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God, make me an honorary Newfie, for I loved the place.

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Sep 21st, 2009, 07:35 PM
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God, make me an honorary Newfie, for I loved the place.

I had a great week in Cape Breton, and then an even greater week, in Newfoundland, returning September 11. I want to thank everyone who made suggestions prior to my trip, as well as those who participate in this forum. Never have I met friendlier people than in Newfoundland, nor viewed as many spectacular and just plain beautiful vistas. I landed in Corner Brook, spent the night at the Glynhill Inn, then drove to Rocky Harbor/Norris Point, where I stayed in the Inn at Neddies Harbor. It is upscale, but if it fits your budget go for it. Even if you can't stay there, enjoy the view of Bonnie Bay, behind the Inn, one of my favorite spots, and moments--actually many moment, sunset and sunrise--of the trip. By all means, if you have the time, before going to Rocky Harbor take the drive (route 431) to Trout River, a breath-taking drive; I stopped for photos every five minutes.

From Rocky Harbor, with one day spent on the boat tour at Western Brook Pond, I then drove up the Northern Pennisula, as so many have before me, and just enjoyed everything and every place about Newfoundland, most especially the people. I also enjoyed learning about Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, whose home and museum in St. Anthony's I visited; and of course Lanse aux Meadows, where 1,000 years ago the Vikings touched the earth of North America. As I like Celtic music, I also enjoyed Cape Breton and Newfoundland music, particularly the Masterless Men, two of whose CDs I bought, and continually, played on the trip, and now at home. And I enjoyed Port Au Choix (Cafe Anchor and Jeannie's Sunrise B&B), and even the gift shops and ferry ride to and from Port Aux Basque. I cold have lived without the six hour ferry delay returning to N. Sydney. Someone (the citizens of Canada and their representatives) should tell the union that runs the ferries, shape up or ship out: we'll; privatize the thing, if your performance doesn't improve. That's my only criticism of Newfoundland. Yes, I know the wind and the water can delay the ferry, so can lazy and indifferent bureaucrats.

I can't stop telling friends, family, and those with whom I come in contact with to visit Cape Breton Islands and Newfoundland, sooner rather than later, nor sharing the dozens--more like half a hundred--of great photos I took. By the way, is "Newffie" spelled with one or twos ffs? Whatever, I loved them and their homeland. God, let me return some day to Newfoundland. Best, Robert
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Sep 21st, 2009, 09:06 PM
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Sep 21st, 2009, 10:12 PM
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Thanks, OceanBreeze1. Though I'm retired, I teach a Business Writing course at a local university in Philadelphia, and tomorrow is the first class--we're on a 10-week semester system. So I ought to go to sleep, as it is 1:00 a.m. To be continued. Is there some way I can share some of my photos on the site? How do I do so?

Are there Masterless Men fans out there? I think they're terrific, especially their Bramble and the Rose album. It may not be for everyone, but is sure is the kind of music I like. Reminds me of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, one of my all-time favorite groups. (But I like Dylan and Springsteen, too.) I heard the Masterless Men for the first time while I was eating delicious homemade turkey vegetable soup in the Fisherman's Landing in Rocky Harbor. The music came from the gift shop, which is above the restaurant; it's piped downstairs. I left my hot soup--honestly--and went upstairs to the giftshop, asked what CD was playing, and bought it then and there, much to my subsequent delight. I listened to it over and over driving up and down the Northern Peninsula. The two young GErman hitchikers who traveled with me for two days, one of whom was fluent in English and had lived in Ireland for six months, like the music, too--though not as much as I do. Best from Robert, the honorary Newfie.
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:43 AM
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Happyfella

I live on the West coast but was lucky enough to spend some time in Newfoundland at a convention a few years back. I loved my time there and had more fun. The best thing about Newfoundland are the people. I was also lucky enough to be made and honourary Newfie. I kissed the cod and was christened with the "oar" and had my drink of screech. There is also a funny story about me in the bar. At our National convention there were several younger men from BC who couldn't afford to take their wives. At the time I was more or less their chaperone (at the wives request as I was an older woman of at least 40) We all went to a local pub one evening and of course had our free screech. Soon a "younger" gentleman came and asked me to dance. I declined politely but he wouldn't take no for an answer - he thought I couldn't understand him so he proceeded to take out his false teeth and and ask me again. How could I turn that down? So I canced with him and everytime he wanted to talk he took out the teeth and put them in his shirt pocket. My young friends loved this and invited him to join us. He was such a delightful young man. He introduced himself as Andy Buckley. The convention was a national one and the story spread so that up to a few years later I would get a call from someone in the industry talking with a Newfie brogue saying "This is Andy Buckley"

Again I say the best thing about Newfoundland are the wonderful Newfies. I can't wait to go back and enjoy their incredible hospitality and warmth.
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:47 AM
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Oh and I forgot my Honourary Newfie certificate is actually signed by Joey Smallwood who is the last father of Confederation.
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 02:13 PM
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So glad you did not miss the Corner Brook part of things, especially the Glynmill Inn...did you eat cod au gratin anywhere on your trip? Did you see whales breach? too late for icebergs but that just means you have to come back!

