Monday, August 24, 2009

Halifax to Montreal to NY

We leave this morning; we'll be on the road by 7. Yesterday was a gift day, but because of the wind and rain there wasn't much to do. We went off to Charlottetown where it wasn't nice enough to walk around, but stumbled into an Irish pub (one of the few places open) which turned out to be a lucky and inspired choice. The place was nice and dry, the food was hearty and good, and the music was live. We thought we recognized one of the fiddlers and turned out to be Roy -- the fiddler from Highland Storm. A charming and very PEI-like coincidence, we thought. He was one of about 5 fiddlers, and there were also musicians with recorders and harpischords -- like everywhere else here the place was brimming with music.

Dinner was another matter; nearly nothing was open. We ended up at a workmanlike place called Gentleman Jim's, which did the trick but no more. Nearly everything we all ordered had the appellation "award-winning." Reminded me of Little League where everyone gets a trophy.

We had fun. I told Jon that when we checked in on-line once again we all had seat assignments but him. To me the joke was too obvious, but he believed me and spent the first part of dinner stressing about why it was happening to him. Liv was hoping against hope to have time to go to the duty-free store at one of the airports. When we pressed her about why she liked duty-free so much, what it was there she couldn't get in NY, and what did duty-free mean at all, she said with a perfect Liv flourish and gesture, "without duty!" We did a quick look back at some of the dumber things we'd said and done. Mine included bringing in the birdhouses so they wouldn't get rained on, forgetting they were meant to be outside (Nikki thought the same.) My other winner was when we were talking with Susan about the humidity and how to keep the salt from clumping. What I meant to say is that we should mix the salt with rice; what I actually said was to mix the salt with sand. Yuck. Nick said his gaffes were more discreet, and we couldn't think of one of Jamie's but all in all we each had our moments of dimness.

Felt very much like a family right at that moment. I think we felt that way all along, but the individual incidents were markers of the trust and ease we all felt over the weekend.

My two-day experiment of going Vicodin-free came to an abrupt halt yesterday, and I fell off the wagon, with relief. Might as well get used to them since there's a whole lot of that kind of thing in my future.

We made some vague plans about coming back for Thanksgiving, which is if nothing else a nice idea. Obviously it won't be Thanksgiving here (Canadians celebrate the first Monday in October) but it could be a lot of fun, especially if all our kids come. This is the first trip we've made since the house was ours when we don't have the next trip booked. Leaves me with a sense of unfinished business.

Yesterday was Howard and Joanne's wedding -- hope it was wonderful! We couldn't have made it anyway with the hurricane and the aborted travel plans. Congrats on your wedding and Pam, hope you had a blast! I was originally meant to leave today for the West Coast for a few days of meetings. As luck would have it they were rescheduled; given the wrath of Bill I'd have been canceled out anyway.

So today we return to our regular lives. It'll be great to see Matt, who's in full summer-camp withdrawal. Holly will come home from her camp (ok, the kennel) tomorrow. We all return to work tomorrow, which is fine. I've got much to do and take care of in the last week or so before I go in for the surgery, so the time will be welcome.

And so the sun sets on this particular PEI trip. I'll resume writing next weekend if not sooner, when the countdown to surgery grows closer. And consciousness permitting I'll be writing a lot while I'm laid up. I can't vouch for the cogency or coherence of what I'll write, but I'll give it my all.

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