Thursday, 1 December 2016

Cars, Journeys and Change part 5



Once we made the decision to head to Vancouver from Florida, we didn’t turn back to Canada right away. We charted a course westward across the continent. Our funds were running low and we couldn’t linger long so there was little exploring along the way. I remember being surprised at the huge Baptist Churches, large enough to rival Montreal’s Roman Catholic houses of worship. We also experienced our first sand storm as we crossed the southern states. After that it was just a blur of highway punctuated by fast food joints. 

Our route took us west to California and then up the coast. We took the luggage we had started out with and the souvenirs we had picked up along the way. With six people there were a lot of souvenirs. When we crossed into Canada the border guards took one look at our packed car, the roof rack with its tarp covered luggage with the two diving tanks in front and waved us through. 


It felt good to be back in Canada. It was home even if it was on the other side of the country. We quickly found a house to rent and lined up jobs, at least four of us did. Two weeks after we moved into our rental house the car owner and her boyfriend announced they were going back to Nova Scotia. It was a sad day when we waved good bye to the car that had been part of our lives for so long. When it left we were stranded in Vancouver.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Cars, Journeys and Change part 4



It was 1974 and moving west was the furthest thing from my mind. At the time I was sharing a flat in Halifax with three other girls. At least, that was who officially lived there but with four young single women living in one place there were often more than four of us around the kitchen table. It must have been January or February, with thoughts of the long cold Nova Scotia winter ahead, when two of us started talking about a vacation in Florida. My flatmate owned a car and my parents owned a place in Florida so all we had to do was to find the money and time to go. How that morphed into five people selling all their stuff to take journey down to Florida I don’t know, but it did. 

At first it was just the five of us who were going, two of my flatmates and I, the second flatmate’s boyfriend and his cousin. When the car owner’s boyfriend heard about the trip he insisted on coming along too. It was his diving tanks that completed the load on the roof rack. There wasn’t enough room in the car and trunk for six people and their luggage. It was a ’65 Acadian stuffed to the gunnels with luggage and bodies; three women and three men. It’s a good thing most of us were young and skinny!

We headed west as far as Montreal to pick up the house keys from my parents. Then it was off to southern climes. It must have been March by then and snowing in Montreal. As we headed south the weather got warmer and so did our tempers. But we were out of the northern winter and getting along for the most part.

 This was a better view than the snow in Halifax!



The time in Florida was great. We went to Disneyworld, Daytona Beach and the Florida Keys all the while making my parent’s house in Kissimmee our base. What an adventure, we had all the time in the world or at least a long as our pooled money would last. As most of our group were friendly Nova Scotians, we inevitably made friends. It must have been a few of those friends who broken into my parent’s place and stole our stuff while we were away exploring. 

After that, reality set in and we decided that it was time to go back to Canada. But where? We had given up the flat in Halifax so that didn’t seem like an option. Four of us wanted to go to Montreal and two wanted to go to Vancouver. Since the two who wanted to go to Vancouver were the car owner and her boyfriend, we were Vancouver bound.