Friday, August 7, 2009

This is the end (apologies to the Doors)

It's Friday, about 6:15 a.m. No sounds outside but birdsong. The trip ends today, and everyone but us will be leaving. Howard and Joanne have a long drive ahead, so will head out this morning. Ellen has an afternoon flight; Pam's is in the evening. I think what we worked out last night (not 100% clear, my head's a little fuzzy from a cold I'm fighting) is that we'll take them both to the airport, say goodbye to Ellen, wait for Pam to find a place there to have her bags held, and then give her a ride to Charlottetown so she can spend a few hours exploring.

Nice dinner last night. I got the name wrong - it's actually 511 West. Everyone got a little dressed up, and all looked great. It's a pretty place with updated festive cocktails and a good wine list, a mix of pub food and more traditional restaurant food. Couple of orders of salmon (Ellen, Pam and I), linguine with local seafood (Joanne and Nick) and a rack of ribs (Howard.)

The discussion mostly broke into two groups: Pam, Joanne and Ellen were deep in conversation about Chinese culture, feng shui, the house Joanne shares with Howard. Nick, Howard and I talked at length about the Canadian health care system -- we were very curious about how this system -- so much vilified and demonized by the GOP and special interest groups down in the states -- was viewed by a Canadian with pretty extensive experience as a medical consumer. Thanks, Howard -- great info (we were impressed by the stories of access and quality.) We all joined in a single discussion where we told the story of Nick's and my first bike ride (he was not exactly the experienced cyclist he'd purported himself to be, and our first ride was a noteworthy one -- wrong bike for road surface, trouble with gears, extreme wind, but for us a watershed day and an important milestone in our relationship.

Dinner was on the group to thank us for hosting, and to all we say thank you so much -- it was great having you and the week was terrific. You're all great friends and gracious guests.

No riding today -- rental bikes kaput. Pam and Ellen may do a power walk, but most of the day will just be packing and other readying, last minute catching up, trying to remember the things (if any) we forgot to talk about (can't be too much but you never know.)

Thanks, everyone for a terrific, memorable and fulfilling week. We may never all agree on subjects including the balance between instinct/trust and intuition, and on blackberry etiquette, but that's part of the fun. Love you.

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