I survived my first year of teaching. To celebrate? A trip home for summer of course. My first summer off since grade 10, 1997. And what a summer it was!!! Not only was I fortunate enough to be able to completely sit back and enjoy, stress-free, knowing I had a job lined up for the new school year, it was one of the hottest and sunniest summers the island’s had in years.
And did I ever make the most of it. City life. Joe Batts’ Cabin. Weekend get-aways. Backpacking adventures. Comfort Cove Cabin. Wedding. Family Reunion. Square Pond Cabin. More city life. Road trips. East Coast Trail. Concerts. Birthdays. Engagement Parties. It was a two-month vacation at home where I soaked up as much of the ‘all things Newfoundland’ I love so much, in the company of my family and friends. It was a fairy-tale summer, that’s for sure.
When I first arrived, Newfoundland was in the midst of a mini-heat wave, with nearly two weeks straight of temperatures over 30 degrees. My days started in the backyard, where I enjoyed the only tolerable part of the day stretched out on a lawn chair reading. When the heat got to be too much, me and the pouch jumped in the car and headed to the coastline to hike alongside the ocean breeze, jumping into various ponds & swimming holes along the way to cool off. In the evenings I would hit the yoga studio and enjoy an hour of bliss.
Occasionally I’d break the daily routine by either enjoying a meal on a deck in downtown St. John’s, taking in live music and a pint on George Street, having a fire on Middle Cove Beach, or jamming at the always popular open mic night.
Then my bestest friend and I enjoyed a weeklong reunion when she came home for a visit from Fort Mac. Lunch dates over red wine, watching whales from our lighthouse picnic, and of course an evening at the Duke were all in order.
* Shannon and I on the way to the Ferryland Lighthouse Picnics
It wouldn’t be summer without someone getting married and what a time was had at the Turner wedding that year.
Next up was a trip to Comfort Cove to enjoy some quality time with my godson and his family at their salt water cabin. Card games in a tree house, shell collecting on the beach, sing-alongs around the fire, homemade muffins & pizza cookies, boardgames, rock painting, and a trip out cod jiggin were some of the big moments, but the quality time spent with family was, by far, the weekend highlight.
*My catch – the biggest catch of the day!
Then family living in Calgary came home for a visit for the first time in a dozen years. A big family reunion/engagement party was celebrated at my uncle’s cabin where over 30 members of the Bartlett family gathered for a day of boat rides, quad rides, swimming, fishing, berry picking and of course a pot luck and fire.
*Bartlett Family Reunion 2012
A long time friend living in Ottawa also came home for a visit that summer, and we got to reconnect at a mutual friend’s house for the weekend. Days were spent touring the Eastport Peninsula and evenings were enjoyed on the back deck, enjoying the oceanfront view.
* Parkies reunited at Sandy Cove Beach
Back to the city, my brother and a few of our mutual friends planned and executed a backpacking adventure along a stretch of the East Coast Trail.
*Somewhere along Tinkeer’s Point Path
Summer went out with a bang at the Annual Garrett Cabin Getaway weekend. Countless hours of batchey-ball were played, copious amounts of food was consumed, bikini bottoms were nearly and sunglasses were indeed lost on a tubbing adventure that left us all crying from excessive laughter. It was a perfect way to conclude my stay-cation. Happy tears.
*The boys playing batchey-ball
Boy did I ever live the dream that summer. Creating so many incredible memories over the course of the summer made it that much easier to board the ferry, cross the gulf, and head back to PEI. I felt rejuvenated and refreshed. And it didn’t feel so much like I was leaving home. It felt more like I was leaving one side of my family to go see the other side.