How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


Guilin: Out and About

Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin

Next stop: South Sea Pearl Museum

Upon arrival, we were whisked through a five-minute presentation on the color of pearls. Glassy-eyed, the husbands trailed behind. A runway fashion show followed with five formally dressed beauties displaying pearl earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Afterwards, we were whisked with a flourish, through double-doors into the salesroom. The room was divided into three sections: good, medium, and best. One of the ladies in our group bought river pearls for 1,500 Yuan (about $250.00 USD. “A bargain,” she said. I don’t wear pearls when I write. No bargain for me.

Quick Facts:

  • Freshwater pearls are an irregular shape (not round)
  • Seawater pearls always round, only white, black and gold
  • Lots of iron in the water = black color
  • Lots of copper in the water = purple, pink
  • Chinese females don’t wear gold pearls as they don’t look good against their skin color
  • North Americans wear pink, white, and black

The store glittered with enough brilliance to blind a stone statue. Hordes of sales staff—all young females—materialized out of nowhere. A sales assistant seemed to be available for every person through the door. The French group had arrived ahead of us and were already engaged in energetic persuasion. I wasn’t interested in pearls and wandered about, but returned to the front of the room where the husbands waited. A bar stool, facing the sales floor, presented an empty seat. I climbed on, a latte and wine bar at my elbow. Free? Not a chance. A convenient price list (in English) hung in full view. I’m grateful I wasn’t thirsty and didn’t bother checking out the prices.

Health Care:

  • A combination of Chinese and Western medicine
  • Western Medicine is faster
  • Chinese medicine has no side effects (so it’s thought)
  • You never want to drink the ‘healthy’ soup (I heard it’s worse than what ails you)

Lunch:

  • Corn soup (the most delicious from all others since arrival in China)
  • Chili and soy sauces
  • Rice with corn, pieces of carrot and egg
  • Celery and chestnuts, stir-fried
  • Sweet and sour chicken with chunks of tomato wedges
  • Hot beef with green peppers and onions in a skillet (awesome)
  • Spring rolls
  • Bamboo chicken ( deep fried, on stick, spicy and delish)
  • Eggplant with tomato wedges and green peppers
  • Soft cooked (egg?) noodles with slivered red peppers and green (?) leaf and stalk vegetable
  • Watermelon slices
  • Tea
© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

Today the plates are the largest we’ve had for any meal; bigger than a saucer and larger than a bread-and-butter-plate. Lots of oil used as in most all dishes and restaurants in China, but most delicious lunch I’ve had since arriving in China. Again, I’m stuffed, having scooped only one spoonful of each of the offerings.

After lunch, and for the first time, a liquor was offered at 14 Yuan a shot glass (approximately $2.30 USD), but there were no takers. As well, a bit later, ice-cream and cappuccino were offered. Carolyn thought it was free so she ordered one of each. It turns out it wasn’t free. She turned it down and no-one else was interested either.

Laughs

When your wife catches you with another woman, you are completely finished.

If your wife likes to shop a lot, you are finished completely.

~ * ~

Next on October 27th:  Guilin: Elephant Trunk Park

© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014

~ * ~ 

I am currently on an unplanned sabbatical. Please bear with me. I hope to return but when is the question. Thank you for reading. I DO appreciate your kind and continued support more than I can express.

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#BlogBattle 4 – Prompt: Iridescent

Find the Rules at Rachael Ritchie’s blog: http://wp.me/p7rsge-cB

Genre:  Fairy Tale

Prompt:  Iridescent

Words: 990

Oliver Goldglimmer

Flapping knobby hands, she coughed and sputtered. The air cleared of sooty smoke, Olive Goldglimmer blinked at her surroundings. “Oh, that hurts.” She rubbed her tender tailbone. “Might I not have a soft landing once in a while?” A vigorous chorus of robins overhead drowned out her words. “I’m talking to myself again, aren’t I?”

Olive studied the multi-hued flowers above her. “So sorry. I didn’t mean to crash into you, pretties.” Feet straight out in front of her, she slumped over her knees to relieve pressure from her battered vertebrae. “Where the heck am I? I’ve never been here before.” Rubbing a cheek, she further smeared her soot-sprinkled face. “Have I?”

A fleeting thought occurred to her. Finger pointed in the air to hook it, her eyes bugged out at the sight of the string tied there. “What’s that for? Let’s see, I-I-I… Can’t remember. Can’t do spells. Can’t fly… Might as well die.”

