I was giddy with excitement last Friday – like a kid on Christmas morning who wakes up ridiculously early and has to wait for everyone else before the fun can start excited. I woke up early, at 5am before the sun and before my 2 year old cousin, and just couldn’t sleep. It was the 2nd of August and the 3 month mark of being in Canada had officially passed. I was in Fredericton, visiting with my cousin and about to make the 4 hour drive from New Brunswick, into Nova Scotia.
It had all been planned for a while now. My sister, Jenna, was finishing up her last shift at a drug store in Halifax at 4.30 and we were picking her up and heading to the Annapolis Valley. My whole family (bar my parents) all live there, about an hour’s drive out of the city.
My mother had no idea.
I’d told her that we’d be home after the long weekend. I know she was a more than a little disappointed by that news, and the only thing that made me feel better was knowing that I’d be surprising her 3 days earlier than she expected. She wanted to have a little family get-together before Jenna moved to Calgary to study for the year.
Needless to say, she was surprised. Jenna called her to see where she was as we approached my grandmothers house, and she was there having dinner. Jenn told her that she was on her way out to dinner with friends. Five minutes later, we walked in the door to watch her jaw drop.
I love surprising people and I don’t get the chance very often, so when I do, I jump on it. We had a nice little catch up with Nan and Papa and then made our way out to the family cottage on Lake George, where I surprised my Dad and Gram.
We made it across Canada!
I’m pretty stoked to finally be able to say we have made it, west to east, road tripping clear across the country in our previously loved 2002 Ford Explorer. The truck didn’t break down along the way and we didn’t kill each other despite spending nearly all day every day.
That was a week ago. Since then, I’ve made a point to hang out with that little sister of mine, before she took off. We hung out at the family cottage, swam in the lake, partied in Halifax (she couldn’t believe I hadn’t actually played a proper game of Beer Pong and promptly changed that) and introduced me to Signal Hill at the Lower Deck on a Sunday night. This morning we saw her off at the airport. I’m so proud of her for taking on this new adventure living in a completely new environment!
Through all the excitement, I did manage to get one family photo before we’re all together again at Christmas:
You may have noticed the adventures have piled up on me, and I’ve lots of stories to share! Now that things are beginning to settle down a bit and I have some semblance of regular internet access (my Rogers MiFi has proven to be useless for anything beyond checking Facebook and Google Maps) I will get to writing about all the awesome things we’ve seen and done across the country. I’m also in the process of tallying a few facts from our journey – keeping count of how many people we caught up with, stayed with, how many times we stopped for gas (and should have stopped for gas sooner..) and all the recommendations we received. So be sure to keep an eye out for all that soon!