We got up early and (learning our lesson from last time!) called to check the punctuality of the ferry to Newfoundland. Once again it had been delayed, so instead of needing to get to the terminal at 8:30, we should arrive around 11. That was nice, our morning was more relaxing and the kids braved one more swim in the freezing pool. We arrived at the ferry and played around a bit before Mattea napped in the car. The boys went for a bike ride to pick up bagels for lunch and we ate in the lineup. We loaded at left by 1:30pm. The small glitch we encountered was our van not starting, of course right when they were trying to load our lineup. While the entire production of loading and unloading the ferry is one of the least organized and efficient things you'll ever see, clearly they have many people with dead batteries at the last minute. All of a sudden a truck was there and we were off! They gave us some space behind the van so that at unloading they could send the line around us and then give us a boast at the other end. Upon landing we had at least 2 or 3 crew ask if we needed another jump but fortunately we didn't.
The boat ride was 7 hours. I must say that it is one of my least favorite things to do. There is quite a rock to that boat on the best of days and I don't have much for sea legs. Like I said last time though, it's worth every penny to book that cabin, there's even a shower so you can freshen up before de-boarding. If you plan on doing it, call long in advance.
We docked at 8:30pm and though it is advised up and down not to cross Newfoundland at night - at this point we just wanted to get home. So the kids fell asleep and we drove. I took the first shift, though considerably shorter in length. Barton drove the rest, once again hopped up on Red Bull. The driving was slow and unpleasant. Rain either intermittent with or coupled with fog made it less than ideal. There was one long clear stretch where thanks to our high beams we saw two moose grazing the middle of the road long before they launched over our hood. They were quite beautiful, does their coat change through the summer? That was the only close call and the roads were dead empty. We arrived home sweet home at 6:30am. The kids had slept all night as did Mattea so we were the only ones desperate to sleep. Barton earned the first shift in that department so I did some van emptying and tea drinking.
It was very strange to be home! It was 2.5 months that we were gone. Everything just 'looked' weird. Like the colour of things in the house, or the arrangement or the smells. Funny. There really isn't much like your bed though (although some of those hotels had darn awesome beds!) and all in all it was good to be home.
I count this trip as a success as the first thing the kids said when our van touched solid ground on Saturday night was "That was an awesome trip!" We were already discussing options for our next adventure and that has to be a good sign. We all learned so much and some day the kids will realize how grand of an adventure it truly was. For now, they just think we went on a cool holiday, not realizing the true uniqueness of the whole thing.
Well, I have more to say and I will keep this blog going as a family thing but I should go have dinner with my birthday celebrating husband!!! I have our photos ready as well and will get all those links up shortly.
Thank you for following along with us on our epic journey. It was truly a blessing to have this opportunity with our family, but I also know that your prayers and thoughts and sometimes your literal food and bed, kept us going the whole way. We were safe, healthy and happy.
WE DID IT!!!!
Kelowna BC - 0 (about 350 from Abbotsford)
Banff AB - 501
Oyen SK - 999
Broadview SK - 1795
Winnipeg MN - 2255
Fargo ND - 2728
Menomonie WI - 3236
Chicago IL - 3765
Bancroft MI - 4268
Oakville ON - 4694
Ottawa ON - 5238
St Jean Port Joli QC - 5792
Waasis NB - 6292
Pictou NS - 6765
Deer Lake NL - 7306
Goobies NL - 7796