Monday, September 20, 2010

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

Newfoundland is gorgeous, and we wanted to show it off. So Mister Man and I hired a city bus, complete with driver, and sweet talked 2 friends from the Newfoundland arts community to act as tour guides: Mary Lewis (brilliant writer, and filmmaker) and Lois Brown (brilliant writer, actor, and director). To sweeten the deal, we decided to run contests. After all, we HAD promised folks "prizes" on our wedding invitation, so clearly we had to make good on our word. Earlier in the week, we invested in a bag chock full o' Newfoundland prizes and treats: we had wee sacks of Newfoundland Savoury, tins of Vienna Sausages (a much loved treat), tins of Fussells Cream, a Republic of Newfoundland toque, a Sou'wester and other assorted goodies. Here, Mary models one of the delightful prizes:

Mary and Lois explained the intricate scoring system for the contests. For example, you could earn extra points if you'd ever made out with a Newfoundlander.

Now, I don't know if you recall any posts about the COMPETITIVE nature of some of our friends? Perhaps not. But let me tell you that the contests almost caused a riot. The score board was passed around so that people could write their name, and (on the honour system) score points for having made out with Newfoundlanders.

Yup. They were right rowdy this crowd! In fact, some of them had brought a few tins of beer on board. So we asked the driver, Lori, if she would mind stopping at a corner store so others could follow suit. She replied, "Wow. No one has ever asked that before!". And I said "leave it to a crowd of mainlanders to try and out-Newfoundland the Newfoundlanders." And then she pulled over at the first corner store she saw. Everyone rushed in to buy some brew and/or chips.

It was CHAOS I tell you! (Okay I'm kidding. I had to applaud Kate and Collin for having CHAMPAGNE!) (Which they shared with me).

Our first stop (after the beer store), was Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America. Everyone brought goodies, and little picnics popped up here and there, dotting the coast. We all chowed down as the wind whipped through our hair and the sun shone down upon us.

I snapped this photo of Elizabeth and her daughter.

And the clan of Mister Man and I even paused for a family portrait.

And then, it was back on the bus, so we could nip into Petty Harbour; an outport on the edge of the city.

And then it was off to Bidgood's. A Newfoundland grocery store. I'm not sure what was going on here.... but clearly, things were afoot! I think it may have been the chaos of the contest!!

Inside the store, our friends trolled the aisles, inspecting the exotic foods such as scrunchions.

Or boneless salt cod bites (may contain bones!)

The other shoppers in Bidgood's had a grand laugh at the jaws of our friends (which had resoundingly hit the floor as they inspected jars of moose meat and flipper). And, much to our delight, an accordion player started up during our visit.

And then, it was back on the bus for our last stop on Signal Hill. En route, our tour guides serenaded us with a traditional Newfoundland folksong: Tickle Cove Pond. Even over the crackle of the hand held mic, it was a treat.

Signal Hill was lovely. It was a beautiful day, with beautiful friends and family.....

In the pre-wedding hustle and bustle, I think this photo sums it up nicely....

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