On the Road AGAIN

We felt like we were riding by the seat of our pants a lot of the time, despite all the road maps, road signs and the GPS on our trip north to Nova Scotia. We sailed right along, planning on skirting Boston, as we had New York City, but, once again, we fell off the interstate and ended up in Peabody, Massachusetts. I have to mention this for my son, Joe, who likes to remember his business trip there once and learned that you don't pronounce Peabody, like Peabody. You pronounce it like "Peebuh-dee" and you say it fast. Now whenever we can't decide how to pronounce a word, like tomato or tomah-to...something like that there, no matter what word it is, one of us declares, it's pronounced, "Peebuh-dee"...and that's the definitive answer now for any word. A foreign dignitary's name, a strange road name, anything we have trouble with...it's pronounced, "Peebud-ee" and leave it at that. So since we were meandering about Peabody, trying to find our way back onto the interstate and hadn't had breakfast, it being around 11 a.m., we went to a CVS and loaded up on trail mix, "chay-ter chips", bottled water and lemonade, and also we found a  nice dark brown Massachusetts souvenier t-shirt for Cappy. He got to hear the "Bah-ston" accent, too. On the street we saw some old guys, who looked like they had just stepped off the cover of a book that held stories of sailors who had sailed the high seas for half a century and had barely lived to tell their tales. If we hadn't been in a hurry to get into Canada, Cappy would have loved to have stopped and talked with them, but alas, we kept going.
  And we made good time, the weather being sunny and nice. In Portland, Maine, around three o'clock in the afternoon, we stopped and had supper at the Foreside Tavern. I forgot what we had, but I know mussels were part of 'da deal'. I'd never had them before. I guess they were pretty good, but I am still thinking I'm not a big fan of them. Cappy said they were great. Take it from him, tho' and not me, because he knows seafood a lot better than I do. (I just hate finding sand in the food in my mouth, no matter how tasty the food is, spoilsport that I am.)
  On the road again, Cappy and I were thrilled at the good time we were making. Famous last words. If I thought the bad storm that we got under while going around New York City was bad, it was nothing much compared to what we got hit with going up through Maine, toward Bangor and on up. Oh. My. Gosh. It was bad. Bad. Plus, our soft, although new South Louisiana tires weren't equipped to ride fast in those sloshy conditions. Not being able to see the white lines on the side of the road even with the windshield wipers going as fast as they could, other drivers put their emergency lights flashing away, so we turned ours on, too. A couple of  times we had to pull off the highway along with a herd of traffic to wait til we all could see anything so we could pull out onto the road and try again. We heard later in the motel that we had somehow missed being in a tornado, and I don't doubt it one bit. Actually, we didn't get to that motel til way after midnight, because although the speed limit had been 75mph, I could only do about 40mph at the most in that constant torrent. If I tried speeding it up, we would start to hydroplane. It felt like the back of the SUV was lifting up and going off to the left into the passing lane. Scarey stuff. It was interesting, tho' once it got dark enough for the lights to reflect off things on the side of the road, to see deer crossing signs, but more fun was the moose crossing signs. We were very far north now, with towns very far apart. Actually, we never did get to see a moose during our whole trip, but the moose signs were enough to satisfy. (I have only ever seen one real moose in the wild while driving along the New York State Thruway headed toward Syracuse years ago.)
  But hours earlier, before we had gotten to that motel, there on the road, since it was getting so late now, we decided that, we really should try hard to find a place to stay. Good luck with that. It was another thirty miles or so to the border and we didn't know if we'd even find a hotel or anything once we did get into Canada. Exits were few and far between, and we were still slogging along around 30-40 miles an hour in the dark heavy rain. We got off at one exit and saw a motel sign right near, so we drove into the dimly lit parking lot. Immediately I got a creepy feeling; a "Bates Motel" feeling. The place was dark green and spread itself, down along the big, darkened  empty, gravel parking lot, like a tentacle, with it's pale yellow peeling window panes faintly glowing in the dark. The place looked like it had been built in the 1800's. There was a small group of people, drinks in hand, standing around an open door halfway down, with motorcycles parked right up tight to the well-worn long wooden porch. My Cappy was all enthused. He said, "Hey, they look like they may be our kind of people". What I wanna know is: when did I get so uppity? When did I get so snooty? I like people...I really do. I try fitting in. These guys...I dunno. They looked like Hell's Angels to me, but then maybe I was just jaded by the dismal night we'd been having. Cappy is a way better judge of character than I am, so if he said they were nice people, then I'm sure they were, but I didn't want to stay there. Cappy  got out and went to talk with them, looking for the owner of the place to open a room for us. (I don't wanna stay here,  don't wanna stay here, I don't wanna drive another thirty miles in this bad weather, but I really don't wanna stay here.) Everybody tried helping Cappy rouse the owner. They banged on doors, they pounded on doors, they tried calling, they tried  yelling, they tried their phones. I sat there peering at the whole blurry scene through the rain on the windshield. Cappy finally came back and said, "No....we can't get the owner, so looks like we'll have to keep going".  I sighed, "Oh, that's a shame", and I meant it, even though I was relieved,  because we'd have to drive somemore in the wind and rain; wherever it would take us for the night. I'll bet the place was nice, despite my misgivings, too.
  On we went into the night, listening to some really stupid public radio CD's I had gotten for the trip. By then we were the only vehicle on the dark, lonely road. At long length,  we got to the town of Houlton, just south of the border, found the greatest motel, Ivey's Motor Lodge, which is obviously family owned, meticulously clean, sweet little homey touches in the room (and in the morning a wonderful dining room with free breakfast and they only charged $83 for the room and breakfast). It was such a clean place, that I even walked around in my sock feet! And that's really saying something. But when we first got there that night, we were drenched to the bone by the time we got all our stuff dragged through the rain, into the motel. We watched the weather channel and the local weather said there was flooding right in the town of Houlton and all along where we had driven that night. No kidding.  Then we got the best sleep ever with the wind and rain beating on the motel room windows.  In the morning we 'gassed up' and made a bee-line for the border. The weather was still kind of raining, but not as hard as last night, still I had a difficult time with our tires, getting up to speed. I was lucky to be able to do 50 mph, let alone the posted 75 mph. (Yow! 75 mph) We had everything on the dashboard all ready for the border crossing folks.  Our passports, our special car insurance to be able to drive in Canada, and my special driving license to be able to do the same. They let us right in, no problem. It was still drizzling, so as we pulled back onto the road, I was wondering how fast I'd have to drive on the interstate in Canada when I spotted the speed limit sign, "110"....whaaaa? Here I couldn't even do 75, how in the heck am I going to do 110?? Cappy said, "No, Peg, it's kilometers, not miles per hour". That was still kinda fast for the conditions.  We decided to get some literature about Canada and maybe a couple of maps at the Tourist Information Center. (They give all that away free.) Also, they love to talk to people who are traveling and give them lots of advice and updates. Sooo, we drove into the infomation place as soon as we got into Canada. What a very nice group of young, helpful ladies who work there! I can't emphasize that enough. We were having so much fun visiting with them, we had to remind ourselves that we had an agenda to get to our destination before nightfall, over in Nova Scotia, and drag ourselves out of there. So away we went again. They also gave us a laminated conversion chart to be able to tell how fast we were supposed to go, weights and measures, etc.  Whew, so I didn't have to go 110 mph, but 68 mph instead. I did what I had to do until it stopped raining, then we did the 110 klodhoppers per hour, as they came to be called (in Peebud-ee). 
Tell ya what. How 'bout I make you a slideshow with pictures that whizzed by as we were doing our "ROAD TRIP" thing.      Okay, I was trying to upload the video here, but it's going to take too long and I've got other stuff to do, so I'm just putting the link to our youtube channel. Hope you don't mind. (some people don't like clicking on links in general) Anyhow, here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILpqyxocIHU&list=UUe6CkaSkPG0EXROyp-xQkjw&index=1&feature=plcp


