What choice did we have? The woman had sounded confident. It was about 5:30-ish; lots of time before dark. To this point the walk had been level, but now the path crept up-hill. Intent on our goal, we gasped and wheezed to the top, out of the wooded area. Fast-moving traffic whizzed by on a road a good stone’s throw away. Per instructions, we turned right onto a sidewalk and lo and behold the landmark building gleamed in the distance.
A residential area spread before us, but we turned left and trudged up a road which seemed a dead end. Cars and trucks parked hoods to tailpipes, were all blocked in except the last two in a double row. Up a stone and concrete rise, Mary and I traipsed, careful not to stumble. Next came stairs, a sizeable municipal parking lot, across another busy road, and the mall at last. First we traversed its humongous parking lot. I’m not sure anymore if the other part of the mall next to the liquor store was a hardware or grocery store. We beelined towards the entrance.
At both intersections where we’d crossed, drivers slowed and stopped before we set foot off the sidewalk. Such polite Newfoundlanders. A couple groups of locals outside the liquor store gave us the once-over. We might as well have worn signs: Tourists or No Way from Here.
On a Friday night, I suppose it’s not unusual to find this type store busy. It was jam-packed with customers of varied ages and sounded like party central. Music blared, customers swarmed, and it was hot. Yes, stifling, as if someone forgot to turn the furnace off. We’d decided to buy a bottle each in case next time no store existed within walking distance. I hope fellow blogger, Sally Cronin believes this purchase was for medicinal purposes. Wink. Wink.
Mary had to chat up an employee as I dripped a puddle within minutes of entering. I shop fast except when I’m grocery shopping. Up and down the isles I zoomed till I found something familiar. Mission accomplished, I couldn’t find Mary. If I didn’t get out of there soon, nothing would be left of me. I was ready to forget the wine and escape outside.
You’d think my sister had never been in a liquor store before. It was no different from those at home. I found and grabbed her—she already had a selection in hand. Our lucky day: the cash register was new and not working properly, the cashier needed help, and there were a handful of people in line ahead of us. I wanted to wring out my hair.
Finally outside, I thought I’d never cool off again because we were slogging along at a good clip. We retraced our steps, not once taking a wrong turn. We’d only hiked over one-and-a-half kilometers one way.
A Meet and Greet had been scheduled for 8:30 p.m. with our tour group. With time to kill, Mary and I sent e-mails and she nodded off in bed. I pulled out my book, curled up on the sofa and read. Though my eyes were heavy, I watched the clock.
At last it was time to meet everyone. Hot and cold beverages and tiny tarts were served. We introduced each other. Two minutes later I couldn’t match a name to a face. The whole procedure took about a half-hour. More than anything, I wanted a bed and pillow. I shut my eyes by 10:30 p.m. (9:00 home time). I’d been awake since 3:15 that morning.
“When you make friends with a Newfoundlander, you make a friend for life.”
© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.
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