“Divine colors, these flowers.” Fingers reached upward to stroke the velvet stalks and feathery softness within her reach. My home is in grazing fields filled with red clover, yellow buttercups, and lush grass for those big animals—cows, I think. Sorry, I’ve squashed a few of you. I better get off, hadn’t I? Dear, dear.”

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Olive rolled her squat six-inch body from one side to the other, pushing off with an elbow. “I did not forget how to stand. Been doing it all my life, haven’t I? Come on-n. I can do this. Come on-n.” The rolling motion found her face in the dirt. She giggled. Her knees knew what to do. A push with her hands and she tripped over her long, shimmering gown. “Dear, dear. The young fairies have the right idea with their short skirts. Not appropriate on someone of my age.” Erect at last, she swayed to steady her balance. Her gray-streaked hair, once cranberry, had fallen out of its pins. Tiny fingers hastened to secure it back together and out of her face. “I must look a sight. Still talking to myself. Well, so what.”

“Sorry flowers. I didn’t mean to crush you.” Lined face softened, she blew a kiss, one foot already poised to toddle through the forest of blossoms. Home. What if I’m lost for good this time? A flicker of brilliance in the crushed greenery attracted her attention. “Oh, dear. Oh, dear. My pouch of found and rescued treasures.” She flushed with guilt and pleasure, the pouch clutched to her ample bosom.

“I remember—I cast a spell… What was it? I had it… Oh, dear. Oh, dear.” Oh, for Petey dragon, never mind. It’ll be a long walk home.”

Olive trudged and trudged. The sun slid toward the bruised horizon like a raw yoke on a fingerprinted wall. The temperature cooled. Birds chirped less, weary from their daylong concert. Floral smells scented the air. Olive pushed on in a never-ending field with not a creature in sight.

Someone or something whistled, drawing to her. The sound pierced her ears. A teenage boy, she guessed, in torn pants and a faded plaid shirt, repositioned his straw hat. A blade of grass in his corner of his mouth, he looked neither left nor right.

She flew into his face and tumbled earthward. “Yoo-hoo. Ouch.”

He brushed at his face as if flicking off a fly.

“Hey, you. You, Tom Sawyer person, you. Stop!” Olive skipped behind him to catch up. That’s when it hit her. “He can’t see me.” In desperation, she grasped a pant leg and hung on. Swish-toss. Slam. When had he stopped?

He growled, combing his surroundings. “Who’s there? Where are you?”

“Down here. They call me Olive. I’m lost.” Olive pulled with all her strength till she found his shirt pocket.

“I don’t know what or where you are but get away from me.” He switched the stalk of grass to the other side of his mouth and tramped on. Dusk drifted downwards like a gray fog, stealing the little light left. The moon rose cheesy yellow, face in a smirk as if It had heard a bad joke. A stone’s throw away, a dark shack surfaced out of the ground.

Olive sensed rather than saw her aura light up a hair-thin stroke at a time. It must be the last day of harvest because this happened the same time last year. Her heart swelled with dizzy exhilaration, knees weak and bendy. All her magic had not vanished—not yet—though her ability had lessened. She had not minded ageing, nor the forgetfulness, nor the loss of vitality—well, a little. Losing her spark, her zest for life had caused sadness, yet she understood the map of life.

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She shook off her reverie. The boy approached the cabin. In her excitement, Olive fell out, arms waving, wings fluttering. Up. Down. She floated. “Wait, wait.”

Hand on the doorknob, the boy dropped his chin, paused, and turned to the darkness fully arrived. A crazed yell tore out of his throat. He yanked open the door and slammed inside. Up-down, Olive floated, a streak of vacillating glow like a light posse.

The door squeaked open. A rifle barrel preceeded the boy. “Stop. What are you?”

Olive reared up and flew into his face. “Don’t shoot. Let me explain.”

* * *

The boy had listened and nodded.

“I live in a place called Aurora. Will you help find it?”

“My pleasure. I know my way around a fairy tale or two. Name’s Tom Sawyer. Pleased to meet you, Olive Goldglimmer.

Maybe for the last time, Olive’s wings opened iridescent and supple as in the days of her youth.

“Come inside. Can’t do anything tonight. Hungry?

“I could eat. Have you nuts or berries?”

“A real fairy. Shoot. Never heard of any your age. Know something? You remind me of my grandma—the one my author wouldn’t give me. Everybody has one, don’t they? Even me.”

The End

© 2017 Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles

Images courtesy of Pixabay


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Are We There Yet?