Whining and Dining (part two)...a CRAB takes on a Lobster

Well...so there we sat in CHOPS restaurant in East Haven, Connecticut, having finally made it into "lobster territory", all the way from "sunny South Louisiana". This would be our first romantic dinner on the trip called, "the honeymoon we never got to take".  It was still dark and rainy outside, but inside here it was all warm and cozy, and...well, Cappy said, "Look at the place; sufficiently tacky enough to be cool". I thought it looked like a place where we  needed to use our best manners anyhow. It had very pretty wood everywhere and here we were dripping rain water onto their nice floor, like everybody else who had braved the storm to get here. It was old and casual, but nice. I guess you'd get the picture better, if I didn't blur my camera so much. 

Our waitress, impressed our Cappy alright. He says, "It shows that a waitress is attentive if she puts one breast on ya shoulder while helpin' ya look over the menu, calls ya "Honey" and keeps your beer glass full". (nice.) I just wanted my lobster. It did take a little while, tho' since they have to "take a live one down" and cook it. I always felt kind of bad about that. But the lemon and drawn butter helps.   It was my first time handling all the tools and hardware they give you to crack open the lobster and fish out all the meat.  The table was loaded with all kinds of stuff, like bibs and...well, just lots of 'stuff'. I opened a little package of wipes, first thing, because my hands were already 'dirty', I thought, from not being washed,...not really, all day. Cappy saw what I was doing and said, with the end of his torn open, too, "OH! Handwipes, I was going to pour it over my potato". Boy, what a couple of rubes. I didn't even know where to start on my lobster.  Cappy said, "It's no problem, I'm gonna treat it like it's a big crawfish", and so he did, quite successfully, too.

