Friday, 21 July 2017

Happy 150th CANADA!!!! (Saturday, July 1st)

This morning, I take the time to sign up with  In case it comes to this, I just want to see how much it would be to ship the trailer home.  Not dwelling on it this morning though because we are heading out.  Wow! It's like nothing ever happened.  We are on the road continuing our adventure.  We are on our way to Twillingate this morning.  It is a very touristy part of the island.  Famous for its icebergs and whales. We've seen our fare share so we are not convinced that it will be that spectacular but today will be a good day and we will have a great day!  After all it is Canada Day.  I must be out of practice because we miss a turn and make it all the way to Little Burnt Bay (where we see a burnt house....not funny but fitting).  Mom also calls and tells us that she called Good Sams describing our situation and she tells us that they say they would tow us all the way home.  Seems a little unbelievable but it could work to get us towed to another city.  We will give that a try later on tonight.

Today is also memorial day in Newfoundland.  In Lewisporte there is a ceremony and when I mention to Justin that I had heard on the radio that it is important to not forget that it is also Memorial day here (it is overshadowed by Canada Day), he knows right away what I am referring to.  My military history buff knows all of this.  We arrive in Twillingate and there are still a few icebergs to see.  Nothing like what we saw on the Northern peninsula but we still think they are beautiful.  Our first stop is at the supposedly most photographed lighthouse of Newfoundland.  We both don't understand because it is probably our least favorite.  It's unfortunate because the area is more of a tourist trap than anything.  Sure the shore line is beautiful but the area looks very much like a tourist trap and it is not charming like most other areas we visited.  We do a small hike. It's a rugged path and not stroller friendly so we decide to head back.

We drive through town and visit the campsite we had planned on staying at.  Boy, they have a way of making things look much nicer online.  From their site map online, a good portion of the sites look like they are right on the water.  Not at all.  Some sites have a view of the ocean and the campsite looks ok but far from what you expect when you look at their site map.  This is all good information for me to pass along to my parents as they are planning their Newfoundland trip for next year.  I'll be able to be their private holiday planner!  There is a winery in Twillingate and they have the cutest names for their wines.  They first got my attention when we were at the liquor store with their wine 'Fifty shades of Bay'.  I love play on words and I bought it just because of the name.  I told the cashier that and he said so many people do.  We stop in at the winery and decide to have lunch.  Unfortunately, James is not a happy camper and the service was terribly slow.  Justin ordered some seafood appetizers and we both had the fish and chips.  Unsure whether to get the pan or deep fried we ordered one of each and swapped.  I was surprised, but I liked the pan fried whereas Justin prefered the deep fried.  They offered a wine tour and tasting so we did that and then grabbed a few bottle of wines!  It will be a great thing to share with friends and family back home.  Again, so many cute names for their wine (12 gauge, Jellybean row (has the typical multicolored houses of St. John's on its label), moose joose, crooked cod, 3 sheets to the wind etc...)  Time to head back to the campsite.  On our way back we see 3 caribou running through a field along the Hwy.  We make a stop at the grocery store to pick up a ready made chicken. James is sleeping so Gaby and I head on in to pick it up.  I stop in at the camping office to ask where we could watch the fireworks.  The attendant has tons of Canada day stuff she is trying to get rid of.  I grab a bunch of Maple leaf tattoos.  Gaby has a blast with those.  We all put on tattoos and then we have a mini photo shoot!
 At around 9 we decide to head to the park for the fireworks.  When we get close to the park, we are amazed at the great spot we got to park.  We walk up a hill and are at the park. Joke is on us.  We could have parked way closer but for us this was like parking at the civic.  We find a nice spot on the hill and wait for the fireworks.  James falls asleep right before the start.  He doesn't move at all once they start.  We are spoiled as the fireworks are amazing.  They are really nice and it lasted a long time!  Miss Gaby is like Justin and really enjoys the show!  All in all, today was a great day as we did our best to forget our misfortune.

Moose count = 19 caribou = 9 whales= 2 Black Bears =  2

Monday, 10 July 2017

Dodge has no clue... (Friday, June 30th)

Another day for Justin spent at the garage. Justin talks with the mechanic from Ottawa.  He truly believes the pump is not the issue but what else can we do.  I'm praying that this new pump will be the answer to all our problems.  Long story short - Big fat NO. The mechanic is useless and has no idea what to do next.  At 430 they pretty much tell Justin that they don't know what else to do for him.  They called around to garages in the area for advice.  Are you kidding me...the dealership can't figure things out. Now they have a vehicle for us.  No, you would think after everything they could just lend us a car from their lot seeing as there are tons just sitting there.  Oh no - We have to pay to rent the vehicle! This place is such a joke that it is hard to grasp that this isn't a dream.  At any rate, we now have a vehicle and we will be able to go and do some sightseeing this weekend.  Once Justin gets here with the car, I just want to get in it and go!  We have no where to go but I have cabin fever and want to be anywhere but at the campsite.  We head out and grab some groceries.  The long weekend is here.  The goal is to forget our woes and get as much sightseeing done while we can.

