Friday, July 31, 2015

Rooms with a view

St John’s, NL – With the RV at the dealer’s, and likely to be there for at least half a day, we decided to check out of our hotel and explore the city. Our cellphones were actually working here, so we could be reached if the RV was ready. And, if it was ready early enough, we could even hitch up and travel to our next destination, Argentia, and get there before nightfall.

It has been at least ten years since our last visit to St John’s, so we expected changes, but it was nice to see some familiar sights as well, such as the harbour, Jelly Bean Row (the brightly painted row houses in the heart of town), and Water Street and Duckworth Street.
One major “new” attraction was The Rooms, the city’s 10-year-old heritage museum. It was well worth the visit; the handsome building overlooks the downtown and is designed to resemble the fishing buildings of the sea-coast, which were called rooms. The displays inside provide a wealth of information about Newfoundland history, animal life, Irish roots and heritage, beautifully set out on different levels.

When we climbed the staircase to the second level, the landing opened out to a viewing area with walls of glass, with the whole St John’s harbour spread out below! It was a magnificent sight, and we just sat and took it all in for several mi-nutes. The opposite side of the building looks out on Memorial University, with a similar panoramic view.
That’s where we headed next – and we were impressed with its large campus. Pippy Park was right next to it, so we turned in to have a look at its RV campground. If we had our RV, it would have made a great spot from which to visit the province’s capital city.

By this time we were ready for some lunch, so we went back downtown to The Sprout, a vegetarian restaurant owned by Julia and Laura, the daughters of a friend in Ottawa. Both of them were away today, so we missed them, but our meals were outstanding.
Our cellphones were stubbornly silent, so we decided to drop by the dealership to see what news there might be about the RV. There was no news. They were very busy and hadn’t had a look at it yet. It was entirely under-standable; appointments were booked long in advance and we had just shown up at the door, so we were glad they were willing to fit us in at all.

To pass the time, we thought we’d go fur-ther afield and have a look at Torbay. It’s just up the road from St John’s – and we were treated to another lovely seaside vista when we got there. However, we noticed we’d gone out of our cell-phone coverage range, so we didn’t linger.
Back in the vicinity of the dealership, we ambled through the Avalon Mall for a bit and then just sat in the car, waiting.  And figuring out different scenarios depending on what we learned about the RV. Then we got the call: they’d had a look, and a part (which they had in stock) needed replacing, which they should be able to ac-complish by Monday morning. That would give us just enough time to make our ferry crossing at 5 pm in Argentia that afternoon! Whew!

We went over right away to gather up a few more items from the RV, and then headed back to the hotel we’d checked out of this morning. Would there be room for us till Monday morning? It didn’t look likely when we left after breakfast, but when we went in to check, the re-ceptionist told us some people had just canceled, and yes, there was one room left. Can you believe it?

Two considerably relieved travelers from Ottawa checked in once again, inwardly repeating that well-worn mantra: it’s better to be born lucky than to be born rich!

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