Hi there sailing RED folks. Glad you dropped by because we have some news. You know by now our dear R.E.D. has been sold (story here, here and here if you missed it) and is living very happily with a lovely family in the Yukon. At present she has been put to bed for the winter months in the fashion she so deserves…in a hanger with a couple of planes. Really!
New Winter Digs
Having made sure RED was at her happy home, we set about taking a wee break. The plan was to visit family in New Brunswick…we’re allowed without quarantine because it’s a part of our Atlantic COVID bubble….at present, unlike other parts of the country and certainly the rest of the world we have no active cases of this very troublesome virus.
Road to Digby
The road trip to Digby was a mere two hours and so beautiful this time of year. To avoid additional driving we opted to take the ferry that spans the Bay of Fundy from Digby, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick. The Fundy Rose carried us across calm clear waters in comfort and with only half capacity allowed due to that above mentioned virus and current health regulations we had more than enough space to relax inside or out. The protocol was impressively strict…we wanted to retrieve our lunch from the car but had to be escorted to and from to make sure there were no shenanigans. Even the washrooms were segregated between we Atlantic passengers and those from away.
On the return I booked us a room at one of the Grand Dame CPR hotels from times gone by – the Digby Pines. Typically small rooms but still an elegant lady with spectacular views.
Room with a View
With lots of time to tour around we visited Digby Neck – a peninsula with two connecting islands accessed only by ferry to the final – Brier Island – a popular whale watching tourist attraction.
Art on the Neck
Brier Island Light House
Capturing the View
Two-hundred and Thirty Five!!!
Balancing Rock was our final tour destination in the area because who wouldn’t want to hike the two kilometres across bog and through forest, down two hundred and thirty five steps for a photo op in front of a twenty foot, twenty ton column of volcanic rock balanced precariously on a ledge overlooking St Mary’s Bay?
What I haven’t mentioned is the ‘purpose’ part of the trip…other than visiting family. We wanted to stop at an RV dealer – you know- just to check out possibilities, never expecting to find ‘the one’…but we did. One that checked off all our priority boxes. Like Goldy Locks – not too big, not too small. Not too heavy either with all the right pieces in the right places. Just right.
The dealer didn’t have what we wanted on site but gave us a firm price and promised to search for our baby, saying not to expect a call for a couple of days but he would do his best. Well didn’t he call that very afternoon. The 2021 version, straight from the factory, same quoted price with a few extra options included. We still have an exclusion agreement that if when delivered, this isn’t what we want, we can still walk away.
Needless to say we are really excited and anticipate no change of heart. I’ve done some research (OK – a LOT!) since our first visit to the dealer, and our baby was chosen the best 2020 camper for retired couples. We should be able to meet her in person within a month or two but until then we dream and plan our first adventure. I found a brief sneak peek of what she will look like if you are interested (see here).
Thanks for dropping by. Maybe the next time you hear from us we will be proud owners of a little land trawler on four wheels. Her name is still to be determined. We’re open to ideas but for now until we get to know her , she will be referred to as R.E.D.II
The following is the story of our recent road trip to Bear River, Nova Scotia…
This is the amazing 150 year old captain’s house with a sprawling 5000 square feet of beauty, antiques and charm where we stayed. I had booked the two guest rooms well in advance for us and our friends and arranged for purchasing four tickets for the sold out performance of Hold Mommy’s Cigarette. So super excited but a bit nervous that maybe I just might be over-selling how wonderful it would all be. I needn’t have worried.
Before Shelley departed to prepare for her performance, she asked what time we wanted breakfast and before I could answer, she announced “OK, 11:00 it is then”. Always the comic! She told me that after the show she is usually drained and crashes while she regroups so I didn’t expect any special treatment
Hold Mommy’s Cigarette
She and her husband set up and prepare for the show with minimal help, the set simply a reproduction of her growing up environment.
During the performance she plays her seven year old self, her mother, her grandmother and her current self. She deals with such emotional and traumatic events with such ease, moving effortlessly from character to character. We belly laughed and at times felt our eyes welling up with tears. It was truly a world class performance.
Following, we returned to Hummingbird House, stripped down to our bathing suits and wrapped in the fluffy robes left for us in our rooms. We skipped the sauna warm up and headed straight to the Nordic salt water spa that overlooks the Bear River and soaked and soaked and soaked until pruney, chatting and sipping wine. Actually I think we stayed there relaxing with our friends until at least 1:00 in the morning.
Hot Tub Heaven
That night we slept with the angels. Morning came with the delicious smell of freshly brewed coffee and when we descended to explore we found the breakfast table already set for the four of us. Cereals, toast, homemade jams and cake, freshly squeezed orange juice.
The sign she left on the table for us made me smile. So very Shelley!
Host with the Most
Four hard boiled eggs gathered that morning, two blue, two brown, prepared with love and so much care.
We asked Shelley to join us while we sipped coffee and chatted about the show and her life in general. She truly has had quite a challenging life and has come through the other side with such dignity and strength. I could have sat there listening to her for hours. Even as draining as it must be for her to perform then change costumes to become super host she carried it out with such ease.
After breakfast was cleared away we packed up our gear and headed down to the barn to visit with Jason (Shelley’s husband) and the Farmacy menagery.
I have such a soft spot for ginger cats! There was Marlowe, Peewee, Junior and Archie. Lucy Maude, the momma ginger, had previously departed for unknown adventures. Then there’s Johnny the black feral barn cat who is not a favourite friend of the Gingers.
Lucie Maud’s Tribe
They have an impressive variety of critters all with very distinct personalities. The shy and very grumpy pot belly pig. The curious sheep. One somewhat aggressive alpha goat who was insistent on challenging Francois to a head butting competition. The cautious feral black cat with vampire fangs. The adopted cow that nobody wanted.
Jason told us a hilarious story about the time Shelley called out to him and asked where Mork, the goat, was to which he answered: ‘out in the yard somewhere’. To which she replied: ‘no, just got a call, he’s down at the legion and it’s not even happy hour.’ They said that one or other of the animals with wander off into the town from time to time but they have become such a well known fixture in Bear River that it’s never really a problem.
Let me see if I can remember the names of Shelley and Jason’s crew. There’s Maynard the Indonesian Ayam Cemani Rooster (complete with black feathers, black internal organs and black bones), Rosie, Tammy the Silkie with feathered slippers and Susie. Then there’s Oscar the cow; Bean, Hana, Gilbert, Mork and Mindy the goats; Molly B, Seymour and Audrey the pigs; Sweetie the sheep; and last but definitely not least, Steve the pony. I think my favourite of their critters was Phyllis the Frizzle hen with her perpetual bad feather day.
Shelley refers to these wonderful animals as her ‘farma-suitables’. We came home totally relaxed and refreshed. Great entertainment, beautiful healing surroundings. The very best medicine indeed!