Monday & Tuesday September 22 & 23

Another lovely lazy day was enjoyed onboard the Maasdam yesterday as we cruised in a northerly direction up the St Lawrence River and through the vast Gulf of St Lawrence. Our Kiwis were more-than-occupied with any number of the 101 activities onboard – from watching for whales (one couple in our group spotted a pod of Orcas in a feeding frenzy) … to ping-ponging at a table-tennis tournament … to sipping hot chocolate in the cafe … to downing food-glorious-food at the out-on-deck barbecue … to observing an ice-carving demo by the chefs … to touring the ships’s kitchens … to drinking champagne with the captain … to, oh, no kidding, the list just goes on and on.

And then, after a formal dress-up dinner in the evening, we were entertained in the Rembrandt Lounge by a very convincing John Denver look-alike (who soon had everyone singing along) … followed (for the young-at-heart) by dancing-to-favourite-oldies in the Crow’s Nest on the top deck.

Charlottetown

Charlottetown

This morning, bright and early, we sailed into Charlottetown, the provincial capital of Prince Edward Island. It’s here that the famous Conference of 1864 was held, which resulted in the creation of the Canadian confederacy, and the whole region reeks of history. The Pinkies and Greenies took to their respective coaches for a half-day tour of this lovely old town and its surrounding farmland – sampling some homemade island jams, before visiting the picturesque homestead that inspired Anne of Green Gables.

Green Gables house

Green Gables house

Anne's Bedroom

Anne's bedroom

It soon turned out that we had lots of Anne-fans in our group, and they all went ga-ga over this special chance to explore their heroine’s storytime roots!

After this, most mad midlifers took to the streets of Charlottetown – to shop-shop-shop in the quaint olde-worlde boutiques, or (like us) to lunch on some yummy local seafood chowder. Then it was back up the gangplank and out on deck as the Maasdam cast off and sailed away under brilliant late-afternoon skies.

PEOPLE NEWS: The Midlife Madness Awards keep being dished out:

* The ‘Early To Bed Award‘ to Bev – who chose a chamomile teabag from the wide range on offer at the restaurant, but, upon reading the words on the back of the packet, told Clare (quite seriously), “I’d better not drink this because it says I’ll be asleep in 3-5 minutes.” A closer inspection revealed that what the packet actually said was “Steep for 3-5 minutes.”

TOMORROW: A hundred thousand Gaelic welcomes (plus some lively fiddle playing) will be awaiting us in Sydney, Nova Scotia …

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

P.S. If you want to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on ‘COMMENTS’ (or ‘NO COMMENTS’) under the title for the day’s blog, and type away! Make sure you say who it’s for and who it’s from – and don’t worry: we’ll make sure they get these messages. Also, if you want a better look at our route map and some of the photos here, just click on them and they’ll enlarge – magic!