Everyone is helping!! (Thursday, June 29th)

We get a call from the Dodge dealership from Cornwall this morning.  Justin had called them yesterday just to get a little guidance.  The mechanic says he would be really surprised if it was the main injector pump and offers all the help he can to Justin.  Very nice of them.  Justin heads to the dealership to drop off the truck and comes back on his pedal bike.  They are calling the engineering departement at 10 so Justin heads back at 11.  The verdict now is that they still think it is the Main injector pump and could also be the Injectors!!! OMG!!! Not good.  But no way to tell! The pump has not arrived from Cornwall yet.  It's on the truck for delivery.  Justin is debating what  to do...but we have no choice.  We have to take the gamble and get it fixed.  While he is waiting for the part to arrive he decides to go to another garage he spoke to the other day and see if they can help out in any way.  The garage is in Bishop's Falls about 10kms away.  The owner is super and tries his best to help Justin.  He works on the truck all afternoon and tries to make sure that the problem really is the pump.  Unfortunately, they work on big trucks and they are not able to connect their computer to our truck.  He is able to check some stuff the old school way and checks this one part that our trusty mechanic back home really wanted to confirm.  The man feels bad for charging Justin 20$ for the springs he changed and gives him a t-shirt.  Wow!!! Now this is the Newfoundland we had been told about.  Smithy's garage! You guys are the best!!!  You meet the nicest people here..that's why the treatment at the Dodge dealer is so hard to swallow.  I guess we have no choice but to go back to the dealership in the morning and pray that somehow they are right and that it is the main injection pump!  Anyhow, I did my best at entertaining the kids.  We went to the park!  James is a little 'Maniac' like Gabers.  He climbs up the stairs to the slide and is all over the playground!  Both kids have a great time!  Justin is back at 5 with food in hand because I can't bring myself to cook.  After supper we take a walk to the park to show Justin how James has so much fun on the slide.  Then Gaby convinces us to do the hike to the nice falls.  We talk with Jamie from the campsite after supper.

He has a connection for us.  He knows one of the best Dodge Diesel mechanics in Ottawa so he tells us to call him in the morning.  It is so heart warming to see how everyone back home is trying to help.  Justin is in a mood!  He is off to bed before Gab even is.  So I use the time to clean up and reconnect with my girls!  Sex and the City movie for me!!!  Mon oncle Adrien calls us.  He also tries to see if he can help but as much as everyone back home is trying to do their best, we have no solution in sight.  Now let's hope tomorrow is a great day!  Uncle Moe!! I'm still counting on you! xox

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Dealership - Stealership! (Wednesday, June 28th)

Please! today is the day we are set free and on our way.  The part is not expected before 11-noon, so I get up with the kiddos and Justin can sleep in.  Gab made some friends yesterday so she is having fun playing with them.  Justin heads into town, picks up the part and goes to the garage.  They are installing the actuator today - 500$ plus part.  He calls by 2:45 to tell me that it's bad news and that he is going to talk to the service manager and try to get some news.  At 4pm I am still impatiently waiting to see what is happening.  It started to rain at 3ish but Gab is playing with the girls in their trailer, and I am writing this as James just went down for a nap.  Really hope that we will know what is going on soon.  At any rate, we couldn't leave today because we have to wait for the other part that was sent to us at the garage that will arrive tomorrow morning.  We were hoping that we wouldn't need it but the way it stands now and the information that I's not looking pretty.  At this point, we just want the truck to be fixed.  The cost is no longer a factor.  We have no choice.  We both feel that the garage knows that we are at their mercy.  At least if they were being nice and considerate while they give it to us sideways.  Hopefully, they make things right today and Justin will give me good news when he returns. Bad News - Justin returns at 5.  He finally talked to the service manager explaining our frustration.  We just changed a 500$ part and it needs to be unplugged in order for the truck to start.  Now, they want us to change a 2600$ part without knowing for sure if that is the root of our problem.  There are tests that could be done but for some unknown reason they can't do it(pretty sure they don't know how).  She says that they will call the engineering department in Toronto tomorrow but not before 10 because of the time change.  That upsets Justin even more because they won't call now as it's 430 here and they close at 5 (you think they would have called already!)   He then mentions how he is stranded here with his family with no vehicle (enterprise doesn't have any vehicles available) and she finally suggests that they can rent him a vehicle.  He has asked for the the last two days if a vehicle was available and now they decide to mention that they can offer us a rental! Why wouldn't they lend us one after all this time is besides me but that's something else to add to their lack of customer service.  We understand that anyone would be upset in this situation because of the expense but what puts us over the top is that they really don't seem to care, are incompetent, and have no empathy at all.  And they want us to change a part without being certain that it will fix the problem.  But what are we to do....we are at their mercy!  A little facetime with Liane puts a smile on my face.  Gaby's report card is in! Gab has been anxiously awaiting it!  Liane reads us the LONG report card and we are all so proud of our baby big girl!!! We now have a first grader!!!

Justin picks up a DVD player at walmart and we watch a little 'Sex and the city!'.  I'm praying to uncle Moe so he can help us out! Let's hope he can work magic from up there!

Bonne Fête James!!! (Tuesday, June 27th)


Nanny is the first one to facetime with a yummy donut for James' bday!
Facetime with Nanny

At 830 when the garage opens.  Justin calls to get picked up.  He doesn't get anywhere with the garage.  They don't have any pressure readings nothing to help us make our decision easier.  Justin decides to take the truck as it is working (sounds rough but he assures me it's ok).  We order the 500$ fuel actuator from NAPA.  It will be here in the morning and Pat located us a main injection pump for half the price and we decide to have it shipped to us.  It will be here Thursday.  We hope to not need it and we can bring it back to the shop but in case we do need to change will be better to have it here ready for Thursday.  Justin stops at the grocery store.  I had packed everything to make the cake for James with Gaby.  I am short eggs and really don't have it in me today to bake a cake.  I am pretty much in the dumps this morning. Pretty bummed about this truck situation and my baby turning the big ONE makes me nostalgic!!! no more babies for us.  I quickly turn my frown upside down because I have to remember that things could be sooo much worst.  Justin picked up the cutest frog cupcake for James along with a few more groceries.  We had called for a rental car and non were available so we will use the truck. I am a little worried but Justin seems ok about it. James is a happy birthday boy!!!  He is rocking out in the truck!

