Thursday, July 24, 2008

Is You a Newfie?

The first week of July, my boyfriend and I traveled to Newfoundland to attend my cousin's wedding. He was marrying a Newfie!

We arrived late on July 3rd and spent the 4th doing pre-wedding stuff and sight-seeing. And of course... eating the local cuisine. Our first meal of fish and chips! Oh, and poutine! For some reason those Canadians like to put brown gravy and cheese curds on their fries. The Newfies add their own touch: gravy and dressing.

We had planned on setting off fireworks that evening, but decided to head to George Street instead for a little fun. After watching the beautiful sunset -- yes, that's the Atlantic Ocean! -- we were off!

Saturday the two of us I left in our rental mini-van for Terra Nova National Park. We wanted to see more of the island and had plans to camp for the night. The park was about 3 hours away along the TCH.

Our first camping spot that we picked out turned out to be not so good. We didn't realize there was no shade, no view of the water, and there were these weird pellets all over the site. My boyfriend kept saying they were bear poop, but I didn't believe him. How could a big animal poop such symmetrical pellets? Although, now that I've talked to others about it... I think he was right! GROSS! And to think that I touched them!

The next camping site was way better. It was bigger, had lots of shade, and it also had this little path that lead to a sitting area with a view of water! It was also near a hiking trail, which is where we headed that evening. Once we headed into the woods, the hike was only supposed to be 2 kilometers. Easy, right? That's what I thought. The map looked like the trail ended at the water so we put on our swimsuits and packed a towel and a couple bottles of water.

Then we started walking... and walking. Most of the walking was uphill. It was a lot of work! How were we going to get to the water if we kept climbing uphill? Turns out, the trail's endpoint was an overlook of the entire park. You could see for miles and miles. It was beautiful. Bonus: the walk back was all downhill!

After hiking, we went on a little drive to see some coastal towns and the beach! There are these cool purple flowers all over Newfoundland that grow wild. They kind of look like a Texas Bluebonnet.

That night we returned to the campsite for smore's and hot dogs over the open fire. And to watch the sunset.

During the drive back to St. John's on Sunday, we decided to stop in a seaside town for lunch. He got the lobster and we both enjoyed a Newfoundland beer with our meal!

We made it back just in time to get ready for another night on George Street. One of the bridesmaids was getting her boyfriend screeched-in and my cousin's fiance wanted to know if we wanted to get screeched-in too. What's a screech-in? Its where you become an official Newfie! All we had to do was kiss a cod on the lips, repeat a Newfie phrase, and take a shot of screech.

What did we have to say? If you read it, it makes sense. But when a Newfie says it to you, really fast, in his half Gaelic tongue, you have no idea what he is talking about. It only took me four days after the screech-in to actually get it.

Monday my cousin, boyfriend, and I drove to the Queen's Battery to sightsee and then visit the Quidi Vidi Brewery. Another adventure in the Newfie dialect: how to pronounce Quidi Vidi. Either "Kiddy Viddy" or "Kai-da Vai-da" are acceptable!

Tuesday we sea kayaked in Bay Bulls and saw Minkie Whales. Wednesday it was back to Bay Bulls for a Whale and Puffin boat tour. We saw lots of humpback whales that day!

The wedding was on Friday -- so beautiful and so much fun!

We were leaving town on Sunday, so our hosts threw one last hurrah party on Saturday night. Those Newfies like to party! Any excuse, I guess!

Would I go back to Newfoundland? Yes!

When I go back, can I answer the question, "Is you a Newfie?"

Deed I is me ol' cock. Long may your big jib draw!


Janell said...

How fun!! Those Newfies sound like they have some interesting traditions. :) Is that the same cousin who visited often when we were growing up, and who helped us make that BSC video?? (I'm thinking it is him, but just wanted to verify. :)

rainylakechick said...

The trip was a lot of fun!

Yes, that's the same cousin. The day after the wedding, he told me he was glad that I never mentioned those videos in my "best man" speech. :)

lovestitches said...

It looks like a fun time! Those flowers are lupins I think, we have a lot of them in NZ.

rainylakechick said...

They are lupins! Do you have mostly purple lupins in NZ or are there other colors? We were told the pinks are less common and a red is very unique. People will steal them from the side of the highway to plant in their own yard!