The Flight

I had no preconceived notions regarding the long trip ahead. The Malaysian disappearance, still fresh in the news, I refused to ponder the distance, time, or mystery of sufficient fuel to complete such a long flight. No point in dwelling on what I couldn’t control. I refused to mull over anything—numerous times. Had I allowed my apprehension to take hold, I might have never taken the wild limo ride to the airport.

We boarded a United Airlines Boeing 777 (I think), Flight 851, non-stop as in direct to Beijing. My seat: 41E in Economy (center aisle, middle seat). Sue asleep, I begged the guy on my right to allow exit for a bathroom break and for strolling to keep my blood moving. When both he and Sue snoozed, I climbed over Sue. I watched three or four complete movies (whose titles escape me), began others but lost interest, and read to pass the time. I could not sleep. I’m the type that needs to stay awake to make sure everything is copasetic. The sandman peppered grit into my eyes. Eye drops helped but. not enough.

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We had two babies or pre-toddlers who fussed little for which I am grateful. How the mothers managed is beyond me. The couple in the seats on Sue’s aisle side was difficult to ignore. By their appearance and attire, we guessed they were Amish or Mennonite. One seat was empty, which afforded the wife to lie across the seats her head in her husband’s lap. She had the nastiest head cold and coughed and sneezed the whole way. It’s a wonder her ears weren’t plugged for how could she fly?

Smushed in the middle seat, I juggled my purse, the offered pillow and blanket, a light jacket (it got cold off and on), my book and/or my iPad, I had little room to manoeuvre. Arms tucked in close to my body, I realized why sardines don’t have elbows either. I’d worn full body compression wear beneath my yoga pants and top as a precaution again swelling. My feet sweat in my running shoes, though. Had I been born double-jointed, it might have been easier to untie them.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

As the engines roared, I crammed the pictures and stories from the movies into every corner of my brain to restrict anxious thoughts. The fellow on my right watched our flight progress on the screen instead of movies. I noticed our flight path headed upwards to Alaska instead of due east and assumed we were lost. My seatmate noticed my near-panic and explained, but what I heard was garbled. My brain refused to process the information. I believe he said something about gulf-stream.

We’d eaten three meals and downed countless glasses of water. An hour or two before Beijing, I speculated the water tank (rain barrel?) must have ran low for the water tasted swampy. I cut myself off. It stuck in my throat. Yuck.

Thirteen hours and 35 minutes elapsed. Beijing airport materialized at last and our imminent descent announced. All window shades were thrown up with enthusiasm but no-one clapped on landing. I wanted to applaud and then kiss the ground. The time difference threw me. I hadn’t expected daylight although I knew we were to land at 3:40 p.m.

Has our luggage made it from Toronto?

Has our luggage made it from Toronto?

We deplaned with the couple we’d met in Chicago, Russ and Bonnie from Wasaga Beach. Russ, who had memorized the layout of the humongous airport, helped us find the baggage claim. Shortly afterward, we met Jim and Carolyn from Ottawa. Our tour guide, Robert,  holding a sign: English 8, awaited us. Ernesto and Lorena from Mexico arrived a half-hour later. Sue and I made eight. By 4:30, we headed to our hotel by tour bus.

I hadn’t slept a wink. Hours without sleep: 44

* * *

Next on  January 13th: Beijing at Last

©Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles 2017

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014.


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25 Ways to Kill Time at Chicago Airport

I thought I’d revisit the China posts. Some of you haven’t seen them. Enjoy.

Warning: This is longer than my usual posts. Also Note: Newbie person traveling. Some of this may be old hat to you.

We didn’t need to worry about our luggage as it flew ahead direct from Toronto to Beijing. What a blessing, yet this causes me discomfort not knowing exactly where it might be. A whole string of what ifs torment me anyway. The most nagging: what if my luggage goes to the wrong destination? Pul-eese. It’ll be fine. I’d packed two changes of clothing in my carry-on thanks to advice from my blogging friends.

It turns out we’re a long way from the main building and a shuttle arrives as we land in Chicago. We jumped aboard in a fine spring mist, hoping for delivery to the correct terminal. We then jogged in the now drizzle to the entrance. First stop a washroom.

What is this? I feel like a country mouse. The toilet had unusual self-sanitizing seats. Think ultra-soft (memory foam). This video shows better than I can explain:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cokBht49qt8

Only five hours and 45 minutes to kill.

Now, what? We saw Starbucks and MacDonalds; a kind of deli; various health food shops; tons of neck pillows and sunglasses;  books and magazines, and a bar or two. Maybe we should have considered sampling our way through the food shops to keep busy.

