I should start by clearing up that by ‘holiday’ I mean ‘vacation’ in American. I told someone in the States that we were on holiday and they asked, “Oh? What holiday are they celebrating in Canada?” I resisted the sarcastic urge (I usually don’t) and explained that I meant to say we were on ‘vacation’. From the way she looked at me after that I’m pretty sure she thought I was being uppity, using my high falootin’ Canadian lingo on her. Thankfully no one on this trip asked me to say, “eh” when they found out we live in Canada or asked me if I know their friend Tom who lives in Toronto, “which is in Canada too” they usually inform me. When it goes that far I find it impossible to resist and I tell them I do know Tom, in fact I just saw him last week and he was pretty upset because, he said, they had never written him back after the last Christmas card he sent them. I usually have time to sneak away while they’re trying to remember if they got a card from Tom or not.
Our first snapshot comes from a stop in lovely St. Stephen, New Brunswick. It sits on the picturesque St. Croix River, the liquid border between the U.S. and Canada at Maine and New Brunswick. We stop for the night and we stop for Shelley. Shelley’s a contributor here at Cracked Virtue, a student recruiter and surrogate big sister for the SSU students and our un-officially adopted daughter. I mention all that about Shelley because one of the single most asked questions on this trip by those who read CV from time to time was, “so, who’s this ‘Shelley’ person?” I would have had a family mutiny if we tried to pass through St. Stephen without seeing Shelley (not that I was trying to) who not only took time to be with us but let us all crash at her place on the second floor of the Adam’s family mansion. We all watched “Footloose” together which I’m sorry to say did NOT stand up well to the test of time. My boys laughed most of the way through the movie, mistaking it for a comedy or parody. I had to admit that what seemed cool to me years ago had become impressively lame (the boys: Dad, seriously, they’re playing chicken on farm tractors? The boys: Dad, when you were a kid did everyone spontaneously break into dance in the McDonald’s parking lot when someone put in a tape? Me: sigh.)
Up early the next day and across the border. Magically we went back in time as we crossed the bridge. We left at 8 a.m. and suddenly it was 7 a.m. Next time we do this I’m going to look out the window towards the border and wave to myself and then get out of my car and look back when we get there and wave back at myself. How cool is that? At the border the guard asked us, “Why are you leaving P.E.I. at this time of year?” Why, indeed.