After stopping at the Irving station on the way out of St. John's for the best sub sandwiches and a cold beverage, it’s time to head around the lovely bay, my favourite place in the whole wide world.
Even though it’s just trees, marsh land and ponds on the way out I love every inch and mile of it. Now that the "new road" (Veterans Memorial Highway) is built, it takes even less time to get out "around the bay," which is a great thing for a person who is as eager as myself.
My heart starts to pump when I get to Clarke's Beach, as that is where my maternal aunt and uncle are living now — a beautiful little scenic seashore community. Then there’s Bay Roberts where there used to be the one and only traffic light around the bay, I believe. We now have them in Carbonear, too.
Next is Riverhead and Harbour Grace, past the famous SS Kyle (there are other beautiful communities I may have missed I'm sure). As I go up the hill connecting Harbour Grace to Carbonear (where the best Mary Brown's used to be; thank goodness the same owner has another one in Carbonear), I start to get the butterflies. I could stay at the top of that hill for hours looking over most of glorious Carbonear and all the familiar buildings and shops. I remember the hospital used to be enormous to me as a child.
Usually I like to drive on "down the shore," but most times someone has to stop into TC Square for something or other, which I don't really mind as I love going there.
A stop to my cousin/sista's is required to drop off most of our purchases, a few little visits here and there to other cousins/friends maybe, and for sure me fadder's! Then down the shore we go! We drive through scenic Victoria and Salmon Cove and through all the twists and turns passing Perry's Cove and Spout Cove.
I have to say that that cliffside drive just before I get to Kingston still makes me nervous!
We drive through Kingston, always looking or stopping at my Uncle John's, then through charming Small Point/Blackhead/Broad Cove with maybe a stop into my cousin's, who owns the most beautiful salt box house.
The last destination for the day, maybe, is Adam's Cove, to my mom's. There's always a nice meal of a turkey or a ham awaiting our arrival for sure.
But in my heart and mind I still haven't been fully down the shore yet, not until I pass through quaint Western Bay and Ochre Pit Cove and get to dear Northern Bay and Gull Island, where I lived the first part of my life. I pass or usually stop into "Hogan's Take Out," where I once worked and still to this day love the food.
Then "the beach" — Northern Bay Sands — and up the hill past the Howells', Hincheys', Hogans' and Mullays' until I get to where our house used to be. A stop in to visit with my maternal uncle and aunt, and my maternal aunt and uncle in the same garden, if they're down to their cottage, also known as "The Old Shop."
Next stop is the "Gulch," where my father's family is from/live. Along the way I like to visit my cousins and nieces, sigh at the loss of our old school, and visit all my grandparent's and brother's gravesites.
Drive along "The Folly," up Gull Island hill, past "The Ridge" and then drive down McCann's Lane to the Gulch. My Nanny and Poppy Delaney are both gone so my uncle (loves ya me duck) lives in the Delaney house and is surrounded by my uncles and aunts who are the new generation of Poppy/Nanny Delaney's.
Last but not least after passing through picturesque Burnt Point-Job's Cove-Lower Island Cove-Caplin Cove, the next stop is to historic Old Perlican to see my fraternal aunt and family and visit the wharf.
Love you all.
My around the bay road trip is complete and I will hopefully get to make the same trip as many days of my vacation as I can.
— Submitted by Celeste Delaney-Loughrey, a former resident of Northern Bay. She now resides in Ajax, Ont.