25 Ways to Kill Time in the Chicago Airport:

  1. Walk, limp, stumble. keep moving.
  2. Learn to avoid lineups around boarding and arrivals gates on both sides of the building.
  3. Dodge weary travelers more concerned about their wheelies than who’s in front or behind them.
  4. Gape at the zillions of people (I don’t get out enough), from all parts of the world, who arrive and depart in giant waves like schools of fish—big ones— with luggage
  5. Close your mouth time and again and do your best not to stick out as if you’d just left the cabbage patch. Isn’t the world a big and confusing place?
  6. Make a deposit at each washroom you wander past. When the opportunity presents itself, you might as well grab it. Best keep your tank empty.
  7. Hang around the unusual new-fangled toilets. What will they think of next? (refer to Youtube video). I wondered how often the plastic covers were replaced and asked an attendant, but she didn’t know either.
  8. Stand in long lines to buy food/water even though not hungry
  9. Fight the crowd to buy coffee.
  10. Search for an empty table to rest aching feet. Why were all the tables occupied? Pull out my now soggy pizza out of your carry-on.
    At Chicago O'Hare Airport killing time

    At Chicago O’Hare Airport killing time


  11. Take pictures of a plane through a restaurant window, not exactly proof you’re in Chicago but what the heck.
  12. After tiring yourself out walking around the gargantuan airport, sit and try to read or people watch.
  13. Comb the gift shops for a Chicago fridge magnets but don’t buy one. They were too expensive at $5.99 each (U.S. dollars of course) and tiny—the width of two of today’s postage stamps.
  14. Check the screen for your gate early. Why is the waiting area full already. Lucky to find a seat each.
  15. Count tall people / short people. If they keep shifting up and down. start over and give up.
  16. Survey couples in boarding area to guess which ones might be going to Beijing. (Sue spied a couple from our Toronto flight).
  17.  Without hesitation, strike up a conversation and ask if they are on your tour.  knows how to peg them. They are going our way.
  18. Stare at the time in two-minute intervals, which doesn’t move it any faster. One hour and 25 minutes to boarding.
  19. Notice a planeload of pilots attached to wheelie carry-ons, who mill about purchasing food. Have you seen so many at once? Why are they hungry? Are they arrivals or departures?
  20. Gawk and wonder how all these pilots happen to be so good looking, but much more important, fret if they are indeed old enough for the job? Most look around fifteen.

    Someone's tired of waiting and waiting and waiting

    Someone’s tired of waiting and waiting and waiting

  21. Shift and re-shift from one numb butt cheek to the other and blink faster than a turn signal to stay awake. Eyes too dry to read? You wuss. You’ve only been awake 29 hours. Fifteen and a little bit to go.
  22. Evade running and screaming children
  23. Stew over whose toddler is wandering around alone. Not your responsibility, but where are the parents? You want to know, don’t you? Where ARE they? No one’s paying attention to the little guy. Nobody.
  24. Line up as directed with visa and boarding pass to get the visa to China stamped. This takes five minutes. One hour and 15 minutes to go
  25. Spy a female pilot. Wow! She looks about 40, old enough and experienced compared to the fifteen-year-old male pilots. You could trust her but where’s her crew?

The clock clicks one mouse whisker at a time. Time’s up. Boarding is announced by a distorted male voice. Not unlike unconscious sleepwalkers, you funnel into lines and shuffle forward, necessary papers clutched and eyes begging for toothpicks.

*  * *

Next on December 23rd – A Pause for Thanks and Christmas

©Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles.

For more related posts, click on China tab above


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Out and About in St. John’s

The previous night we spent at Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland, built on the site of Fort William and the most luxurious of the trip. Our first night had been spent at Glynmill Inn, a much older but quaint establishment. A handful of magnificent east coast art decorated the walls in our room, even in the bathroom. The bellman who delivered our bags told my sister she better take care. He guessed her bag at capacity weight, if not already over.

It’s our second last day and the morning greeted us with angry, driving rain. Boarding the bus, we were introduced to our new driver, Pete, who informed us he’s waiting to get his license to drive this tour bus. What a joker. Shawn had left for Gander the night before to return our original bus.

Peter used to work in a paper-mill until five years ago when it shut down. He started our dreary day with this joke:

Sam went to heaven and was startled by all the clocks on the walls. Some moved slowly and some not at all. That’s St. Theresa’s clock; she never told a lie. That’s Abraham Lincolns…

Hey, where’s Stephen Harper’s clock? It’s in God’s office—used as a ceiling fan.

