A significant part of our journey this summer was connecting with people we hadn’t seen in a while, scattered throughout this vast continent of ours. We realize we are very lucky to know some pretty stellar friends who happened to be conveniently situated along our route. Many have been mentioned on the blog to this point, but there are a few more yet to be introduced.
Along this trip, there was a union between people and place. Our memories of each place will always be connected to the people we shared our experiences with.
Fredericton: Inland capital of the Bruns.
Adam, a friend of Brendon’s from high school, kindly took us in and showed us a great time around Fredericton, both on our arriving and return journeys.
The city has some enjoyable aspects to it: A vibrant farmer’s market on Saturdays, some local artists who have set up shop in the old Barracks, and an accessible downtown that has quite a charming, historic feel.
A favourite shop is Urban Almanac, a home/design store which also houses Tasha Tea.
New Brunswick’s Legislature building looked especially majestic at dusk.
Halifax: Gem of the East.
We made a quick trip to Halifax to connect with our friend Tanya, a Halifax native whom we met in New Zealand.
Tanya is currently at the front end of her residency as an orthopaedic surgeon in Halifax, and were so thankful for the time she made to spend with us amidst this crazy stressful time.
This was my second trip to Halifax, and I have to say, it is probably my favourite Canadian East Coast city. Halifax has a great vibe to it, and I have a heightened appreciation for the city’s history, with it being the first place that my grandparents Alice & John Goodall landed in Canada when they made the long and gruelling journey from England by boat in 1947.
When in Halifax, be sure to check out:
Lion and Bright, a newish cafe/wine bar,
Two if by Sea for some Anchored Coffee and freshly made in-house croissant,
and the vibrant farmer’s market, which has a great permanent indoor set up.
Citadel Hill and Pier 21 are neat places to check out to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the city’s history.
Though a bit touristy, the waterfront is easily accessible and can be a nice place to stroll along.
Halifax, you beauty. We look forward to becoming more acquainted in the future.
Windsor, Ontario held a lovely reunion with our friend Nicole, whom we know from our college days at Taylor. It was special to finally meet her husband Chad and two-year old Ethan for the first time.
Since our visit, Nicole and Chad welcomed the fourth member of their family: Baby Lincoln. Congrats, friends!!
Grand Rapids: Madcap Coffee.
Our best coffee experience of the summer was acquired on a spontaneous detour to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the sole purpose of visiting Madcap Coffee. It added a couple of hours to our long journey that day, but was entirely worth it. What impressed us?
The physical space, for one, was relaxing and inviting. Spacious and open, with vaulted ceilings, it was a place you could find your own space in- to have conversation, to get some work done, or just sit and enjoy a delicious caffeine hit before jumping back on the road. The service was an excellent balance of friendly and professional.
We were enticed by Madcap’s offerings of unique signature beverages, similar to what you might see in barista competitions. We were very satisfied with the end products.
If you ever find yourself remotely in the vicinity of Madcap Coffee, we highly recommend you take the time to stop in.
Winnipeg: Cooler than you’d think.
We have to say that we were pleasantly surprised with the coolness of Winnipeg.
Dora (a friend from college & dance) and her husband Pablo showed us an amazing time around their city which boasts both a strong history and a blossoming arts & culture scene. As architects, both Dora and Pablo have been involved in some cool projects to enhance culture and community in Winnipeg, and it was neat to hear about their aspirations and visions for how they would like to be involved in shaping their city.
We strolled through the Forks district that evening, a centrally-located collection of restaurants and shops, as well as the home of the farmers market. The design of this area makes for a delightful central gathering place for people, and highlights the convergence of the Assiniboin and Red Rivers.
The city had some other neat assets we were able to glimpse that evening: A vibrant French District, Osbourne St. (likened to Edmonton’s Whyte Ave), an innovative-looking Human Rights Museum in the works, and some inspiring bridges.
Little Sister Coffee Maker was the one cafe we were able to check out during our short stop in Winnipeg.
Vanessa, the owner, is the sister-in-law of the owner of PRLR coffee. We appreciated the fitting, subtle feminine touches, and loved the mint colour and the continuity of the branding. It was a really lovely cafe and we are so glad we stopped in.
There is an artsiness and innovation in this city that we liked. Winnipeg… who knew?
This brings us to the conclusion of our cross-continental roadtrip. It was an incredible adventure with many unforgettable stops and faces along the way. After talking this trip for a couple of years, it was amazing to finally realize this dream. A deeper appreciation for this vast country and continent of ours was gained, and we feel grateful to call this beautiful country of Canada ‘home.’ The journey was all the more meaningful because it was shared with so many friends along the way. The trip wouldn’t have been possible without the many loved ones who took us in, showing such generous hospitality. Thank you to all who were a part of this journey.