First we stop at a fab shop to fix our bike rack which has been causing a lot of damage to our tailgate (not to mention it bent the rim on my bike).  On our way to the next stop, Gaby spots beautiful flowers.  We take a picture and send them off to Kim.  Turns out they are her favorite - Lupine.

  We then head out to Salmonid Interpretation Centre.   Located on the Exploits River, at the 'Grand Falls', the centre has exhibits on the history, biology, ecology and habitat of the Atlantic Salmon.  We got to see salmon through the underwater windows as they travel upstream to their spawning habitat and also got to take in the view of the Falls.  It was pretty cool but I thought we would be there longer and really thought there was more walking to be done.

It is beautiful out.  The thermometer at the centre says 30 degrees but a nice and confortable 30 so I suggest we take the kids to the splash pad.  We come and grab our stuff and head out to the splash pad nearby! Oh MY!!! Cornwall should take lessons from this very small town of barely 2500.  They have a BEAUTIFUL park.  We didn't think of chairs so Justin goes back to grab some, Gab goes wild and I have fun with James as he adventures slowly towards the water.  He hates bathtime so I don't imagine he will love this. But slowly he starts to play a little.  We spent a good 2 hours there before coming back.

Justin cooks us up a yummy steak dinner in honor of our bay boy turning 1!  Supper is late and James is getting fussy so we hurry out with the cake.  His mood changed quickly and he had a good time eating up that buttercream icing.  He would head plant his head in the cake at times to get some big bites in...pretty cute.  We tried to facetime as many people as we could to share our little excitement.

Now came the poor job of washing James.  Given the choice, I am pretty sure he would have skipped the cake if he would have known how bad the shower/bath combo coming his way was.  In no time after his bath he is sound asleep in my arms.  And just like that my baby boy is 1!!!  Kids in bed, Justin went and had a drink with our neighbor (he found out he was a hunting guide! Oh my the excitement) and I went and worked on the blog a bit.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Monday morning BLUES (Monday, June 26th)

This morning the truck is a no go.  None of the little tricks that have previously worked are doing the trick.  We call back the tow truck company.  I'm pretty upset that they charge us 58$ to tow us 4kms when I am certain they made a killing yesterday from the roadside assistance coming back empty.

 The dealership takes the truck right away so that is nice and a good sign.   Justin stays there all morning.  At around 11 he asks if they would have a courtesy car to lend us given the situation and they don't have one so they shuttle him back to the campsite.  Meanwhile me and the kids walked to the waterfront.  We hiked a trail that runs along the water.  It was very beautiful but it may have been too much for Gaby this time.  Actually, I think it's because of the heat.  It's very warm and we have to acclimatize I guess.   We spend a good part of the afternoon playing games.  On s'amuse à jouer 'Ou est Charlie? (Where's Waldo) et quelques parties d'Uno.  At 4:45 we have not heard anything so Justin calls the dealership and they come pick him up.  They would not have called if we didn't.  They tell Justin that they THINK he needs a 2600$ part - main injection pump.  To add to that, he can't even give him a labor estimate.  Justin tells him he surely can look it up on his computer but he won't turn it back on.  The report for the 7 hours of labor to diagnose at at Dodge dealership (important to mention!) doesn't even include any readings that would need to be verified to conclude that the part is needed!  Ok...breaking down sucks but you get the repairs done and you move on.  What we don't understand is the 'they THINK' we need that part.  If the dealership orders the part, it won't be in till sometime next week.   They make Justin pay the near 700$ bill and leave him out in the rain.  No ride back.  He walks back (he managed to pickup a few strongbow on the way)  We are pretty much at the dealership's mercy.... what are we to do.... the fastest they can get the pump in is next Monday.  Justin takes the truck to fill it with up with diesel and sees how it runs as they didn't even do that when our first guess is that there has been water in the fuel.  Yesterday the engine light came on with the water in fuel indicator.    No  changes, so he parks the truck at the dealership and walks back to the trailer as we don't want to pay for another tow.  Justin talks with Kevin, Pat and Anthony.  The part from dodge included both the actuator and the pump.  We decide to order a fuel control actuator from NAPA which will be here on Wednesday.  We also order the main injector pump from Kevin's garage and they will ship it purolator and we will get it on Thursday (2 days instead of the 10 days from the dealership oh and more than half the price - THANK YOU ACTIVE GREEN & ROSS!)  With everything up in the air we cross our fingers that things will look up.  To be honest, not much faith in the dealership after today's events.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Westport HIGHs and LOWs (Saturday, Sunday, June 24-25th)

We have to decide what to do.  Justin gets the truck going once again and heads into Baie Verte to research online what the problem with the truck could be.  He thinks that the pump wasn't primed properly.  All seems to be working fine now so we head into town to grab some groceries and call Sherry to tell her that we will prepare them supper tonight.  She is heading into town so we will head over and park the trailer beside the house.  Once again Rob is finished fishing early, he pulls in about 30 mins after we have arrived.  We get the trailer setup and all the food ready and head over to get cooking on the BBQ.  Maple Carrots, potatoes and some venison!  They all seemed to enjoy it!  Out of all nights, James is really hard to put down but he finally goes down and with the kids in bed in the trailer, we can spend our first adult night! We spent a nice evening learning more about each other! Justin loves everything about Rob.  He lives off the land.  Fisherman, hunter, trapper, lumberjack, can fix anything kind of guy!  A little facetime with Will and Liane during 'lunch'.  One of the things we learnt is that the Newfies have breakfast, dinner, supper and  lunch.  They actually set the table at 10ish to have what they call lunch.  This conversation came about when we were asking about Jiggs dinner.  There are many restaurants who advertise to come in for their Jiggs dinner and we told them we wanted to try it out one night for supper.  That's when we learnt that if we went in for supper we would have been too late - dinner in Newfoundland is lunch!  Tonight they made crab and surprise dip!  Great snacks to accompany our beer, wine and coolers!!! We also learned a little bit more about the fishing industry and how it works.  Rob for example has a fishing permit for crab.  He has a licence for 9000lbs.  On retirement, he can sell that permit to someone and it is a form of a retirement plan I guess.  A licence came up last year for example and sold for two hundred thousand plus. We don't know the details but that's an example.  We spent a super evening and are super happy that we bumped back our departure to spend more time here.