While we were waiting for our supper, we were enjoying the live band that was out in the other room. Not in the way we should have, I suppose. Hey, we live in New Orleans territory. We are spoiled. Well, honestly. They were playing Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville", going right along, but kept forgetting the words, so were just mumbling to the music, "...rummin' er six stax, blew out a pop tart...had to get healed, hurried on home". We just looked at each other, "Whaaa???" Then they went over the chorus several times in a row. Boy oh Boy, what would they have done if Cappy and I had started yelling, "SALT, SALT, SALT..." like all the customers do at Pat O'Brians on Bourbon Street...or what ya s'posed to yell when they sing, "You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille". (Let's not go there, except to say that I shocked and embarrassed my daughter, Sookie and my sister, Lori, who thought they'd seen me lose my mind right there in front of them, in public. It's Cappy, I tell ya... zall his fault, I never did all that before :)) So, anyway, while we were eating, another song started and I recognized it right away. Cappy said, "You impress me, Peg". I liked that, but then he added, "you knew what that song was just from the first three missed notes". We were being brats, for sure. Good thing the greeter had spotted us for who we are and right away had put us at a table in the back near the corner. While we were loudly cracking and ripping the lobsters apart, they started playing a romantic song, but it was a pretty shakey rendition of "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You". With a mouthful, Cappy slurped, "Oh Lord, now dey gonna drag 'Elv-eye' out da tomb...sounds like he's still in there".
Now, I was thoroughly enjoying my meal, but then I overheard another customer say in a crabby disgusted voice, 
"The lobster is sticking to the shell...it's over-cooked!" I hadn't even noticed before that...oh yeah, mine was stuck to the shell, too, but I thought it tasted pretty darned good, once I got most of it into my mouth...yum. Maybe a little tough, but it really, really tasted good. NOTHING like I've ever had at Red Lobster, (but Cappy calls Dead Lobster) where I've only had bits and small chunks.  When we finished eating, I placed my silverware in a thin V-shape pointing from "5 o'clock toward 10 o'clock on my plate, and placed my napkin to the left of my plate, as I was taught, to signal to the waitress that I was finished eating and mentioned that Cappy maybe do the same. He said, "Oh, I'm pretty sure she can tell by just lookin' at this pile of wreckage", and must be she did, because right away, she was there with our bill, we paid, and after Cappy feigned interest in the band, taking a picture, which I will not post here, we were out the door from our first romantic dinner of our "honeymoon that we never got to take". Outside the rain had stopped, it was warm, and the air was so clear and refreshing. I told Cappy thank you for a wonderful evening and gave him a nice big smooch. Know what he said? He said, "Yeah, I really liked that waitress...in another world, she'd be goin' home with me tonight". Yeah, she was sweet, she was attentive, she did have that joie de vivre like Cappy said. Although she was busy, she managed to make us feel special and I appreciated that. But right about then I wanted to "BANG ZOOM!!!" Put him off to another world, alright. Well, he was a bachelor for such a long time...old habits are hard to break; those crusty ol' sailors...whatcha gonna do. Just for fun, a lot of times, I'll point out really "hot" wimmens; and say,"Hey! Look at her, Honey!!" He usually averts his eyes and hems and haws and says, "They aint my type". Well, now I know, Miss Nancy, who is. And as nice as ya are, we aint never comin' back to CHOPS. ('til maybe the next time we come north to Maine). 
 I've gotta admit, I was a CRAB(!!!), there for awhile 'til the next day.  Cappy is such a sweetie-pie, and I know he didn't mean anything by it, so how could I stay mad at him? Here in Cappy and Pegody's World, *I'm* da one dat goes home wit him, and that's all that counts. (til he reads this blog post <:-0) S000ooo....next time we won't be so shellfish; we'll both just clam up instead, (boyyy, that was a stretch).
  Well, with full tummies, we went from there to try to find a hotel and start all fresh in the morning and see how far we could drive; maybe even into Canada. We couldn't even make it out of town that night. We got impossibly snarled in and around New Haven following detour signs. We wound around dark alleys, got off the beaten path somehow, went thru neighborhoods where we knew we shouldn't be, and somehow managed to find the detour again which led us, like a shining beacon to a Holiday Inn Hotel. It was still kind of early, so there was a lot of activity around the outside. (I remember the beautiful Holiday Inn near Lexington, Kentucky that my friend, Louise and I had stayed in...wow, such luxury, and the breakfast room was a true deluxe banquet.) Cappy and I went in to register and they needed to see my AAA card. (It's a good one, this time, not the bottom of the line.) Even seeing it, they didn't honor it. They didn't give us a discount for Cappy being a Merchant Marine, either. They were charging us $155. for one night and stuck to their guns. The one in Lexington was only at the most $89. and it was the same room...layout wise. So, what were our options....oh, let's see...go out into the dark, wet night and get lost and tossed by those crazy detours? I wasn't in the mood to argue, and neither was Cappy, so we settled. They were so very nice to our face and told us to drive around to the side extrance and we'd have easy access to the room. It was a big hotel! I went to drive around to find the entrance, while Cappy found the room. I waited in the SUV and waited, fumed and waited some more. Finally he came out and said we were wayyyyyyyy away from the entrance and that the place was so huge that he'd gotten turned all around and came out the wrong exit. What a mess. Because the parking lot was so jammed and not well lit, we decided we'd better take all our stuff in with us. He insisted on carrying everything like a pack-mule so we wouldn't have to make another long trip, and I didn't carry much of anything. (He still felt bad about the restaurant thing, poor guy, and I wasn't making it any easier for him.) Come to find out after the long trip along a very long hallway, we ended up in the room behind the check-in desk. Were they too ashamed by the way we were dressed to have us simply bring our things through their lobby? (That's what Louise and I had done when we stayed in the room behind the check out desk) Too tired to complain, we just went to bed and got a good rest, anticipating a good breakfast, that would help compensate for the larger than normal cost for a "not fancy" hotel. In the morning, while I was getting ready, Cappy set out to bring us back a cup of coffee and check out the breakfast spread. He came back empty-handed. "They got nothing...no breakfast, no fruit, no cereal, not even any coffee...nothin'." He said he inquired at the desk and they said, "Oh, we don't do that here". (That colored the rest of our trip. Any time we saw a Holiday Inn while we were searching for a place for the night, we said, "NO WAY" and drove on until we found someplace else...anyplace else.) We got our things together and once again, Cappy insisted on carrying all of the luggage. He even had the room ticket/key in his mouth, so he wouldn't lose it when he was going to be checking out. So down the long hall we trudged and came upon the Boston Red Sox  team standing by the door with their duffle bags, and luggage, just joking and talking. I was in a bad mood, which is not like me. One of the duffle bags was out near the middle of the hall, so I stopped and angrily shrugged at it. One of the guys, leaped to move it and apologized. I ignored him and all of them and pushed on out the door, followed by my poor, over-burdened sweet hubby. Once we got everything stowed away, he walked around the outside of the hotel to the lobby to the check out desk, leaving me sitting there, like a big lump. Looking around, I saw the Boston Red Sox logos on vans, etc.  Oh migosh, the real deal, those guys were for real and here I was acting like a rude -itch to 'em. When Cappy came back, he said, he had felt so bad because there in the hall, he'd had that card in his mouth, and his hands full, so he couldn't even say "Hi" or anything to them, so he came back out through the hall, but they were gone. 
   Once we pulled out of the parking lot, of all things...we easily found our way onto the interstate that we had "fallen off from" the night before in that rainstorm. And away we went. We took advantage of the texters and big gaps, stop and go traffic by unwittingly entertaining other drivers, I think, while we were "clearing the air" about issues from the night before...and we both talk with our hands. Soon enough, we were out of  town, sailing north, looking for a place to have breakfast, (or coffee again, at least), singing and laughing at the top of our lungs, more in love than ever. Now, that's how we really roll.  


