Yes it’s true, after literally almost 2000 kms of drive, a solid day to move in all the stuff, another whole morning to move in the second load of stuff and a week and a day to wait for internet and phone services, I think it’s safe to say “this is where I live”.
I am a New Brunswick-er.
Let me go back a spell, since I’ve only had snippets of access to the internet for well over a week and I want to do this justice.
Our move day in Ontario.
The guys arrived and, knowing that our truck was going to be late to get to the house, they told Keisha and I not to do anything, just let them work so that their paid time would not be wasted. Fine with me, we sat and drank coffee and talked about the upcoming drive and so on while the moving dudes packed everything that was left in the house. I remember that it was hot, but not uncommonly so for Ontario.
Our truck also had another family’s load on it so everything of ours, and I do mean EVERYTHING was tagged with a small yellow number sticker. They loaded most of our stuff on one truck and then the rest on a smaller ‘overflow’ truck. They left close to 7pm that night.
Keisha and I took a last look around our old house. It was really surreal to see it completely empty like that. We made sure the doors were locked and then left for Elora, my parents house and my two younger kids.
I don’t remember a whole lot about that last night in Elora either. Just that we talked and laughed a lot. We managed to get the dogs somewhat settled and then went to bed fairly early as we were exhausted.
Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast and hit the road just around 10 am. I can tell you that the drive away from their house was a little emotional. No matter where we’ve lived the last 18 years, we’ve always been within at least a two hour drive or less from my parents. Almost every major holiday has been spent at their house with the family. I will miss that. The upside is that now I get to spend major holidays with my sister who lives in Nova Scotia!
We clipped along pretty well, getting past Toronto without incident and off into one of the more boring parts of the drive: everything after Trenton. It was about an hour away from the Ontario border where I received my first ever speeding ticket.
We hit Quebec and right away went into hyper-aware mode. We wanted to get on the part of the highway that completely cuts out Montreal proper but missed it and wound up driving somewhat through the city. There was a lot of yelling at my GPS.
Our goal of our first and only overnight pit stop was getting close so we managed to push on through and not get lost (although stopping for gas and a restroom for my daughter in the middle of French speaking territory was hilarious).
We checked in to our pet friendly hotel shortly after 8pm. Not bad time for our first day of driving. The room was gorgeous, more so than I thought it would be so I highly recommend if you’re ever staying in Drummondville Que, to stay at Le Dauphin. We had a room in the back of the hotel that was on the ground floor. Our door opened up to a little commons area where the dogs could roam and stretch their legs. Fantastic.
Now, I ordered our dinner from a local pizza place, with some difficulty, as I quickly realized that any conversational French I have flies straight out the window when speaking to an actual French person instead of another “English” person who speaks the language slowly like I do. They speak fast, y’all!! But, we got in our order.
9 pm and everyone is starving. No sign yet of our dinner, but, a knock at our door finally has us happy. Only, it’s not the pizza. It’s a random woman with a member of the hotel staff trying to almost hide behind her. She tells me, in broken English, that the delivery guy showed up, got confused as to how to find our room, and swore an impressive blue streak at the front staff before leaving. To further add hilarity to this situation, the phone rang at the same time and my 18 year old daughter Keisha, whose French is way worse than mine, tried to explain to the pizza place dispatcher that I would meet their guy in the lobby. Hearing her stutter through repeating the words “ma mere” was too, too much fun. We finally got our meal and trust me, this guy got NO tip from me as he was rude to me too and our food was cold, and we slept.
My darling Kathryn woke up at 5:30 in the morning and when she woke up, so did the dogs and pretty much everyone else. I took the dogs outside and had a smoke, trying not to get frustrated when other guests, who were probably just trying to make polite conversation, rattled off something in uber-quick, perfect francais and I stuttered through an answer. Always letting them know “je parle francais juste une petit pue”. “Lentement s’il vous plait”. Until our room neighbor came out and complimented our dogs in English!
We struck up a conversation with him. He was originally from South Africa (to which my 13 year old daughter said the cutest thing ‘you’re the fourth (she made the air quotations sign) African I’ve ever met…) and had lived for 6 years in Acton – not so very far off from us in Ontario – and was on his way to Nova Scotia. We had a nice chat and then he realized that he had locked himself out of his room. After a good laugh about travel brain, we let him go through our room to get to the front desk for a new key card. No one wants to walk barefoot in shorts around the whole outside of the hotel before 6am.
Our day two of driving was great, for the first five hours. We all cheered when we entered New Brunswick, and then our mirth died in degrees as we realized the closer we got to Saint John, the farther away it seemed. Also, there are about ninety five billion warning signs for Moose and we saw NO MOOSE! It began to feel like a rip off after three or so hours. Then I started to get scared that the Moose were just lulling us into a false sense of security and the next thing you know, BAM, one would jump right out in front of the car.
We surprised Shawn by making it to the hotel a full hour before he expected us and everyone enjoyed a great reunion.
Now, we’re mostly completely moved in. The house is great and beautiful and I love it. If you follow me on twitter, you will have seen a few of the pictures I posted yesterday. Saint John people are really nice and friendly, but, the heat that followed us from Ontario (we’re getting blamed for that a lot, lol) makes them cranky. I will say that as it cooled down a bit, 26 degrees here feels very different from 26 degrees in Ontario. I’ve been in my new pool a lot and have much more of a tan than I’ve ever had in my old province.
I miss my friends, as this house CRIES OUT for entertaining and I miss my job a lot. BUT, I am in no doubt that things in those areas will become worked out here soon.
Tomorrow I have a story to tell you about deer. Spoiler alert: they are freaking EVERYWHERE!!