I wasn’t anticipating working this summer. I was laid off from my previous job in May and had no leads on a new job so I just assumed I would be taking the summer off. That was not to be. In early June, I got a call to work a temp position with the government. The hours are good, the pay is great and I worked there before and liked it so I couldn’t possibly turn down the opportunity. I had many plans for the summer before I got called to work and, as per usual, I planned to leave town for the Canada Day weekend. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that there was no long weekend this year because Canada Day fell on a Tuesday. I didn’t want to take a day off that early on and I didn’t want to lose a paid work day. I succumbed to the idea that I would be sticking around home for the national holiday…that is until an unexpected invitation to attend a concert in a nearby province was extended to me.
By the time Sam Roberts hit the stage, the air had cooled to a more comfortable temperature and we were able to wander over to the front of the stage to get a better view. I am not familiar with a lot of his newer work but I have fond memories of watching him perform his older music at the outdoor festivals on George St. in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He was the headlining act at more than one of those memorable street parties that saw tens of thousands of people congregate on two city blocks to watch bands, drink cheap beer and wander in and out of the dozens of bars and venues that line that street. Back in those days when I was still very much into the party and drinking scene, my friends and I would make our rounds to all our favorite bars (and bars we normally didn’t frequent simply because there was no cover charge during the festivals) and drink our way to the front of the stage where we would take watch the bands perform. Sam Roberts, Blue Rodeo, The Northern Pikes, Trooper…these are just a few of the bands that graced that stage back in those days and the show always went on longer than it was supposed to. Triple encores were not uncommon. With every old favorite performed, that final set brought back many fond memories and I had a chance to hear some of his new work too.
There was opportunity to head downtown to watch a band from back home play in one of the bars but we were just too tired from the long drive and late night that we headed back to the hotel to crash.
The next day, we were not due to board the ferry back to Nova Scotia until late afternoon so we tried our best to make good use of the entire day we had ahead of us – a combination of exploring the little city of Charlottetown and seeing some points of interest outside the city. Instead we got hopelessly lost trying to get out of the city in search of Argyle Shore Provincial Park.
And so our visit to Charlottetown came to an end and off we went to catch the ferry back to Nova Scotia. First road trip of the season? A great success with many more to come before winter settles upon us once again.