Hello November! I started out this month with a 4 day trip that included the oh so lovely Moncton death flip. Now, I have never been to Moncton before, I have only heard about the layover that gets you into Moncton around 1:30 in the morning, you sit for 30 hours, and then you report at 4:45 in the morning the following day. They don’t call it the death flip for nothing. When the alarm goes off at 3:30 in the morning (2:30 home time) you feel like death. Now, aside from all the time flipping and death talk, I really loved this little city. It had a small town charm with just enough unique character to feel like a funky big city neighbourhood. It’s one of Canada’s growing cities and it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from magnificent natural wonders like the Fundy and Acadian coasts. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to either despite the fact that I had Stefan calling me and texting me about the high tide coming in that day (Americans, am I right?). Moncton is surprisingly very bilingual and home to a very diverse cultural community. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much it had to offer in such a short amount of time.
Me being me, I started my day out by walking to a cafe to grab a coffee to fuel me for me day. I stumbled across this place called Cafe C’est la Vie that reminded me of one of my favourite coffee shops from my home town. I sat there and inhaled my Americano (forgetting that I can take my time for once) before I started exploring Main Street.
I walked out of the cafe and decided to walk left until I ran out of sidewalk. As I was getting near the end of the “Downtown Core” of Moncton, I found a record store tucked away. I can find a record store on every layover, I like to think of it as a talent. This place had a pretty decent selection of records crammed into there amongst the random arcade games that they were renovating. It was a pretty hodge-podge place but I felt right at home. Now, I have been trying not to get excited about Christmas the moment November hit but Moncton was not on my side. I found this pile hiding in a corner and I just couldn’t resist. Dammit Dean.
If the collection of Christmas records wasn’t enough, I stumbled back towards my hotel and continued the other way on Main Street until I again ran out of sidewalk and found this Christmas tree. It was just casually hanging outside of this interesting little store that was painted BRIGHT pink and filled with so many little knick-knacks that I was afraid to go in and knock everything over with my awkwardness. Moncton was trying to give me a sign that it’s time to accept Christmas and get excited again.
Christmas has been a touchy subject for me the past 2 years because it left a sour taste in my mouth after a 4 year relationship that shared an anniversary with Christmas. Last year was the first year I spent Christmas as a flight attendant and it did a good job of keeping my mind preoccupied. Being able to get layovers where I saw my family over the holidays helped a lot too. But this year, I’m genuinely excited. I’m excited to see Christmas trees that have been stranded on the streets on Moncton, I’m excited to work even though I might not see my family exactly on Christmas morning, and I’m excited to have people in my life that make me feel this excited and happy. Alright, enough of that squirrel moment, let’s bring it back to Moncton! My last stop before heading back to my hotel room was… MORE COFFEE! Now I’m sure you can get the theme of this layover already so I caved and ordered my classic winter Starbucks order… a peppermint mocha with whipped cream (of course!). As I walked out, the streets were empty, there were no cars whizzing by, no sirens going off, just a moment of calm.
I forget what it’s like to enjoy these small town moments. As much as I love my Toronto and New York City life, I crave these peaceful small town days.