On The Point

Words and images to capture the joy of vacation, the value of family, the chaos of kids, and the beauty of The Rock.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012 - Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa

When something fun starts to feel like work, it's time to take a break. Ergo, it's been two years since I've documented any of our Newfoundland vacation adventures. It certainly isn't for lack of stories to tell or pictures to share. It's just that a busy mom sometimes needs a little time off. But today is a new day and I'm gonna try to climb back on the blogging horse. I'm off to a shaky start, as we've been here almost a week already, but I'm doing my best, and hopefully the "better late than never" cliche will apply. We landed safely late Sunday afternoon. Alas, too late for Sunday Dinner, but early enough for wings and chips at The Jigger. (That was a better consolation for me than for Silas.) It took us all a while to settle down for night, especially the boys, whose vacation sleeping arrangements involve bunk beds! But come Monday morning, we all had the vacation glow.
We walked (or were carried) over The Beach. The boys (of course) threw rocks...
Maggie rode the gate...
Silas studied the local flora and fauna...
And Kate did what she does best!
On Tuesday we headed back down the Southern Shore Highway for a day in town. We visited some relatives, filled our literary coffers at the library, and ate french fries at the Avalon Mall. Then the boys went off to see the By-zer-man movie (aka Spiderman) and the girls went swimming. Kate's first time in the pool! She had a great time, and boy did she ever look sweet in her Hope-Chest-original bathing suit. Wednesday was far too sunny to spend much time driving, so instead we hiked out to Stone Island, and even managed to pick up another kid along the way, much to Maggie's delight. Whales were breaching, wind was blowing, and girls were exploring the rocks. It was pretty darn close to perfect. (Only the french fries were missing.)
Getting back we were so hot we gave in to the girls' pleas for a swim at Rocky Pond. After all that, nobody had any trouble falling asleep, bunk beds or no bunk beds! Thursday was probably the highlight so far. We managed to get a crowd together, including Skipper/Uncle Joey, and head out through The Narrows on the William B II. It might have been a little drizzly, and more than a little windy, but it only served to add excitement to the trip! Just about everyone took a turn throwing the line over the side and we had our quota of 15 cod in no time flat. And these were shouts of amazement all around at the size of these specimens! (There were also more than a few shouts of amazement from Jacob and Josh at how the fish kept flipping and flopping around in the fishbox!)
And so we are having a fabulous time so far, as always. Please God the blog will continue to reflect that!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 - Nothing like a truck picnic

Well, it took us a day or two to recover from the departure of the Capers!  We all needed a little down time - except Maggie, apparently, who went out to St. John's with Uncle Rob and Aunt Julie after her party on Saturday for a 36 hour blitz of fun.  Movie, Fluvarium, Marine Drive, MacDonald's, mini-golf, Wall-Nuts, and pizza.  I am tired just typing about it!  But Maggie (and her Aunt and Uncle) were thrilled.  And Uncle John suitably wistful and jealous, halfway across the world in Albania.

The one dark spot in the town extravaganza was that Rob's car was broken into overnight, while parked in his driveway.  Only two items of value on the car, both of which were stolen.  The first: Rob's pricey sunglasses.  The second: our camera, sent with Maggie to record her adventure.  Disappointment.  Luckily, there were un-downloaded pictures on the camera.  But still, disappointment.

While Maggie was gone on Sunday afternoon, Granda offered us another boat trip.  We jumped at the chance!  This time we went all the way to Port Kirwan, waving to Natalie at the Lighthouse along the way.  Likely she was too busy ferrying lemonade to thirsty picnickers to notice us going by.   

We were busy, too, mainly turning the boat around, grabbing the boat hook, and fishing out of the ocean the various things Jacob tossed over the side (cover of the cooler, his shoe).  But he only threw out floating things, thank God.  Once he had that out of his system, all he had eyes for was Grandma and the bubbles she was blowing.
Josh took the helm - briefly.  He was only slightly more reliable driving the boat than he was on the ATV!
Silas and I have been spending some quality daydreaming time talking about what house/land we would buy here if (when?) we win a million dollars.  This trip yielded a few promising possibilities.  At the top of the list, I think, was Clear's Cove, just outside Fermeuse.
After a couple of hours, it was back under the Gut Bridge, coming up on Grandad's, this time totally empty of visiting Capers. *sigh*
On Monday we spent the day in town, hanging out with Uncle Rob, getting the kids' pictures taken, visiting Lester's Farm, and painting things at the Clay Cafe.  Such a great time!  At Lester's, with so many animals and things to see, Jacob was once again focused on just one area of interest - the pigeons.  They were everywhere, pecking at the leftover grains that the sheep, goats, and horses didn't eat.  And then, once in a while, they would flap their wings and fly up to relocate.  Jacob loved the flapping!  The first time it happened, once he relaxed enough to speak, he turned to me and announced, "Wow!  Nice dog!"
Then after we had finished our visit and were treating ourselves to ice cream cones, we were keeping ourseves entertained singing songs.  "Old MacDonald" seemed an appropriate choice, given the setting.  As is our custom, the kids took turns choosing the animals for each verse.  When it came to Josh's turn, I sang up to "...and on that farm he had a..." and then pointed to Josh to fill in the animal.  His response, "Fan!".  There is boy who knows what he loves.  And he loves fans!

