Ten days to go before we, Honey and I, embark on our odyssey towards the Outer Banks. Yes, that stretches the truth to its outer banks, but we are headed in that general direction. There are zero plans of going there, it would involve a boat and probably bad weather. I just thought it looked dramatic when I wrote it down, and for me a little scary, because it brings to mind ‘The Perfect Storm’ and ‘Titanic’, both movies that didn’t end well. No, the truth is the Outer Banks are nowhere on our travel radar.
What is on the radar is going to an area of Canada that neither of us have been to before, and seeing for ourselves where our country, for better or worse, began. In comparison to the rest of the world, Canada as a nation, has a short history. We don’t have a Stonehenge or Pyramids; we have the Hope Well rock and the Anne of Green Gables house. We do have a Viking village but it puts us on a boat in the direction of you know where in order to see it, and as you can guess, it isn’t on any ‘go see’ list.
We, well mostly Honey, have done some research into the areas that we intend to travel, to identify places of interest. Places we may decide to stop at and learn more about. Keep in mind that our road trip takes place over more time than would normally be needed just to go there and back, we’re there to take in all ambience we can, and that means much time spent meandering. If I haven’t developed a slight east-coast accent by the time I return, I will be really disappointed. I go to the Dominican Republic for two weeks and when I come back, I say ‘buenos dias’ to everyone I meet for the next month! It just pops out! I have no control of it!! If the same thing doesn’t happen to me, after three weeks meandering in the region of such catchy phrases as, ”stays where’s you’s at, til I gets where’s you’s to”, I will have come up short on my experience there.
Honey has mentioned in ‘Wildlife Watch’, that as we travel, we will be keeping an eye out for unique animals we encounter along the way. A friendly competition to keep us entertained between lighthouses. We’ll, well mostly Honey again, will keep a running list of which of us spots an animal first. Only first sightings count, because once you’ve seen one puffin, you’ve seen them all. When we return home, we will total up all the sightings and a competition champion will be declared. There will be a little gloating, and maybe some trash-talking, but we will have had a few laughs over the game and it will have proved to be a pleasant distraction to endless roads. I don’t expect to be the winner. I do “bird”, Honey does “yellow-speckled horn owl”. She’s going to crush me! She watches ‘Bondi Vet’!! I’m a gamer though, and I’ll be scanning the horizon to the bitter end, looking for the upset.
We have also decided to add another game to our journey and that will be to have a treasure hunt. Each of us will write a list for the other, ten things we must each find while we vacation. This was something I stood a chance at being able to do. There is no spotting first, and score to be kept, you either find all the things on the list or you don’t. Sure, Honey has done more research than I have, and knows more about the types of places we will be going and things we will be encountering, but I have a far more devious mind than she does. The list of things she must find, won’t be easy.
Opposed to the random spotting of animals, where you get lucky or you don’t, the treasure hunt list is something that is guaranteed. If it is on either one of the lists we write, it will be out there somewhere to be found. Exciting, right?!! I know Honey will be fair when she gives me her list, Honey is all about fair, I will be the same to her. There is nothing on the list of items I plan to give her to find, that I don’t know we will encounter along the way. In fact, there are some things she might find in more than one location we visit. I’m not making my list easy but challenging. I know how to ‘Google’ too!
I’ve checked where we will be going and because I can, to some extent, control where we stop for coffee or a meal let’s say, I’m quite comfortable that I’m being fair by having Honey find (identify), a refugee from Ukraine. I know where a few have relocated, and will make sure that Honey will have two chances to cross that item off her list. That’s fair, right? It’s not my fault if she isn’t paying attention. She won’t have to talk to them if she doesn’t wish to, just tell me she found one. Who knows, maybe we’ll stumble across some small-town Ukrainian festival where there will be Ukrainian refugees every where! It could happen!! Her list is challenging, not impossible!! A treasure hunt is meant to be fun, isn’t it?? Where is the fun in finding a cannonball when you’re visiting five 18th century forts? Yes, there’s a few soft-ball items on the list, like find a certain coloured lighthouse, but there are a few things that will keep Honey on her toes.
The treasure hunt, like the wildlife watch, is meant to be something to do to amuse ourselves. It may seem a bit juvenile for a pair of sixty-year-olds to be looking for a maple syrup bottle shaped like a church, and you may be right. But a treasure hunt lets every day have adventure with the potential of discovery. I will rise each day not knowing if today will be the day that I will find that certain item, that will let me successfully complete my list. It’ll also be fun to see if Honey spots the sign we will pass, that I found on Google Street View, and put on her list. Don’t worry, I’ll drive by it slowly… I want to be fair.