Drinking icebergs in St. John’s

My flight to St. John’s left at 8am Friday from Toronto. The night before, at dinner with our neighbours, I realised with a groan that I would have to get up some time around five just to make the flight. And then there was the worry about whether public transport would be able to get me there. But then Julian came to the rescue and offered to drive me to the airport. What a superstar!

I still had to get up before six, struggling to rise, shower and dress, and not wake Glen up too much. I still woke him up though, especially when I said goodbye. Who knows? It might be the last time I see him.

Julian got me to the airport in plenty of time, and I got to see a bit of early morning Toronto while I was at it. The traffic was moving quickly but you could see it was already starting to clog up. I’m so grateful that I don’t have to drive to work.

A quick check-in and processing through security. I bought a turkey sandwich to have on the plane (because you have to buy food on these short flights) and then boarded at 7:30.

The flight was full…except for the empty seat between me and the guy on the aisle. Score! The flight was three hours and I actually managed to write some of my next book. The guy in my row asked what I was doing and I had that awkward little conversation where I explain that I’m a writer. He was complimentary so that was all good.

I ate my sandwich, which went really well with the rocky landing coming into St. John’s. We broke through the low hanging clouds and then all of a sudden we were coming into land. The plane rocked from side to side, as did the sandwich in my belly. We landed, a little nauseated, but we landed.

I caught a taxi to Andrew and Krista’s as they’re very kindly having me to stay while in St. John’s. The cab driver gave me a few pointers on places to visit and what drinks to buy. There are some Newfoundlander beers and vodka to sample. I was also told about screeching and where to go to do that (still on the list).

Got to the house, met Andrew and Krista, was given the tour and then they went back to work. I headed out to see St John’s. It was cloudy and drizzly. Welcome to summer in Newfoundland. First stop, the basilica on top of the  hill. The building on the outside is ok but inside it’s just stunning, with its beautiful stain glass windows and roof decorations. I wondered if the place ever got full but considering how much of the population here is of Irish descent, I imagine it’s got a full house more often than not.

Next up was The Rooms. It’s a museum, art gallery and archives all in one. It only costs $7.50 to get in so I checked it out. I zoomed through many of the rooms, getting a smattering of Newfoundlander history (particularly about the Irish migration) and checking out the view. (The Rooms is on top of the hill over looking the harbour so you get quite a picture of the town below.)

The most striking thing about St John’s is the different coloured houses. Most of them are wooden and painted a bright hue, be it red, blue, yellow, or green, or a more sedate but still striking grey, brown or white. It certainly brightens the place up, which is good as they get so much fog.

Next, surprisingly, I went to the gym. I hadn’t been the day before and it felt good to get a bit of exercise. Then of course I was hungry as hadn’t really eaten much during the day. I went to The Works, a burger joint that’s in Toronto too, and gorged on food, before heading back to the house for a nap.

In the evening the three of us went to a restaurant called The Black Sea for a dinner with a lot of Perth people or people who had a connection with Perth. It was a bit bizarre considering we’re just about as far from Perth says you can get. Dinner was good, I had a Newfoundlander beer from Quidi Vidi called Iceberg. They use real iceberg water in its production.

The night then progressed to a bar down the street. We stayed until 1:30 and to my shame, I was probably the most tired out of the lot. What’s happened to my stamina?

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