Justin is outside with Bones and Rob tells him that they will have Jiggs dinner for us at 1130.  Wow! How kind!  Almost everyone in Newfoundland has Jiggs dinner on Sundays.  It's a one pot meal consisting of salt beef, potatoes, turnip, cabbage, peas pudding and bread pudding.  They have special bags for the peas and bread pudding that is added to the pot and everything cooks together.  Justin LOVED it.  I had a bit of a harder time because they also served Turr.  Turr is a type of duck they eat here in Newfoundland.  The gravy was made with the drippings of the turr.  It was pretty fishy tasting for me.  Very happy to have tried out this traditional meal.  After lunch, or should I say 'dinner', we pack up the trailer.  We don't want to over extend our stay.  Here we go AGAIN.  Truck won't start.  Foolish of us, we also pulled in the driveway because we wanted the doors to the trailer facing their house.  We soon decide that this is enough and we need to call Good Sams Roadside to get towed to Grand-Falls Windsor.  It's 2 hours away but it's the closest town with a dealership.  Not many people on the island fix diesel trucks.  Justin is on the phone for almost an hour trying to explain that a tow to Baie Verte will accomplish nothing.  That is after trying to explain that the tow truck does not have to come by boat to get us (for some reason, even in this day and age with google and everything, the B%!!! dispatcher thinks that we have to be towed to PEI???!!!).  Long story short, we finally get approval for a tow truck - it will arrive at 1813 - that is exactly what the lovely (insert sarcasm) dispatcher tells us.  By this time, Sherry has called everyone in town she knows that could help out.  After a couple of hours, the truck now starts.  The tow truck arrives.  Oh boy! We know right away that he can't take us.  It's a 3 seater.  Second of all, he doesn't have the right ball to tow the trailer.  Justin takes control and tells the guy that we will drive our truck and trailer and that he will follow us in case something happens.  We are 2 hours away from our destination and no reception for 90% of the way.  Well, what do you know - the truck runs smoothly the entire way.  We call a campsite in Grand-Falls Windsor and setup for the night.  Justin gets the info off of the tow truck driver 'in case' we need him in the morning.  Fingers crossed!  The dealership is less than 4kms away so this is a perfect spot for us.  Once we are settled in, I tell Justin to go and relax and check out the Legion in town.  The Legion here has a War museum and it is opened from 2pm to 12am daily.  What better de-stresser for Justin. Not so much.  He gets there at 1040 and on Sundays they close at 11!  The nice gentlemen still serves him a drink and lets him look around.  Then, of course to top off the day, the truck once again won't start.  Justin does his magic and gets it going to come back to the campsite.  Here we go again......

At least we have beautiful memories of Westport!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Freedom! Off to Westport! (Friday, June 23rd)

The part is supposed to be at NAPA for 11am.  I let Justin sleep in this morning and at 1045, Greg, comes over to the site.  Someone has already been in town and has the part for us.  Time for the boys to get to work.  A few hours later we are sooooo happy to hear the loud engine of our truck making its way back to our campsite.  Me and Gaby greet him with hauler and applause.  We pack up a diaper bag for James and head towards Westport.  I guess we aren't very smart because in the excitement we forget that we don't even have an address for Rob & Sherry.  They are Will and Liane's family friends that we are going to visit.  Oh well, small town, we will figure it out.  We drive all the way down to the wharf and the first person we ask tells us they live by the gas station.  We both remember seeing a closed down gas station at the beginning of town.  Head back that way but now which house is it? We stop at another house where two men are building a shed, they tell us just up the road.  Stop for another hint and this man nails it by telling us it's the house with the pink brick! Bingo!!  I knock at the door and I am greeted by Shania, their daughter.  I didn't know but they have 2 daughters.  It's weird because we have never met and only stopped in because we wanted to see where Will is from. Will and Liane usually come to this village every fall.  Pops passed away at Christmas last year.  We are terribly sad that we didn't get to meet him.  Everyone has great things to say about Pop.  We feel bad arriving at around supper time and tell them that we would like to go to the lighthouse if they can tell us how to get there.  They offer to walk there with us.  So Sherry and Shania join us and we leave their house to walk to the lighthouse.  You have to know it's there because you can't see it from the harbour.  Beautiful!!! I understand why Liane loves this spot so much.  We head back down towards the wharf and Rob is just getting off his boat!  We are lucky because he could have been on the boat till passed 11 but they got their quota for the day so they are back on shore.  Gab got to hold a lobster...not much from the sea she won't have touched!  Back at their house we plan on heading back to the campsite but they won't hear of it and have us over for a FEAST!!! Fresh Lobster and Crab from todays catch! And TONS of it!!! On top of that, Rob is gracious enough to do all the hard work and break the meat out of the shells for us!  James loves the crab legs, it keeps him busy while we feast.  Rob and Sherry thought we would be here for a few days.  With our truck problems, the plan was to leave tomorrow and be in Twillingate for Sunday night but we figure that maybe we can change our plans. We will call them tomorrow and let them know.  On our way home in the middle of nowhere again, the truck stalls.  Oh MY!!! Somehow, Justin gets her going and we make to the
campsite.  Hard to get a good night sleep after that!!!

Excited the truck is fixed!