Whining and Dining (Part One)

We started our roadtrip north to Maine and Nova Scotia with a packed ice-chest, but quickly abandoned the food we'd/I'd lovingly and carefully packed, and instead opted to actually go into restaurants, sit at a table and try out the local fare along the way. Boy, some of that was a mistake.
 We had gotten a good start, earlier than we had anticipated, Cappy having gotten off a day early. The dogs were at their doggy camp with "Aunt Mary" and a myriad of other dogs to play with, and so it was just Cappy and me heading off down the road. We only got a couple hundred miles when we pulled in for the night. The next day we only had coffee for 'breakfast' then put another five hundred miles or so on the odometer, 'til Cappy said it was time for supper. He likes to set goals, like keep driving til we get to the next interstate where we are going, then eat. Oh Come On! Everytime I'd complain, he'd unwrap another granola bar for me to stuff in my mouff. Well, we finally got 'someplace', so he said to pull off and we'd look around. We couldn't find any place, so he said to stop at this car repair place, cuz surely, "the ol' boys workin' there would know of a good local place to eat". The good ol' boy who came out, looked like Dan, our son.

He and his wife told Cappy of a real good place to eat that was popular with everybody, but it was kinda on the back road. We went and found the place. It used to be a gas station, but they converted it into an old-fashioned diner, which did seem to be pretty popular. It just so happened that it was the owner's mother, Edna's 80th birthday, but there she was hustling food to customers from the kitchen. They said, "You couldn't have kept her home even if you'd wanted to...she wanted to be here". They had a big poster/birthday card that everybody was signing, even us.  The insides of the place was delightfully old, but painted up in a warm yellow. The special of the day was hot dogs and saurkraut and maybe liver and onions...that sounds about right. I swear the place took me back to when I was a kid and my grandma was a waitress in an old diner like this. A time warp slice of history. I had a hamburger 'steak', which was just a hamburger pattie, and asked for a little bit of the saurkraut to go on it, cuz the ketchup wasn't the kind I could have. Cappy said it was better for me not to mention what he had, or how he liked it. Well, the ambiance fed me well, and that of the people who worked there. Cappy even 'flirted' with Miss Edna, telling her she couldn't be cuter, which made her blush and giggle like a school girl.We got back on the road and made over 700 miles that day, 'til we got just past Roanoke, Va. and fell into bed at a hotel I can't even remember, I was so tired. The next morning Cappy grabbed a couple of bananas for me for breakfast, and a cold frappacino from a gas station...and again, he fished out a couple of granola bars to shut me up. Poor guy, I don't  think he even ate anything himself, just coffee...oh he MUSTA had something. We made good time once we got going and when Cappy saw a sign where we were supposed to cross the Potomac River, he said we had to get a picture of the sign. The speed limit was 65 in high traffic, so I accidentally whizzed right on by it and onto the bridge. "Noooo, ya gotta turn around and go back, so's I can get a picture of the sign!" I got off the interstate and noticed the town was Falling Waters, West Va....where my Uncle Duane and Uncle Spike used to live and work in the coal mines. I was delighted in that! My Uncle Duane had passed, and I don't get to see my Uncle Spike nearly as often as I'd like. I miss them both dearly, so for some reason, being in the town where they had lived, was just a good feeling for me. (Uncle Spike lives in western NY now) Cappy said as long as we were passing by, we might as well fill the tank, before our swing back across the bridge into Virginia again. After tanking back up, I pulled back onto the interstate heading toward the Potomac River again, but again, the traffic was thick with semi trucks and fast. He said, "Pull over...pull over...slow down, so I can get it!!" Nope...whizzed right by it again. "Oh man...turn around again, and this time find a place to stop...I'll tell ya where". Oh yow! The speed ruts, or whatever ya call them on the side of the road were loudly complaining and so was I, because I had to swerve to get onto the tiny, narrow shoulder out of speeding, honking cars and trucks. Cappy gets out and strolls along the guardrail as though he were in a quiet shady park toward the sign, which was only a few feet off the road. The wind from a passing truck blew his straw hat off into the weeds over the guardrail. He got his picture, but not without me holding my breath and praying loudly, because he didn't seem aware of how close he was to the road at his back. Just one wrong step....(I know he knows what he's doing, but I worry so). So he got his photo. And a couple of the River. I don't know the significance just yet, but I'm sure he'll tell us sometime.
We got into Pennsylvania; Quaker and Amish country. I don't know what brought it up, but his straw hat came into question as to whether or not he might be mistaken for an Amish guy wearing it in that neck of the woods. That did it...he never put it on again up north. He opted to wear the canvas one I had gotten him for Christmas. He does look good in either of them...he's a "hat" guy, for sure.
We kept 'rockin' and rollin' toward New York City. "Hey! That sign sez New York City...we aint going thru there are we???" I said that I didn't think so, but we were supposed to skirt around it according to our AAA maps and itinerary. "Well, I sure as heck don't wanna go to New York City, no matter what", he said adamently. I was starting to worry, because I know how cities spread out, not showing how widespread they are on maps. We just kept following the road signs, on into New Jersey and headed north.
 It was beautiful weather for a long road trip. All bright and sunny everywhere, except for that dark cloud way up ahead that we looked like we were going to miss whenever we would turn east onto the NYS Thruway toward the Tappan Zee Bridge that would take us into Connecticut. The interstate wound up and around small mountains and the dark cloud kept flirting with us, getting closer and more angry looking all the time, until, for some reason the traffic came to a stop, then a go, then a stop, then a go...but each 'go' was slow. It was then that the cloud revealed itself to be a big old thunder and lightening storm...aha! It had us. It  had all of us! "Wishy-wipers" were all going full blast, but that was the only thing going full blast; the storm notwithstanding...it too was going full blast, raining sideways in buckets, lightening cracking around everywhere. We crawled along with everybody else, made the turn onto the Thruway, still crawling. Dang! I had wanted to have the fun of gawking around as we went over the Hudson River. Instead, big hail stones began hitting the windows and the SUV so hard, I was sure the windshield was going to break. The sky turned a sickening pukey green, and the wind picked up worse than ever and it was hard to see where we were going. I was shaking so hard that I was glad that I had the steering wheel to hang onto. The whole mob of traffic inched along, and as we crossed along, on the long bridge, we kinda got ahead of the storm. Meanwhile I could see the bumper to bumper cars on the other side of the road heading toward the storm, just parked almost, like sitting ducks waiting for the worst of it...a tornado, or whatever to come and get 'em. I prayed for those people.
We managed to get ourselves into Connecticut, then found Route 95 North. The darned storm was a threat even then, having moved east and found us again. I was terrified at that point. We did like we did before, tho'...creeping along. Then to make matters worse. People let big spaces open up everywhere in standstill traffic because most everyone of them were texting away, sitting there, not even looking at the road. For miles. Sitting there looking down, typing away, with big enough gaps for twenty cars to fill. How can they live like this? How can they do this every day, sit in traffic for hours for no reason, except this stupid stuff??? There were no accidents up ahead. Just texters holding up three lanes of cars and trucks ...and us, who were tired, hungry and wanting to 'get the show on the road' and get to where we were going. Cappy said, "For a sweet little granny, you sure have a lot of road rage", and I wasn't even doing anything, except for griping, like I was just was now to "yall". Finally we decided to get off the main interstate onto a secondary interstate, and found other texters and gaps, so we opted to just drive on Route 1 up along the coast and find a place to have supper and a hotel. We found "Chops" restaurant in West Haven, Conn. and were even more excited when we saw that they had a banner outside that said, "Twin Lobster Dinner". Lobster was one of the main reasons for our trip north, and here we were actually IN lobster country!! We had made it, finally! 