Newman and Company

  • English Winery
  • 1669 ships travelled to Portugal to pick up wine in barrels, returned to refine
  • Attacked by pirates, escaped
  • Escaped during storm
  • Made way to St. John’s. Could not return to England
  • Excavated caves 20 feet in solid rock to store wine
  • In spring, loaded on ship
  • When began to bottle, found wine superior
  • 1670 to late 1880 went to Portugal, returned with wine, stored in caves several years
  • Returned again to Portugal
  • During WWII, munitions stored in caves
  • Wine caves sealed now
  • Newman Wine Vaults

This is Mile “O” of the Trans-Canada_Highway, where Canada begins!

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 I ran out in the pouring rain with a few other adventurous souls to take pictures of this mustard yellow building: Quidi Vidi Brewery. We were interesting in going inside, but it was closed. It would have been a treat to sample some of their famous brew. Not worth getting soaked to the skin but there you have it. I didn’t enjoy this day’s tour in the pelting rain. Lots of info given, but it came too fast and the photos were messy taken from the moving bus.

Terry Fox Monument

  • Moved to current location because people had trouble finding it
  • This is where he dipped his artificial foot into the Atlantic before he started

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St. John’s Quick Facts:

  • War Memorial Day in Newfoundland is July 1
  • Newfound dogs are mascots for War Memorial Days
  • The other Memorial Day is November 11th
  • Oldest wooden structure in St. Johns is Mallard Cottage, a restaurant attached to it
  • Penitentiary built 1859
  • 55,000 American troops stationed at Fort Pepperrell from WWII until the 1960s
  • Chimney Smoke Pots: If you see 6 – 8 on a roof, each leads to 6 – 8 open fireplaces

* * *

Next on October 14thSt. John’s, a University Town

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


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Cape Spear Anyone? Anyone?

Finally, some excitement. Francis forgot to counts heads and the bus crept out of the parking spot from Cape Spear. The driver inched forward with caution as other tourist milled about around and in front of our bus. (Single) Angela from Germany came running up the hill. One worried husband tore down the aisle to the front of the bus. “One minute, Francis. My wife is missing.”

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You should have seen our tour guide’s face. Though he’s of a ruddy complexion, he turned the red of a sun-drenched tomato. Angela soon lumbered up the steps breathless, with a lopsided grin on her flushed face. This time, the bus driver piped in. “You thought we’d leave without you, eh?”

The worried husband pointed a finger with relief in his voice. ”There she is.” Thirty pairs of eyes turned to their left—no, more—some wore glasses. The missing woman hobbled up the steep grade waving to the bus. Wait for me. I’m coming. She had turned an ankle in her rush, but not enough for medical attention. As she made her way inside the bus, her husband wiggled a finger at her. Using a stern voice but unable to hide his amusement, he said, “Don’t you ever scare me like that again.” He burst out laughing as did she. The whole bus roared, even Francis.

The woman came this way but towards us

The woman came this way but towards us

Francis then entertained us with a story where he had been left behind in the Dominican Republic. He left the resort in a taxi at 6:00 a.m. wanting to tour in the Catalina Islands. Then he hopped on a bus, then a catamaran, and a paddle wheeler down to a monastery. He was the only English speaking person out of the 60 on the tour. He walked around, took pictures and decided to return to the bus. No bus. Everyone—gone. He walked out to the highway. Waited and waited. Along came a yellow bus with only one seat at the back. Half-asleep, the guy in the next seat pointed to his armband. Francis had a blue one; his seatmate a pink one.

The good Samaritan called to the driver, who figured out Francis was on the wrong bus. He pulled over on the highway and made him get off.

A car came along with some guys inside. “Want help? Want help?”

No, he wasn’t getting into the car but decided to walk. The gist is he came across security guards who could not speak English. A guy came along on a bike. “Trouble, trouble,” he said in English.

Francis saw a car, walked up to the driver and asked, “Where am I?” The guy shook his head.

A small voice in the back asked in good English, “Can I help you, sir?”

Francis could have hugged him. “How far to the resort?

“Three and a half hours.”

“How much to get back to the resort?”

“$90.00 U.S.D.

He finally arrived by 11:00 p.m. All the buses had returned at 5:00 p.m. What a state his wife was in! This story proves how important counting your tour passengers is. After his experience, he always remembered that. Except, this time.

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Cape Spear Quick Facts:

  • Glacier once covered this area (see all the loose boulders)
  • 1836, first lighthouse at Cape Spear
  • East coast trail (hikers come from St. John’s, from everywhere)
  • In summer, tour guides have to force people into bus (stop the whale watching)
  • Bunkers from WWII
  • Most easterly point of North America

* * *

Next on September 30 – Signal Hill

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


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More Brigus and Petty Harbour

The weather had become humid and heavy with rain since before lunch.

