Free Form Canadian Vacation
This post is long overdue, as it was over a month ago (!) that I went on vacation with my mother to Canada. Normally a vacation recap would be riddled with photos, but in what can only be explained as an electronics vortex around my mother and I on this particular adventure, almost no pictures were taken because our cameras and phones decided to be non functioning for most of the trip.
With Q unable to get out of work and Air National Guard duty, it was just my mother and I roadtripping it up north to her homeland ( Mom’s Canadian, btw). It was bittersweet to be going on such a big adventure without my Dad, but an important trip for us both to take for a million reasons, the biggest to show that we rule at driving ( we already knew we vacation well together from our Holland adventure of 2013).
The goal of the trip was really just to visit family and enjoy time up there. Other than our hotel reservations and ferry tickets for the beginning and end of our trip, we had no set plans at all. Our only goals were to eat our weight in seafood, namely lobster. We called it our “free-form vacation.”
We drove Massachusetts to St. John, New Brunswick on day one- seven hours in the car. We didn’t even put the radio on ( actually, we didn’t the entire trip). We just talked, made observations along the way, or were quiet with our thoughts. Day two took us to Prince Edward Island, where I had never been and Mom hadn’t been to since she was a child. We stayed in Charlottetown, avoiding the crazy tourist area that is Cavendish and Anne of Green Gables fandom. I was happy that we avoided it– working in a tourist town, I tend to like to do low-key for vacations and have missed out on many landmarks or ‘must see’s in favor of walking around little shops and eating in random places.
Day three had us taking the ferry from PEI to Nova Scotia and then driving about 3.5 hours to my mom’s family up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This was only my third trip to Cape Breton, having visited as a child and then seven years ago for a whirlwind trip for a giant family reunion. It’s beauty and setting is amazing– I would suggest everyone goes once in their lifetime ( it’s not a rough trip for New Englanders to make by car!). We spent the week visiting with family, eating lots of lobster, exploring little areas of the island, and relaxing. My mom took me on a tour of her old neighborhood, doing the creepy slow car roll by the house she grew up in and her father built before they moved to the States.
We ended the week making another seven hour car ride through Nova Scotia to get to Yarmouth, staying the night there so we could take the NovaStar ferry to Portland, Maine the next morning. It was a great experience doing the ferry– we had a great ride, wonderful food, and spent lots of time napping, reading, and playing Scrabble. We stayed the night in Portland and hit the outlets in Kittery, Maine on the way home that Sunday, arriving back in our town in late afternoon– just in time for me to prep for going back to work the next day. Mom was lucky enough to have the following week on vacation at home too ( still jealous!)
Our trip was one of those that every person needs to take every so often- restorative, quiet, relaxed, contemplative. I needed the time away to recharge my batteries a bit and get away from the craze of life, as did Mom. It’s also amazing to me how wonderful it feels to see family that you don’t get to see very often. The entire trip was filled with so much laughter and smiles- it was exactly what we both needed.
Cape Breton via here