When the recruiter first called, I almost laughed. Four months ago, Atlantic Canada wasn’t even on my radar. One month ago I arrived in New Brunswick, ready for an adventure.
It’s been a busy first few weeks, but I’m finally relying on Google Maps a lot less to get around town. Being away from Krista and Charlie (and baby on the way) is certainly the hardest part. In the meantime, FaceTime is our friend, as are Air Canada’s direct weekend round-trips between Saint John and Toronto.
The most pleasant surprise I’ve had since coming here is the people. Whether it’s shop keepers I pass every day on my walk in to work who always say hello, or perfect strangers who want nothing more than to exchange pleasant chit-chat in line for coffee. The way drivers always let you cross the street with a smile and a wave, regardless of stop signs or cross walks. It’s a refreshing departure from car horns and flipped birds.
I received no fewer that half a dozen invitations to Thanksgiving dinner from people I work with. They knew I couldn’t be home with my family this weekend, and welcomed me to join their festivities. This is the story of the invitation I accepted.
Every year at the local ski hill, they host a Fall Festival on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. There’s a BBQ and live music, horse-drawn hay rides for the kids, pumpkin carving and face-painting, a petting zoo with ponies — the works.
Workmates Tanya & George, family, friends, & Poley Mountain Bear.
They also operate a chair-lift and take visitors to the top of the hill for a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside, and an amazing hike down the grassy slopes.
Following the event, I was invited home by George and his family for chilli, nachos, and beer, and one of the most entertaining rounds of Cards Against Humanity I’ve ever played. In fact, because I performed so well, I was awarded with an invitation back the next day for an absolutely epicurean Thanksgiving Day feast with all the trimmings.
Chilli and nachos with Charlie’s new babysitters.
Unexpected (but certainly not unwelcome) dinner guests.
Today, I took a nice, long bike ride through uptown Saint John, all the way up to Fort Howe, overlooking the city and harbour. I was reminded of all the things I’m thankful for, including this amazing opportunity I’ve been given here on the East Coast.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and thanks for reading!
Hey, look what I found!
Beautiful Bay of Fundy.