My Lifelong Dream to Visit Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada

Ever since I saw someone years ago wearing a t-shirt that said, "Peggy's Cove" on it, I've always wanted to go see where the place was. It was always an elusive dream of mine. I never thought I'd actually get to go, but this incredible Cappy made it possible. I couldn't imagine what it would be like, even tho' I "google earth'd" it so many times. Let me just tell you; it was amazing. These feeble photos of ours don't even begin to show how breathtaking it was being there. My dreams have been realized. I am so very happy.
   To accompany our slideshow, we are playing a song from one of Rosalee Peppard's CD's with her permission. We have three of her (specially signed)  CD's and each one is more beautiful than the last. The songs she has written, or arranged are my new companions here in the house while Cappy is away. 
   If you get the chance, peruse her website, www.rosalee.ca  Perchance you might be fortunate enough to attend one of her performances if you are in the neighborhood. This link will also let you find where to purchase her wonderful CD's. Trust me, you will not be sorry.
   Here's the link to our Peggy's Cove youtube video, hot off our fight and beat and hammer, and cry and almost swear computer "presses". http://www.youtube.com/user/cappyandpegody#g/u  (We have about 48 youtube videos over there, ya just gotta open the 'cappyandpegody channel' and stick with it, or they'll throw a bunch of videos at you that we did NOT make...some kinda smutty, too, and if you know us, you know that aint us! That's not "how we roll".)
  And hey! I've got two Peggy's Cove t-shirts of my very own now and a nice warm Peggy's Cove hooded sweatshirt that Cappy insisted I get. Alrighty then! My dream is complete.


Our Lovely Hostess in Nova Scotia

Cappy and I recently returned from "The Honeymoon we never got to take". A "ROAD TRIP!!!!" to Nova Scotia and Maine...and everywhere else enroute. While we have pictures and stories to regale you, first on our agenda is a video of our beautiful Prospect Bed and Breakfast hostess, Rosalee Peppard.
Unbeknownst to us, she is a beloved musical maritime oral historian, singer songwriter in Canada. We have so much to tell about her, but we'll begin with the   song, "Evangeline" on her Album, "No Place Like Home". (The Acadians are known as Cajuns down here in South Louisiana) 
She wrote all the songs on this CD and the introduction to her "Evangeline", she writes:
"The story of the plight of the Acadian People, from their initial presence in Nova Scotia at the beginning of the 1600's, through their expulsion in 1755, and the impact they had and still have on our country, in the story of their immortal heroine: Evangline. Today she is alive and well in the thriving Acadien community along Nova Scotia's Evangeline Trail."

(I, Peggy, tried putting the accent marks over the "E's" in the word Evangeline and in the other words in the song, to denote the French pronounciation, but alas, am not that computer savvy.)

  The words to her song are so beautiful:


It was a time that stretched a hundred years
It was a place watered by your tears
And in the end, when your people were all gone
You live on, Evangeline, you live on

Chorus: Evangeline is in the wind
She's in the rising tide 'round Cape Blomidon
She's in the mountains high and the Valley deep within
Evangeline, Evangeline

There on the fruitful land of Acadie
You lived in peace away from tyranny
But far away a treaty was designed
To undermine Evangeline, undermine
England and France were gambling with your lives
In seventeen hundred fifty-five
And so the die was cast and France had lost
But at what cost, Evangeline, at what cost?

For generations you'd been on your own
You wouldn't bow to France or England's throne
So they expelled your people, everyone
Leaving none, Evangeline, leaving none
Three hundred years your spirit's been denied
Because of power and prejudice and pride
You were the first distinct society
Of Acadie, Evangeline, Acadie

Acadie has lived four hundred years
It is a place fertile from your tears
Until the end we'll proudly sing your song
You'll live on, Evangeline, You'll live on!

