We planned to spend a week in New Brunswick visiting Drew’s family who are scattered throughout the province from St John to Campbellton. Out first stop was in Rothesay to visit Drew’s aunt Marilyn, uncle Kurt, cousin Nathan, and Grammy Moores. We spent the weekend enjoying great company and incredible meals cooked by Marilyn. Danielle even got to learn how to knit from Drew’s Grammy, since she had been trying during the trip with no luck. During the stay in Rothesay, we ventured over to Hampton to meet the newest addition to Drew’s family! Drew’s cousin Kayla just had a beautiful new baby named Lexie, and this would be the first time we’d get to see her! Drew’s Uncle Stewart, Aunt Dana and Kayla’s fiancé Matt were all there as well, and we had a great visit catching up, sharing stories from the trip, and hearing all about the baby! We were also very lucky have a visit with Drew’s Great-Uncle Rankin, and Great-Aunts Betty and Sandra before we left Rothesay.
After our weekend in southern New Brunswick, we began the trek up north to stay with Drew’s Grampy in Black Point. We left the boler at Kurt and Marilyn’s, and just took the Land Rover. They were kind enough to offer to meet us in Moncton on our way home and bring the boler along with them. We had spent the first week of our trip in Black Point, and we would be spending the last one there too! It was so nice to visit again, and we were fed extremely well upon our arrival. The next morning we got up early to enjoy breakfast with Grampy, and were surprised with a visit from Drew’s Aunt Joan, who lives in Ottawa and luckily just happened to be in Black Point the same week as us! We all went to Pizza Delight to grab some lunch and were joined by Drew’s Great-Aunt Faye, Great-Uncle Bob, his Aunt Ina and his cousin Mark! It was a nice family reunion, and we were happy to see everyone that we had visited before the trip again! We headed over to the home to visit his Grammy Blake after lunch, and had a wonderful visit, joined by her incredible friend, Virginia. We promised we’d be back later that week to play some music for her!
Later that night, we picked up our guitar and mandolin along with Grampy, and he brought out his harmonica for a very successful jam session! Joan, Ina and Drew’s cousin Blake came by as well to join in. We played some traditional songs that we learned from Grampy such as Red Wing, Old Log Cabin, and Be Nobody‘s Darling but Mine. We also brought some of our own traditions such as “Wagon Wheel” and taught everyone some of the songs we’d learned down south. The next day we all went to a soup and sandwich luncheon at the community centre in Dalhousie where we ran into Rankin, Betty and Sandra. We stopped over to visit them later that afternoon to play some of our music for them! Later that night we enjoyed another group jam session at Ina’s, along with Joan playing the piano this time! We are working on getting out hands on a priceless video of Joan leading a high energy “Bobby McGee”. After all our travels through the southern states in pursuit of the music, we played and heard more music during this week in New Brunswick than we had during any one week on the road! We even got the chance to hear some rare home recordings cut during various Blake house parties.
On our last day in the north shore of New Brunswick, we all went to visit Drew’s Grammy again to play some music for her and the others at the home. We had our friend Clayton come and join us on the fiddle, Faye played the piano, Drew played the guitar, Grampy played the harmonica, Danielle played the mandolin and Bob came and sang some songs with us too. We’re working on getting a video of this session as well!
After the show at the home, we all ventured over to Bob and Faye’s for another delicious dinner (we have been extremely spoiled on this trip for the great food we‘ve gotten to eat)! After dinner, we headed back into Campbellton to meet up with Mark and his roommate, Christian, to enjoy some drinks and then head to karaoke. We played a fun drinking card game, and then headed to a local bar hosting a karaoke night. Both Drew and Mark signed up, and Mark got called up right away, to blow us away with his rendition of “Kokomo”. We kept trying to request Drew to go up, but the host never called his name. Disappointed, we eventually had to give up and go home, since we had a long drive back to HALIFAX the next day.
For some strange reason, Danielle’s cellphone kept switching between New Brunswick time and Quebec time, and during the night it changed an hour behind the actual time. We ended up missing our alarm, and started our day an hour late, but managed to get on the road only thirty minutes late! We met Kurt and Marilyn in Moncton with the boler (thanks so much guys!!) and enjoyed some lunch and coffee with them at (where else?) Tim Hortons!
Once we crossed the Nova Scotia border we hit some pretty bad snow, an appropriate Nova Scotia welcome home! We had been lucky the entire trip, and only a little bit more than an hour away from home we finally hit the weather we’d been avoiding. Nevertheless, we made it safely home, and were greeted with a surprise. When we arrived at Danielle’s parents’ home, we saw two familiar vehicles parked out front. When we headed inside, we were greeted by Danielle’s parents Danny and Nancy, Danielle’s brother Jackson… AND Drew’s mom Vivian and his brother JD! We had a delicious steak dinner, and enjoyed some birthday carrot cake for JD’s birthday which was coming up later that week.
It felt so nice to be home, and we enjoyed the rest of the weekend hanging out with our great friends, going to retro night and enjoying St. Patrick’s Day in Halifax! We can’t thank everyone who made this trip a reality enough. We can’t describe how happy we are with how this trip went, and we will be left with memories that will stay with us for a lifetime.
But don’t think the blog is over! Even though we are now home, we want to share our next adventure with you all too. We will be building a houseboat in the next month, and will be living in Mahone Bay for the summer. We hope you all keep checking back to the blog, and we thank you all for following our adventures!
Drew and Danielle