Posts Tagged ‘leonie’

Happy Monday!  Happy Labor Day to us Americans.  Labor Day is a holiday designed specifically to give people a day off work.  Unfortunately, I have to work today, but we have abbreviated hours!

I’m sorry I kinda forgot that I didn’t finish my journey to Newfoundland.  But here it is!

On the last day, we had just a few hours for some more sightseeing.  We stopped at Western Brook Pond for a group photo:

The woman holding Leonie is named Pam, and I remember most of the other names still, but I think it will be okay if I forget them tomorrow.

And we stopped at the Lobster Cove Lighthouse:

And then we grabbed lunch (A&W poutine and a root beer float!) and headed to the airport.  The flight home went a lot more smoothly then the flight out, but I am never flying home through Vancouver again.  I had to walk all the way across the airport to go through US customs, then walk a really long way to wear my tiny airplane was, and of course there was no food there.

But look at how cute Leonie was on the airplane:

(she had to sit on the tray table on the first flight, but then she got her own seat on the second/longer flight.  She took a nap).

I can’t wait until my next vacation!

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This is the last full day in Newfoundland.  Frown.  But it was a pretty nice day.  Smile.

It started with another boat trip.  This time through a fjord in the Gros Morne National Park.

And the scenery was absolutely gorgeous.

After the boat ride, we had lunch and a visit at the Gros Morne discovery centre.  This was home to the trip’s only moose sighting:

Okay, so it was a fake moose, but it seems to be pretty proportional to Leonie!

Gros Morne National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site, so the discovery centre had a little exhibit for each of Canada’s UNESCO sites.  Since Leonie is from Quebec City, she got her photo with the Quebec sign:

After we spent too much time at the Discovery Centre, we headed to the Tablelands.  The Tablelands are actually the mantle of the earth (you know, that stuff under the crust) that has been thrust upwards.  What does that look like?  Weird colored rocks:

Here’s the only photo of Marjorie in Newfoundland:

After we didn’t spend enough time at the Tablelands, we went out to Broom Point.  At Broom Point, a family whose name I can’t remember donated their land and fisherman buildings to Parks Canada.  So we learned about Newfoundland fishing traditions and stuff.  I grabbed a photo of our tour guide Paul dressed like the guy on the fish stick package.  He was not excited to be photographed with Leonie, but he did it anyway:

And some lovely photos of Leonie with a lobster trap by the seashore:

And then we headed back to the hotel for dinner.  Tonight after dinner was a musical performance featuring some traditional Newfoundland music.  There were a lot of songs about drinking.  Interesting.

And then I packed my bags.  It was a bit of a challenge to fit the items I had accumulated back into carryon size bags.  I had expanded to make my day bag lighter, plus all my yummy Canadian snacks, and a few souvenirs.  But I did it.

I started to be sad to leave Newfoundland.  It’s a beautiful island, and the small population made it feel so undiscovered.  Like now I’m in on a secret.  The secret of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I’ll have one more post as I talk about the absolute last day of vacation, and then I’ll have to post because I bought 2 new dollies this week.  Do you know who they are?

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Hello!  I’m back to tell you about the 4th day of our trip to Newfoundland and Labrador!

This was probably second favorite day of the trip (yesterday was the first), but I don’t have too many photos for you.

We started our day with a whale watching tour!

And we saw lots and lots of whales.  Mostly humpback whales, and then a few dolphins, and then, toward the end of the tour, we found orcas!

That picture is really good, but most of the whale photos I took are only okay.  You know, whales move.  I’ve been whale watching before, and the fact that I got any good photos is proof that we saw A LOT of whales.

After whale watching, which ran late because it was so awesome, we grabbed a quick lunch, then drove and drove and drove to the Gros Morne National Park.  Here’s a photo of a garden on the side of the road:

Our hotel was fun because it was the home of the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.  Tonight’s show was a drama about a WWI-era love story.  It had just 2 actors and basically no props, but the story was so compelling.  It was delightful.

Whales and a love story add up to a great day for me.  I cried at the theatre, and I was sad that our vacation is nearing its end.

Have a nice day everyone!

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Welcome back!