Today we had a quiet day at Grandma and Granda's.  Silas went fishing, Josh and Jacob worked on the home school stuff, Maggie went and spent the day with Clare.  Even a quiet day can wear you out, though.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Saturday, August 7th, 2010 - God D*mn thing!

How many birthday parties is too many birthday parties?  Today was number three to celebrate Maggie's 8th.  But luckily there was plenty of enthusiasm left for celebrating, even if today was the last vacation day for our Cape Breton friends.  And nothing says celebration like horseback riding!  At this birthday party, rides on Trigger (Jigger?) were the mane attraction.  There was some initial nervousness from just about everyone (except Gary!) but all hands climbed on eventually for a stroll around the lane.  Even Nolan, at first terrified to tears, was convinced to give it a try.  "Yeeehaaaa!!", he could be heard yelling once he got in the swing of things.
Then back to The Point for more partying, with swings and water balloons and the ever popular chocolate fountain.  This year we had a chocolate eruption!
Ed enjoyed the swing set, which we all found charming and funny.  But then he (and we) discovered he was not just lounging because it was such a comfortable spot.  in fact, he was stuck!  This we found even more charming and way funnier! 
And then the cleanup was done and the clothes packed and it was time to hit the road.  With Silas as chauffeur, the Capers piled in the van for the trek to Argentia then on home across the Gulf.   Ah, the memories...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Friday, August 6th, 2010 - No picture, no cry...

Oh, the time is winding down for our vacationing Cape Bretoners.  So far as I can tell, nobody is longing for that other island just yet.  I mean, why woudl they?  Today started with a sleep in, then a home cooker brunch at Grandma's (pancakes, bacon, bologna, toast, eggs, coffee, juice...and someone else to do the dishes!).  Then off to St. John's for the first night of the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival.  The night was sold out -luckily we got our tickets early.  We had great seats (albeit not quite enough of them), ate wedge fried with gravy, drank beer, and sang along, even when we didn't know the words.  Hey Rosetta!, when are you coming to Cape Breton?

Thursday, August 5th, 2010 - Finger lickin' good!

The day dawned wet and rainy, but by lunchtime it had cleared enough for some of the men to pile in the boat for another trip out the harbour.  Granda Tom was the tour guide (no tipping, please) and everyone else just sat back and enjoyed the ride.  Natalie and Maggie stayed home on The Point making chocolate chip cookies.  They promised a cookie to anyone who brought back a codfish.  When the crew returned sans fish, the girls just didn't have the heart to deny them cookies.  Especially since they did bring back spectacular stories - and pictures! - of jumping dolphins.
 Luckily, Granda Tom has been to Taylor's the night before and bought a supply of delicacies - cod tongues and fillets.  Mmmmm....  So Grandma cooked a feast of fish.  In Silas' opinion, the best fish ever served in his tenure on The Point.  The only complaint? Well, the woman just slaved away in the kitchen preparing the meal, never taking a break of pausing to wipe their collective brow.  The men?  Well, they were otherwise occupied.
After supper, Silas served as the tour guide (tips gratefully accepted) for a walk out to Stone Island.  The hardy ones went with him and got their feet muddy, but came home happy nonetheless.  David was crowed King of the North Side.
But the best part of the day for me was a few hours with Ed on the Point while the others were out on the deep blue sea.  He gave quite a concert - "Comin' up next?  John Denver....Country Roads!"  On one of the songs, her kept repeating one line over and over again, with a little garbled bit in the middle.  This happened a couple of times, then he announced, "Oh no, record scratched!".  Perfect.  A few songs later, when he was really on a roll, he was relieved, "Workin' good now, Power, better not scratch it!"   And then later int he day, I wanted to get a nice smiley picture, but he wasn't really in the mood.  So we started talking about underwear - first Maggie's, then mine, then Ed's.  The following series of pictures illustrates how the conversation went.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 - It's nice to see some deciduous trees.

We are doing our best to wear a track in the Southern Shore Highway.   Back out to the city today for the 192nd running of the Royal St. John's Regatta.  From their website: This historic regatta is the oldest continuing sporting event in North America. The event continues to draw in excess of 50,000 spectators each year and is a major focal point of summer activities in the St. John's area.  Exciting!