Gab in front of Pop's house

Crab lovers!


Westport's lighthouse!!!  xox

The waiting game (Wednesday - Thursday, June 21-22)

First thing first.  Let's look at the truck and see what is going on.  It doesn't start.  Justin plays around with it and somehow gets it to start.  Greg, the owner of the campsite, deduce that we need a new lift pump.  Figure out the best way to get it.  Kevin's garage back home can get it for us but it would only arrive on Friday.  We order the part from NAPA and it should be here by 11ish Friday morning.  It is beautiful outside but I have spent the day inside with the kids.  The black flies are unbelievable.  Me and Gab brave it and walk to the beach to try and find the bouncy castle.  We found it but we just can't stay outside...the bugs will soon carry us alive!!  It's too bad that we can't enjoy the nice weather as it would make our waiting game more enjoyable.  At least we have some great MOOSE burgers for supper.  We have a theme song for the day! If you get a chance, look it up, or Gab will be able to sing it for you when we return - Lisa Leblanc 'Aujourd'hui, ma vie c'est d'la marde!'

Our lovely view (surprised we can see it through the MILLIONS of black flies)

Moose Burgers!

Bonne Fête Dad!!!  We walk to the front of the campsite to brave the outside and call dad for his bday.  The only spot you can get a smidge of reception is in front of the owners house.  We are being eaten alive trying to talk to Mami & Pépère on the phone.  Me and Gab bought dad a singing card but forgot to drop it off at their house before we left.  Mom was supposed to go pick it up and she hasn't yet so we will come back and call in a bit so that Gab can have a dance party with Pépère.  We bought Pépère a dancing card when we were in California with them and it is still a hit today so we thought it would be a good idea to get him another dancing/singing card.  Take advantage of being stranded to get the laundry done and I finish my book - 13 reasons (the Netflix hit - good book!) Our drawers in the kitchen broke when we drove in Labrador, so Justin fixes that along with puts a hook on our screen door to prevent James from falling out of the trailer!  Can't wait for the part to be here tomorrow!  We have still so much to see of the island!

Bonne Fête au meilleur papa et pépère au MONDE!

Nothing else to do but to fix all the <little problems<

Black Skies, Black Flies, Black Dodge! (Tuesday, June 20th)

We are in a thick fog this morning.  I wanted to go to Port aux Choix to visit the area but the weather
is really not favorable so the unanimous decision is to pack up and try to get to Deer Lake.  If it's nice we want to stop in Gros Morne and do another hike.  Fuel up, Foodland and we are on our way.  The fog doesn't lift so we just keep driving instead of doing a hike. The kids are being champions in the car so we take advantage of it.  Quick stop after getting through Gros Morne and another fuel stop in Deer Lake.  We decide to keep going east on HWY 1.  We spoke to Will and our plan is to go visit his pop's village.  They have family friends there and we will stop in.  We said we would be there either tomorrow or the next day.  The driving is going well so we keep going and even head north towards Westport off HWY 1.  We pull off the road in what could be a good spot for the night but we decide to scope out a better spot and we know there is a campsite in Baie Verte if we don't find anything.  We reach the campsite so campsite it is.  They gave us a beautiful lot by the water.  It's seasonal lot but the campers will not be here before July 1st.  Boy! We are no longer in Western/Newfoundland.  They had the air conditioning going in the office and the lady told us it was 33 today! It will be hard for us to adjust seeing as we have been wearing our tuques for the last 3 weeks.  Justin does a beauty job backing in (she was only giving us the lot if Justin was a good driver).  BLACK FLIES everywhere! This is what they were talking about!  We are levelling the trailer and the truck stops all by itself.  Not good.  Justin tries to restart it.  It turns over but won't start.  I am super relieved that we stopped at a campsite because this would be even worst on the side of a nowhere HWY with no reception.  Call up Kevin and see what he thinks.  Not much else we can do for tonight so we have to wait till morning.  The good thing about today is that we got much further than anticipated so that is great! Now fingers crossed for tomorrow.  Oh Moose sighting today so we can add to our count!

Baby James taking his bath last night

Moose count = 19 caribou = 6 whales= 2 Black Bears =  2

To the top of the LIGHTHOUSE! (Monday, 19 June)

