Has it really been over a month since our last post? We know, we’re bad bloggers 🙁 All of our loyal readers have probably been on the edge of their seats wondering what these two wandering nomads are up to.
Anyway, we’ve been having a great time back in North America. Our first order of business was visiting “home”. And by “home”, we mean the storage locker in Belleville, Ontario where we keep our stuff. It was like Christmas, except we knew what was there and had paid for it all ourselves. Anyway, those facts couldn’t dampen our excitement as we opened bins and suitcases. We’re glad we traveled light, but now that we’re home and not carrying everything on our back, it’s nice to have a few extra comfort items.
We then spent some time in the Toronto and Burlington areas visiting friends and family, most of whom still recognized us. After 10+ years of each living in Toronto and working in the financial district, walking around the area feels so weird to us now. Weird and a bit claustrophobic. But it was great to enjoy Toronto as tourists for a few days, hanging out on the amazing waterfront.
Our summer plans are a hodge-podge of travel around Eastern Canada and the US. The priority was seeing family and friends, so we had to plan our visits around when everyone was available. We also wanted to find a few places where we could base ourselves for a few days or a week at a time, as we have been craving a chance to unpack and settle in.
We spent a week in a great lakefront AirBnB in Havelock, Ontario, running and kayaking most days. It was a great spot to decompress.
We then started our drive out to the Canadian Maritime provinces, with a brief stop in Quebec to watch a Challenger-level tennis tournament. Trevor’s parents were out of town attending the Passchendaele Memorial in Belgium, so they were nice enough to let us stay at their harbourfront apartment in Charlottetown for a week. Christine had rarely seen PEI on a nice day, and had started to believe they never happened. Luckily, most of our week on the island was sunny and warm – amazing! We went on several great runs along the waterfront and discovered the best lobster rolls we’ve ever had (The Chip Shack in Charlottetown). We even had a chance to meet Sally Cole, the reporter from The Guardian newspaper who wrote some great articles about our travels. Check out the latest one!
After a short stop in Halifax to see more relatives and friends, we headed up to beautiful Cape Breton to drive the famous Cabot Trail.
With Trevor’s parents back from their trip, we stopped by to see them again in Charlottetown, thereby finishing off our trip through the Maritimes. Next up, the Northeastern US.
New England and Maine
Our ultimate destination was Cincinnati (more on that later), but to get there we drove along the coast of Maine, then down to Boston. Neither of us had seen much of the northeastern United States, so it was a great opportunity to explore. The coast of Maine was beautiful, but honestly (and maybe we’re a bit biased), PEI and Nova Scotia are at least as nice, if not nicer (and much cheaper!).
On our way to Ohio, we ultimately drove through Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. We couldn’t help thinking to ourselves “How many of these states voted for Trump?”
Why would we go to Cincinnati in August? Tennis, of course. The Western & Southern Open, one of the biggest non-Grand Slam tournaments for both men and women, happens here in mid-August. We’d been once before and loved it, so figured we’d check it out again. We got tickets to the 2nd round and quarterfinals, and ultimately were able to buy discounted tickets for the finals as well. We loved every second of it.
The Shawshank Redemption
We had an extra day to kill before returning to Ontario, so were looking for things to do in Ohio. Turns out our favourite movie of all time, The Shawshank Redemption, was filmed in and around the small town of Mansfield in northern Ohio. In fact, there’s an entire tourist trail that takes curious fans around the main sites.
Our extra day was spent checking out a few of the more famous filming locations, especially the Ohio State Reformatory, which was used as Shawshank State Prison in the movie after closing to real inmates in 1990. Due to interest in the film (and the movie Air Force One, which also filmed some scenes there), the actual prison was opened up for tours. We took one of the self guided tours, which included an audio guide that described both the real history of the prison as well as its Hollywood connections.
Now we’re back in Ontario for a friend’s wedding, then have to repack to for our trip out west to BC. We’ll talk about that next time.