Finally – moving day and the beginning of driving to Nova Scotia.
We got rolling on Friday, January 1, around dinner time — two days later than we’d hoped. I drove the truck with the Miata on the back and Jackie drove the Subaru with the trailer and the two kitties. We were packed to the gills; even both passenger seats in the truck and the Subaru were chock full — not another item could have been packed into them. Even the Miata was full of whatever would fit!
Storm chases us while driving to Nova Scotia
The weather report forecast a snowstorm coming from the west and socking in the eastern seaboard within 24 hours so we were anxious to get going and stay ahead of the storm…
But instead of snow, a nasty rainstorm hit us as we left North Carolina and continued into Virginia.
We had to stop and look for a hotel after only three hours of driving as the rain had reduced visibility tremendously. Our cellphones were invaluable in finding cat-friendly hotels and booking while we were on the road — how did we ever do without them?
Traveling cats behaved for 1400 miles!
The cats did surprisingly well driving to Nova Scotia. Each started the trip in a separate car carrier and we had a cat box with litter in the back. When we stopped for gas we’d let each one out to explore the inside of the car and do their business.
Once he was used to the situation, Mikey decided to move out of his carrier and camp out with Mango in his. He was so well behaved that Jackie could leave the carrier door open and not have to worry about him.
Mango, who is not overly-sociable at the best of times, just seemed happy to stay in his carrier even when crushed by the friendly Mikey. But neither exhibited any major stress which, in turn, took a LOT of stress off of us.
I was quite surprised while driving to Nova Scotia to find that the best roads seemed to be in the smaller communities that you’d think could least afford them. But traveling through the larger cities, such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia — those you’d think would have money for good roads — was like driving over no man’s land in WWI.
I was sure the trailer hitch would break under the strain and the Miata and trailer would skid off the road in a shower of sparks ending up who-knows-where. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
The truck and trailers had a specified maximum of 55 mph (about 83kph). At that rate, it took two very full days of driving to reach the border.
Crossing the border with all our ducks in a row
We arrived at the crossing at Calais/St. Stephen on Sunday evening, January 3.
At that time on a Sunday night, we were the only people in line! The agents were professional and courteous and it took us about 1.5 hours to get us and the cars passed and through into Canada!
They gave us strict instructions: drive from the border directly to our place of quarantine, no side trips, no stops except for gas. If we needed food, we were only allowed to use drive-through windows. Wearing masks was a must. The fines for breaking the rules, as I heard, could be up to $1 million — so we obeyed!
The ferry from St. John to Nova Scotia didn’t depart till 9:30 the next morning so we ended up driving up and around New Brunswick, across the land bridge to the main part of Nova Scotia and then south to just shy of Annapolis Royal, where our rented quarantine apartment was.
We took a short break during the night and slept in the vehicles for about an hour or so. Refreshed, we kept going and arrived at our quarters about 9am Monday morning. We honestly didn’t think it would take that long and probably could have waited overnight for the ferry and arrived at about the same time! Live and learn.
And now… sleep
We were pretty exhausted but thankful that driving to Nova Scotia was finished. We slept most of the afternoon — my Red Hat manager was very understanding when I told her I was not going to be at virtual work that day…
The unit we rented is the lower half (basement apartment) of a home — it’s kind of a duplex arrangement. Jackie found it on the vacation rentals by owner website and got a good price because it is the off-season. The landlords (Bob and Johanne) allow cats and they picked up our online grocery order and stocked the apartment before we arrived! We couldn’t ask for better landlords!
Now we were cooped up inside for 14 days of quarantine (written in Feb 2021) — but the Annapolis river offered a great view out the back door to help pass the time.
Next up: why are people looking at us funny? Check out the Top 5 must-do tasks on our Nova Scotia checklist.