If you liked Masterless Men, you may find the comic/musical mewsings of "Buddy Whatshisname and the Other Fellas" fun.
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:00 PM
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Yes, traveller69, the Newfies make Newfoundland unforgettable.

No, LJ, I did not see any whales breach or icebergs, meaning I must, and will, return. No, I did not eat cod au gratin; maybe next time. Best to all, RC
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Oct 4th, 2009, 12:09 PM
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Hi Happyfella - your post just made me smile...... you've been bit!!! I first visited Newfoundland in 2002 and have been back every year but one. It is a major love affair for some of us. Buddy Wasisname & the Other Fellas is a really good band. Their cd The Serious STuff doesn't have the comedy but just really great music. Mind you I'm not knocking any of their other cds. Another band that is a personal favorite is The Sharecroppers. They are from the west coast just outside Corner Brook. In the summer they perform minimally weekly at the Glynmill Inn as they play for a lot of the tour groups. Their cds are a mix of original music and traditional music all with a good folk influence. I see you are from Philadelphia area. I live in West Chester. Did you know there is a Newfoundland here in PA? I have never been there myself.........
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Oct 4th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Hi Katrinasl: No, I didn't know there was a Newfoundland in PA--or if I ever knew it as my brain cells are quickly going, I forgot--so thanks for the info. Likewise, I'll check out The Sharecroppers and Buddy Wasisname's The Serious Stuff. (LJ also suggested I check out Buddy, etc.) Do you, or anyone, know an on-line site where one can listen to a smattering of the aforementioned groups' music before buying? I went to the Apple store and they didn't list the Masterless Men, so I'm assuming they won't the other two groups, either. Glad to meet a fellow Pennsylvanian, if you'll forgive the sexist term "fellow." Yeah, I was smitten by Newfoundland. The sad thing is once one returns home--wherever that is--how quickly we forget how lovely and special and peaceful Newfoundland is. My antidote is keep looking at my photos--which are spectacular--listen to the Masterless Men (whom I will forever associate with my recent trip) and, occasionally, to revisit this site, chatting with all the nice people one meets here. Best, RC
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Oct 4th, 2009, 07:24 PM
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I think you'll have to try Youtube to find out what Buddy Wasisname sounds like; most NL groups aren't well-known or mainstream enough for Apple. Salt WAter Joys and Song for Newfoundland are two of their best-known serious songs.
The Irish Descendants & the Ennis Sisters are also good.
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Oct 5th, 2009, 04:00 PM
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Hi, Happyfella, I had to chuckle to myself reading your original posting. I was the same way as you after my wife & I returned from our first trip to Newfoundland & Labrador in 1996. My friends and coworkers thought I was working for Newfoundland Tourism since I raved about our experiences there - the scenery, the food, and, most of all, the wonderful people.

My wife and I made eight trips there, usually 4-6 weeks each, before she passed away in 2007. I've made three solo trips of two weeks each since then, most recently last month and will be returning again in December. We had made a number of friends there during our visits that I go to see.

By the way, add another Pennsylvanian to the list - I live in Bucks County. I've been thru Newfoundland PA, but there wasn't a cod tongue to be had there.

Regards to all.
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Oct 7th, 2009, 06:54 PM
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Wow - us Pennsylvanians may have to start a Newfoundland fan club! Happyfella, another way to hear bits of the bands is through their websites. Try thesharecroppers.net and buddywasisname.com - I think I'm close. You can usually buy cds that way too. Nfldbeothuk is spot on with Irish Descendants - I almost suggested them. All the cds I heard from them have been good. I heard what I think was the first Ennis Sisters cd and loved that too. Tomorrow night we are off to Harrisburg to see another Nfld band - The Great Big Sea.... possibly one of their most popular as they tour in US and Canada and I actually hear them on the radio here in Phila and they have performed at the Phila Folk Festival. They are a bit louder than the others we have talked about here - sort of almost irish/rock but not quite rock.
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Oct 8th, 2009, 01:17 PM
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Great Big Sea are a great band. You are right, however, they they can be loud. Last time we heard them, in Toronto, the venue had their speakers cranked up to pretty much rock -band level. I didn't mind but the folks I was with were not thrilled.
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Oct 10th, 2009, 11:16 AM
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Hi Happyfella: As a former Cape Bretoner now living in Halifax, I enjoyed reading your accounts of Cape Breton & Nfld. I have been to Nfld. on 3 occasions as my daughter went to university in St.John's the past 2 years and my husband I toured some of Newfoundland in the 80's. Have you been to Gros Morne? It was a place my husband and I visited and I was blown away by its beauty. St. John's is a great city and yes, the people of Nfld. are great! I miss Cape Breton and when I cross the causeway each time I visit my brother, I get emotional. Hoping to take a trip over the Cabot Trail before the snow flies as this is such a wonderful time of year to visit that part of the Island as the scenery is breathtaking.
Glad you had such wonderful experiences on the East Coast and I very much enjoy Great Big Sea. My dad was a great fan of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makim; grew up listening to their music. Take care!
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Oct 10th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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Call me Newfie as well. I spent two weeks cycling the west coast last year and I loved it. I'm going back next year during iceberg season to bike part of Labrador and the eastern part of The Rock.
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