Monday, June 14, 2004

Fredericton, quickly

We drove down on Sunday, a 7 hour drive happily paused in Antigonish to see dear Sian and Rick and their sunny household on a hill, overlooking the neat lines of neighbour's growing green fields and the ocean and some islands to the East. The long highways between Antigonish and Fredericton yawned in an expanse of tarmac and trees, a lot of the sections were new so that means entirely-unpleasing-to-the-eye grey-and-dust-colored swaths of road, and the landscape pretty but monotonous--spruce, fir, pine, maple, all the same height and swaying in the heavy afternoon breezes.

Fredericton was warmer than it's been on Cape Breton, lilacs were in bloom, as were irises and all the leaves on the trees were out and at full size. It was a lovely afternoon, we went for dinner at The Blue Door and then drove, stuffed with good food and organic beer, around the sunny, leafy town. Fredericton smells lovely and looks lovely, at least in the sunlight at 7 PM, in mid-June. (I imagine it will still have charm when snow buries the sidewalks.)

This morning we went for breakfast at Fred's Pancake House, a place where the waitress calls everyone 'hon' or 'kid' (including my Mum) and where the omelette with the works, toast, home fries, and coffee is only $5.75. It's way out beyond more dusty industrial-ness, trucks and piles of gravel and things, but worth it.

Then, the last and most important thing about the trip, we checked out 195 Kings College Road, and did not find it wanting. This is the apartment where I will be living come the Fall, when I begin studies at St. Thomas University. It is a basement apartment but not dark, gloomy or smelling of mold, wonderful! The walkway down to it has hollyhocks and rhubarb lining it, and there is a backyard garden maintained by the still-zesty 91-year-old landlord. My room-mates seem like lovely women, both in third year studies of Criminology, and my room is fairly well-sized and fully furnished. So, this is good news.

Mum and I drove back today and got buzzed on coffee, stopped in Antigonish again to pick up tomato, basil and garlic plants from Sian, then arrived home just in time to see Mat (my brother) rushing off with Bob (well, going--rushing isn't the exact word) and Ross pulling up the drive on his Shadow, a little motorbike he's been mastering along the Baddeck Bay road and environs.

I begin work in two weeks, and it seems like the weather is getting more summer-like. I am happy with most everything, even the things I can't change or don't like. Leaving Australia was sad and I'm not entirely pleased with leaving certain people behind. But, I'm here now. Life is what it is: lovely and grand and filled with all kinds of things, good and bad. Lucky my idealism survived the long flight and the bad weather, it's going to serve me well this summer. Talk soon.

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