Saturday, June 27, 2015

Road Trip!

Map of Canada, drawn my nephew, probably
when he was about 10 years old

Eight days ago I got on a plane and flew to Boston, Mass.  There I joined my younger brother and his daughter (my niece), my older brother and his wife (my sister-in-law) and we got in a smallish car and headed northeast.  To New Brunswick or bust!

Before I left home, I had this conversation with my son:
Son: So, you’re going to Canada today!

Me: Yes, I am going to Canada.  You know what this means….

Son:  Free health care!

Me:  No, it means whatever dishes you put in that sink in the morning will still be there when you get back in the evening.

Son:  As a parting gift to us, can you do the dishes one more time?

(The only parting gift I gave for that comment was a motherly glare.  But I am pleased to say that when I got home, there was not a single dish in the sink.  Well done!)

I was nervous before the trip.  This was my first trip outside the country in ten years, an embarrassment for the world traveler I once was.  As my husband drove me to the airport, I bemoaned the fact that I had not looked up the driving directions.  It just bothers me to not know what roads we are going to take.

I did not need to worry.  Once I got to Boston, my brother went to his Chart Room.  
This box full of maps is what my brother refers to as his Chart Room.

Paper maps - how quaint!
If you were looking for Waldo, try looking in Maine.

He consulted map after map (all on paper, none interwebby), throwing aside the “bike routes of Northern Maine” map and the “hikes in New Hampshire” map until he found road maps for Maine and New Brunswick. 

Bright and early the next morning, we set out for Maine. Our first stop – a town near Portland, for a wonderful but all-too-brief breakfast visit to my cousin and his family.  Then on to Saint John, New Brunswick, to visit my uncle, aunt, and another cousin.  
A more modern map.  Click to embiggen.
Here are a few of the signs we saw during our trip.

That top sign denotes that you will likely see
bicyclists riding on top of a tunnel harboring
 pregnant university graduates. That's the
best I could make of it.

We thought this might be a sign showing the way East
for those without a compass app.  But someone
told us it was the town’s evacuation route.

All road signs in New Brunswick are in French and English.

Political sign in someone's front yard.

Be sure to notice dogs doing their business.
By the way, that's the US on the other side of
the water.

Vroom Lane, in St Stephen, NB

Back in New Hampshire, the Interstate highway
 rest stop consists of a giant liquor store.
No mixed messages there, eh?

Restaurant wisdom.  My brother said this just about
summed up the history of thought in Western Civilization.


Suburban Correspondent said...

How come I never noticed that you could DRIVE to New Brunswick? I thought you needed a ferry from Maine. I must have been thinking of Nova Scotia, I guess. That trip does look like fun!

smalltownme said...

I want to go to the Bay of Fundy.

Angie said...

Sounds like a really fun interesting trip! I was in that area, oh, maybe around 1987 or so. Beautiful country!

Patience_Crabstick said...

Jealous! I love a good road trip! Yours looks really fun.

Cassi said...

Road trips are good things! On this trip I had to go back to using paper maps, because it's very expensive to use the tiny bit of data we bought for Rob's phone in the UK.

Common Household Mom said...

Cassi, you make a very good point. Once we were in Canada, roaming charges applied, and I did not want to use my phone for maps, which would have gobbled up the data allowance on our plan. So it was great to have paper maps.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I prefer a map to the screen. I like reading that you do, too.
Happy trails.
Plus the health care comment--too funny!

The Crislers said...

So many great things in one post!
1) I'm sure to you it's sass, but your kids' responses are always pure comedy for me.
2) A chart room. Oh my word. Did your brother, by chance, want to be a pirate when he was a kid? I never need to know what road we're taking if I'm not driving (don't caaaaare), but I do love examining paper maps to get my bearings.
3) I love signs, so all those photos brought me to a very happy place, perfect for a Monday morning.

Karen S. said...

Oh goodness I like that dead end- cul-de-sac sign. I seem to remember a visit to Canada when I was younger and seeing a sign that read Squeeze to the Left and or Squeeze to the Right. Do you have that now or ever had such a sign there?

Bob Scotney said...

Dead End is an apt name for a Cul-de-Sac. The UK sign would be 'No Through Road' symbol.