Most of our visits happened over a beer of some sort. In Fredericton, it was Picaroons.

Any NB trip involves quality family time with Dad and my Step Mom, Louise. That’s a given. In fact it’s usually the main purpose of the trip. If we’re lucky, we also get to see my high school friend, Glen, and his charming partner, Viola – but that’s usually the end of it. Time runs out and we head home. Well, this time we expanded our social circle – which meant very little down time, but we got to stretch our social butterfly wings.

First of all, because of Facebook and ready access to mobile devices, we basically brought all our friends along with us – checking in at every opportunity, sharing photos and stories along the way. This is probably the first major road trip we’ve taken in Canada since being connected via smartphone, and it really helped us to keep in close contact with our friends.

But aside from virtual social interaction, we made time for real live people too.

  • On the way through Fredericton – before we even hit Moncton! – we stopped to see Louise’s brother Maurice and his partner Joanne, enjoying a local pint atop a rooftop patio. Sadly, I forgot to invite my step brother along. Sorry, Jamie. Next time.
  • Wonder if they deliver to Ottawa?

    We got in not one, but TWO visits with Glen and Viola – one must-do visit to the local brewpub (The Pump House) and one evening at the Cosmo nightclub where Glen’s band, 60LPs, put on a fantastic show! I even got to have some Alpine beer (a watery local lager, but I have fond memories) and followed it up with a post-concert donair at Greco (you just can’t get good donair’s in Ottawa!).

  • Louise’s other brother, Roger – and his wife Monique – live in Greater Moncton as well and we were able to squeeze in a short visit with them. It’s only been recently that we’ve gotten to know Louise’s family. Not sure why it’s taken so long. They’re all lovely people!

There was one other social visit during this trip that was kind of special. When I was growing up, there was one family that I spent an enormous amount of time with: The H’s. Mrs. H (Joan) was my Mother’s best friend, Mr. H was my dentist, and I spent all my spare time playing with their three kids – A (my age and in my class), G (a year younger and my best friend until about junior high), and D (the youngest, but still part of our gang). For various reasons – there was never a falling-out – we gradually stopped hanging out together. Joan had kept in touch with Mom, however, and recently asked to see me next time I was home.

I was happy for the chance to reconnect! Little did I expect that reconnection would be with the entire H family – who were all home for Labour Day, along with their partners. Sadly, I didn’t see G, who was out cold after a late night and a bad back – but everyone else was there, and it just felt so easy. That was the surprising bit. I thought it might be awkward, after 25 years, but it felt more like a matter of days rather than a quarter century since I had last spent time with them. It was really nice, relaxing around the pool. Even Junkii, who had never met them, felt welcomed. None of them are on Facebook, however, except Joan, so I’m looking forward to the next trip to hang out again, maybe a little longer this time. Maybe for a meal!

In fact, given how much socializing has started happening on these visits, we might be due for a little longer stay next time we go to NB. That would give us a chance to see everyone, and still have some time for a few day trips around the region. This time, we only got to do one day-trip – to PEI. But that’s a story for another post.

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