harbour town (2006-10-09 - 5:44 p.m.)
I had ice cream for lunch today! I love being on holiday.
It was from a place called Cow's. It's closing at the end of the week for the season, so I had to have it while I could, now, didn't I? The ice cream was Foothills Creamery-quality (ie. yummy) but the cone was the best I've ever tasted.
Grandma and I started the morning attempting to shop. From the headlines on the newspaper, Halifax now has stores that open on a Sunday - but Thanksgiving is apparently still taboo. We peered sadly into Pete's Frootique before coming to the conclusion that no one was going to let us in. sighhhhh.
Having stopped at the graveyard (or rather the Old Burying Ground) to look at tombstones*, we went for a wander down by the harbour and stared at all the boats/ships. I am, as always, fascinated by water and the vessels that go with it. There were some tall ships (must learn to sail one of these years) and a giant, giant cruise ship. I know I am a provincal, wide-eyed, innocent girl from the Prairies, but I was absolutely astounded by the size of that thing. (Also astounded by the number of pushy people that got off of it, but never mind).
I may have to move to a harbour town.
* Usually my first stop in a new place: the graveyard. Uncle John gave me a guided tour of Yellowknife's.
Grandma has already seen the major Halifax sights, so she went off to hang out in the garden while I checked out Pier 21. It's the place where immigrants were first processed when they arrived in Canada, the place where troops were sent off to war, the place to which broken soldiers returned. I thought it was very well done and extremely moving - especially the audio-visual stuff. Wow. I liked the stories about all kinds of new Canadians and their first impressions of the country. And the train trip they described was the one I just took, in reverse!
Was disappointed to hear that we didn't allow the Jews in to escape persecution, though. Short-sighted and stupid policy.
I came away, appropriately for Thanksgiving, with a very profound sense of how lucky I am to be able to more or less choose where I live. Or at least, I'm not forced to move because I'm starving/being shot at home. I can move when I decide to. It's a luxury I had not really considered before.
So! Shall we backtrack, since I still have a few minutes of internet?
Back to last Tuesday, when I had dinner at George and Kay's and then hung out with Malcolm, my favorite bad influence, at the Yardbird Suite. It was open stage night, and who should be playing but Louis R, late of Rocky! Very cool.
So by Wednesday night I was a little tired. However, worked all day and made it to the ugly little Via Rail station to get on board the train. Grandma refused to pull the Senior Card ("I'm a little old lady, please let me break the rules!") to get to the front of the boarding line, but then it turned out that we got on before all the people who surged past us anyway. Ha!
The train was great. We had seats that turned into upper and lower bunks with curtains across them. It made a sort of little hide-out to sleep in - I loved it. Like a cocoon to curl up in while the train rocks you to sleep.
We were also right next to the dining car and got three three-course meals per day (well, technically breakfast was two courses, I suppose). Unfortunately, it was up in the air who we got seated with, and for the first little while it was the bossy nurse. You know the type - knows everything and will more than happily tell you about it. At great length. To the exclusion of all other conversation.
However, there were other, cooler people on the train too - like the 90-year-old former chemist (who liked my Nerds Love Me t-shirt). He's now retired and spends his time writing haikus. I kid you not. Heck of an interesting guy. His wife or consort occupied herself with watercolour.
Yes, I should add that everyone on the train had at least thirty years on me. Grandma somewhat scathingly referred to it as a seniors' home on rails.
Managed to sleep through Saskatchewan, stopped at Winnipeg, saw lots of gorgeous lakes and trees in Northern Ontario. And Canadian Shield! Very pretty.
On to TO and the rest of the train trip next time... maybe.
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