The Journey Begins: Week 1

May 16: Our last evening in Nova Scotia

I had always imagined spending our last night on the beach near home, on the Eastern Shore. The air here smells delicious. The sea breeze is so clean and fresh; every deep inhale reminds me of how lucky we are to call Nova Scotia home.

The day is packed full of last-minute errands, crossing off things on my list in anticipation of parking in Seaforth Cove and relaxing around the campfire. We get there just before the sun sets. Stefan and Mark set out to gather driftwood, and manage to haul a huge load back in one trip.

Stefan & Mark, Seaforth, May 16

I almost forget to take some photos. The sun is setting quickly! I want to remember this night. There will be so many memories I want to carry with me, I’m only too aware that I need to photograph and draw the most special ones.

Camper at Seaforth, May 16

Bridget on rocks

I’ve never seen the moonrise over the Atlantic before. It was a spectacular sight!

Leigh and Mark, Campfire in Seaforth, May 16

Friends joined us. We talked story, laughed, ate, gazed into the fire, and out at the moon.

Moonrise, Seaforth, May 16

May 17: Today we hit the road

We woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the ocean, and the sounds of gentle waves lapping on the beach. We sat around the ashen campfire from the night before, sipping hot coffee, with the warm sun on our faces. “If half the campsites ahead are half as nice as this, we’ll be very lucky,” I said.

After we wrap up the rest of our responsibilities that needed to be done before we left the province, we finally hit the road at 2pm. The rest of my list can be scratched off from my sister’s house in a few days. Our first stop isn’t too far away. We want to say Farewell to the couple who sold us our truck and camper last fall. The Joys have become dear friends, and a couple of our biggest cheerleaders. They’ve been anticipating our visit, so when we pull into their driveway our mood peaks as well. Several hours and hugs later, we set out to put some miles behind us. We need to find a place to camp before dark, and paying for a campsite is not in our budget. Being the map-keeper, I look for a country road near a river or lake just outside Moncton. I set the GPS for Coles Island and hope for the best. We turn left down Hwy 10 and are drawn towards South Canaan Road. It’s fun, flying by the seat of our pants like this! We find ourselves in a sort of cottage country, with lots of ‘Private Property’ and ‘Do Not Enter’ signs marking the beginnings of overgrown driveways. Before long we come across an overgrown lot with no signs at all. It’s perfect! We pull up the path and find a beautiful clearing surrounded by woods. Welcomed by a glowing sunset, this is home for the night.

Campsite in NB, May 17

May 18: Bound for Montreal

This would be one of our longest driving days this year. Because we left so late, we had to make good time. So onward we drove, only stopping to refuel, make coffee and lunch, and pee. Thank goodness for our own kitchen and bathroom. I love our rig! It’s comfortable, compact, and has everything we could possible need.

Morning sunrise, NB, May 18

Clamshell in bush, NB, May 18

Stefan’s Uncle Giovanni, my cousin Paula and her family, and my friend Chelsea all live in Montreal. With only one night here and poor planning on my part, we can only go with the flow. We get lucky again though! We hang out at Chelsea’s for dinner with her NS friends who came to watch the Habs game, and spend a restful night camped out in the parking lot in front of her apartment. I was amazed at how quiet her neighbourhood is at night. We joined Giovanni for breakfast, and looked forward to seeing Paula and the family at my sister’s house later.

Morning coffee in Montreal, May 19

Campsite in Montreal parkinglot, May 18

Visiting Chelsea in Montreal, May 18-19

Ahh… finally we’re where we want to be. Wakefield, Quebec. My sister lives up on the mountain in Wakefield Heights in a new home she and her husband Paul built in a little orchard last year. We all nestle around the campfire. Paula, Etienne, and their daughter Mila spend the night with us before they head back to Montreal the next day.

Campfire in Wakefield, May 19

May 19: My sister’s house in Wakefield, Quebec

We all catch up over breakfast, followed by a hike up to the look off. We’ll go camping together when they’re on the west coast in July visiting mutual friends at the same time we’ll be there!

Breakfast portrait, May 19

Shilhouettes at the lookout rock, May 19

On the rock look-out, May 19

Paula's profile, May 19

Claire's two leaves, May 19

Mila resting on rock

Mila at the pond, May 19

Ellis on the trail, May 19

Sarsasparilla plant, May 19

Cheryl and Claire walking together, May 20

Mila and Claire, drawing in the sand, May 20

Stefan likes to be kept busy. He’s not quite in ‘gypsea’ mode yet with lots of projects to still do on the truck and camper. Neither am I yet. I’m still overwhelmed by the past few months and what we still have to do. Life has been flying by in fast-forward for far too long. But where we are is the best spot to begin to unwind and settle into a slower pace.

Stefan fixing surfboard, May 19

I was anxious to start documenting our trip in my new homemade journal from Mule Mother Books. I finally gathered the courage to pull out my art supplies, despite all the friends and neighbours visiting. Within seconds I was joined by three other little artists! We had so much fun chatting about what we like to draw and what inspires us.

Sketching with the girls, May 19

May 20: A day to relax and wander

Today was back to work and school for the household. I started my last commission painting I didn’t get to finish before we left Nova Scotia. Just as I was about to take a break, Cheryl called. They were going to be late picking up Claire from school, so I offered to bike in to town and surprise her. After weeks of cold, wet Spring weather, I welcome summer in Wakefield.

Covered bridge, May 20

Looking in covered bridge, May 20

Through covered bridge, May 20

Stella and I went for a walk. We ran through swarms of mosquitoes.

Round mirror, May 20

Cheryl, Paul and Claire have carved out a little paradise here on a sandy “beach” on the top of a mountain in the middle of an orchard. I’m so glad this is home for 1 more week!

Cheryl & Paul's house, May 20

xo ~ DS

9 Comments on “The Journey Begins: Week 1

  1. Congrats on the commencement of your journey Daina and Stefan. You are sure to have an incredible time and many many great experiences. I’m excited for you both and hope to maybe follow in your wanderlust footsteps sometime. Keep the updates coming have an awesome time! Chris Smith.

  2. nice pictures guys . hope everythings going well so far . drive safe

  3. Oh, this is so exciting. We are enjoying following your blog. Happy for you.
    We have opened up the trailer in Five Islands and plan to go there tomorrow a.m. Have used the MH three times. Hoping for some warmer weather! Very windy there last week.

    • Thank you Frances and Jim! Five Islands is a beautiful place. Have fun!

  4. We are so excited for you and really enjoying your blog. Have opened up the trailer in Five Islands and plan to go back tomorrow. Very windy there last week. Hoping for warmer weather.

  5. Hey Daina and Stefan! Thinking of you sooo often!
    Eva and Co.

    • Eva!! I’m still smiling from our visit with you and the family. It was wonderful!! We’re about to head in to Baja this week. Thinking of you often. Big Love and Hugs, Daina

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