This is the day of my trip that I was most looking forward to.  We hopped on the ferry to go back to the island of Newfoundland, heading to L’Anse aux Meadows.

We stopped at a pile of wood on the way to L’Anse aux Meadows.  Newfoundlanders keep the wood they’ve chopped down to heat their house on the side of the road to dry.  Not something we city slickers see every day.

L’Anse aux Meadows is an archaeological site at the very northern tip of the island (beautiful piece of property).  Remains of sod houses dated at about 1000AD.  These remains are strongly similar to those archaeologists found in known Viking settlements in Greenland and Iceland.  So L’Anse aux Meadows is recognized as the first European settlement in North America.  Awesome!

Let’s start with Leonie in a Viking ship in the visitor center:

and in front of a sculpture meant to represent the meeting of natives and Europeans on this continent:

First we walked through actual remains of the Viking houses.  Here’s Leonie in a doorway:

Then we visited the reconstructed sod houses.  They made bricks out of dirt and peat.

Inside the houses they had interpreters pretending to be Vikings.  The blacksmith volunteered to pose for a photo:

This site was my favorite part of the whole trip.  It lived up to my expectations for sure.  I was thoroughly entertained and educated, all while on the most beautiful piece of land.  One more shot of the landscape:

So after the Viking site, we headed to our hotel.  On the way we stopped at a tourist trap of a souvenir shop that was very much not my style, but then the owner brought out his dogs!  I saw Newfoundland dogs in Newfoundland!  Loved them!

Our hotel stop was at our biggest town so far, so I took another walk to the beach, but I also got to stop at the ATM and the supermarket and Tim Hortons for a doughnut (I got one with oreos AND one with Reese peanut butter cups…remember in Canada it’s Reese not Reese’s)

Dinner had a Viking theme, which was pretty fun.  Photo:

We stayed up later than I had the whole trip.  I was finally caught up on the sleep I lost that first day!  Hooray!

See ya tomorrow!

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Hello again!

We had an early start this morning because we had a ferry to catch.  If you’re on the Friends of Maplelea board, you may have noticed that my Leonie has a fondness for ferries.  Doesn’t she look radiant?

Or maybe she’s just excited because she knows the ferry dock is actually in Quebec!  This is the only photo I have as evidence that we were in Quebec:

It took us about 3 minutes of driving through Quebec to get to Labrador!

Our first stop in Labrador was the Red Bay National Historic Site.  We learned about Basque whalers that came to Labrador in the 16th century.  Here’s Leonie next to an actual whale fin bone:

And this is the majority of an actual 16th century boat, that was discovered in the 1970s.  The cold salt water around Labrador is actually really good for preserving artifacts:

Here’s a model that seems to be made just for someone Leonie’s size, so she can melt down the whale fat to make oil for Basque lamps:

And here are a couple of photos outside around the museum.  We even saw an iceberg!

The whaling station was really cool, but it was just the cherry on the beautiful sundae that is Labrador.  I found the landscape pretty amazing.  Tons of dramatic rocks and cliffs.  It was hard to fully capture in photos, but this is a pretty great one of Leonie:

We even had time to walk to the beach before dinner!  It was surprisingly sandy, considering that the beaches of Newfoundland were so rocky.

And today Leonie grabbed a photo with our busdriver.  His name is Gary.  He’s from Halifax, Nova Scotia, but lived in Vancouver for a while:

This was a really great day.  Labrador is fantastic, but we have more awesomeness ahead.  We caught the ferry back to Newfoundland the next morning.  More trip reports coming soon!

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It’s been ages since I’ve posted for Maplelea Monday, but I’m hoping this one will be awesome enough to make up for it.

On Friday, Leonie and I returned from a weeklong trip to Newfoundland and Labrador!  For those not in the now, Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost Canadian province, and it was the last to join the confederation of Canada, which it did in 1949.  Before that, it was an independent colony of Britain.  Here’s a photo diary from our trip!