(Chorus in Acadien Translation):
Evangeline est dans le vent
Elle est au large des cotes du Cap-Blomidon
Sure les monts tres haut et au fond des vallons
Evangeline est dans le vent

She's in the mountains high and the Valley deep within
Evangeline, Evangeline"

Rosalee continues on her album, "Growing up in Nova Scotia gave me a rich historical heritage. Every wayward Maritimer's heart beats as Evangeline's, ever longing for home.  I loved my trips along Nova Scotia's Evangeline Trail to the heart of Acadie; Grand Pre, Samuel de Champlain's Port Royal and majestic Blomidon Mountain.
  For our Millenium Project, my brother, Herb, sister Lark and I bought our ancestral home on the other side of the Bay of Fundy.  Our progenitor, Lawrence Peppard, built his homestead in 1774 on land that had been cultivated and nurtured for 150 years by the Acadian people before they were brutally expelled in 1755.  I thought of my 7th great-grandmother, Mary, digging in her kitchen garden and finding eveidence of her Acadian predecessor and how I would have felt in her place. I reread Longfellow's epic poem, 'Evangeline' and continued research, finding 'Atlantic Hearth' by M. Byers & M. McBurney and 'The Acadians of Nova Scotia Past and present' by S. Ross & A. Deveau inspiring, until 'Evangline came to me one day..."
  To see the video of her singing this tribute, followed by Cappy and Rosalee discussing the plight of Evangeline, click on youtube link below. (I'm so very proud of this one.)


Buddy Brad.....A Life Well Spent.

