Finding Family

The second day in Neguac, we knocked on the door of the house with the ALLAIN and FORBES signs in the yard.  When a lady answered the door, my husband explained that we were probably related.  He told her who his grandfather and great-grandfather were.  She drew us into the house and we met her husband who was a first cousin to my husband’s father.  We finally figured out later that made him his second cousin.  They were in their eighties and we embarked on a mixed conversation of French and English. 

Jacqueline called her children and sister-in-law to come over to meet the long-lost relatives from the States.  One daughter brought over her grandmother’s diaries and another brought family photos.  The visit continued as we all trooped over to Chez Raymond for a seafood lunch.  Another cousin (second or third?) had been called to meet us there.  Bebert was his nickname and he was the keeper of family memories.  Over lunch, he recited family stories and connections running back for generations to the first arrival from France in the 1600s. 

We drove to several houses after lunch just to photograph the exteriors.  Bebert had identified these as Allain homes, including where my husband’s grandfather had lived before emigrating to the States.  One house was gone and a pharmacy stood on its location across from the graveyard.

Returning to Levis and Jaqueline’s we met more relatives.  Conversation was lively as we all got acquainted and they shared family history with us.  By six o’clock, one cousin asked us over to her home to see photos she had and to have pizza.  Finally as dusk fell, we tore ourselves away to go set up our camper at the campground.  The mosquitoes in Neguac are truly ferocious. 

It took us awhile to unwind after such an exhilerating day of meeting so many new relatives.  The warm welcome will stay in our memories for a long time.


Campervan Traveling

We traveled in our Road Trek campervan for the New Brunswick trip.  It’s a very well-made recreational vehicle, actually made in Canada.  I’m amazed at what they are able to squeeze into the small interior (a kitchen, a pull-out table, a bed, TV, a bathroom).  Even more amazing, it almost fits into a regular parking lot space.  We usually look for a space where we can pull-through, so we don’t have to back out with cars crowding us on both sides.

To simplify breakfast, we usually pick up carry-out coffee and cocoa at a fast food place.  In Canada, there are the usual McDonalds, but we looked for the Canadian chain, Tim Horton.  On the third morning of our trip, we had our usual bowl of fresh fruit and a container of yogurt for breakfast inside the van.  Then we parked close to a Ramada Inn so we could pick up their wi-fi in the parking lot.  We’d brought along a notebook computer as a space saver.  It worked just fine for us.

Set out following the lighthouse signs that marked the Fundy Coastal Drive.  The road followed the coast down to Cape Tormentine.  The GPS often couldn’t detect a road and just showed us driving through uncharted forests.  The route followed the coast so closely that the little car icon looked like it had one wheel in the water.


Seafood crepe
Seafood crepe

Reached Shediac by noon, so it seemed appropriate to lunch in a local restaurant.  The small city’s claim-to-fame is its lobster festival, but it might be the campground hotspot for New Brunswick.  Quite a few RV parks lined the coast there.  We picked a restaurant at random and enjoyed a seafood crepe and caesar salad.  Couldn’t resist a photo of the giant lobster sculpture at the edge of town.  The local Rotary Club paid for it and the tourists, including us, loved it.

I had to restrain my on-the-fly photography when it started to rain.  Raindrops on the window interfere with photo ops.  To make things worse, the automatic window chose this time to get stuck.  Riding along in the rain with 63 degree temperatures cured me of lowering the window every time I saw a scenic village church. Finally got the window back up, and left it up.

Found a rustic campground near Escuminac that had wi-fi.  Stopped for the night.  I fixed a rather ambitious meal of ham steak, mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables in the two and a half-feet of counter space in the van’s kitchen.  Thank goodness for microwaves and propane stoves.