I can't tell you how many incredulous looks I've received over the past week or so after informing someone that I was traveling / had traveled to Moncton. "You're driving?!" They ask me, as if it were wholly inconceivable.
I don't get it. Sure, it's a long drive – 12 hours – but it's kind of a nice drive. And Junkii and I split driving duty, so it's not nearly as bad as it used to be. And besides, on the way East, we stopped overnight in Lévis, QC, which broke up the long haul. We took our time the next day and turned up on the folks' doorstep around 5pm local time – just in time for a nice Easter dinner. What a treat: good food, good wine, and great company.
The next day, Junkii and I disputed the option of driving to PEI for the day, but given the time of year and the fact we had just spent 12 hours on the road, we both agreed to put that off for another time. Instead, I gave Junkii a tour of Moncton and Riverview. We visited the neighbourhood where I grew up, my old school, my high school haunts. It was a great memory trip for me, and Junkii seemed to enjoy hearing about the exploits of my youth.
We grabbed a photo of the old homestead. Most of you won't care, but my family members will recognize it, despite the fact that it's run down and covered in a hideous blue/grey vinyl siding. blech. How disheartening to see your childhood home go to ruin. (Admittedly, the photo doesn't look as bad as it did in person, and it also has my memories to contend with.)
During our drive, we also decided to grab some lunch at Greco. Donairs are a delicacy for me. Junkii and I have tried finding a decent donair in Ottawa, but to no avail. They just don't do the sauce right. No. Here we're limited to Shawarma. Which is fine, but if I want Mediterranean fast food, it would be nice to have a third choice beyond shawarmas and gyros. So any time I get to Moncton, a visit to the king of Donairs – Greco – is in order. Mmmm, sweet sauce.
We also took a little trip to Magnetic Hill. For those who are not familiar, this is THE Moncton tourist attraction. The Hill is basically an optical illusion. You drive down the hill, throw your car in neutral, and sit amazed as your car rolls backward up the hill. The attraction usually costs $5, but since the International Curling championships were on in Moncton, they decided to open it to the public for free. Sweet! I was never terribly impressed by the hill, but this time it struck me as kinda cool. Maybe it was cuz we didn't have to pay.
Sunday morning, we woke to the sound of a snow blower, and immediately knew something was wrong. Upon throwing open the curtains, we were greeted with snow-covered trees. Evidently winter wasn't done with NB just yet. There must have been 30cm before the snow stopped on Monday (well after we left for home). So Sunday was pretty quiet. Apart from brunch with our hosts and a few beers with a high school chum, we just stuck around home. We were productive though, and picked through some possessions Dad was planning to get rid of.
We grabbed some nice bone china teacups to add to the collection. I now have a collection of cordless power tools. And my collection of vinyl LPs is now a little bigger. But even aside from the parting gifts, Junkii and I both feel that the trip was time well spent. We got in some real quality time with Dad and Louise, and it just felt comfortable being home again. Sure, we were faced with hours of life-threatening driving conditions on the way home, But we both agree, the pros far outweighed the cons.