I missed writing on here last week. I did. Really missed it. It was March break and the week off from school meant that our computer was in use by one or other of the children most of the week – watching videos, playing games, making dance videos and checking facebook. March break is tricky. The snow is still on the ground, it’s getting a bit warmer, but still chilly. It restricts what you can do. A couple of the children felt hard done by because ‘everyone’ seemed to be flying south to catch some warm sunshine in Florida or Cuba. It’s a time when you miss having family down the road.
Before we moved here I couldn’t imagine living in a place that you didn’t leave for months on end. In Lancing, on the south coast of England, I’d drive into Worthing, Brighton, Portsmouth or Chichester, on a regular basis. A couple of times a year we’d take the train to London. My family lived only a few hours drive away. Everything in easy reach. The coast, the hills, the city, even France. Last week I found myself wondering when the last time was that I’d been out of the Fredericton area. I had to think hard. It was a week or so before Christmas, just over the border to do some food shopping in the States. Three months ago!
Of course, this has to do not only with the weather, but also post-summer-UK-trip-and-Christmas tightening of belt. Necessary. Still, something had to be done. There comes a point when a change of scenery is like a breath of fresh air and to get out as a whole family is required. Now there are a number of teenagers in our family it’s rare for us all to be around on any given day. So on a grey March day we and our friends the Dreises packed lunches, left our crock pots on with the meal for our return in the evening and headed out.
Saint John is not far, just over an hour away. It’s on the coast which is a bonus. We get to see the ocean. It’s not the prettiest city, but it does have some great little places to go which are also free! We went to the Reversing Falls, where the tide meets the river – it’s more of a swirling current than what you’d think of as a falls – and to Irving Nature Park. (Irving – a big oil company with their headquarters in Saint John – seem to own a lot in the Maritimes.)
This is all of us, five members of the Dreise family and all of us Bicknells, before we tackled a very slippery hill down to the beach.
This picture is after the climb down. A bit muddy. Then, after this was taken, we had to climb over slippery rocks and up a steep hill to get back to the trail. Fun! But the treat just around the corner in the next bay was a number of seals swimming, diving and flipping in the water. We weren’t expecting to see them this time of year so it was a lovely surprise. All in all a fun day with some special friends of ours. We will miss you Dreise family when you move to Prince Edward Island in a very few months!
I forgot to mention that before we even arrived in Saint John we saw our first bit of wildlife of the day...a moose. Our eyes are peeled on any long car journey to spot one. This isn’t the best view we had. Tim chose the moment to try and change the lens to get a better shot. In those seconds the moose which had been staring right at us in an open space, turned and trotted into the forest. It was a scraggy looking animal and it wasn’t one with antlers, but we’re pleased we saw it.
The day out was a good tonic. It reminded me that we need to take more time to have some fun, relax and enjoy this lovely part of the world.