Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"A Newfoundland Summer Day"

Me with my brother Mike, sister MaryLeah and our Mom, Mary Flynn Dollen
on "A Newfoundland Summer Day"
Argentia Naval Air Station, Newfoundland - 1967 or 1968

Living in Newfoundland as a young girl, I have a few distinct memories of "A Newfoundland Summer Day".  I remember the strong cool wind blowing across my face and skin, and through my hair.  I remember the ever changing sky with thick billowing clouds that moved quickly out to the sea, leaving a crystal clear blue ceiling.  And while you may be able to wear your shorts or summer dress for a couple of hours in the middle of the day, you will for sure end up wearing your sweater or long pants by evening's fall.

In Wisconsin, where I live now, we have four pretty balanced seasons where sometimes the winters are extremely snowy with intense cold temperatures and the summers get incredibly hot and humid.  You always know it will change though, with time.  Newfoundland is different in that you may have Spring, Summer and Fall all in a Summer's Day!

During the summer in Wisconsin, come July or early August, there will be a break in the high temps and humidity, where the temperature will drop down to the 50's or 60's, just like it is today.  You will hear people comment, "I can tell, Autumn is on it's way!" but I always say, "It's just a Newfoundland Summer Day!"


Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Out on the Town" with Uncle Ray

After a short rest from the trip to Ship Cove, NL, I met up with my Uncle Ray for a night "Out on the Town", he told me we were heading to George St., located downtown St John's for a "bite to eat" and to hear some "Real Irish Music".  We parked the car close to downtown and headed out on foot.

Erin's Pub, Water Street, St John's NL - 2013
First stop, Erin's Pub on Water St.  Many lively people were lining up outside the entrance, as the rhythmic Irish Music found it's way out into the night air.  Uncle Ray was greeted by many friends old and new on the street.  We made our way closer to the opened door to take a look and to find the source of the captivating music.  Just inside, was a group of various musicians with fiddles, accordions, mandolins and more, all gathered around several small tables that had been pushed together making one large continuous meeting space.

Erin's Pub - Water St, St John's NL - 2013

I believe they were random musicians who had just showed up at Erin's Pub, looking for like-minded souls who wanted to play their instruments together, possible never having played together before, although sounding as if they had played together for years.

We stayed for a while enjoying the music, Uncle Ray leaned down and whispered in my ear, "There is more to see!" So we continued down the street a ways,then  turning right to climb the hill up to George St., as we walked Uncle Ray shared with me that as a young man, he would take his Grand Dad, John W. Tobin downtown from time to time, because he loved the Irish Music and loved being around the people.

Now, George Street is just a small street located in St John's NL, but is very well know for it's many bars and pubs.  The two block long street houses nothing but bars, pubs and restaurants. The street is open only to pedestrians in the evenings and during most of the business day, only being open to traffic in the mornings to allow bars to restock their goods. George Street has the most bars and pubs per square foot in any street in North America and is known to have bars that are open later than most others throughout Canada. Each year it is home to the largest celebration, the six-night George Street Festival which occurs in early August and concludes on the Tuesday night before the Royal St John's Regatta, which is set for the first Wednesday in August. The festival is rumored to be the largest of it's kind in North America! [1]
O'Reilly's Irish Newfoundland Pub, George St. St John's NL - 2013
Me with Uncle Ray - June 2013
"Out on the Town"

Next stop, Kelly's Pub on George St., and then O'Reilly's Irish Newfoundland Pub, before heading home.

So there I was on the famous George St., in St John's Newfoundland with my 78 year old Uncle Ray! (who held up better than I did) We had a great time "Out on the Town" listening to Irish music, dancing, laughing and meeting many friendly people from all over the world!

It was a night I will never forget, Thanks to my Uncle Ray!


[1]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wik/George_Street._St._John's
       George Street, St John's - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia