Friday, February 20, 2009

St. John's [Updated]

I flew into St. John's on Thursday, planning to drive out this morning for a visit with my parents and sister in my hometown, four hours outside of the capital. Newfoundland weather had other ideas and Thursday night an unexpected snowstorm hit St. John's, and the region my parents live in had a blowing snow warning. Blowing snow being a fact of life on the one thin road snaking to their home, the fact that anyone bothered to issue a warning was pretty dire. So I spent the day in St. John's. And of course, once driving was even possible, I visited my favourite spot here - which by then was enveloped in fog as the temperature rose - Signal Hill.

By the time I'd driven back down the hill, the fog had lifted and it was sunny. Such is the weather in Newfoundland.

One of the best things about coming back to Newfoundland is the chance to eat the world's absolutely best, freshest fish & chips, served up at little independent diners. I stopped in at Leo's Fish and Chips for a yummy lunch.

The menu is absolutely typical for a Newfoundland diner. Allow me to point out one of the local specialties: Chips, dressing & gravy. (So well-known is it that on some menus it's just listed as "C, D & G".) This is Newfoundland's version of poutine: french fries, topped with stuffing (as in, turkey stuffing), with gravy poured over the whole mess. It's delicious, fattening and takes 3 days to digest.

(By the way, "Drinks" is local slang for soft drinks - a menu might offer a special: "Small Fish & Chips & a Drink: $5.99" - and I love the fact that you can add peas & carrots to any dish for just 90 cents.)

After that I spent some time exploring old neighbourhoods. This is the house I was living in when I met Husband. I rented the top left flat of this place, and it was my favourite of the many apartments I lived in as a student and later a working girl. There was a window seat overlooking LeMarchant Road, and I spent many hours reading there in the sun.

And tonight, a special treat: some time with my brother - who I didn't think I'd have time to see. And best of all his son - my nephew - had a hockey game and I got to see him play for the first time. He's nine; an awesome kid and an earnest hockey player; he shows promise but as his Dad put it, he's not a naturally gifted player - he has to work for it. He's crazy about the game, and of course he's a Habs fan like his Dad and me. No goals but two assists tonight.

So the day was certainly not a waste in any way, as I got to see my Little Baby Brother (a 6'3", barrel-built, bearded motorcycle-rider who is sweet and impish and loves animals) and spend some time in my favourite place in the world, next to Cuba.

Tomorrow I finally hit the long, barren and fickle highway to my hometown. Wish me luck and good weather.


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Blogger Sherwood Harrington said...

I love this photo (especially when clicked on to view larger), and am happy that I can see it without actually feeling the cold.

8:48 p.m.  
Blogger Sherwood Harrington said...

When I posted the first comment, the only photo that ronnie had put up was the first one, of the Signal Hill tower shrouded in mist. The others that she added with the text later are great, too, of course.

10:38 p.m.  

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