  I called him, "Buddyyyy Bradddd". Those big blue eyes of his always greeted me whenever I was home off the boat.
  I had moved into a community where people are "self-contained", to quote a local priest.  This is a small town where close family ties are like none other.  As a matter of fact, the CBS Sunday Morning program did a show about how the folks in this town grow up, stay here and raise their families. Very few people move away, and a lot of times, those who move in, can be viewed with suspicion and may always be considered an outsider, no matter how long they stay.  It's self-preservation, which is not a bad thing at all in this fast-changing world.
   I was born and raised on the bayou, "North of I-10", about two hours from here, a confirmed bachelor, and maybe a li'l rough around the edges, so it was no wonder people had raised eyebrows when I moved into this quiet little neighborhood, where everybody knew everybody else and was most likely kin to most of them.  My work on the River had me coming in at strange hours, and when I'm home, I guess I may be a little loud.  I've got my bbq pit lit and "the Blues" blaring on the outside speakers.  I'm a kinda big guy, and I guess I might sorta 'live large'...I LIVE my "joie de vivre" right out in front of God and everybody.  That's just who I am.
   Being a bachelor, I never had any kids of my own.  When I first met Bradley, he was still a toddler in diapers. Those big blue eyes of his took in everything, even then.  He was always curious about what I was doing and as soon as he was old enough to cross our street, and long before he was allowed, he was over here seeing what I was up to. Many's the time his Mama had to come looking for him; knowing he'd probably be here, maybe watching tv with me, eatin' a 'freezy pop', keepin' me company. This little guy was the first person here in town to accept me for ME.  No matter what I was doing, whenever I got home, he'd show up and ask, "Hi Mr. Ray, whatcha doing?...where ya been?...how many fish did ya get?" He'd always want to help me with whatever I was doing.  If I had caught fish, he had to touch each one, and was just so full of quesitons and truly interested in this crusty old sailor's life.  Well, how could ya not love a kid like that?  He melted my heart and every time I saw him, I'd say, "Buddyyyy Braddd!"  As he grew, he found more ways to help me out and I'd find myself depending on him more than I knew.  Still, today, when I'm talking with Peggy on the phone, and something goes awry, first thing that automatically pops outa my mouth is, "Go ask Brad...", then I remember. 
  The last time I saw him before his accident, I had been picking lemons and had lost my wedding ring under the tree. Just then he showed up with his new little girlfriend to say, "Hi". I can still picture how he dashed back across the street, came back, metal detector in hand and his dad in tow.  He dove down under the lemon tree, which has long sharp throrns, and on his hands and knees searched through every blade of grass 'til he jumped up with it shining between his fingers, those big blue eyes smiling. " 'At's my Buddy Brad", I said, giving him a hug and patting his back. If I'd ever had a son, I'd want him to be just like him. I couldn't have loved him more if he hadda been. After he had the car accident, I steeled myself to go visit with him. His parents may have thought I didnt' care, because I just couldn't do it that often.  His parents are made of the finest stuff around. They lived with Brad's predicament every day and did it with God's Grace and dignity. I would try to act like myself when I talked with Brad, but then turn on my heel, go back to the house and bawl like a baby for hours, Peggy trying to comfort me. Our town just isn't the same with the loss of him this last month.
This is Peggy now. Well, I moved in, too an outsider, eleven years ago.  The very first town person I met was Brad. He was about 12 years old.  Cappy was out on the boat for his two week hitch. Bradley was mowing our lawn, helping "Mr. Ray", as usual.  Normally this house would be empty 'til Cappy got home, so I thought I'd better step outside and say, "Hi" to this little guy, to let him know somebody was here.  I guess I startled him because his eyes widened, his mouth flew open and he ran back across the street.  Moments later, his Mom and Dad appeared and finished the lawn work.  Poor little guy. I hadn't meant to scare him. His parents introduced themselves to me; Steve and Monica. I knew at once they were very nice people. (And they are much more than that...they are INCREDIBLE people.) Over the years I got to know what a sweet young man their son is.  As Cappy mentioned, anytime something would go wrong, Brad would be the first one we'd call. He was always so good-natured and even after he'd graduated from high school, I still thought of him as such a nice young man.  The last time I saw him before the car accident, he had driven up alongside our driveway in a shining white Mustang, arm resting on the open window, girlfriend beside him.  "Oh Wow!" I thought, "He's all grown up!"...I just didn't know how complete his life was.  None of us knew.  A couple of days later, early in the morning, he was badly injured in car accident.  He fought for these last few years to live...but then last month, his struggle was over.
