What a pitiful week of blogging activity last week!

And if you want to see just what I mean by ‘pitiful’ please check out the archives.

I had an odd dream on the weekend. I dreamed it was against the law to take photographs or make videos. Any visual capturing of events or occurrences could result in life imprisonment or even death.

It was quite serious.

People hid cameras and photo albums under the floorboards in their houses, only daring to take them out and use them in the shelter of their own homes during broad daylight when no telltale flash would give them away to authorities.

The government appointed a special group of armed soldiers to police the country and bring any visual image offenders to justice. Smuggling cameras into the country was a dangerous and lucrative business.

As time passed, very few photos from the world outside people’s homes even existed. And those that did were worth millions and millions of dollars.

I dreamed I lived in this strange world and everything seemed even more vibrant and beautiful than ever. Trees seemed greener. The sky seemed bluer. Colours screamed from everywhere.

I think it was because they had never been photographed, but I don’t really know.

Anyway, enter Kellie and Stacy, two wild and crazy gals from the Mighty Miramichi, armed with cameras!

We had disposable cameras, 10mm, zoom lens, digital, video, Polaroids — you name it we had it, and we weren’t afraid to use it.

We were driving all around the place in this huge old car, you know the type, like a Cadillac from the 70’s, a real gas guzzling boat. And the backseat was filled with cameras, film, videotapes, and pictures.

We were like vigilante photographers, roaming the countryside shooting everything in sight.

Does anyone else have dreams like this?

It seemed to go on for hours and hours. I woke up a couple of times and fell back to sleep only to find myself in the same dream, taking pictures, running from the soldiers.

In the dream I wanted to get my hair cut, so we went to a salon. We were sitting in the waiting room when we noticed we were the only ones there. Everyone had sneaked out while we were engrossed in reading our contraband Women’s magazines.

We looked out the window and could see we were surrounded. Turned out the stylist ratted us out and called in the army. It looked like a showdown . . .

Then I woke up, and it was time to get up, so I can only assume we escaped somehow.

But to have such a vivid dream about pictures, or lack thereof, can only mean one thing — I’m feeling a wee bit guilty for not sharing those pictures last week from my weekend excursion with Stacy.

So, without further ado, here they are. Clicking on the thumbnail will show an enlarged version. Enjoy!

And if you’d like to know the story behind that day, read on.

Kellie & Stacy’s Excellent “Compressing the Whole Summer into One Day” Adventure

All these pictures were taken on Saturday, September 6th, otherwise known as the day the Jeannie Johnston arrived in Miramichi.

With the exception of one shot, either Stacy or Terry took all the pictures.

Stacy and I had been planning a special day of touring around the area all summer, but we never seemed to get around to actually doing it.

So, finally, on the 6th of September we forced ourselves to go out and do some fun stuff! (I know, * SIGH * it shouldn’t be that difficult.)

We started the morning with breakfast at the Farmer’s Market in Chatham. Actually, that’s something we do quite often Saturday mornings on our way to the office.

I really enjoy their breakfast and the atmosphere there. It’s a small market as markets go I suppose, but it’s got a lot of character. There’s always something new and different that wasn’t there last week. You should go if you get the chance.

After breakfast, we met the rest of the Mighty Miramichi gang out behind Choo Choo’s at the dock and leaped aboard our fearless leader’s boat to go out and meet the Jeannine Johnston.

Well, I’m pretty sure Wally and Terry leaped.

Stacy did a pretty enthusiastic jump.

I grudgingly stepped one foot after the other, teeth grinding, trying not to focus on the couple inches opening between the side of the boat and the floating dock.

I’m not big on boats — Correction: I’m not big on large bodies of water, I’m okay with boats, perhaps dry-docked, or like a canoe floating much further upriver at the height of the summer when at the deepest part of the river there is still only four feet of water.

I like to be able to see bottom. So yeah, it’s the water that bothered me, not the boat.

Although, the boat was a tad bit smaller than what I anticipated and worked up the nerve to ride around in.

So, if you were out there that day, you’ll remember me because I didn’t wave back to you. Please don’t be offended. My hands were otherwise occupied, doing the death claw on the edge of the seat as I white-knuckled myself to a calmer state of mind.