We, or more like I, am slow this morning.  Our beautiful spot by the ocean is thick with fog and there's a little mist. We call the ferry to book and all we can get is tomorrow at 3:30.  They leave 25% occupancy for last minute walk ons.  We decide to book the 3:30 and at worst if we get on early tomorrow morning we loose 10$. We finally get our butts going and walk to the lighthouse.  Much simpler to walk there than to try and manoeuvre the trailer there just to come right back this way.  No doubt, Justin could do it but a little walk will do us all some good this morning.  The lighthouse is the tallest in the Atlantic (second tallest in Canada).  Gab has been really excited to be able to climb to the top of the lighthouse. Our tour guide is fantastic.  When we get there we decide to go up and let James in the foyer.  He is sleeping in his stroller and we know he will be out for some time.  I think the tour guide thought we were a bit weird but there is no way we could have done the climb with James.  The climb to the top is nice.  She gives us little trivia after each level.  A fun way to make the climb easy for the kids (just kidding - for us too!) The view up top is beautiful.  It's too bad that there is thick fog but kind of cool to see it rolling.  At some points we can see our trailer at a distance and then it rolls and we can spot an iceberg.  Downstairs, they have very nice displays and they have a station where Gaby makes a bracelet spelling out her name in Morse code.  Head back to our trailer.  The walk there and back is nice by the ocean.  In the early 1900's the Raleigh went aground and her pieces are still scattered along the coast.  Pretty cool.  We decide that we will head south towards Blanc Sablon and see if we can catch the 6pm ferry.  If not then we will go down into Quebec and
visit around there.  Stop at the grocery store to restock on 'double blueberry' ice cream Justin picked up the other day. He is in LOVE with it.  C'est de la crème glacée de Coaticook.  We drive down to the ferry and I pop into the ticket office. They are all business there and not the friendliest.  She gets all my info (size of unit, full name of all of us) and then charges my credit card.  So I ask "We made it on the ferry?"  Her answer is "You should be ok".  Another lady tells us to line up outside in lanes 1 & 2 with the trucks.  We are the first in line no2 so we don't really know how they would pull us off
if we didn't make it on.  We have a good 1.5hrs to waste in the truck waiting in line so we pull out UNO and have fun.  James sleeps for the most part of the waiting.  We are set to make this an easy ferry.  We only bring one extra bag and decide that we don't need James' stroller.  Super smooth.  We stop at the gift shop to grab a sticker and head up to the cafeteria.  Gaby met a little girl and they had fun for the length of the crossing.  The girl is travelling with her mom to St Anthony to go to the dentist!!! Small things we take for granted.  They live in Forteau and the one dentist is on holidays for 2 weeks and this is an emergency. We chit chatted with her mom.  She has 3 kids.  For her last 2 pregnancies, she had to spend 7 weeks in St Anthony's as she can't deliver in Labrador.  They also have to go to the island for a pediatrician.  We saw a couple get on the ferry with their BMW GS.  Justin's dream is to cross the country on his.  Maybe one day we can do that together.  As we are going down to the car deck we spoke to them.  They are from Georgia and have pretty much done all the states and most of Canada.  We decide on going back to Port aux Choix to the campsite by the ocean. Wind is blowing but at least there it's not the crazy rain/hail we encountered last time we setup there.

Point Amour Lighthouse

moose count = 18 caribou = 6 = whales = 2  bears = 2

Mary's Harbour (Sunday, June 18th)

Bonne fête des PAPAS!!!  On réveille papa ce matin avec un bol de crème glacée et un petit cadeau.  On lui offre un beau t shirt BMW pour aller avec sa moto.  We are scheduled to take the boat to Battle Harbour at 11 this morning.  We are very close but we leave well in advance and arrive at 10ish.  The cost for going just for the day was a big saving.  It was 270$ as opposed to well over 700$.  Yesterday, a couple from Brockville came and said 'hello' while I was waiting for Justin who was inside on a landline making arrangements for today .  They saw the we were from Cornwall when they signed the guest book! As it turns out, they will be going to the island with us this morning.  They have the luxury of spending a few nights.  They travelled here aboard the Bella Desgagnés.  You can board in Rimouski or even Sept Iles and she stops in 6 remote villages along the Lower North shore.  I thought it was a ferry but it's more a cruise than anything.  You can bring your car along as well (it was put on the ferry by crane!) That would be another cool Canadian trip to take one day.

We load up on a small boat and take the 1hr boat ride to Battle Harbour.  Battle Harbour is perfectly preserved in the history of bygone era. Here, houses, stores, fishery buildings and churches have been restored and filled with historical original items.  It is made to soak up the atmosphere and fully experience the sounds of the ocean and the simple pleasures of times past.  On our arrival, we are greeted by very kind and genuine people.  They give us a little talk inside the General store and tell us that dinner (lunch) will be served at 1230 in the dining hall.  We headed upstairs to change James.  The room upstairs is a little bar/sitting area where guests can come and spend the evening. It is spectacular. We have just arrived on the island and are very impressed.  We walk towards one end of the island.  There are several houses and buildings.  No roads, just small trails.  Some are privately owned, there is a church, a cemetery, and guest houses that we could have rented if we had chosen an overnight stay.  Time for lunch so we head in for the most delicious meal.  The hall is again beautiful and we share our table with a couple from Connecticut.  They have one more night to spend on the island and they really loved their stay.  There is one other couple staying on the island but they were out doing a hike on an island nearby.  After lunch, we are given a tour of the main buildings from a man who lived on the island until he was 9 before they relocated everyone to Mary's Harbour.  Life on the island would have been tough but he thinks it would have been really tough for his ancestors.  He had the luxury of motor boats and snowmobiles.  There is no wood on the island so it needs to be brought over somehow.  Can't imagine transporting wood in a human powered boat at sea.  The tour is well worth it and even Miss Gab is following along.  Gaby really took a liking to the couple that was with us. She held her hand for nearly the entire tour.  Mister James on the other hand was interrupting us with his loud snores! Poor little guy was passed out in the backpack.  Once we were done the tour, we had a little time before our boat left.  Our intentions were to do a hike around the island.  On the other side, there is a small plane wreckage visible but the wind has gotten so intense and cold that we take refuge in the dining hall with the super nice ladies who run the kitchen.  Many of the employees have their own home on the island or used to live in Battle Harbour at some point.  What a great community.  We say our goodbyes to our hosts and the wonderful Brockville couple and head back to Mary's Harbour on the boat.  There are 2 employees coming back with us.  They have a 10 on 4 off rotation therefore they are excited to get back home for a few days.

Back on the dirt road we go.  On our way we spot more wildlife! Now this one is amazing.  A black bear with her baby cub.  We are even able to get a good picture - fun!  We would like to get to L'Anse Amour.  That is a 'must' stop for us because the highest lighthouse in Eastern Canada is there and we can climb to the top.  Gaby is really looking forward to that.  The drive is ok minus the one truck driver who has no care in the world.  We were warned that the worst part of the highway was the big rigs.  He flies by us and the truck got hit by some pretty good stones.  We will have to get a chip repaired on the windshield.  We make it to L'Anse Amour and find a great spot by the Ocean.  Very unfortunate that the weather is not great.  We are not sure if we can turn around in that spot so Justin backs the trailer into position.  In honor of his dad - he backs it up  a good 100 feet in one shot, perfect position!  Again the trailer is full of dirt but we are now finished with the dirt roads!

