Thurs. Nov. 21, 2019:
Toronto flight to Moncton, New Brunswick:
Our flight wasn’t until 3:15pm, we didn’t have to clear customs and the taxi ride to the airport was covered?! This was my kind of travel. Even with the delay due to construction traffic we made it to the airport in plenty of time. Brent’s business trip to Moncton, New Brunswick had ballooned to an east coast weekender.
The Wendy’s was right behind us at check-in, everything was lining up. Until we crossed over to the other side, not a single Starbucks in sight. I had to settle for Timmie’s which at least was right by the gate. I had a medium tea and chanced upon the brilliant idea to get an extra tea bag, so I had one green tea and one apple cinnamon tea. Genius. It was unbelievable how long one guy near us was talking on his phone. He just would not stop. Instead he switched over to speaker phone. I was one zone ahead of Brent for boarding. I had to get out of there away from that guy. Except he ended up sitting one row in front of me. At least he had stopped talking.
While waiting to board I quickly got bored with my new book The Cheffe, thankfully I had packed a second book and my iPad. I downloaded Nora Ephron’s Heartburn as a backup. I was not in the mood for fiction, but I did need to read one more food-related book. I cracked open Trick Mirror… and then was unable to put it down until we landed. Having just read the intro I was already in the group-chat recommending it to everyone.
My annoyance (PMS?) only got worse once we were all seated. My seatmate had still not arrived. Some guy who seemed like the last one on the plane put stuff in the overhead… and then left. I was not going to do up my seatbelt until the person was seated, except we were taking off soon. Eventually, timed perfectly to when I did my seatbelt that same guy came back. During drink service he asked if they had cream. The flight attendant looked at him confused, thinking the same thing I was: this guy just wants a cup of cream?! Eew. He laughed and so no, obviously he only wants coffee if they have cream. As if it is that different from milk. She asked me if I wanted cookies, pretzels or both. I almost yelled with excitement BOTH! I love Biscoff cookies but pretzels are good too.
It was a really short cab ride to the hotel. On the way to our room we scoped out the spot where tomorrow we would watch the tidal bore. I had pictured us waking up, shuffling to a window, either in our room or in the hallway, and watching it. But we had an exterior room. In the hotel lobby they had a sign saying it would be at 5:30am the next day but Brent had a website that said 6:30. We later found a different website corroborating the hotel time.
We walked over to the Tide & Boar for dinner and drinks. It was one of the two places I had found in my searching of where to eat. The other was the Pumphouse brewery but this place had ciders! So yes, I was a little biased in my choice. We ordered the seafood charcuterie board and umami pork bites. The oysters were in season and as delicious as promised. The little neck clams were pretty good, i got one of the shrimp legs stuck in my teeth momentarily in a not-so-graceful eating of the shrimp. The real standout of the board was somehow the pickled veggies. Who new that fiddleheads and brussels sprouts could be good?! The maple smoked salmon was ok but not as good as the light and airy fish mousse. I had a cider from Fredericton that was strawberry and lime flavoured. Soon Vino joined us and we ordered a boar poutine (what the pub is known for according to You Gotta Eat Here). It was round here I started feeling awful. I don’t know what did me in, but by the time I was scooping some poutine on my plate I felt hot and nauseous. I went to the bathroom and my face and chest were all flushed, my eyes were glassy and bloodshot. It was all so sudden. All I could do to feel better was splash water on my face. I was bloated and so uncomfortable. I couldn’t believe how quickly it all happened. I was really struggling to keep it together. But at this point even just the sight or mention of food was enough to make me feel ill.
I felt a little bit better outside in the cold. It was snowing which was a nice distraction. We walked a few blocks up the main street and then one over. We were in search of Brent’s great-grandma’s two listed addresses from archived documents. The first one turned out to be a bust, it was an empty lot with construction materials. The second one was an even bigger with a giant billboard for condos coming soon. On the walk back I was so bloated I considered unbuttoning my pants. There was a Shoppers Drug Mart across the street but it was past a giant parking lot and I could not stand the thought of walking that far only to find out it was closed. Instead I stealthily unbuttoned the top bottom of my pants under my coat as we walked back to the hotel. All I could think about was a hot shower. Even though it was only 10pm back home, I was ready for sleep.