Monday, March 24, 2008

hippity hoppity your way to butts

1. Easter Monday and suddenly I'm on the ferry to go back to New Brunswick. What happened to the long weekend? What's with all the homework piled up and not done? How is it possible that I have a midterm tomorrow morning?
Just two weeks left of school. Hold onto that thought.

2. Thursday night we headed out in the middle of a freezing rain extravaganza to catch the bus to Saint John - forty-five minutes early for the bus, because the holiday buses are always very crowded. I forgot to buy our tickets ahead - it's a good idea towards the end of the year, because about this time, the students have all figured out to come early and so we all stand in line much, much longer. We managed to beat the worst of the lines for tickets, but it was a long and crowded wait to get on the bus, being pelted with hail. We managed to get seats together and get settled, and except for the elderly woman in front of me putting her seat all the way back and squashing me, it seemed to be going well... and we waited for the driver. Half an hour later, a man showed up and took our tickets, and then told us our driver would be there soon. A full hour late, we pulled out of the parking lot into the freezing rain and began the long crawl to Saint John. Acadian Lines, you are starting to make me mad.
Anyway, Sean's dad picked us up, and after a brief excursion for coffee, lemons, and burnable dvds, we went to their house. Lucy is cute as ever, and it was good to be there, but I was still too wired with my intense homework schedule to really relax the way I usually do away from Fredericton.
Friday morning we headed in to the ferry early and got aboard despite high wind warnings that could have cancelled the run. As it turns out, it probably would have been better if they had. It was the worst ferry ride I've ever seen. As soon as we were floating free of the dock, the ship was being tossed in every direction at once, and people started looking green. With the weather as it was, we actually went slower than usual, so we had three and a half hours of being pitched and tossed. I've never been so sick on a boat - have you ever tried to throw up in a moving toilet? - and people were passing around gravol like candy. Eventually I begged some space on the bench next to a nice elderly couple from New Hampshire; the lady warned me it would make me sicker to lay down, but with that much gravol, I wasn't going to be conscious for long, and the chairs are terrible.
About twenty minutes out of Digby it calmed down and everyone began to revive a little. Michelle and Scott met us at the terminal and took us to Macdonalds for a restoring bite of grease, and we headed home for the weekend.

3. We went to Halifax on Saturday. I was pretty tired, having not slept very well, and it was a long day, but pretty fun nonetheless. I'm sure Mom will write it up in more detail, but we spent the morning checking out wedding dresses for Michelle. The first shop was rather snooty and busy, and Michelle was nervy about it anyway so we left and had a coffee before moving on to a shop called Alyssa's Formals, in Lower Sackville. We really lucked in with that store - the salesgirls are amazingly friendly and helpful, and put Michelle in a much better frame of mind. She tried on probably eight dresses and, like puppies in a store, she wanted to bring them all home with her - and she has some ideas about tiaras and veils and so on. I think she's a lot less worried about the dress end of things now.
And then we headed into Halifax proper to meet Kim, Grace, Caleigh and Grandma. Mainly we visited two bead stores, but we stopped into the Black Market briefly (it was standing room only) and did some running around to my great aunt's home and Costco and Wendy's. I was fading pretty badly at that point, but I think we got a fair amount done, and I'm going to send Grace some more information that will help her with a beading project she has on the go.

4. Sunday was, of course, Easter, and Easter means a GPS Easter Egg geocaching mission! There are pictures and a blow-by-blow on Mom's blog (here, here, and here), but a good summary picture is here:
It was long, and we got lost a LOT, but Sean and I had a great time. Michelle and Scott did too, but were a little more stressed than we were, I think, what with driving and doing most of the highway navigation. Mainly we learned that sometimes we are seriously terrible at following directions, and that sometimes GPS can be misleading (our first waypoint was half a kilometer off, and our last point was very hard to find until we contacted some extra satellites). We:
  • almost got stuck in the wrong driveway,
  • almost backed into a mailbox getting turned around on the wrong road,
  • had our bunny ears blown off by the howling gales,
  • spotted an auto bodyshop called Butts Auto with a sign up for Easter reading "Hippity Hoppity your way to Butts",
  • introduced Sean to Jill,
  • fell down snowy hills, me in heels and Scott because the ground was deceptively safe looking,
  • got snagged on thorns,
  • got snagged on barbed wire,
  • got caught in the wrong yard,
  • and fell in some icy water-filled ditches.
And had a lot of fun doing it :)

5. So, today we're ferrying back to New Brunswick and are meeting Sean's parents on the other side. We'll be staying with them tonight and then heading back to Fredericton on the bus tomorrow morning, getting into town right before my Latin America midterm.
The ferry is much better today. If you haven't been on the Digby ferry in a while, you wouldn't even recognize the lounge - it's been redecorated and the bar has been replaced by a bar/Starbucks. The VLTs have been moved and the place by the bar where they used to be is a laptop station with plugs (that's where I'm sitting). Also, they have complimentary satellite internet, wireless of course, all the way across the bay, allowing me to beam this to you from the middle of the Bay of Fundy. Technology!
The announcement technology isn't working so great though. They have new recorded announcements as of last summer, featuring dinging buoy bells and screaming seagulls, and they've been randomly playing, skipping, or failing to play all weekend. It just announced that the cafeteria is opening, then that the cafe is opening, then that the cafeteria is closing, then that the cafe is closing (hint: it isn't).

2 Comments:

Blogger GailM. said...

Oh, I'm seasick just listening to your trip across to Digby. I'm glad the trip home is better. Yeah, for free wireless on the boat. That certainly helps make the trip go quicker. What next, free wireless on the Acadian bus. Well maybe that'll be a while yet. Actually that might be a good grad project. :)

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

Hey Steph,
So glad I finally got to meet Sean IRL. Maybe the next time you're home we can have an honest to goodness conversation without the howling wind and freezing temps.

8:02 PM  

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