Red Bay and the Trans-Labrador HWY (Saturday, 17 July)

Slow going this morning.  We finally get ourselves moving and head over to Home Hardware to pick up a few things.  James always stands in the screen door and we always have to be on high alert as he could go through it.  We are looking to rig something up so we can let him play in the trailer without stressing when the door is open.  Also pick up a level and a new micros SD card as the go Pro eats up memory.  Pick up our laundry, pin the trailer and on our way to Red Bay.  WOW!!! The Trans-Labrador HWY! We considered coming home via Labrador but were not sure of the roads especially that a good portion is on gravel.  Well, the road to Red Bay is paved but it is worst than Quebec highways...didn't think it could get worst than Montreal but it does.  So it's a slow ride to Red Bay.  Once we arrive in Red Bay we park next to the airstream couple we had met before boarding the Ferry.  Red Bay was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It brings you back to the 16th Century when Basque Whalers lived and worked.  For some 70 years, Basque whalers made the dangerous journey across the Atlantic to hunt whales and produce the oil that lit the lamps of Europe.  We went to visit the interpretation center and saw an old Chalupa (whaling boat) and watched a movie on the discovery of the site.  We then took a boat ride over (with Bones) to Saddle Island. There we took a walk around the island and checked out the believed to be sunkan San Juan from 1565.  On the way back, the skip let Gaby drive the boat!  She loved it!  We found another set of Canada 150 Adirondack chairs for a great photo op!
Canada 150 - Red Bay 
Inside the centre, we asked if we should make the treck to Mary's Harbour to go visit Battle Harbour.  The Parks Canada lady we spoke to made some calls to find out if we could get across to Battle Harbour for the day only.  We had inquired and the cost was over 700$ for all of us to spend the night (reason being we had to have our own cottage because of Bones).  We really want to go over but are not sure that we can justify paying that much.  Turns out, there is a company that can take you across so we decide that we will drive out tonight.  Before leaving we meet this amazing older German couple.  They have their motorhome from back home and have been touring Canada.  They are super friendly and remind us of our dear friend, Kathie (& Dodoll).  We take the turn North onto the gravel road and cross our fingers that it will be worth it.  Turns out the gravel road is much nicer than the paved road in Labrador.  We found a great spot along the highway to pull over for the night.  We don't really understand but we have no water in our tank.  No big deal as we all showered this morning and we also have bottled water with us so we can 'rough it' (as much as you can rough it in a trailer!).  Justin sets up the BBQ to have a great view while he cooks!! The truck and trailer are SOOOOOO dirty!  Poor's tearing him apart.  Inside there is dust EVERYWHERE!!! Oh well, small price to pay for this beautiful drive we just took.  The scenery was well worth it.  Justin and Gab were laughing at me because I kept saying that the little rocks were going to come alive at any moment like in the movie Frozen.  In my opinion, it looked just like the movie!  Stunning!

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Labrador here we come (Friday, 16 June)

Today we are taking the ferry to Labrador.  We are reserved on the 3:30 crossing.  We have to be there 1 hour in advance.  This morning we take our time and enjoy the beautiful spot by the river we found.  J'ai la chance de faire la paresse parce que Justin se lève avec les enfants.  On a la génératrice de mon oncle 'nornon' avec nous et Justin veut absolument s'en servir! So fire up the generator to make some yummy bacon, egg and toast for breakfast!  The ride to the ferry is good.  We spot 2 caribous.  I go to the ferry office and pay for our crossing (115$) and we go line up for the ferry.  We meet a nice couple from Idaho.  They have a gorgeous Airstream!  We are not good at this ferry thing.  We bring too much stuff with us, we have a hard time bringing the stroller up and it just never goes as planned!  We'll get the hang of it eventually!  Bones stayed in the truck this time and that was a great call.  He slept his way across.  The ferry is old but there is tons of space to roam around.  We settled in the cafeteria and shared a poutine (shredded mozzarella - yuck).  Me and Gab went and explored on the upper deck and looked at some icebergs (we are still not sick of them!). We get off the ferry in Blanc Sablon, which is actually in Quebec.  First stop is their tourist office. There are a few things we could do down the coast on the Quebec side.  We might fit that in after having gone North.  We decide to do a campsite for the night.  So we park at Northern Light RV park (pretty much another parking lot with a view of the ocean).  Get some groceries, do some laundry and time to relax.

Ferry to Labrador

Moose Count =  18   Whale Count = 2    Caribou count =  5

Worth the wait (Thursday, June 15th)

Our boat tour was planned for 11am.  We got all ready to go, got in the truck and crossed our fingers while we waited for Justin to go and call and see if we were on.  He comes out of the RV office with a big 2 thumbs up! The tour guide lady told him, sun is shinning, no ice in the bay, tour is a GO! Youpi!  The boat tour was without a doubt worth the wait.  We started out by looking for whales.  The 9am group had seen them so they thought it was better to look for the whales now in case they decided to leave the bay.  It didn't take long to spot 2 whales.  They were far enough but it was more than enough to get Gab excited.  Honestly, I was way more excited about the upcoming icebergs!  They went under and our guide said they usually go under for about 5 minutes and then resurface (although they can stay underwater for up to 40 minutes).  They came back up in about five minutes and we got to watch them play around and they dove back down.  It was beautiful to see their tale flap out of the water.  James was not very happy during this time so me and Justin were switching back and forth holding him.  On our way out to the BIG iceberg, it started getting rocky in the boat.  Gab was loving it, it rocked James to sleep but I wasn't a big fan.  I was ok and not sick (like some people on our boat) but my stomach was making it known that it wasn't happy.  SO WORTH IT!! We got very close to a very big iceberg.  The color and its stature sitting in the water is indescribable and the pictures don't come close to do it justice.  700 feet long and 90feet high!  This iceberg began its journey in Greenland and probably took 1.5 to 2 years to get here.  It will most likely be melted in approximately 6 weeks.  On our way back the bay had a lot more ice in it and they were manoeuvering around the ice to get us back to the dock.  We are happy that we stayed one more day in Northern Newfoundland to experience the boat tour.