Francis said we were on our own for supper, but I recalled the plans had been changed because we wouldn’t see whales and puffins per our itinerary. This last, added tour was too late in the season. An e-mail notice had mentioned we’d be treated to dinner instead. I asked Mary to dig up the email on her iPad. As we read it, Francis retracted his announcement. Another free meal. Yay.

Before we leave the little town of Brigus, I have a couple more interesting tidbits. We walked down the road to Brigus Tunnel. Granddaddy Abram Bartlett (to Captain Bob) had this tunnel built to avoid a busy, crowded harbor. This accommodated his trips to Labrador for summer fishing and to offload his catch without crowding when he returned.

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Once we walked through the tunnel, this is what awaited where Abram unloaded his ship.:

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On our way back to the bus, we came upon these yellow flowers. According to Norm, a member of our party, they are from the snapdragon family: called butter and eggs. The more I looked at them, the more the name fit.

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Once on the bus, Francis popped in a DVD about the resettlement from Paradise Bay. The government at work again. Sigh.

http://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/politics/resettlement-program.php

Return to Paradise for the Pomeroy Family:

Petty Harbour:

I took a gazillion photos. It’s a small world as they say. We met some people from Sarnia vacationing in Petty Harbour in a house off the harbor. Two couples in our group were also from the same city and soon all ended up chatting together.

It’s a pretty place, but we didn’t see any fish arriving nor fisherman unloading them.

Storage containers each hold 2,000 pounds of cod.They are about a yard square and so well insulated, our guide bought an old one, cut a door in it, put on a peaked roof, and his dog is comfy all winter.

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Petty Harbour Quick Facts:

  • Images of Petty Harbour
  • Gordon Pinsent made many movies here
  • Orca the Killer Whale movie made here
  • Alan Doyle (singer, actor) was in movie in his hometown Petty Harbour
  • Houses along Petty Harbour Road are more upscale, modern, vinyl-covered
  • Few houses in wood
  • Ziplining: See here and here popular (off the cliffs, Petty Harbour Road)
  • Fastest growing area
  • Building a city within a city: Costco, huge theatre
  • Areas set aside for seniors’ centers and industrial areas
  • All dairy farms around here
  • Grow cattle corn because too expensive to bring in feed
  • No railway to supplement the hay
  • Sign on the way to St. John’s: Irish Loop Drive (because it reminded them of home)
  • Reminds you why the Irish settled on the coast = looked so much like home)
  • ABC = Anyone but Conservatives (last ruling government)

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* * *

On the Lighter Side:

Mary felt her husband’s hands wander over her body. “Oh, John. I didn’t know you were feeling so romantic.”

“Go to sleep, Mary. I was looking for the remote.”

* * *

Next time: Cape Spear and Signal Hill

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page

 


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Lunch and a Visit to Brigus

Lunch awaited at Skipper Ben’s Restaurant in Cupids, which is also a bed and breakfast for only a couple people at a time. Francis says he’d stayed overnight in the past. The food had been pre-ordered and arrived hot soon after we were seated. How the cook managed, I cannot imagine. The kitchen was teeny-tiny. I like a large island or lots of counter space to work on, neither of which were evident. If I hadn’t checked out the washrooms, I wouldn’t have seen the work space.

We entered through the cute side door with a plaque. The front of the building was on the other side.

Inside there were just enough tables to accommodate our reduced group of 22. Three people left on Day 7 and 6 on Day 8).

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Mary and I had been too busy talking and I forgot to take pictures of the food. We both ordered fish cakes and vegetables but didn’t taste the cod for the mashed potatoes that glued the cakes together. A fellow across from me, smiled from ear to ear, smacked his lips and said in a loud voice, “You can’t even taste any potato in these fish cakes.” I wonder if he was being facetious.

Dessert: a crepe wrapped around fruit with  phony whipped cream. I’m glad I don’t take to sweets.

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The Town of Brigus

  • Best blueberry pies anywhere
  • A popular tourist spot now
  • Quiet, quaint, colorful, and well-kept

Captain Bob Bartlett was raised in Brigus, enjoyed fishing, sealing and exploring. During one of his expeditions, his ship, the Karluk became stuck in the ice. When he realized his ship had to be given up, he played all his classical records one by one and threw each into the sea. The last one he played was the Funeral March.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63B2y5RxbNs (a song about his adventures – Enjoy)

He traveled 700 miles to Alaska by sledge, obtained another ship, returned in five months and saved his crew. He lost not one man.

