Another great day yesterday. Ellen, Pam, Nick and I rode a short segment of the trail -- just 20 miles -- between Kensington and Emerald. Beautiful, pastoral ride through rolling farmland, punctuated by a break where we met some guys who work to maintain the trail, who were proud to show us the map and point things out (and strongly reminded us of the characters from Deliverance.) Not many stops along the way, but today we'll do a route that will give Pam the opportunity to stop, have coffee and get a look at sights mid-ride. After the ride we shopped for dinner, Pam took Ellen to her first Tim Horton's (much Canadian pride there) and came home to see Howard and Joanne, who'd arrived here a little earlier and gone to have lunch (lobster.) Joanne's great and fit right in. Lazy mid-afternoon with various parties resting, reading, napping and playing ping pong. Then a fully collaborative dinner prep session (I pounded chicken, Pam marinated, Ellen did the salad and the table, Howard roasted sweet potatoes, Nick helped in a thousand ways.) Long, chatty and leisurely dinner outside on the deck. The evening ended with planning today's ride (not sure where we netted out; we went up to bed.) Much story telling, getting to know Joanne (and bring Howard and Joanne up to date on the mission-critical info we'd all been sharing up to then.) Many conversations about relationships and what matters to us now, and toasts to the year behind us and the year ahead (with some predictions of what we all hope is to come.) Differing points of view on many things -- from politics to whether today's technology and access are a boon or not to the role of trust to Howard and Joanne's wedding plans, to wedding stories and much more.
Vague planning for the rest of the week. Pam would like to go to Cavendish and check out the Anne of Green Gables stuff. Ellen -- not so much ("do I really have to go to a museum?")
Tonight we'll go to see Highland Storm at the College of Piping and give them all a taste of local flavor.
We met a new neighbor yesterday -- Edward, a fisherman who lives behind us. As Nick reminded me, a real fisherman, not a hobby fisherman. Interesting chat about tuna and the winters that brought to mind The Shipping News.