How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


Tying up Loose Ends – Homeward Bound

During summer in St. John’s, you can catch a tour bus for $5.00, which stops at all the sites for an hour each. Schedules are available at hotels. What a steal. The opportunity was lost on us as the season had closed.

Tired after our stroll on Duckworth Street, we trudged uphill all the way to the hotel. The drizzle followed us, fading in and out. One moment we snapped our umbrellas shut and open the next. Once we arrived in our room, nothing mattered more than putting my feet up and grabbing my book. I apologized to the novel for awarding it second place. Mary had other ideas. She’d heard about the sauna and prepared to unwind there instead.

The afternoon drew to a close. We had  time to kill before our last dinner with the tour group and decided to check out the atrium. A tall ladder took prominence in one area for some kind of maintenance in progress. The rest unfolded for our pleasure to amble through and explore. It was a large area.

All good things must end. Thoughts of going home struck us with a mixture of regret and relief. For dinner, we had pre-ordered Newfoundland Screech Glazed Salmon and heart of Romaine Caesar. The women dolled up, but the men dressed in casual attire. Our numbers had dwindled over the last few days from thirty-two to about twenty-four. Two servers and a Maître d’ attended us in a private room. Francis wore a suit and brought his wife. I was impressed the tour owner’s warm, down-home speech. Francis became sentimental. Can’t help but love the guy.

Sneaked a photo in art store at the Sheraton

Sneaked a photo in art store at the Sheraton

The next morning after a posh breakfast (this is the Sheraton after all), Mary wanted one last run downtown before Francis dropped us at the airport at eleven. No rain in sight. The sun smiled and the sky glowed pastel blue, a smear of clouds here and there. Yes. Believe it or not. I took this through the hotel window. Trees obscured the view of the ship in the harbor but not the clear horizon.


Nervous as a cat, I prowled the room waiting for Mary. We had 20 minutes until transfer to the airport with Francis and a few others of our group. Seven minutes to spare, Mary arrived. We collected our bags and as soon as we hit the lobby, found everyone already on the bus, their bags already loaded.

Mary had checked us in for the flight the night before. The machine took our information but refused to spit out our luggage tags and boarding passes. No one around to help, I ran to grab an attendant some distance away though St. John’s airport isn’t huge. A desk person helped but we noticed too late she’d only printed boarding passes to Halifax and not transfers from Halifax to home. We soon sorted this out upon landing. The airport huge and obviously international, we walked for miles and miles as. Mary searched for a fish store but they had no fresh lobster. Stomachs rumbling, we checked out places to eat and shared a late lunch of salad and maybe mussels—I can’t recall— but still paid almost $50. For lunch.

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Next up on November 4th – A Surprise

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

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St. John’s, a University Town

Around 10:30 a.m., we stopped at the Student Building at Smallwood Centre at Memorial University (Read  history here). Umbrellas snapped on we raced to the ladies room. A student flapped soggy socks beneath the hand dryer. Afterwards, she held up her runners. Funniest thing I’ve ever seen. With only one dryer, milling students and the tour ladies women were amused but impatient.


The University Quick Facts:

  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Memorial History
  • Built in shape of horseshoe, but not attached
  • Each has 250 new student apartments
  • Currently over 20,000 students in St. John’s
  • Now largest university in Newfoundland
  • Lots of foreign and Asian students
  • Tuition rates cheapest in the country, including Quebec, and Manitoba is 3rd
  • About 6,000.00 for 2 semesters
  • Rates have been frozen for 14 years
  • Ontario = $7,100
  • 30% jump expected everywhere else
  • Toughest university to get into med school
  • Lots of research
  • Fine arts. Engineering, business, marine studies
  • Ontario and British Columbia much higher tuition
  • 1975 Corner Brook Campus: now Grenville Campus since 2010
  • Campus spread out with room to expand

At one time, students were put up in homes where the mother looked after them like a second mother. As in a lot of university towns, some landlords should be put out of business because of what they offer for accommodations to poor students. These days most Newfoundland and other Canadian students prefer their own apartments instead of sharing with a second or third.

St. John the Baptist Basilica:

  • st-johns-fire-1846.php while church under construction
  • 10,000 Irish Catholics here
  • John’s populations mid-2015 (almost 215,000)
  • Bishop Fleming asked Queen Victoria to give him enough land to build a church
  • She agreed. “Whatever property you can fence in a day.” Post holes dug at night.
  • Named after her favorite saint

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  • Her own stained glassmaker give 7 stained glass
  • Each window had to be taken apart and put together on arrival
  • Shipped windows in molasses which accentuated some of the colors
  • Others came from England, France and Germany
  • 1905 ceiling inlaid in gold leaf by Connolly Brothers
  • 1955 turned to basilica from a cathedral
  • Visits by popes also make it a basilica (1955 & 1984)
  • The canopy denotes a church / cathedral changed to a basilica
  • Pipe organ has 4050 pipes (largest 16 feet; smallest 3 inches)
  • A younger person now being taught to play this organ
  • Five bishops buried beneath church
  • Lady of Fatima brought by Portuguese sailor and presented to the church
  • Sculpture work done by Newfoundlanders
  • The Veiled Virgin (marble statue)


Revered Dead Christ


The downpour had changed to a fine drizzle. Would it finally let up?

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Next on October 21st –  Out and About in St. John’s

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

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


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!



 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

img_2164 img_2166 img_2163

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

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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