Our little youtube video of the day!

We headed back to the campsite and stopped in at the office to pick up another pie and some partridgeberry jam.  As we were hooking up, I noticed that the trailer beside us had a sticker on it that said  I absolutely wanted to meet them as I have browsed their website several times for ideas on what do her in Newfoundland.  He had a short and sweet write up on many of the spots you should hit up.  They are addicted to Newfoundland.  They are from London, Ontario and come up twice every summer.  They leave their trailer on the island.  Pretty cool.  We pulled out of the camp site and weren't sure if we were going to get St-Barbe to catch the ferry via the coastline (same way we came up) or take it inland with about a 20 minute detour.  We opted for inland since we figure we might as well see as much as we can.  It was a great decision.  Not only did we spot caribou on this road but we found a PERFECT spot for our trailer.  We were able to pull in beside this beautiful river.  Gaby was loving camping in the middle of nowhere.  Walk by the river, marshmallows and some cuddle time by the fire - perfection.

Moose Count =  18 Whale Count =  2 Caribou count =  3

Monday, 26 June 2017

Waiting for the boat that never came.... (Wednesday, June 14th)

James has a small fever this morning.  We think he must be teething but not sure.  Justin goes to the office to book our ferry to Labrador.  We have to use a landline as there is no service.  She needs help with her Trip Advisor page so Justin sends me her way.  I'm no expert but I try to help as much as I can.  We leave to go and take the whale and iceberg boat tour.  1 moose sighting on the way.  The bay has filled up with ice and the tour operator takes a vote amongst all the ones waiting to go out and we decide that we will wait till 3 and see if the winds have cleared the bay.  So now we have a couple of hours to tour around St Anthony.  We drive to the lighthouse we were at 2 days ago to see how much ice is in the bay and it is indeed ice jammed.  We stop at Tim Horton's for a quick lunch.  We rarely eat out on this trip so it's a small treat.  Justin hits up the NAPA shop to pick up some fuses.  Our fuse on our trailer tongue keeps blowing so we want to make sure we don't run out.  We drive to Goose Point.  There are a few hikes we could do but James is resting comfortably in his car seat so we opt to drive around to give him the chance to rest up.  We spot another Moose on the way.

We then drive to Saint Carols and Great Brehat.  The views everywhere on the coast are amazing (I sound like a broken record!).  Almost time to head back to the boat so we fuel up and cross our fingers that the winds took care of business.  Thumbs down - we can't go.  Still too much ice in the bay.  The tour operator is VERY confident that the winds will clear the bay for tomorrow and he gives us the opportunity to reserve on the 11 o'clock tour.  We are scheduled to take the ferry so we decide to call up and move our ferry booking to Friday.  Hit up the Foodland and the liquor store - they even have Strongbow in Newfoundland.  On our way back, James is sleeping again and we have been crossing this side road that says 'great iceberg viewing'.  We've pretty much driven the entire Northern coast so why not go down this road even though I think it's a tourist trap.  Turns out there are beautiful views and Justin and Gab get their hero shot on top of small icebergs!  We also stop at a local spot that sells fish.  They want 10.50$/lb for lobster.  We feel that seems high and we also need to buy a big enough pot to cook some so we decide against it.  We head back to the campsite and pick up some fresh partridge berry pie the owner made today and chit chat with other campers from Maine.  Not too bad for a day that didn't turn out as planned.
Moose count = 12

Vikings and Iceberg adventure (Tuesday, June 13th)

L'anse aux Meadows is our destination this morning (the most northerly tip of the island).  We arrive right on time to jump on a tour that started at 10.  This is the site where back in 1968 they discovered proof that the Vikings had settled here over 1000 years ago.  Our tour guide is a local.  He lives in L'anse aux Meadows (population 30).   He was part of the 'dig' when the archeologists came in the 60s to discover the proof they had long been looking for.  He is very interesting and a joy to follow along.  Gab is once again not loving this tour but she follows along.  Once we get to the recreated Viking houses, Gab is a little more enthused.  The houses are made of turf and wood.  They are really impressive.  Once done with the tour we do Gaby's favorite - hike!  Justin has his work cut out for him as we took the stroller along as opposed to the back pack.  It was a good call because James slept through the entire tour but now it would be a workout for the hike.  There are still parts of the trail that are snowed over.  We finally find some Parks Canada red chairs to take our picture on (special chairs that have been put throughout National Parks for the 150th celebration)! The scenery and the icebergs are amazing.  We head back to the campsite for a quick bite to eat and then off again to explore the North!

We are not sure where we are going but we follow the map and decide to head out to Cape Onion and Ship Cove (combined population 102).  We drive to the end and find a cemetery  (70% of the tombstones are Deckers) on top of a cliff right next to the ocean! The wind is blowing and there is a bit of rain but we are so in awe by the scenery that we don't care.  We are so blessed to see this beautiful view and on top of that we are mostly always by ourselves.  We now have decided that the best views in town are always where the cemeteries are.  On our way back we drive through the village of Raleigh.  We up our Moose count for today by 4!  It would be higher but Gaby's rule is that all 3 of us have to see it for it to count!

Braving the weather for the crazy views!

Moose Count = 10