while they were in session. The seats were mostly full in both houses, and the members were attentive to their jobs—a contrast to the shameful behaviour I observed at the New Brunswick Legislature last year. We visited the “Women are Persons” monument a few times, thanking The Famous Five--Henrietta Muir Edwards, Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby and Louise McKinney for winning the Persons Case in 1929 which declared women as persons under the law and made them eligible for appointment to the Canadian Senate.

The Famous Five

We had a pub dinner one evening at the Heart and Crown in The Byward Market with 10 of our Ottawa relatives. Our party---first cousins, second cousins, first cousins once removed, first cousin twice removed---ranged in age from 3 months to 60-something. Good to keep in touch!!

Extended Family Dinner 
at The Heart and Crown

The next day, we took an amphibious bus tour of the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau. Yes, 20 minutes of the tour is in the Ottawa River. New experience!

Floating around the Ottawa River

That evening, after a nasty altercation with a malfunctioning vending machine in the Ottawa Via Rail Station, my niece Anne and I boarded the train for Toronto, leaving Lynn and Kathy to return to NB without me.

Consumer Activism
(or Super-Cheap?)

The Toronto part of my tour included an evening at The Dakota Tavern to hear Fredericton’s own David Myles and his band.

David Myles and Kyle Cunjak 

I attended a lovely June wedding at the Terra Cotta Nature Preserve. Sarah,first- cousin-once-removed, and Michelle, first-cousin-once-removed-in-law.

Sarah and Michelle

I spent one afternoon with Ben and Eleanor, Julia's charges. Made them each a 30-minute hat.

Eleanor and Ben

I attended 3 Pilates classes, a Mother’s Day gift from Julia. Challenging!

Meghan Mesheau
Pilates Instructor

I saw Come from Away at the Royal Alexandra. Was reminded of the extraordinary generosity of Newfoundlanders.


I watched Doug Ford get elected as premier of Ontario in 17 minutes. 

New Era

I had a meal with everybody I know in Toronto, and some I didn’t know.

Bellwoods Brewery

I tried to keep up with Julia, walking---and in other ways. Couldn't.

Julia, my Baby

I shopped at all the RFRs in Little Italy. Four mushy avocados for one dollar---delicious!

RFR Shopping 

I finished this great book. Strongly recommend.


I started this great book. Became an overnight expert in narcissism.


I watched 15 hours of Forensic Files with Julia. Became an overnight expert in forensics.


Upcoming trip---Denver, Colorado. Tune in next month for a travel update!

Ibu Battuta

...Until Next Time...


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