© 2011 jemma

Foggy ol St John (aka Saint Jean)

Surprise! Its me again – Jess. Hoorah!

Little gripe to start – sadly, its about Quebec. Obviously while travelling through Quebec we used local maps. I didn’t really mind all the signs were only in French, that was bearable. What finally got me was when I wanted to show Jemma where St John was. Low and behold – St John wasn’t on the map. Instead there was some city ‘Saint Jean’ but it was in the same location! Somehow these two cities co-exist at the same location…. interesting!

Turns out when you translate the name of a city – it changes. So in Australia we say Vancouver. In Germany they say Vasticouberbahn.

I made that last bit up.

The trip to Saint Jean was nice. Jemma most likely covered that off but I wanted to say that ‘Grand Falls’ the place, coincidentally had some grand falls. These people should capitalize on that for tourism.

Leaving Grand Falls on a beautiful sunny day we hopped over the highway (3 hours?) and were met with a wall of fog. That was novel. We managed to navigate through the fear to my Uncle Reg’s house. The subconscious Belliveau locator was working that day. For our Saint Jean stay we forced ourselves upon my Uncle Reg and Aunt Yvonne (along with Kenny my cousin).

Before we get into some good family chatter I want to cover the fog a little. This stuff was thick! I’m talking Silent Hill thick. I’m talking The Fog thick. More Silent Hill thick. Thick alright!

My last visit to St John had been a epic family get together – I’d mentioned to Jemma that there was a good concentration of Belliveau blood. Turns out, there is more since my last visit! We timed it well and arrived in time to celebrate Reg’s 75th! Luckily there was room for us to attend the big dinner and share some nice cake!

We met a heap of family and it was great connecting again with family that is so far away. Great opportunity for Jemma to meet my family as well! Finally! So who did we have hiding in Saint John? Spelling aside – my cousin Cathy and Stephen, cousin Sheryl and Tony, cousin Jeff and Miranda and finally cousin Sandra and Allan. Then the kids that were present and we had a chance to meet – Alex (plus Alex aka, Doug!), Greg (after finally cornering him), Ostynn, Samantha, Triston, Jonathan and 1 to be named (still being baked!).

Between Reg trying to get me drunk with his quadruple Cap’n Morgans or Rye we managed to see a few of the sights and somehow Cathy managed to get us to try ‘Dulse‘. I won’t even try to explain what black strap molasses is – just avoid the stuff people! Its poison!

We strolled to the reversing falls under good directions from Yvonne. Again, another feat of timing to arrive just at slack tide. So the falls weren’t reversing… or falling… they were just being ‘water’. Nice park supplied by Irving though and some interesting wood carving where we learnt cultural history.

Irving – big name in the area. Tycoon pretty much, big pulp mill there. Worth mentioning? Not really. But all part of the New Brunswick experience! Irving nature park as named by Irving! Or for Irving. Wait no, by Irving. A nice park, wish we had more time to do a little walk around and blend in with nature. Car bound instead, enjoyed a few of the look outs and the beach. Had a nice fox incident – turns out they are pretty much tame and approach the car for feeding! Surprise, we don’t feed the foxes but yes, we will take a photo thank you.

We managed two incursions to the CBD area. Firstly to get some nice piccies for Reg and secondly to visit the old site of the famous ‘Reggie’s restaurant’ – yup, run by Reg himself back in the day. No longer Reggies but a burger joint that we didn’t visit. There is some awesome history with Reggies though.

Managed to fit in an awesome night with Jeff and Miranda – was cool to meet the younger Belliveaux. The kids were cool and we got to run around a little, a good game of basketball was had after a great dinner made by Jeff himself, home made ‘donair’. Was delicious. Semi surreal meeting small children that have you surname and letters addressed to Belliveau etc. sadly, have never run into a Belliveau back in Aus.

To finish on a slightly serious note! It really was amazing to see Reg again. Reg and Dad somehow are almost identical… it was like meeting Dad again with a bit more age on him. I was surprised at how emotional it was leaving St John and having to give Reg a hug and head off. Tough to walk away from someone just like Dad and made for a pretty solemn drive to our next location. Partly relaxing on another side though. This year has been really great for a few reasons but what has put it over the edge is connecting with family.

On a happier note! We get to pass through St John again and see all these great people one last time before we leave Canada!

See you soon FOG!