Trip is over, but marvelous memories linger

By Joanne Peterson | Oct 03, 2013

I’ve been home from my Road Scholar trip to the Canadian Maritimes for more than a week. As is often true after a trip, it’s taking me a while to re-enter my “real world” and settle back into my routine in Edmonds. I awaken at odd hours, wondering where I am and whether I am going to be late getting on the tour bus.

I’ve just returned from a wet walk through downtown Edmonds on the last Sunday evening in September. Increasing rains, strong winds and power outages are in the forecast for the night.

As I walked past Girardi’s and Starbucks, people sat inside sipping lattes or eating dinner, laughing and talking, enjoying the last hours of their weekend, oblivious to the rain and to the storm clouds darkening the sky.  An Edmonds kind of fall night – I’m home again in the Pacific Northwest.

This Road Scholar trip with my cousin Carrie (and 34 other folks from various parts of the country) was educational and fun.  I’d certainly do it again.  I’ve already received two new Road Scholar catalogs in the week I’ve been home and have spent some time leafing through them.

I’ve glanced through my trip notebook, reading my scribbles about Canadian Maritime destinations, field trips, forts and museums, islands and beaches, rolling farmlands, brilliant white houses, dense woodlands and tall lighthouses, bright boats and multi-colored houses, personable guides and charming villages. The highlights swirl around in my head. What were my favorite places, most memorable moments?

Favorite museum? Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck, Cape Breton Island.  Amazing exhibits and photographs showing a multi-dimensional man, creative beyond belief.  I copied a quotation from Bell, when – prior to 1880 – he was working on something called a photophone transmitter: “I have heard articulate speech produced by sunlight! I have heard a ray of sunlight laugh and cough and sing.” (Is that not perfectly lovely?) In my notebook I jotted that I wanted to bring granddaughter Annika to the museum.

Favorite natural wonder? The Bay of Fundy and our naturalist-guided walk on the floor of the ocean at low tide.  Favorite foods? Lobster, lobster rolls, a first taste of scallops, Atlantic salmon, oatcakes, “Cows” brand ice cream. (Best ever!)

One exciting moment? Sharing my cousin Carrie’s delight as she dodged little waves to put her hand in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. (I couldn’t resist walking barefoot in the cold water.)

Wonderful evening? Attending a Ceilidh (pro: Cay-lee) in a hot, crowded parish hall. Vibrant, talented, engaging musicians on guitar, fiddle and piano played on and on, encouraged by their audience.  It was an enormous treat.

The entire trip was great fun. The scenery was magnificent—another time, it would be a pleasure to go in mid-October after the leaves turn color. The people we met in the Maritimes were gracious, and the people on the tour were good company. Yes, I’d do it again.

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