Saturday, June 28, 2008

Part 3: The trip back to Toronto aka The Odyssey

On the Sunday morning, we got up bright and early to start the journey home. Paula's hubby indulged our irrational fears of missing the ferry by driving with Darcy the night before to leave our rental car in line-up. We arrived and our shiny car was first in front of about 20 other cars. We drove up to it and got in like VIPs. The locals must have though we were nuts.

Just like the first day, it was pouring rain so after some hasty goodbyes, we scrambled into the car and waited to board. After that point, the day was supposed to go like this:

  1. Take ferry from Fogo to Farewell
  2. Drive from Farewell to Gander
  3. Fly from Gander to Halifax
  4. Connect in Halifax and fly to Toronto
  5. Take a cab home and arrive just in time for dinner

Steps 1-3 went pretty seamlessly. The ferry ride went without a hitch and the drive to Gander was easy peasy. We arrived in plenty of time to find some food and return the car. There isn't too much in Gander in the way of local cuisine, as far as we could tell. If you want a local experience, you might have to eat at one of the hotels. The Albatross Hotel restaurant is a good bet. Because other than that, you're looking at fast food: McDonald's, Subway, A&W, etc. We had Subway.

By the time we got to the Gander airport, I was absolutely freezing (6 Celsius!) and the little turkey sub I had did nothing to warm me up. So, we went to the cafeteria at the airport. I was jonesing for something hearty and Newfie and my prayers were answered: Fries, Dressing, and Gravy. It's basically a Newfoundland-style poutine with bread stuffing instead of cheese curds. Darcy's stomach was a little upset so he had to sit away from me while I dove in. I ate the whole thing.

When we got to Halifax, we heard rumours of thunderstorms in Toronto but our flight wasn't delayed by too much. We took the opportunity to have something to eat before boarding which we were very thankful for later. We went to the new Beaches Bar and Grill (I think this is what it was called) at the far end of the departures level. It's much quieter than the Legends, the sports pub, but they still have TVs and it has a Nova Scotia surfing theme. Yes, that's right, despite the year round frigid water temperatures, surfing is big on the south shore of Nova Scotia, particularly at Lawrencetown Beach which is 20 minutes from where I grew up. I took this last chance to have something east coast-ish and ordered the lobster roll. The lobster was minced pretty small so I suspect it wasn't fresh lobster picked from the shell. Ah well.

The flight was fine until we were just about to land and then couldn't due to the thunderstorms. Instead, we flew to Montreal, waited in the stifling airplane for an hour, then in the terminal for an hour before we finally took off again at midnight. By 1AM we arrived and the airport was busier than Christmas. Every flight had been delayed and we were all waiting for our bags. Needless to say it took about 2 hours to get the bags before we stumbled out to wait in line for a cab. I was complaining about this to a co-worker who flew the exact same night and was in Montreal at the same time. It turned out that his flight got cancelled in Montreal, so he slept in the airport before boarding again at 5:30AM. So, we were actually pretty lucky.

Thank you so much to Paula and family for hosting us in Fogo. We had a great time and we'll be back again!


Clare-Marie said...

Hi. I'm submitting five inspiration/cool things about Nfld. to a website and one of those things is fries, dressing and gravy! Would you mind if I used your photograph to illustrate the point? It would be much appreciated! Clare

Kaori said...

Sure, that's no problem. Thanks for asking. Send me a link to the website so that I can read it!

Clare-Marie said...

Will do, thanks so much! C

Clare-Marie said...

Hi Kaori, check out the top of this homepage to see see your fries, dressing and gravy pic:
Thanks again!