Stuffing ourselves with scenery, education and, of course, food

By Joanne Peterson | Sep 26, 2013

You thought I was spending my mid-September days walking to the beach, going about my business in Edmonds and visiting my grandchildren, didn’t you?  I was not. So where have I been and what have I been doing?

I’ve been a long way from home in eastern Canada, traveling throughout Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick on a Road Scholar trip titled “History and Culture of the Canadian Maritimes.”  Road Scholar, you perhaps know, used to be called Elderhostel.  (Routes to Learning Canada provides Road Scholar programs in Canada.)

Road Scholar bills itself as The World’s Not-for-Profit Leader in Educational Travel for Adults. After my first experience with the organization, I think I understand the claim. My cousin and I were part of a group of 36 persons looking for a learning adventure, and the Road Scholar people provided plenty of travel and learning.

This is what the program included:  10 nights of accommodations, 26 meals, seven lectures, 18 field trips (yes, 18) and two performances. We usually spent two nights in each hotel.

Most days we’d be finished with a substantial breakfast and climbed into our comfortable coach by 8 a.m. If you know me at all, you know that I am not a morning person. So I’ll admit that more than once (actually, more than twice) I was the last one on the bus.

Early mornings and great vacations do not ordinarily go hand-in-hand in my Book of Ideal Holidays. However, nobody asked me what time our days should begin.

Our personable group leader Anne (who lives in Scotburn, Nova Scotia) knew everything she needed to know in order to pack our days with education, entertainment and activity. Our driver Terry was kind, flexible and professional.  Between talks by Anne, lecturers and local guides, plus miles of spectacular scenery, my head felt stuffed with new information by the end of each day.

Speaking of stuffed, that brings me to the meals! After a day of museum visits, presentations, and guided tours of historical points of interest – interspersed with travel on the bus – we’d return to our hotel for a substantial dinner selected from a list we were given earlier in the week. Dinner included at least one dessert offering—usually more. Few of us refused desserts.

I ate lobster and mussels and salmon and more salmon. I ate bacon and eggs most mornings and big lunches every day. I ate desserts and desserts and desserts. Many of us agreed that we are in the habit of taking half of a restaurant dinner home for another meal.

When traveling, that opportunity isn’t available; consequently, we found ourselves eating far more than we needed.  I haven’t chosen to weigh myself since I returned.  (To be continued)

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