The journey began in Seattle.  Leonie was happily secured to the Maplelea backpack:

First stop was Chicago.  We got Garrett’s popcorn, which is the most delicious popcorn I’ve ever eaten.  I got a big bag, and I snacked on it for the first few days of the trip:

After a 90 minute delay, we finally made it to Toronto.  Because of the delay, we had just 50 minutes to make our next flight.  Normally not a problem, but as we were entering Canada for the first time, we had to go through customs.  The line for customs itself was delightfully short because they had a dedicated line for those with connecting flights, but then we had to wait for the baggage:

This took forever!!  And as you may have guessed, we did not make our next flight.  I was sent all the way to the other end of the airport to the American Airlines ticket counter.  I waited for 45 minutes for the agent to help the person in front of me, who was in the same situation as me (was on my delayed flight and missed his connection).  I knew there was only one more flight to Deer Lake, NL that night, and the longer I waited, the more I knew we were going to miss that one too.

But it worked out okay.  There was a flight available if I went to St Johns first.  So I had a couple hours to wait in Toronto (I got poutine and rootbeer from A&W), then I flew 3 hours to St Johns.  Then a 2 hour layover at the St Johns airport, which is surprisingly small for an international airport, then finally 1 more hour to get to Deer Lake, NL.

Here’s a photo of Leonie at the airport in St Johns.  She was apparently as tired as I was:

I was originally scheduled to arrive in Deer Lake at midnight, but instead arrived at 7am.  We were meeting the tour at noon, so I’m actually lucky that I made it at all.  It was a bit challenging to check into the hotel that late/early, but I did, since it was already paid for.  I grabbed complimentary breakfast, a shower, and got about 2 hours of sleep in a bed.  Hooray!

We were joining a group tour of the North and West Coasts of Newfoundland, and even hopped over to Labrador.  The first day drove from Deer Lake, stopped for lunch in Rocky Harbour, and ended in Port-au-Choix.

Leonie got her own seat on the bus:

And here’s lunch.  We sat next to an old lady with a bit of dementia who insisted that we had already met.  We hadn’t.

After lunch, the first real stop was the Port au Choix National Historic Site, where we learned about the first peoples of Newfoundland.  The exhibit was pretty interesting.  I was super excited to get out of the bus and see Newfoundland for real!

and I bought a little doll at the gift shop.  Here’s Jenna holding it when we got home:

After the Historic Site, we had time to explore the town of Port au Choix before dinner.  It was somewhere around here that Leonie’s face got too close to a painted wall, so you’ll see that in these photos.  I was thankfully able to remove the paint later with a makeup remover wipe I had in my suitcase.

Port au Choix was an adorable fishing village, and the weather was delightfully drizzly.  But eventually, the wind was too much for my tired soul, so I went in for dinner, and Leonie went straight to bed without supper.

Okay.  I was gonna try to get all my photos into one post, but the computer stuff is no longer cooperating, so I’m gonna stop for today.  Stay tuned for more!

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Ever since I posted old vacation photos on Monday, I’ve been yearning for another vacation!  Too bad my boss is failing to approve any vacation requests.  So, let’s look back on the adventures that my dollies and I have been on over the last few years…

February 2013, Seattle with Leonie


April 2013, Tulip Festival with Brianne


April 2013, Oak Harbor with Saige, Elizabeth, and Mia

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May 2013, Disneyland with Mini Kit


June 2013, Chicago with McKenna


June 2013, Mackinac Island with Caroline

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July 2013, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia with Jenna

August 2013, the state fair with Brianne


September 2013, Rieke came home with me from London


October 2013, Albuquerque with Saige

November 2013, Disney World with Mini Dolls






January 2014, New Orleans with Cecile

March 2014, Seattle with Henriette

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March 2014, Bellingham with Ruthie (and Valerie and the twins)

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April 2014, UW and a Mariners Game with Sonali



April/May 2014 Maui with Kanani


May 2014, pageant in Texas with Kit


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July 2014, Whistler with Taryn

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July 2014, Nauvoo, Illinois with Chrissa

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August 2014, the zoo with Jess

October 2014, Manitoba with Saila

December 2014, the ballet with Isabelle

January 2015, Sing-a-long Sound of Music with Kirsten

January/February 2015, Disney Cruise with Grace

Where to next?

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