We are on a very tight budget and so we dreamed big dreams as we browsed wall-sized paintings of maritime autumns and discovered the "perfect" boots. Then we settled for a delicious meal at Le Lapin Sauté. The food was good but the desserts blew Leora's mind. You will remember that she is a dessert goddess in her own right, so...
The next day saw us arrive in New Brunswick with a full day to spare before Leora could check in at her residence so we did some sight-seeing.
Below, for your delection, Canada's longest covered bridge.
Much more importantly, I've wanted to see The Bay of Fundy since I was a little boy. We arrived 1/2 an hot before the park closed and I was wondering if I was going to miss my chance. As it happens, it just meant we couldn't park in the gated parking area. When we approached the booth to pay $36 for the pair of us, a young man stood up, left the booth, hung a chain across the path, and headed home for the night--1/2 an hour early!
Yeah, so we saw the rocks in the best golden hour light, with waaaaay fewer tourists (perhaps a dozen) for free. Thoughtful security guys (who did not leave early) made sure we knew when the sun set and the tides came in, but we quite content for us to be there.
That night, we slept in a very windy tourism Nova Scotia parking lot. Leora had a minor meltdown over the state of her finances for the coming year. All in all, I'm impressed that she's kept her cool as well as she has. On the other hand, I'm also aware that she is exceedingly good at hiding those feelings… even if she has them.
In the morning we had coffe at a local bakery so we wouldn't show up too early (thus branding Leora a "try hard"). We figured 15 minutes post start time would be sufficient so as not to stand out and began driving towards the campus. We needn't have worried.
I was very impressed with how organized, helpful, and insanely peppy and cheerful the Mount Allison family was. As we drove towards the campus, young women with posters inhabited seemingly every street corner. They bounced up and down and grooved to music (both real and imagined), pointing us in the right direction. Police directed traffic at intersections and we were funnelled inexorably to the doorstep of Leora's new home.
Loud music, chanting, cheers and laughter filled the air. There was a steady stream of cars, trucks, and vans arriving. As our Honda pulled up to the front of the building, students asked Leora's name and room assignment. They put a sticker on my car, and six people whisked away every box and bag not Leo possessed. Straight up four flights of stairs.
Wow! I was already useless ;)
There was an hour of Leora unpacking, followed by our last lunch together and a final goodbye.
Despite my very mixed feelings, I really feel Mt. Allison will be a great place. Clearly they mean to take care of her and become a central part of her newly expanded world. Hopefully another home base from which to take over the world.
I went back to my car. 17 years. Driving 4400 km. Listening to 45 hours of classic rock and jazz. Her empty seat, and the bit of colouring she did during the less bumpy bits of the drive. I was pretty suddenly and justifiably overwhelmed. I did the only things I could think of. I cried. I talked to Wendy on the phone. I texted Anwyn and I shared this photo on Facebook.
Now I'm head down to Boston where I get to see an old and best friend. Gotta keep busy for a while. Play some loud music and try to find what are sure to be the many silver linings in all of this changing weather.