as we wander » traveling adventures of monika and jonathan

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our new friends in NB

We’ve been looking forward to posting this for a long time. It’s hard to put into words how much this part of the trip meant to us. I saw a sign once in a restaurant that said “come as strangers, leave as friends” and that’s as close as I can come to describing our time with Matthew, Lori, and sweet little Grace.

Much of our trip planning and prep was inspired by reading on Expedition Portal , a website and forum dedicated to adventurer and overland travel. I was reading a trip report and saw a comment from a guy from New Brunswick and decided to send him a message asking for ideas of places to visit in his neck of the woods. I got a message back with an extensive list of activities and locations plus an invitation to park our little house on his 5 acres. Since we’ve done some couch surfing we decided to take him up on the offer. You can always leave if it’s sketchy, right? A choppy phone call through Google voice  from the border between NS and NB (and a quick Google search of his name) and we were on our way.

Upon arrival we were welcomed by a friendly face as Matthew invited us in for tea and chickpea puffs. Minutes turned to hours as our conversation carried on and the chickpea puffs slowly disappeared. It’s quite crazy actually, another photographer/nurse couple, 4 years apart, striving to live more simply, seemingly living  against the grain of “normal.”

In the morning we met Lori – she had been at work the evening before. It was a morning of laughs and epiphany as Lori would ask questions and receive the same answers we had given Matthew the night before, she would laugh, look at Matthew and the whole “You’re kidding, right?” thing would happen all over again. She even falls asleep everywhere just like Monika.

Gracie is such a delight. She has to be the best mannered 5-year-old we’ve ever met. “Dad, you know I love this toy.” (refering to her My Little Pony Ferris Wheel that she brought out into the kitchen to show us) After breakfast we were invited to multiple puppet shows featuring a pumpkin and bat decorated backdrop and a lamb chop puppet. We colored, played in the rain, sang songs, and quickly went from strangers to friends. In the following mornings she would ask “Are my friends still here?” and by the end “I love you Monika.” I love you too Gracie.

We all had a lot of fun together. Shared many laughs, went to a farmer’s market (yeah we love that), drank cider (yeah we love that too), took pictures, played games, met their friend Martin (Hey Martin! You made it on the blog! You’re famous! Haha), watched movies, fell asleep watching movies, made delicious apple and pumpkin pie, made potato cheese soup without the cheese (ha), laughed until our stomachs hurt (over and over again) and much, much, more. The fun (and discovery of our similarities) was never ending. Can we go back?

Needless to say we didn’t want our time together to end. They even invited us to Thanksgiving (the next Monday) and we highly considered returning,  multiple times. By the time we were close to Boston and Thanksgiving was just a day or two away, we found ourselves looking for rental cars and trying to figure out a way to make it happen. See, we had purchased concert tickets in New York and our trip was sort of moving at the pace of getting there in time. Sadly, we couldn’t make it work but we’re looking forward to our next adventure together. We’re all confident it will happen, just not soon enough.


Here’s a few photos of our adventures together. Sadly, one of our cards got corrupted (note to self: don’t but a card from a newer camera into an older camera) and we lost some photos. The very last photo shown here, our only group picture, was part of the lost bunch. I brought out my iPhone and took a photo of the back of my camera screen, so as least we have something.

Thank you friends for all of the fun and memories. It was a blessing to meet you  and we can’t wait until the next time. We love you.

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  • karah - This story cracked me up because it is sooo something that I would do! Meet someone, invite them home, and have a great time.
    Whenever you come down South again, I am anticipating a visit from your little home. YOu can park outside, or you can stay inside. And I’m looking forward to hearing the stories of this grand adventure! Come see us, soon!October 29, 2011 – 2:22 amReplyCancel

  • Brittany Woods - How wonderful that you guys got to have this experience! I hope you all get to meet up again!November 1, 2011 – 9:04 pmReplyCancel

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