But in keeping with our tradition of squeezing as much as possible into every day, we didn't JUST go to the Regatta (where we ate Ziggy Peelgood fries, watched the races, did gymnastics, visited with friends, and hob-nobbed with costumed wrestlers).  We also went to Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America.  The whales we breaching everywhere, putting on quite a show.  Corneilus got some great photos! 

While there, Gary was especially impressed with the cannons, last used to shoot...well...Germans, actually.

After the Regatta it was off to Kate's for our second annual Cindy Power invitational barbeque.  Deeeelicious!  And extra special this year as we were also celebrating Gary MacDonald's 50th birthday.  The high fives were coming fast and furious!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 - Your turn...thank you...all done!

Where to start in reporting today's adventures?  I continue to be amazed at how much we seem able to squeeze into each 24 hour period.  Thank God for vacation.

Today, a vanload of us headed back out to town, anticipating a rainy day and not much to do in Calvert.  As it happened, the rain never fell, which was a blessing on David's solo walk around the downtown, checking out galleries and bookstores and black bean burritos.  The rest of us didn't need good weather for our plans - lunch at MacDonald's, swimming at the Aquarena, and picking up a tower of books at the library.    The nicest part of the trip, though, was our visit with Sr. Patrice at Presentation Convent.  She was so delighted to see us - and the feeling was mutual.

We made it home in time for a quick bite to eat before the cemetery mass in Ferryland.  Jonathan chose to sit out on mass, instead staying home to get extra titivated before his date at the Ferryland dinner theatre with Kate. 

After mass, Granda Tom took out the ATV and a few of us got rides.  Gary was an ideal passenger, thrilled with the ride and very safety conscious.  Josh, on the other hand, nearly gave his poor Granda a heart attack.  He won't be riding again.
David didn't get a ride on the ATV.  Perhaps that is why he had a block.
 With such a spectacular evening, we couldn't bear to just go home and watch Jeopardy.  Instead, we chopped up a bed and went over the beach for a bonfire.  Some of us sat around the fire, drank beer, sang songs, told stories, made fun of Germans.
Others stayed at the water's edge, throwing rocks and loving the view.
And one of us collected shells and made a sea urchin castle.
Just a perfect end to the day. 

Monday, August 2nd, 2010 - My brush is getting a little old...

The more we get together, together, together,
The more we get together, the happier we'll be...

But a little time apart doesn't hurt, either.  And neither does some time to rest.  So today, Maggie, Jonathan, Kate and myself went back into the big city.  Jonathan had his shopping list clutched tight in his fist (toothpaste and sunglasses) and somehow we managed to just stick to the list.  He and Kate went to spend the day at her dad's, watching movies and eating hotdogs, and undoubtedly gazing lovingly and gigglingly into each others' eyes.  Maggie and I took in a matinee of "Ramona and Beezus", which we both loved.  Then a few errands and back up the shore in time for a feed of moose stew.

The other crowd stayed closer to home.  They intended to do some exploring of the local area, but only made it as far as Admiral's Cove, where they were entranced by local artists and their pagoda. 

Before supper it was off to the graveyard for the guys to do some whipper-snipping and raking in preparation for the Cemetary Mass.  Perfect way to work up appetites for the aforementioned moose stew.

But even after a quiet day with lots of rest, some of us were still pretty pooped at the end of the day.  Showing our age, I guess.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Sunday, August 1st, 2010 - Large and in charge!

Cornelius made it home safe and sound.  My sense is that, if given the opportunity, Rob might be able to share some great stories about their evening.  But a picture is worth a thousand words.
We had Mass with a priest from Virginia today.  We learned a mnemonic device for the seven deadly sins, were reminded that the children are our future, and told that to comfort a dying person, ask them to request two unspecified favours from the Lord.  Interesting.

Dinner was, as always, spectacular.  So much so that we all needed a digestive nap right afterwards.  Space, unfortunately, was limited. 
Good moods were also in short supply, so we split up for the afternoon to get some rest and, more importantly, some personal time.
David, God love him, came over and sat outside (in the rain) with the boys so Silas and I could get a nap.  That is friendship.

The Sunday evening tradition is a feed from the Jigger.  This week we kicked it up a notch and decided to actually go up the Jigger, eat in, play pool, and listen to Brian Finn.  A much more authentic Newfoundland cultural experience than any silly codfish kissing.  What a great night!  Gary, Silas, and David did the pool playing, Kate, Jonathan, Ed, and I did the dancing, and we all helped with the eating.  There were some great moments, not the least of which was Ed's scuff on the dance floor with a wonderful woman from up the hill.  Such a great L'Arche moment.