Today was a day of rolling with the punches. It was also a day of reuniting through storied memories.
I woke up in the middle of the night to go use the washroom. As I was rolling back on to the air mattress, my hand pressed down to balance and – whoosh – it went right through. All the air was pushed out and I saw Eve, Raisin and Greta descending to the floor of the tent.
I had the dog beds in the tent so moved the pugs to the beds. I tried to get comfortable. Luckily it was grass and not gravel so soon fell back to sleep.
In the morning I was going to do a search for Canadian Tire but realized I did not have Internet access. That was strange. I had bars on the cell so what was blocking me? Was there some strange Stephen King mist drifting over from Maine?
Then I saw it – ATT was now my carrier, not Bell. I saw a text message from Bell that my roaming data charges had been reached and I could no longer use the Internet. Because I was so close to Lubec, Maine, the phone had picked up a cell tower there and Bell thought I was in the USA.
I made my way to the ferry dock. It was 7 am. The first ferry was at 9 am. I was able to call Bell’s roaming office and explain the situation (while waiting for the ferry). The pugs were sleeping in the back. She would remove the $100 roaming charge. Once I was out of reach, the system would log back on to Bell and I would get my Internet back.
Just rolling with the punches.
I stopped in the Saint John Canadian Tire. They had all their camping gear on display and quickly found an air mattress. Considering I took the old one on the Western road trip in 2019, I wasn’t surprised it had worn down.
The Salmon Run is a public art installation that has been a part of Saint John since 2017. There was one in front of our Delta Fredericton hotel. We were in the Uptown section, right near the action. I usually go by “Raisin Walk”. If we can walk everywhere we need to go without Raisin having to us the stroller, then we have Raisin Walk distance.
We strolled down Market Square along the boardwalk. There area is a series of dog-friendly patios along the boardwalk. And there is a stage where each night there is live music. Made plans to go on Tuesday night. We stopped at the Saint John Ale house for lunch. Chicken wrap and Dog Daze IPA. The waitress brought out the dog bowl of water before she brought my beer. Now that, is dog-friendly.
Headed to the wharf. I asked a woman to take a photo. Eve was at my feet but was left out of the shot. Still, it’s a good pic.
There was a moose statue. It was donated by Moosehead Breweries. There is a can of Moosehead beer inside the statue.
I then went to visit with a dear, old friend. He was the first friend I had when I came to Toronto. Don and I lived in the same shared accommodation house on Dundas St West, near Trinity Bellwoods. I had come from Hamilton to go to York. Don had come from London, Ontario for a job in radio. It was 1978 – the beginning of a creative dynasty in Toronto – music, art, culture. Don and I became part of that from 78 to 85. Saw some great concerts, went to fabulous parties (even held some of our own).
I had not seen Don in about 20 years. I went my way, he went his. But I contacted him when I was planning the trip and said I’d like to get together.
He had moved to Saint John with his partner Sue and their dog Sadie. He told me the story of having to drive from Toronto to Saint John, during the pandemic when the boarders were closed.
We swapped stories of those days, got caught up on what was happening now. Sue made dinner and all the dogs got pieces of chicken. Eve got so excited she was following Sue in and out of the kitchen the whole time. Raisin and Greta cuddled with me on the couch.
The afternoon was one of the best moments of the trip.
We said our goodbyes and promised to meet again. We went back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep. The plan was to explore this part of the city tomorrow.
As for the bed arrangements, Eve prefers this setup:
The actual setup is I put the pillows along the edge so Raisin doesn’t roll over on to the floor. Greta doesn’t care which arrangement, she’s just glad it is not a tent – air mattress or not.