3:14 p.m. — I decide that I can afford to take off a weekend of work and go with Catherine and Oliver to Halifax. Announce this fact to Catherine.
3:17 p.m. — Realize I can’t bear to take the bridge. Consult ferry website and find that last reasonable ferry from Wood Islands leaves at 5:00 p.m. Announce this to Catherine. General panic ensues.
3:55 p.m. — By some miracle we are all packed and in the car and on the way to Wood Islands. We don’t appear to have forgotten anything.
4:35 p.m. — Arrive Wood Islands. Get disabused of the notion that it is one hour from our house to Wood Islands (perhaps a holdover from when we lived on the other side of Charlottetown?). Purchase ferry tickets.
5:20 p.m. — Board the 5:00 p.m. ferry. Perhaps Wood Islands on different time zone?
5:45 p.m. — Realize ferry is much nicer way to travel than, well, pretty well anything. Brief longing for days of Borden ferry.
6:40 p.m. — I emerge from washroom to not be able to find Catherine and Oliver. Ferry has docked. Run down to lower deck. Nope, not there. Run up three flights of stairs to find them waiting for me. Ferry work can be exhausting.
9:00 p.m. — Arrive Halifax. Check in at Radisson Halifax (good weekend-only rate).
9:05 p.m. — Find that parking at Radisson is valet only. Fear that am turning into chichi yuppie. Realize is true.
9:10 p.m. — Find our room is bigger than our old house: living room, kitchen, bedroom, hugh bathroom. Wonder why we every stayed at the Maranova (which also has “Suites” in the name, but which was more, well, grotty. Quite grotty, actually).
8:00 a.m. — Rise, shine (give God the glory, glory, etc.).
9:00 a.m. — Enjoy very nice Radisson continental buffet breakfast. Am impressed that they serve real Tropicana orange juice.
11:00 a.m. — Visit to Chinese Grocery first recommended by Alan. Much purchased.
Noon — Visit to Atlantic News to shop for magazines. Take tremendous satisfaction from the fact that Catherine and I can collectively spend $77 on magazines and both enjoy and appreciate the experience thoroughly.
2:30 p.m. — Lunch at Pete’s Frootique. Random shopping for tasty things you can’t buy on PEI. Depressing 15 minute interlude at cash as case of Whoop Ass causes register to go into melt down. Note with interest that QuickCams are installed at knee height, wired into a VDU on the cash register screen, to catch dog food theft, etc.
3:30 p.m. — Coffee and dessert at the suburban outpost of the Italian Grocery. Realize that the “Mega Cheesecake Brownie” is intended for a small cub troup, and not for one person. Feel exploded. Purchase random things you can’t buy on PEI.
4:30 p.m. — Return to Radisson. Oliver and I go to frigid pool and go through the motions of swimming. Mostly Oliver wants to swim over to the ladder and get out. Think Radisson should consider putting more money into their pool area, as it is more “depressing urban bathroom” than “delightful vacation respite” in style and function.
7:00 p.m. — Supper at I Love Sushi on Blower Street. Very good.
8:30 p.m. — Walk on Barrington Street and down to Waterfront. Annoyed by what appears to be the pumping of archaeological sludge from the basement of a building under renovation into the street, which leaves a strong stench over the entire downtown.
6:00 a.m. — Oliver wakes up. Catherine decides to enforce the “we are all equal when on vacation” clause and I retrieve Oliver from crib (way across the other side of the cavern that is our room). Realize that it is still impossible to sleep in same bed as Oliver, what with fears of rolling over on him, etc.
10:00 a.m. — Another tasty breakfast.
Noon — Visit Pier 21, an historic site that purports to be a testament to 43 years of Canadian immigration. It’s very nice to have such a thought. Alas the museum itself is standard issue “highly interactive, completely immmersive” experience crap, and leaves much to be desired. Most annoying problem: they actually have some interesting documents on display, but they’re in glass cases, and artfully “montaged” over each other, so you can’t really read them. Thoughts of Founders Hall dance in my head. Brief stop in gift shop while waiting for world class fully-immersive multimedia show to start. Gift shop has same useless junk that all such shops have. Sad. Oliver lasts 5 minutes in darkened fully-immersive room wearing headphones then erects a level 9 freakout. Leave.
1:30 p.m. — Try to locate an Indian or Indian-influenced restaurant to each lunch at. Find all are closed. Sad. End up eating at The Med on Barrington. Good Shish. Catherine, alas, overwhelmed by hunger and unable to order. Leave Halifax for home immediately.
3:30 p.m. — Stop at Shell in Truro for gas. Intrigued by the offer of exciting new “Fast Pay” option; appears to offer ability to pay with air miles car à la Speedpass. Turns out to just be regular old “pay with your credit card at the pump.”
8:00 p.m. — Stop at Cape Jourmaine to pee in shadow of bridge. Cape Jourmaine is closed. Confident that Gateway Village will be open, proceed over bridge. Gateway Village closed. Pee at Esso. Motor on home.
8:45 p.m. — Pull into driveway. Realize there is much evidence to suggest we left in a hurry. Glad to be on Island soil again.