    In the eleven years I've been here, I've lost two uncles. Cappy lost his mother, his grandmother Elder, and his dear Aunt Helen. Foy, a friend of ours from online, whom we've known for years and still haven't been able to cope with the fact that he's gone. Three dear mothers from this town, passed. Mrs. Folse, who was the first lady that I had the opportunity to get to know as a real matriarch of a real South Louisiana family, and who taught me how to eat my first yummy crab. When she passed, it was as thought the major pillar of the family had been removed. Our friend, Sonia's beloved mother, whose family is also so loved by the community, went to be with Loved Ones waiting for her.  Sonia's husband, Jude's mother, a grand lady if there ever was one, also passed on into Heaven, where I'm sure she continues her prayers for all of us.  (There maybe be more aquaintances whom I knew, who have passed, but am not aware of just now.)  These wonderful, God-fearing people had long lives, suffered heartaches and revelled in joy along the way, but whose legacies continue long after them in the lives of their amazing children and loved ones, to mention but a couple of things. 
   And now we've lost Bradley. But what of his life? Was it too short? Yes, for us it was.  But that was his life; those were his days. Although his dreams weren't fulfilled; the college degree in nursing, the future replete with a career, marriage, children, and (smiling) even his brand-new barbeque pit that he had just proudly purchased, where he had perhaps planned on maybe inviting "Mr. Ray" to some of his 'cookin', Brad left an inspiring legacy. He spent the time that he did have observing life, savoring life, smiling, laughing, lending his hands to anyone...filling each day joyfully giving and helping others, and that's what fulfilled him. This is something we can all take away and use in our lives and pass onto others, and thus Brad's legacy will continue to grow.
   After Brad's passing, Cappy and I went on vacation to Maine and Nova Scotia. Wherever we went, Cappy told people about the recent loss of "Buddy Brad", the boy who grew into a young Man here in South Louisiana. How he was our ambassador, if you will, to the people here in town, how laughter always followed in his wake (I can still hear his laugh), and of his rare love and desire to always lend a hand.  It was the latter of these things, his dedication to helping others that brought him to the final threshhold of his young life.  He was a nursing student at Nicholls College.  Although he wasn't scheduled to 'go in' that day, he had volunteered to get up around 5 a.m. and drive in to practice some the medical procedures he was learning; drawing blood, I believe.  The weather became bad and rainy.  His car hydroplaned on a slanted curve and a terrible accident ensued.  
   Physically, he was never the same.  Whenever I saw him, I saw in those beautiful blue eyes that he recognized me and tried desperately, it seemed, to communicate with me.  All I could do at times like those was to pray with him.  At home I prayed daily and fervently for him.  No-one knows what his thoughts were during those, his dark days.  No-one knows what his family truly went through, but I personally witnessed his parents, though tried by fire, as it were, persevering, never losing hope, and being held together, bonded by love, family and friends.  As in days of old where some of God's people were put in a firey furnace, looking in at Steve and Monica's life during this trying time, we could see The Lord in there Walking with them. The Word says that men's souls are tried by fire. The end result is pure and beautiful. And, too, as extreme pressure over time creates diamonds, Bradley's life and those of his parents and siblings are the very proof of this. 
   Who knows what God has for Brad in this new Life that he's just begun? As Maggie, one of our neighbors, and others have said, "Now Brad can walk and talk...and fish!" but knowing Brad, it won't be Heaven unless he can be helping Someone. "Hi Lord, where ya been?...Whatcha been doin'?...How many fish did ya get?...Can I help you light the BBQ pit?"   And you know Jesus is reflected in those big blue eyes of his....just like Always.