Our trip to Newfoundland is edging closer to reality. I have to confess that, in spite of how incredibly much I am looking forward to this visit, I'm also unable to completely shake the feeling that something will come up for Valerie, and our plans will go out the window. I know that is extremely unlikely since she'll be on vacation herself, and also know with absolute certainty that she would never withdraw her invitation lightly, but...having our plans cancelled IS the story of our friendship, after all. So I will probably be holding my breath until we arrive on her doorstep - I can't wait for that moment to get here!! :)
I booked our ferry reservations this evening - whoot!!! Marine Atlantic has a very simple and easy to use online booking system. I booked a 4 berth cabin, so we'll have a place to sleep and a private washroom with shower. We're taking a Friday overnight ferry on the way over, and a Saturday afternoon ferry on the way home (not the same weekend, obviously!) When we chose the dates, I realized Valerie and I hadn't actually talked about when we would be leaving, and I've no clue what other plans or company she might have. But I went ahead with the booking anyway, emailed her the dates and said if she needs us to leave sooner, we'll wander off somewhere for a couple days before heading home.
When I first went on the Marine Atlantic site to book the reservations, I'd been thinking the cost would be in the range of maybe a couple hundred bucks...oh naive me! Try $512 (round trip). But then Dave said he was expecting seven or eight hundred, so at least one of us was pleasantly surprised. The cost includes $81.50 for our car each way, $28.75 per person each way, plus the cost of the cabin. A 4 berth cabin is $126 going over on the night crossing, but only $50 coming back during the day...we decided it was worth it, especially for the night crossing. At least with a cabin and shower, there's some potential for us to arrive at Valerie's moderately refreshed, instead of completely bedraggled and exhausted!
We'll have roughly a 4 hour drive from our house to North Sydney, a "4.5 to 8" hour ferry crossing to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, then another 6 (?) hour drive to Valerie's house. The location of which remains a mystery to me still. She says "all things will be revealed in time". Argh...I love to look at maps and find the places I'm going and have been or might go (heck, I just love maps!), so am fidgety with impatience to know where her house is. However, I might be waiting a while longer for this location to be revealed - I think she's rather enjoying torturing me with suspense... :)