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An Unexpected Newfie Gift

IMG_2371 I am a big believer that it’s not always about the destination, but about the journey, whether it involves getting on a plane or learning something new closer to home. And, sometimes it’s the detours along the way that prove the most interesting.

I’ve just returned from a trip to Newfoundland and had done all my homework in advance. I’d found hikes, restaurants, etc. and hoping I would be able to hit at least a few that were special. I’m our travel agent, tour guide and navigator leaving the driving to my husband especially overseas when it involves roundabouts and driving on the left side of the road.

The weather was better than I had expected. We were able to do all the hiking we wanted and I was able to get some great photos. The fog even cooperated by clearing just enough every so often that I could take a few shots with a foghorn sounding in the background. The perfect atmosphere for a mystery writer.

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The rain was so heavy one day that we decided to try a museum in one the small towns known as “outports”. There wasn’t a car in sight and we wondered if it was even open. We walked into a small lobby with a gift store off to the side. A large room was visible through the doors behind the desk, manned by two women looking hopeful at the prospect of having visitors. They were so friendly that although we wondered if it was actually worth $7.00 to walk through the one room museum, we went ahead and paid our fee. It was worth it and more.

The exhibits were few and far between, but what made it come alive was our guide. She’d grown up in the area and described what it was like growing up. The fishermen and their families had a hard time of it. She talked about what a treat it was as a teenager to go into St. John’s and how each spring she looked forward to seal meat coming in. Something she still looks forward to every spring.

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Our luck continued with our rainy day excursions to museums and heritage sights in the outports where these wonderful women so generously shared their perspectives and memories with us. One guide put the kettle on and we sat and had tea as she explained how households were run day to day. Another guide walked with us out to the puffin site to make sure that we were able to spot them while explaining their wintering habits and how they raised their young.

Things that were supposed to be a way to pass time on a rainy day turned into our favorite times leaving us with special memories of Newfoundland and the Newfies who live there.

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