Sunday, June 22, 2008

The First Stretch - Wednesday and Thursday June 18/19

We're off the boat and have two provinces under our belts! Wednesday got off to a good start. The boys had their last day of school, so while they were away we had the final packings and sortings to get finished and then the task of finding spots for everything in the van.
Riley's teacher called with the heads up that they were on their way from the St Pierre ferry and so we tried to gage the rest of the day to their timing.

Riley's teacher called again and they were way ahead of the schedule we were expecting so we were all of a sudden packing in a frantic hurry and literally throwing things into the car, assuming we'd be able to make space for Riley later! We dashed out the door at the 4:30, much behind this new schedule. We did our best to get to Riley as quickly as possible but when they called from the meeting point we were still 3o minutes away.

We finally arrived, I felt so bad! We scooped her up and said good bye to her friends and teacher. We were off!!!

Riley had a fabulous time in St Pierre. They were very busy with all of their activities and learned lots, including the fact that in France, kids can 'legally' smoke at 13 and drink when they are 15 or 5 feet tall!

Barton drove the stretch to Clarenville where we stopped for a quick supper.

We had told the kids we wouldn't be eating out anymore until we were on our trip so we hadn't been out in months! They were thrilled to finally get to eat out!

From Clarenville I drove and the weather was good. I hit a really foggy patch along the way but all in all in it was quite uneventful. The forests along the road were incredible with amazing shades of green. There was no one else on the road and it felt like we had the whole province to ourselves! I suppose a Wednesday evening isn't the most popular time to take a drive across the province! It got dark around 10:30 and we had a good 4 more hours to go. It is not recommended to drive through Newfoundland at night because of the moose, but we really didn't have much choice. I positioned myself behind a nice big truck to use as my moose catcher and away we went. I saw two moose on my driving shift and only once did I have to really try to slow down for it.

At Gander we switched and Barton did the driving, hopped up on some energy drink. The fog lifted and the moon was full, which made for gorgeous driving. We saw about 4 more moose. We made it through the infamous Wreckhouse stretch with little wind. *phew!* (Google it!)
We arrived in Port Aux Basques at 3:30am. We parked ourselves in the visitor's info lot and tried to sleep until morning. At 7am Barton drove down into the ferry line up only to find that the ferry was not arriving until 11am! (We were set to leave at 8:30.) So, back into Port Aux Basques we went. We got breakfast at Tim Horton's and then the boys pulled their bikes off the back and we went for a little excursion.

At 9 we headed back down to the ferry. They said that even though it arrives at 11, by the time it would be unloaded and loaded back up it would most likely be closer to 1 that we would be leaving. So far, our 'itinerary' was getting very messed up! So, we got ourselves to the ferry lineup and hung out at the terminal for the morning. Mattea napped in her car seat and so I tried to sleep as well, feeling very gross from the lack of sleep the night before. At 12:30 we boarded the ship.

We found our way to our little cabin and we were pleasantly shocked at how great it was. Four bunks with tucked bedding and bathroom with a shower! We explored the boat a bit before everyone but I went down for a nap. I stayed outside for awhile. In the fresh air. It was very cold but it was getting quite wavy and it made me feel better to be outside.

The kids slept a good long time and when Barton got up we traded places. There weren't many people on the boat so it didn't take long for most people to recognize Mattea and for her to make some new friends. The kids got up around 5 and we were treated to a complimentary dinner because of the delay in sailing. We showered and it was time to get off the boat. Not too horrible.
Now we're heading to Riley's friend's house in Amherst Nova Scotia. We will stay the night there and move along in the morning.

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