I would have waved had I not been busy making my final peace with the Lord. I would have at least smiled had I been able to disengage my locked jaw and remove my teeth from my lower lip.

But other than that, it was a great day to be sailing around in a little tiny boat in a large body of water with dozens of other mostly bigger boats.

We went out almost to Sheldrake Island before we met the Jeannie Johnston on her way in. She already had quite an escort.

Someone said the mayor, Rupert Bernard, had been taken out to board the ship at 7:30 am.

I don’t really know if that was true or not, but considering we left Chatham shortly after 10am and went all that way before we saw the ship, I could only think one thing about the mayor’s early morning meet ‘n greet — “Sweet Mother of Pearl! How much friggin’ water were they in at 7:30 that morning!”

But seriously, I enjoyed the boat ride, I really did.

I don’t know that I’d be in any big hurry to do it again anytime soon, but still it was a challenging experience worth having. I stared my fear in the face, and I won — that round at least.

After our boat ride alongside the Jeannie Johnston, Stacy and I packed into her car and headed to Neguac to spend the rest of the day.

If you’ve ever wondered if there is enough to do in Neguac and Tabusintac to warrant an entire day trip the answer is a great big old resounding, “You betcha!”

We pit-stopped at Lucy’s Truck Stop to fuel up on refreshments for the drive. The drive was not as long as we anticipated. Turns out that Neguac is pretty handy.

The first thing we did when we got there was to track down an ice cream parlour. It was a pretty warm day but luckily we found this ice cream shop on the second last day of its season.

We should have taken a picture of the sundaes we got. Delicious! I got a sundae in a waffle dish with Puppy Paws hard ice cream smothered in Hot Carmel sauce and covered with nuts and whipped cream.

It was so rich, my toes curled!

After the ice cream we took a little walk to work off some of those calories. We parked by LeGresley’s and walked to the church and then through the municipal park.

There’s a huge gazebo in the park, big enough to dance in. It reminded me of that movie — is it Hope Floats? Where there’s some sort of small town shindig and they have a dance in a big gazebo?

We went to Tim Horton’s to cool off for a second with water and Iced Cappuccino. Then we headed to LeGresley’s.

I was quite impressed by the selection of clothing at LeGresley’s. Everything was high-end brand name, but surprisingly not too pricey. There were some good deals on names like Tommy. We weren’t doing much shopping that day, but I’d certainly go back there when I’m in the market for a new outfit.

After our little “we’re just browsing” shopping excursion in Neguac, we headed to Tabusintac. Someone told us about a second-hand store there with all this stuff for only a quarter.

We caught it just minutes before they closed for the day. From what little we saw though, it seemed promising. Seemed like they had a lot of kid clothes. I wish I had known my niece’s sizes. Well, maybe next time.

We happened by chance on a little wharf with a couple of boats tied up. It had a fantastic view! And again there was a great gazebo, although not big enough to have a dance in. Stacy took a photo of me sitting in the gazebo with my back to her and it looks just like something you’d see on a postcard. Breathtaking!

From there we headed back to Neguac and found our way to Hay Island. I had never heard of this place before let alone been there, but it’s a really fantastic place to go walking in the salt air. I want to take my mom next time.

We saw so many different birds and other animals. There’s a lookout tower you can climb for an awesome view. The water stretches as far as the eyes can see. A boardwalk circles the island with a few gazebos so you can rest, relax and enjoy the air. There are also interpretative panels that tell about the history of the island, why it’s important to preserve these sorts of environment, etc.

Lots to see, lots to do, lots to learn — I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely the kind of place you can easily spend an entire afternoon exploring.

But we didn’t have a whole afternoon — it was almost suppertime!

There are a lot more restaurants in the area than what we initially thought. The Dixie Lee smelled pretty darn good to me and Capt’n Sub intrigued Stacy, but we planned all along to have supper at Chez Raymond, so we stuck to the plan. We’ll go back some other day to try all the restaurants, I’m sure.

I’m telling you that Dixie Lee smelled so darn good that I ordered the fried chicken at Chez Raymond and so did Stacy.

Yum, Yum, Yummy!!! Three pieces of battered chicken, rice pilaf, carrots, corn, coleslaw, homemade bread with butter . . . Oh my God! Talk about good!

