vacation brain


sunrise at Cape Spear, originally uploaded by mintyfresh.

I haven't been ignoring this space, I've just been on vacation, I promise. A serious vacation. The kind where you delete your work email from your phone so you're not compelled to check it every time you check the time. The kind where there is actually NO CELL SERVICE (this creates "where the heck are we?" madness like nothing else), and your only task for the day is to pack your bag and put on your hiking shoes, or perhaps, take a nap in the sunshine, walk on the beach.

It's been a gruelling few months and what I needed (and my brain demanded) was a vacation just like this.

So we went to Newfoundland.

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Cape Spear

For the uninitiated, Newfoundland is amazing. It's a part of Canada like no other place - ocean air everywhere you go, whales on the horizon, puffins brightening up your view of the seagulls, the smell of wild blueberries in your hair, your clothes, your pillow. The people are so unbelievably friendly, the food is tasty even when you're in the middle of nowhere, they make excellent beer, and the ocean is loud, calm, and as picturesque as you imagine it could be. I'm ready to go back, and I've only been back in Montreal for 24 hours.

east coast trail, bay bulls.

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We did kilometres and kilometres of hiking, occasionally running into a person or two on trail, but for the most part, we were utterly and completely alone out there. It was fantastic, sitting on cliffs watching the surf, admiring the view, and looking for the telltale whale fins along the horizon.

We discovered lots of interesting things to look at on the sides of roads.

miniature newfoundland

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We stayed at a combination of b&b's (everywhere) and hotels (mostly in St John's), with the best-of-trip award going to this place. Exceptional hosts, a guest pub, and some fantastic conversation (not to mention the best snow crab I've probably had in at least ten years. it was AMAZING). If my dad had a doppelgänger, he'd be found here, behind the bar.

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Since our goal was to relax, we confined our travel to the eastern peninsula this time around - St John's to Bonavista. We'll be visiting again - and then we can catch up with the rest.

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Sometimes when you travel, you find a place that resonates. That feels like home, even though it's not. Newfoundland definitely had a few moments like this, and I can't wait to go back again.

(oh! and for the foodies out there, YES, dressing and gravy with fries IS worth trying. DO IT.)