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Day 27

The train's journey is officially over. The train rolled into Halifax early this morning as we slept. We awoke slowly, and moved sluggishly. While many are looking forward to going home, most of us are sad that we've come to the end of the line. Appropriately, it was raining.

Packing up our train lives was no easy task. We've accumulated a surprising amount of stuff over the last month -- bags were literally bursting. We loaded our shuttle bus for our last hotel, a mere block from the CBC Halifax office.

Roger, Trish, Amy, Stefani, Analisa, and me piled into a rented Lincoln Navigator and bolted for Peggy's Cove. The Bills, the Robs, Gerry, Duffy, Emma, and Lisa followed in two vans. We arrived quite a bit ahead of them, no doubt in part to Roger's ability to traverse distances in haste. Although we took the long route, we arrived in under 45 minutes.

It's been about 22 years since I last set foot in Nova Scotia. Yet I remembered the area as we approached Peggy's Cove. A little over two decades ago, I got carsick into one of the many little bays. I almost dreaded a repeat show -- my sister would never let me live it down.

Peggy's Cove was crowded with tourists. The streets were full of them, making driving a little treacherous. We finally arrived at the parking lot next to the coast, and the famous Peggy's Cove lighthouse and post office. It's something to have postcards with a Peggy's Cove cancellation.

The wind was biting. Perhaps not as badly as the previous night's mosquitoes, but it was still breath taking. Especially when, like Me, you're wearing shorts. (Actually, I wasn't that cold, but hopping from a warm car to the chilly air was pause for pant.)

We hopped over the rocks like mountain goats. Some hid behind them periodically, due to the cold. Analisa shopped at the adjacent gift shop. I marvelled at the water-rounded rocks, the cracks, the seaweed, the sky, the waves, and the undeniable smell of fresh saltwater. A month ago, I marvelled at a similar scene on the west coast. This was at the same time similar and completely different.

The two other vans appeared about 20 minutes after we arrived. Soon the rocks were swarming with CBC train staff. We would congregate in small groups, filter out across the rolling waves of stone, and regroup in other places. At a distance, we probably looked no different than seagulls as they ride the ocean.

We left about an hour after arriving. The goal was also to see Lunenburg during our tour of the province. The two vans did finally arrive at their destination -- we did not. We were sidetracked by an overwhelming need to eat. Luckily for us, you often find the best meals when you're on the verge of getting totally lost.

The Pilot House Café is ... well, we didn't know where exactly we were. It's not quite in the middle of nowhere, but there's not much around it. I think the next nearest major town is a place called Tantallon. Regardless of its location, though, we settled in for a tremendous meal.

The chef, Billy, knows his food. Seafood chowder so thick you could spackle a house; calamari so fresh, soft, and tangy as to almost pierce the soul; and if you'd told me that you could put scallops on a pizza, I'd have called you crazy. The taste is otherworldly.

Packed to the rim, we rolled out of the restaurant and found our way back to Halifax. The trip took barely 20 minutes -- we took the highway. Tonight was our wrap party.

Normally, you'd wait until the end of the production to hold the festivities. Our last show is Saturday, October 5. But tomorrow, we start losing our staff. Lives need to be lived, and almost all of us have taken a month's leave of absence from them. With our time together rapidly closing, it's our last chance for a full team dinner.

It was then back to the hotel. We don't have an early morning tomorrow, but sleep is still a wonderful thing.


Chillin' in Peggy's Cove
South view
Boats in the harbour