Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to… (with apologies to Snow White and her minions, not to mention Steve McQueen).

In the estimation of my wife, I had become obsessed with Newfoundland. Yeah, alright, it’s true. (Could an intervention be far behind?) The two trips up there had been transformative experiences for me. Now that she had seen what I had seen, she wanted to go there. Who was I to argue?

Planning the trip was easy as she wanted to go to the places to where I’d been. Since we did not have as much time as I did originally, I planned a truncated version which I felt would give her good exposure to this land with which I’d fallen in love. Keepin’ my fingers crossed!

Our flight would get us into St. John’s well after midnight, so we would have to take a taxi to the B&B I’d booked. I stayed there on each previous trip as my starting point and didn’t see any reason to change that. Since we would be arriving late, they left me the punch-key code to get in and our room key outside our room. Cool.

As it was so late, the car rental counters were closed until later that morning. We would have to come back then and pick up our car. So, we hailed a taxi and were treated to a rapid, Bullitt-(the movie) like trip downtown. The driver was a typical friendly Newfoundlander and quite fond of using the f-word. “F” this, “F” that, entertaining to a point, but losing its charm halfway there.

Our driver only thought he was Steve McQueen.

We arrive at the B&B around 1:30 AM. I punch in the code, go upstairs, schlepping the luggage up (three flights!) to our room, look for the key, and hear snoring…in our room! Since I didn’t book a semi-private room, this could not be right. I tried calling the owners several times, leaving messages, but to no avail.

But we were downtown and just a block or two away from a large hotel. Down three flights with the luggage and out on to the street. Off we went to see if there was any room at the inn. Down a hill, up a hill with our luggage in tow. (Do you think I’m making a really good impression on my wife at this point? Surly is not one of her more attractive traits.) We enter the hotel and go to the reception desk and ask for a room. No, there was no room at this inn. There was a Harley Davidson convention in town and all the rooms were booked.

However, this being Newfoundland, the uber-friendly concierge started calling all, and I do mean all, the other hotels and B&B’s in town in an effort to get us lodging for the night. At 2:00 in the morning! But to no avail. The bikers weren’t the only convention in town. The other convention could have been Beanie Baby collectors for all I cared. (No, this was not starting out at all as I planned and my wife was quickly resenting this trip.)

The concierge was quite apologetic. He suggested we could leave our bags with him and go further downtown (four blocks) for food and music if we were so inclined. My wife was a bit apprehensive, no, a lot, about walking in a dark city at 2:30 in the morning. We both tried to reassure her this was OK. How could anything could be open at this hour? Hah! This is St. John’s! Off we went.

Within a couple of blocks, music of all types could be heard. People were out and about having a fine time. Before long, so were we. We got food and drink, listened to some music, and wandered safely back to the hotel where we were invited to rest in the lobby (!) until morning. Try that anywhere else and you’ll be arrested for vagrancy! In Newfoundland, you are truly welcome and they’ll go out of their way to prove it.

Later that morning, we’ll go to the airport to get our car, where I’ll make major points!

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