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The Bartlett family lived in Hawthorne Cottage between 1885 and 1946. Due to his many expeditions, and other as a child, I can’t imagine how much time he spent living in this house.

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Named for the hawthorn trees planted around the house.

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John Leamon Museum (Could not find much information about it.)

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Brigus Seafaring Families Plaque:

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Some of the delightful street names in Brigus:

Irishtown Road South Street Conception Bay Highway
Magistrate’s Hill Beaver Road Station Road
Jane’s Hill Forge Road Quigley Bay
Barrach’s Road Chapel Lane Spacklin Lane
Church Hill Station Line Keating Road
Vindicator Lane School Street Ridge Road
Water Street Blueberry Place The Old Road

* * *

On the Lighter Side:

A guy comes into a bar and orders three beers, goes to a table, and drinks them one after another. One night, he orders only two and the bartender asks if one of his brothers died.

“Oh, no. I gave up drinking.”

* * *

Next on July 1st – More Brigus and Petty Harbor

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


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Trinity and Port Union

I smacked the alarm at what appeared to be 7:14 a.m. What? Guess no breakfast, I thought. Lucky for us, it was only 5:15. The alarm hadn’t been properly set. Mary groaned, intent on staying in bed a while. I took my time getting ready: a treat not to rush my shower or share the vanity, while I painted my face awake.  The morning began with an upset tummy, but with time for breakfast, I wasn’t going to miss it.

Newfoundland Facts:

We stopped at Mirabella Artisan Gift Shop mid afternoon. The shop put on coffee just for our tour group or so we heard. Mary bought me one while I joined the line to the powder room. The washroom had a shower and if you wished to use it, you had to register with the desk. Really? The room was larger than required for a toilet, sink, wastebasket and baby change table. I wonder if it had been a bedroom at one time. Why hadn’t I asked? I forget what Mary purchased or did she? She used to be an avid shopper but has toned down the habit in the last couple years.

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 Surprise, surprise. Though I am never interested in ‘more stuff’ other than books, an adorable sterling silver ring caught my eye. The extra 30% off special didn’t hurt either—better than costume but at a lower price than gold.

TRINITY BAY Quick Facts:

  • Trinity surrounded by the bay
  • Anglican church built by the merchants
  • Catholic Church never had electricity. They couldn’t afford it (too few Catholics).
  • First Court
  • Stocks and whipping post
  • First smallpox vaccine introduced here
  • Strict building code: must be all wood
  • Can only use 5-inch clapboard in downtown area
  • Have a Heritage Committee
  • Center for Tourist Attraction: actors re-enact people of the times 150 years ago (merchants interacting with farmers and other everyday life interactions)

Mussel Quick Facts:

  • Mussels main food of star fish
  • Wraps arms around mussel till it opens its shell
  • Mouth is where stomach is
  • Insert stomach where mussel is to consume
  • Mussels can’t swim
  • Barrels across lake in rows attached with rope
  • Rope lengths dropped at intervals for mussels to attach (they like to cling)
  • When full, fishermen shuck them off the rope
  • Drop rope into water again till more mussels attach
  • Big market for them now
  • Shipping to Germany

(Rope lengths dropped at intervals for mussels to attach)

PORT UNION Quick Facts:

* * *

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Three guys go to the washroom. The first guy finished announces aloud, “I’m from Saskatchewan. We all wash our hands after using the urinal.

The second guy finishes and announces he’s from Quebec. We all scrub our hands afterwards and he proceeded to scrub.

The third guy announces, “I’m from Newfoundland and my mother taught us not to p*** on our hands.

* * *

Next on June 10th – Bonavista

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


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#BlogBattle Week 55 – Leviathan

It’s that time again. To join the challenge, click below:

http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

Genre: Humor / Fantasy

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Part 1    Part 2    Part 3

SNAGGED

Part 4

“What do you mean, ‘because of magic’?”

“You can’t imagine my shock when you showed up—on Leap Day. It’s a sign.” Maggie paused to pour a drink, but changed her mind hands aflutter. Where was I?”

“What did Zero mean about Nelda?” Lisa massaged Mozart’s ear. Euphoric, he leaned into her caress, eyes pinched shut, weaving on her lap drunk with pleasure, his purr lowering by decibels.

Rubbing her chin, Maggie paced two steps forward and back again. “How did the cat find you? I see the special bond between you—maybe that’s it.”

“Are you avoiding the question? Again?” Lisa stood, the feline deposited on the sofa. “Are you listening?” Hands on hips she stamped a foot.

