Part two of my booze-less chronicles found me in Gros Morne National park, with my lifelong friend, Lilly along with a new friend, Sarah. Heading out to a wine free girls weekend, I fully expected a somber mood to envelop us on our eight hour road trip to our cabin. But I could not have been more wrong! The fun started the minute we boarded the SUV, and by the time we arrived at Gros Morne, our throats were raw and sore from roars of laughter. Even though I had just met Sarah, after sharing our life stories while singing along to Blue Rodeo and Fleetwood Mac tunes, we soon felt like old friends.
Neither of my travel companions are big boozers, and Gros Morne is renowned for its beautiful scenery and hiking trails, as opposed to pubs and fancy restaurants, so I really did not miss the wine on this vacay. Besides, I soon found a suitable replacement to pubs: cafés! And I also found an enjoyable replacement for wine: coffee, aka, Christian Liquor. Each day, we would tour the scenic communities and visit the many craft shops and tourist attractions, which would culminate with a visit to a local coffee shop to ”liquor up” on coffee and a sweet. I have to say, the most delicious pecan pie I have ever tasted is served at the Old Shop Café in Norris Point. While I am no expert on pecan pies, Sarah is a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to sweets and even she said it is the best she had ever tasted. It was so good in fact, that she managed to stop eating it, mid slice, to save a bit for later.
“I hate to stop,” she said, “But I am beyond the point of optimal enjoyment. I am going to save the rest for later this evening, when I can really savor the experience.”
I admired her self discipline as I greedily devoured the last crumbs of my piece, washing it down with a gulp of café mocha and feeling fully rejuvenated by my sugar and caffeine buzz.
One of the highlights of the trip was our quest to see a large wild animal. The park is full of moose, bears, eagles, coyotes and foxes and on every drive, we were on the look out, phones poised to capture the image and broadcast it on Facebook. Finally, on our last day there while driving back to our cabin, we saw it, right in the middle of the dirt road.
“That’s a coyote, if I ever saw one!” I said in an excited voice. “Stop the car!!!”
Sarah pulled over and we grabbed our phones and switched them to camera mode.
“I can’t get a clear shot,” said Lilly. “Throw out some food to lure him over.”
“All we have is trail mix,” replied Sarah, as she threw a handful of pumpkin seeds and raisons out the car window.
To our delight, the coyote approached the car and started to nibble on our offerings. With his head down, it was difficult to get a good picture, and we really needed proof of this encounter. He soon tired of his hippy snack and was moving on.
“Quick”, I said, “Give him more food!”
“But all I have left is my half a slice of pecan pie, and I was saving that to have with my tea later,” said Sarah in a sheepish voice.
Although Sarah clearly did not want to part with her pecan pie, we convinced her to sacrifice it for this rare photo op. She opened the window half ways and held out the pie, but the coyote looked at her with such hungry eyes and razor-sharp teeth, that she chickened out and quickly closed the window. I mean really, her arm could have been bitten off, but I secretly suspected that the pie was more important to her than a limb at that moment. To our disappointment, the coyote started to retreat.
“Throw out the fucking pie, Sarah!” we encouraged her.
With her heart pounding, she opened the window and reluctantly threw out the pie, which the coyote quickly devoured, getting him close enough to the car to get great photos. Then, to our horror, we saw in the dim light of dusk, a woman approaching in the distance.
“Oh my God, we have to warn her. She will be eaten alive,” said Sarah, as she frantically honked the horn. The coyote was standing right in front of the car, and although we are all animal lovers, we were fully prepared to run over it if it came down to saving this woman’s life.
Strangely enough, the coyote started to wag its tail. We rolled the window down a crack to warn her that her life was in danger. Just then we heard her call, “Here Sasha! You naughty girl, you escaped your leash again. Come to mommy!”
Red faced, we drove away, our camera roll full of pictures of a friendly husky.
Who would have thunk that the most fun I would ever have on a girl’s trip, was had without even a sniff of wine!