Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Running Between the Raindrops

I've been cobbling this post together over the past several days. When last I wrote in early August we were cruising along to one heck of a summer, with daily temps in the mid to high 20s and sun a regular visitor. On August 5 someone flipped the switch and St. John's has seen four or five days of sun since then. The outport areas, at least on the avalon and most of the east coast, have not fared much better. Some people have referred to this month by a new and more descriptive name, Fogust. What I have found even more frustrating is the abysmal record of forecasters to offer any kind of reliable weather prediction. They kept posting long-term forecast of extended sun that have yet to materialise, and for me, with school starting next week, summer 2015, at least the back half of it, is a write off ; a write-off weather wise anyways. There have been some positives and that is what I'll chose to focus on here, my attempts to run between the rain drops to find the figurative sunny moments.

The hi-light of our summer, at least outside the great 10 day excursion to Ireland &  England  was the visit by our Korean branch of the family. Sherry's brother Matt, his beautiful wife Ji Yeon who is Korean, and our four year old nephew, Rian (great Korean name), visited from Korea from July 28 to August 26. Regrettably, most of their stay was during Fogust and that did put a damper on things but we managed to have many great evenings sitting on the deck (sometimes under the propane heater), enjoying beverages and company. We had an evening of fine dining at a local restaurant where I had the tastiest steak I have ever had ( a 40 oz. $111.00 item that I split with my brother). We had a really fun night downtown where my charming wife utilised all the weapons in her arsenal of wiles to gain our entry into a club where a private party was taking place, so we could hear the Quidi Vidi Dirt Band. During this time we had the pleasure of additional Korean visitors. Our sister-in-law Ji Yeon's sister, husband and nephew visited. They are based in Seoul but are currently in the middle of  a year long world tour to see the globe. They stayed in NL for about 10 days before heading to the U.S. and then they plan an extended travel through several South American countries. The husband, Kwan Ju, left NL with a new appreciation for rum and Wingin'-It wings. Speaking of rum, a lot of that was drunk this summer...that's all I'll say about that.

For me personally, another hi-light from the summer of 2014 was that it marked the occasion of my 50th birthday. Actually Sherry & I have the same birth date and it is on that date we met 27 years ago while each of us was out celebrating. I'm not one for big parties so we marked my milestone event with a family supper, just Sherry, my three kids and the Korean connection, along with my youngest NL nephew and his folks (my brother's family). I got the greatest present any father could ask for, a scrap book done by my kids with a letter from each of them. The memories were precious to look back on and the letters will always be amongst my prized possessions. Those three children will remain the best three things I will ever do in my life.

Here are some pics from that evening.
Me looking...not sure, along with my better half

brother-in-law Matt & I comparing bling

Nephew Rian

Sherry, my oldest, Emily and sister-in-law Ji Yeon

A collage of memories done by my kids

Serving up a tasty turkey dinner

My youngest nephews, Hudson & Rian

My wife created this for the event

My family

Bag of wind

Youngest brother, Des & sister-in-law Colleen

Reading my scrapbook...my youngest, Erin.

A birthday hug from Rian

Cool card from the Korean branch of the family

Da B'ys
With the downturn in the weather in August riding opportunities were not as frequent. Later in the month, out of desperation I started suiting up and heading out over the highway in search of sun. Many days I did find it about 30-40 kms to the west. After Sherry's brother and family headed back to Korea on the 25th, we took a short road trip on the Cape Shore, which is about 50 kms east of St. John's, off of the Salmonier Line. One of Newfoundland's greatest tourist attractions is on the Cape Shore, The Cape St. Mary's Bird Sanctuary http://www.env.gov.nl.ca/env/parks/wer/r_csme/. Sadly, the road has been poorly maintained. We were riding my Magna which is a cruiser. Riding two up, that bike is at it's weight maximum and so hitting potholes that are not marked, at full speed was a bone jarring experience. I had visions of  a popped tire or a broken axel but thankfully we made it without incident and even had time for a stop at one of our favourite restaurants, Philip's cafe in Placentia. http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g609104-d2207671-Reviews-Philip_s_Cafe-Placentia_Newfoundland_Newfoundland_and_Labrador.html The food is freshly made, all natural and the desserts and amazing. We had bread pudding with rum sauce. Next day we did an over night road trip to visit friends in Trinity. Loretta and Kev are two of our favourite people, genuine and easygoing. We stayed overnight at their place and chatted and drank around the fire into the early hours of the morning. Next day we did a coastal hike on the Skerwink trail. http://www.theskerwinktrail.com/  It was a short trip but still one of the hi-lights of our summer. That we got to do it on the bike was even better. We had wanted to go out for our annual birthday trip during the previous week but the rainy weather restricted us to the truck. We still did manage to have a great stay on that trip too, with a nice birthday meal at the Eriksen Premises http://mytrinityexperience.com/eriksen-premises/, as well as taking in a show by Rising Tide Theatre. Later on our friend Kev accompanied us to Rocky's club. The place was alive with visitors from all over participating in square dancing lessons. It was quite the cardio workout. Despite the rain, we had a great time.

Here are a few pics from our evening around the fire and the Skerwink hike. I highly recommend it if you are a hiker and happen to be out around Trinity. As well, if you get to Trinity, take in Kev's Trinity Historical Walking Tours. You will be very glad you did.  http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g499208-d2065180-Reviews-Trinity_Historical_Walking_Tours-Trinity_Newfoundland_Newfoundland_and_Labrador.html

Start of Skerwink Trail

A proud Newfoundland Independence flag.

Old Barn

So, that's about all I have to report for this post. Sorry if it has been kinda long but I packed a lot of experiences in there. As I said at the outset, I have been writing this over several days. I began late last week before the Labour Day weekend and now it is the Tuesday of the first week of September. I was back at work for a few hours here and there last week, but today was for real as the new year got underway. No students today, just administrative duties but tomorrow the youngsters show up and I begin my 28th year in earnest. Only two years to retirment after this one but whose counting! I do hope to get some decent riding weather in September. Today would have been ideal, sunny but not too hot, but alas work did call. I'll write more as I figure I have something worth sharing. 

Until then See Ya Out There!  Ride On.....

1 comment:

  1. Really hate when work gets in the way of life. Looks like you had some great times with the family. 50 eh! I remember when....