Palm open to shush her, the woman in black continued. “Wait—the hair on your shirt. He must have followed it. Yes. That’s it.” She tapped a closed fist to her forehead, then hesitated, appearing to listen to something only she heard.

“Sit down, Lisa. I’ll start at the beginning. At first, when the Zika virus arrived families dwindled, I wanted to help Zero and his sister. They were unsure whether to go or stay. Of course, I wanted Zero to stay.” She looked up to underscore her point.

“Oh.” Lisa supressed a yawn.

“I was in a corner. Most of his family gone, and though Nelda decided to hang in, Zero kept dithering. You’ve seen the rare books I collect, some are two and three hundred years old. I came across a book of spells and of course had to try them. The arrival of this book turned me around.

I made mistakes, but they didn’t hurt anyone. Until Nelda.” Fingers entwined, she worked them back and forth, lost in a world of her own. Shaking herself back, she continued. “My life’s been a roller coaster ride—of  Leviathan proportions—since 2016 when Nealy slipped through my fingers. Exactly four years ago.”

“I don’t understand. What? A levia—“

“Sorry, like my dad I make weird associations. It a humungous roller coaster in Canada’s Wonderland. My life exactly, whoosh up one way and down another at breakneck speed. It a wonder I haven’t suffered heart failure since she vanished.” Fingers splayed, she patted her chest.

“I still don’t get it.” Coiled on the couch in sleep, Mozart yawned, and opened an eye at the long-winded explanation. Lisa smiled.

“Nelda understood I wanted her brother to stay and was willing help, even if we had to use magic. The magic excited her. I was merely desperate.

“We needed a black cat. I had Viper, but he refused to cooperate. Nelda held him down though he squirmed. Useless cat. He broke free and flew out the cat door as I finished the spell. When I turned back to her, Nelda was gone. Poof. I’ve tried and tried to get her back without success.”

“What does this have to do with me? Why am I here?” Lisa’s fingers reached for the cat’s ear. He sighed. She cleared her throat. “What about me?”

Viper sailed into the sitting room sliding across the wood floor until the area rug stopped him. Mozart snarled. Viper hissed. One black, one white, they eyed each other, fur raised, ears lowered. Mozart said something and licked a paw. Viper cocked his head. The women held their breath. Nothing happened.

“I have an idea. What time is it? Seven hours till midnight. I’ll get the book. Maybe this is my lucky day after all.”

Lisa shot to her feet. “No. Wait.” Maggie vanished through the curtained doorway. An eruption of heavy books thumping to the floor thudded from the bookstore.

Within minutes, she rushed back, stopped dead by the sight of the cats’ peering up at her. No hissing, nor fighting as if by agreement. Or magic. Glancing from the toms to Lisa biting her lip, Maggie nodded to herself. Hugging a thick, tattered volume to her chest, her eyes glistened. “I don’t know what happened here, but I like it. Viper is super territorial or was. Strange.” She grabbed Lisa’s hand. “Come help me.”

The girl shrank back. “What are you doing?” She flashed a glimpse at her cat, whose ears pointed slightly to the sides and forward. He stared back, unblinking and appeared to approve.

“I was right. There is something about your cat. He’s going to help me get Nelda back.”

“Oh, no you don’t. What about Viper? He’s sitting still. Seems logical to give him another try.” Lisa scooped her white bundle of joy. He nipped her finger. “Ouch. Sorry.”

Maggie flipped pages back and forth. “Come on. Come on. Where is it?” Except for the rustle of fine paper dancing back and forth between the leather covers, no other sound broke the silence. A film of perspiration glistened on her forehead. Mouth dry, she licked her lips. “I’ve tried so many spells, I can’t decide. I thought I’d put the book away for good after this morning’s attempt. I know not to waste time on that one.”

Lisa and Mozart’s eyes met. Hers widened and bulged. “What did you say about this morning? You mean your spell plopped me here?”

“Here it is—I think.” Maggie sat on the floor, book open on the coffee table. Viper, ever watchful, had not moved since Mozart had words with him. Head tilted, he was the picture of a sleek black panther in miniature.

Lisa sank to the farthest reaches of the sofa cushions. She listened to words, most she did not understand except one. “Wait, you said purgurtory. Shouldn’t it be purgatory?”

Maggie blinked. “What?” She began again. Viper stared at a spot on the wall.

Lisa caught the flash of a green dress. The woman looked familiar. A jackhammer clattered in her head.

* * *

Lis-s-aaa. Where are yo-uu?

The End

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.