As most of you probably know, I love my job.
However, you might not realise that I spend the majority of my days posting on Facebook, replying to emails and making memes. In other words, I’m hunched over, staring at my laptop, writing about things I’d rather be doing.
But last week, I was invited to leave my little home office in Montreal and go on an adventure to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia with Chevrolet.
I’ve been a Chevy girl since I was 16. Growing up in Alberta, you have to choose a truck brand to support pretty fast. Something about GMC always stuck with me. Naturally, I was beyond stoked for this opportunity.
The day before I left, I received my itinerary: I’d fly into Moncton, meet 14 other, much more successful travel writers, bloggers and vloggers, jump in a brand-spanking-new 2018 Traverse (as cool as it sounds) and drive from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia. We’d sleep outside (in 5-degree weather) in Glamping tents after a delicious lobster dinner (and a lot of wine). On Friday, we’d go hiking and drive to Halifax, where we would fly back to our online offices to type madly about the experience and post about it on social media.
I had a good idea what to expect.
But what I didn’t expect was how impressed I would be with the small, perfect details organized by Chevy, or how much I would bond with the GMC reps and other media in less than two days. How I would end up speaking French around a campfire as the stars danced overhead. How I would discover another stunning region to roadtrip. How hard I would laugh.
And even though I froze my nose off during the night, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
For those of you who don’t know, glamping is “glamorous camping.” East Coast Glamping went all-out with large tents containing real beds, blankets, rugs, tables, décor and a camping chair. I kid you not, my tent was way cuter than any hotel room I’ve ever stayed in.
When we arrived Thursday evening, the Fundy Tides Campground looked luxurious. We donned extra layers for our picnic-table cocktail hour before being whisked away in the fancy Chevs (with DD’s, of course) to our dinner spot at Cape d’Or.
As we arrived, the setting sun began to kiss the ocean. Gorgeous hues of red, pink and orange unfolded across the horizon, embossing the lighthouse in a golden glow. The edges of the surrounding red cliffs soaked in the final bronze light as we headed inside for a lobster boil.
Now, I have to confess something.
I don’t really like lobster.
I mean, it’s alright, but the real reason I looked forward to cracking the hard shell of the shiny red sea creature was for the melted butter I got to dip it in.
The giant lobsters had been caught right by the lighthouse we admired from the restaurant‘s large windows. Roasted potatoes, vegetables, warm biscuits and endless wine accompanied the meal.
Bellies full and a tad bit tipsy, we returned to our glamping site to find an astronomer setting up his homemade telescope. He pointed out star clusters, told us the history of constellations and explained the movement of the stars as the night darkened.
With a few final glasses of wine, I practiced my night light drawing skills with Sam and Steve. Blue-tinged shooting stars sped through the background as we took turns drawing objects and guessing what they were. I fell down laughing on several occasions. Finally, we fell asleep in our separate tents just after 1 a.m.
We were roused around 7 for an extravagant breakfast of blueberry pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs and—most importantly—fresh coffee.
Still wrapped in several layers, we packed up our belongings with numb fingers and dispersed into the vehicles for our final adventure.
Cape Chignecto Provincial Park is rimmed by towering cliffs and packed with forest walks. We arrived ready to hike the 5-km Fundy Ridge Trail.
The hike started gently enough. We stretched our legs along the beach with the trail guide, Amanda. As we fought the howling wind, she told us that the park would be closing for the season next week, so we came at just the right time.
The trail turned towards the cliffs where a wooden staircase carried us up the hill. The next 0.5 km was a grueling climb along a well-worn dirt path. We passed birch, fir and pine trees, found enormous mushrooms and caught glimpses of the Bay of Fundy below.
Once the elevation evened out, we walked and talked leisurely. The brilliant blue ocean came into view and I realized how damn lucky I was to be spending Friday afternoon outside in such a gorgeous place.
Adventures like this – even if they’re short and far between – make all the time I spent cocooned with my laptop so worth it.
I’d like to give a massive thank you to Chevrolet Canada for sponsoring this trip!
The 2018 Traverse is a giant SUV that somehow didn’t feel too big for me to drive on winding roads. With built-in wifi, new technology and safety features, and more cameras than I own, this is an awesome vehicle for Canadian adventurers.