What I expected to be a quiet Thanksgiving weekend, quickly turned into an impulsive and generally silly adventure. On Thursday, Liam had a bad day. He came home from school and declared that he wanted to jump in the car and get away. So the next day, we both skipped class, loaded the car with CDs and little things we thought we’d need, and headed out.
Our aim was to get out of St. John’s and find an ideal spot for Liam to work on his photography assignment—landscapes, nothing man-made. We made a quick stop at the Goobies Irving (a road trip staple) for lunch.
|My fries, dressing and gravy!
|Liam had a double bacon cheeseburger platter. Because, you know, he’s crazy and all.
After our big feed, we decided that Terra Nova National Park was our best bet for gorgeous scenery. Too bad once we got there, we couldn’t figure it the hell out. There were signs everywhere warning us that permits were necessary to exist in the park, but it took us 25 minutes of driving before we found a place to get permits.
Naturally, it had been closed for a half hour.
At this point we were beyond caring, so we jumped out of the car and started on a trail. About a minute into it, we stopped to try and snap some pictures of chickadees. Running in line with the luck of the day, Liam’s batteries quickly died. The real tragedy was that neither of us captured a chickadee.
|End of the road…
By the time we left Terra Nova, it was getting dark. We didn’t want to make the 3 hour trek home on a moose-ridden highway, so we decided to get a room in the nearest town, Clarenville. On the way there, we pulled off in a little place called Charlottetown for gas. It was the only town for miles around. Of course it would have a gas station, right? We discovered that the only things Charlottetown has are a motel where you will probably get Bates’d (or Wheaton’d if you’re a Criminal Minds fan, like myself), and a dead end. That’s right. We drove down Charlottetown’s main road, right until it flat out ended.
We couldn’t do much except laugh, turn around, and pray that there was enough gas left to get out of there and to a gas station (there was. We weren’t Bates’d or Wheaton’d).
Once we got to Clarenville, we stopped at the grocery store for Caesar salads and a party lunch: salt & vinegar chips, lots of candy, and Pepsi. We then found the cheapest place to stay, the Restland Motel. Once checked in, the lady handed us our key and TV remote, and advised us that the roof was going to be shingled at 7 am. Of course it was. At least she was kind enough to give us a ground floor room. We settled in with our food (after Liam returned to Sobeys for the salad dressing we had forgotten) and enjoyed a Criminal Minds marathon until bedtime.
|Our hotel room, in all it’s glory.
The next morning, I knew we were in for a luckier day when I managed to get a pumpkin spice muffin at Tim Hortons.
|This is what success looks like.
Liam then patiently let me wander through my favourite country-craft store, The Barn Loft. I’m a sucker for cutesy knick-knacks and holiday decorations. I get that from my mom.
|Copyright Liam Peacock.
Once I was done soaking in the adorable, Liam and I drove back to Terra Nova a second time, stopping frequently for Liam to take some gorgeous pictures. We finally made it to the Marine Interpretation Center to buy our permits, and the staff were very helpful in showing us ideal trails and letting Liam recharge his batteries. In the meantime, we visited the touch tank.
|I touched nothing.
When we were finally ready to walk the trail, we went back to the car to get bundled up. That’s when I saw the bear poop right in front of our parking spot. Liam was unfazed, but I followed him in a state of constant paranoia. Luckily, Liam was right, and neither of us died or even got mangled.
|Copyright Liam Peacock.
We then began the long drive home, stopping once again at the Goobies Irving for supper.
Well, actually, I had breakfast. For supper. I was kind of making it up as I went along. Sort of like the whole trip.