That rice was the best rice I can remember having anywhere in recent years. I didn’t have to put anything on it. I ate it naked and it was bursting with flavour. The BEST! I’m telling you, if you ever have the chance, try the rice. I don’t care if rice isn’t even particularly your thing, if you like rice at all; you need to be trying this rice.

The chicken was good too, mind you. Overall, it was an absolutely superb meal. For years now I’ve been hearing people praising Chez Raymond and now I really understand why. I’d drive to Neguac all the way from Blackville for no other reason than to eat there.

After supper we had some time to kill before we headed over to our last planned stop – the Drive-In!

So, we stopped by the local Irving Mainway (for the umpteenth time that day!) to clean our windshield, change into more relaxing clothes, grab more drinks, etc. Those guys working the Irving that day probably wondered about us, we were in and out so many times. I hope one of them is reading this so now they know what we were doing.

Anyway, we planned to just look around until it was time to go to the movies. We went out to the wharf and took some pictures of the fishing boats. Stacy told me some intense and oddly funny stories she had heard from someone who went out fishing with some friends in Neguac one time.

Then we hit the road and drove further downriver past Tabusintac and found a little side road that took us out to the water. Stacy took a great photo out there with the rocks, the water, the clouds and the moon in the sky. Spectacular view out there!

We ended up at a place where the road disappeared right into the water for boat launching. Off to one side there were a bunch of flat bottom boats anchored just a bit off shore.

They were sort of spooky in the dusk because there were so many of them bobbing and turning on the water that they sometimes looked as if people were sitting in them, slouched over, sleeping. * SHIVER *

It was a very calm place, very relaxing, very peaceful. I could have easily called it a day right then and went home exhausted, but the Drive-In was part of the plan and we stuck to the plan.

We were the first people to arrive at the Drive-In. I dare say we may have been the earliest arrivals of the entire season. But in our defence, darkness seemed to be almost upon us and we didn’t really know when the gate opened.

We picked out a great spot, pretty close to the screen but not so close that we’d get a crick in our neck, almost dead centre, and we waited for the rest of the people to show up.

And we waited.

And we waited.

And yeah, okay, so it wasn’t really that close to being dark. We were the freaks of the Drive-In, I’m sure. But eventually other people showed up, night descended and we headed to the canteen for snacks.

This was the part of the day I had been looking forward to. I hadn’t been to the Drive-In in a couple of years but I remembered from the last time I had been there that they had some great snacks i.e. Burgers & Fries! My favourite thing in the world.

I ate so much all day and we had just come from Chez Raymond a couple of hours before, so I wasn’t hungry. Still, in accordance with the plan, treats were in order. I opted for a big bowl of crispy -coated fries. Scrum! Just like I remembered.

Anyway, I’m really sure we were the freaks of the Drive-In once the movie started.

Our radio wouldn’t work properly. The sound was sort of fuzzy like if you were just a little bit off the station. Except we couldn’t get it any clearer. We frigged around with the tuner and the speakers while the movie got underway.

Finally, we accepted that we weren’t going to be able to hear the movie and Stacy went into the canteen to get help.

The owner was super nice to us! He really went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we were able to hear and enjoy the movie.

First, we moved the car closer to the building because sometimes that clears up the problem for people.

But not us, it didn’t work.

Then, we parked even closer to the building and the owner loaned us his portable stereo. We ran an extension cord into the backseat of the car and we were in business!

He told us that one other night there were a few cars having problems with sound and he ran out of radios and extension cords to lend, so he lent his car to a couple. Now, that’s commitment to customer service!

The first movie was S.W.A.T. and we missed quite a bit at the beginning but still it seemed pretty good. The second movie was Gigli with Ben and Jen. It was every bit as terrible as what the critics said. Don’t even rent this movie unless it is solely for the purpose of learning what not to do when making a film.

After the movies, we thanked the owner profusely for helping us and started the long drive home to Blackville. I was so tired; I worried that we would fall asleep on the way.

It was actually a pretty routine ride home though, except for the RCMP spot check.

It was the longest day in the history of days, but I guess that’s what you have to expect when you try to cram a whole summers worth of excursions into one day.

Maybe next summer we’ll take more time off so a little relaxation won’t be so exhausting.

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