Friday, February 14, 2014

Saint John's - what a place!

My morning started out with glorious sunshine and nice warm temperatures.  I sat outside having my morning coffee and relaxing. For once I wasn't in a real hurry.

My plan for the morning was to do some laundry and get some writing done.

I was totally blown away to have the maintenance guy come to talk to me about my door lock at 8 am sharp.  He checked it out and sure enough the mechanism had failed.  He left for a few minutes and came back to tell me they did not have a spare unit and he had no way to repair this one, so he had already checked out another room for me with the front desk and offered to help move my gear to the new room.

The customer service absolutely truly, blew me away.

Once all my gear was safely stashed in my new room, I went down and threw some laundry in and then headed to the pub for breakfast.  The place reminded me of Coronation Street.

Rich wood, tons of photos and artifacts and more friendly staff.

I ordered a tradition Newfoundlander's breakfast of fried bologna, eggs and hash browns and a side of Toutons.

I had so many people tell me about Toutons and that I had to try them so, I did and my lord did I like them!  Toutons are bread dough that has been pan fried in a skillet and they are served with butter and your choice of maple syrup or molasses.  My one great weakness when it comes to food (besides the fact that I just love really good food) is breads.  I love good bread and Toutons are really good bread!

After I was done this enormous breakfast, I snooped around the pub and took some photos, then I headed off to go and put my laundry in the drier.  Back in the room I put on another cup of coffee and settled in to tagging photos and writing.

Debby swung by and picked me up at about 12:30pm. There was a funeral in town for a very young local rider that Debby and I were going to attend, but when we got there, there was no where to park for literally miles and a huge crowd was gathered in the parking lot as the church was full.

With plans to attend the funeral foiled, we headed out to the Newfoundland Bronze Foundry early.

Frank Gogos met us there.  Frank works with Morgan MacDonald, the owner of the foundry who is a brilliant sculptor.  Frank himself is a historian among other things.

I was invited to view some of the impressive sculptures and watch their first pouring of a bronze plaque in their brand new facility.

Frank expressed that it would be the most challenging pour as it would be their first with brand new equipment and processes.

While Frank and Morgan worked on getting the pour ready, one of Morgan's employees took Debby and I around to look at some of the previous work they had done and some of the sculptures that were in various stages of completion.

Morgan is so incredibly talented and the Newfoundland Bronze Foundry has done some impressive jobs both in concept and design and restorations.

Besides the pour that I was there to witness, the guys were proud to show me one of the largest restoration projects that they were going to begin working on,  you see the Caribou monument that had been damaged had just arrived for refurbishing from  
                Bowring Park.

The guys got geared up in special heat resistant suits and began the process of removing the molten bronze from the foundry and transferring it to the cast mould.

Here is the process in pictures:

It was an impressive thing to watch but it was also very hot and smelly, and while the pour didn't go exactly the way they had hoped, they now knew exactly what they would have to do when they re-poured the next day.

The parts the turned out well let them know that their mould was perfect and that the words and images were crystal clear and for this first attempt with new equipment that news made them very happy.

I thanked Frank and Morgan for the chance to see the foundry in action and all of the pre-pour work that goes into creating or refurbishing a monument.
I was totally in awe of the whole process.

Debby and I left the foundry to go back to the Guv'nor Inn so I could get ready for the evening ahead and then we stopped in to her place for the same reason.

Tonight was a big night for me. I was finally going to get a Jiggs dinner and get Screeched in.

Frank and Perry met Debby and I at the Big R Restaurant on Blackmarsh Road.  I had no challenges deciding what I wanted to eat!

When the meal arrived I dug in with some gusto and was rewarded with the rich flavours that are what make a Jigs dinner a staple in Newfoundland.

Salt beef, carrots, turnips, cabbage that have been all boiled together served with peas pudding, turkey with stuffing and gravy.

By the time I got done eating all I wanted to do was go to sleep but that wasn't going to happen anytime soon.  Frank and Perry rode their bikes over to Frank's place and everyone piled into Debby's truck.

We headed downtown to George Street.  We strolled down the street and Frank pointed out a monument that the foundry had made for the city.  The craftsmanship and the beauty of the finished product in the setting it was built for was breathtaking.

George Street is one crazy place!  Pubs all competing for the visitors business, music blaring, the sound of laughter everywhere and it was early yet!  I was told that by the time 11pm rolled around the street would be elbow to elbow!

We went to Trapper John's for my Screech In, and by the time the big event rolled around I had run into a guy from Cold Lake that I had missed when I was there for my Conga and a bunch of the gang including Tom Skelding and his wife Gaye had come down to witness my becoming an honorary Newfoundlander.

I was gifted with a CAV sweatshirt all because I commented that I would like know where could I get one...these CAV people are some generous and they were that way right across Canada.

All of us who had signed up to be Screeched In were called up to the bar and we were given this very firm and stern talk about the importance of being a

Newfoundlander and that we had to represent the province well.

We had to keep our hands off the bar and was tough let me tell you!

Soon the moment came when we were taught the official Creed just before downing the Demerara rum known as Screech:
"From the waters of the Avalon, to the shores of Labrador,
We've always stuck together, with a Rant and with a Roar.
To those who've never been, soon they'll understand,
From coast to coast, we raise a toast, We love thee Newfoundland!"
And it ends with:
"Deed I is me old cock, and long may your big jib draw!"
And you had to say it the way he said it...then we had to kiss the cod!

What a hoot! A little different from kissing the Sour Toe up in Dawson City YT earlier in the summer but not that much!

Before too long it was time to head back to the hotel and say some of my good byes because in the early afternoon I was being escorted to Goobies to meet with the Lys

No comments:

Post a Comment