2018 Senior Friendship Tour Daily Report

An update will be added below for each day of the Senior Friendship Tour of the Maritime provinces.  Follow on our Facebook page.  Although the USWCA is not on Twitter or Instragram, you can find postings on these social media sites using #USWCAFriendshipTour2018.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

Back on the road today after a needed rest for two nights in Halifax.  We started the day with a driving tour of the city of Halifax and then set off for Wolfville located on the west coast of Nova Scotia on the Bay of Fundy.  The Wolfville Curling Club was the first club to welcome us with a broom bridge as we exited the bus.  


The club was warm and welcoming and they kicked off our visit with a moving video of the Province of Nova Scotia with accompanying singing by a Celtic singer from Cape Breton.  It brought a few tears to our eyes - we can see why they are so proud of their Province.  After a great match up, we shared drinks and entertained their club.  They surprised us with an impromptu singing of Farewell Nova Scotia before we boarded our bus for the hotel.  


The night ended with a fabulous dinner at The Port restaurant, where we shared more comradely with our bus driver Mike and couriers Donna and Allison.  


To bed early tonight - we have two games to play tomorrow. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday in Halifax was clear, cold, windy, and a federal holiday.  It was also our mid-tour day off.

Many of us began the day by participating in the Remembrance Day ceremony at Grand Parade.  While poems and prayers were offered in honor of those lost in war, especially World War I, cannons were fired from the nearby Citadel fortress twenty-one times at one minute intervals.  The effect was powerful and impressive.


After warming up from more than an hour in the bitter wind, we went in separate directions.  Activities included small groups or individuals doing laundry, steaming in the hotel's hot tub or sauna, visiting the star-shaped 18th century Citadel fort (pictured below), touring the waterfront, catching up on emails, flying a kite, visiting family, running, or watching the finals in the Grand Slam of Curling.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

An action-packed day!  

We had our first taste of snowy, slushy weather as we headed to the Amherst Curling Club, Amherst, Nova Scotia.  


This 4-sheet club of less than 100 members recruited additional women from the North Cumberland Community Curling Club, located in Pugwash Village, NS, to host an exceptional curling and social experience.  Sheila Christie (picture on right, front row in black), Deputy Mayor of Amherst, was on hand to deliver the first stone straight to the button.  


During lunch, our hostess Rhonda Perry made her stand-up comedy debut, regaling us with a selection of double-entendre curling terms.  After we enjoyed our cookies and ice cream dessert, Rhonda informed us (in jest, we think) that the cookies had been specially baked with an ingredient "now legal in Canada".  

After lunch, the men and women of our host club performed a hilarious rendition of the infamous Saturday Night Live "Corksoaker" routine.  Soon afterwards we were visited by Nurse Pain, who attempted unsuccessfully to perform a gloved exam on our valiant motor coach driver, Mike Gorveatt.  


Heading for the lovely Cambridge Suites Hotel in Halifax, we made an unscheduled stop at the Dartmouth Curling Club, home to both Mike Gorveatt and Tour Courier Donna Sameoto (picture on left, Mike in back row, and Donna front row blue vest) where Mike gave each tour member a Dartmouth Club Pin.  (Donna Sameoto is also in the picture on the right of the 2017 Women's Masters Championship team.  We've been traveling with curling royalty!)


While sampling locally brewed beers, such an Nine Locks Porter, we watched the Junior curlers at play and met many of the Junior parents.  Andrew Paris, the Junior Development Coordinator for Nova Scotia Province, left the ice briefly to speak with us.


Today we said goodbye to courier Gloria Turner (pictured above standing on right with Tour Captain Debbie Horn), who headed back home to Prince Edward Island.  She has been with us for most of this week.  Thank you Gloria, for all your help and guidance!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Luggage Curling - loading the motor coach on the way to Moncton Curling Club.


Mayor Arnold of Moncton (pictured below on the right) is presented with the USWCA Friendship Tour flag.


Performing for the Moncton lady curlers after a fabulous lunch.


Ending the day on a high note with a sing-a-long at Bellas' Bistro.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Our day started in St. John, population 97,575 and a bilingual community.  We drove through the original part of town that had been rebuilt after a fire in 1877.

One of the highlights was to see Kings Square which holds several monuments. One of these is the Young monument for the man who attempted to save a child in Courtney Bay from drowning.  Next to the square is the City Market with shopping for fresh food and homemade crafts.


The Reversing Falls is a natural wonder in St. John where the river and Bay of Fundy flow into each other.  As the high or low tide comes in or out, the flow changes causing turbulent waters.  We saw a few otters bobbing in the rushing waters.

We took the scenic route to Moncton to see more of the Bay of Fundy.  Then stopped to see the Hopewell Rocks and the flats.  The tide was low so we got a good view.


The day concluded with a simple dinner at a local restaurant.

Several people have inquired why we are visiting Canada because they notice our team attire.  We met an aerobics group in Sackville while on a bus break that will come to watch us play in Amherst on Friday.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Here we are on the front steps of the Marguerite Bourgeoys Center in Summerside, Prince Edward Island getting ready to head out for our first full curling game today (picture on the left).  We loved staying with Sister Joan (picture on the right, front row, left) and appreciated the center's tranquility and hospitality.  


It was a spectacularly sunny day and our drive took us over the Confederation Bridge into New Brunswick.  The bridge is a work of engineering beauty, one of the longest bridges over salt water.  

After our morning drive and lunch, we arrived at the Thistle-St. Andrew Curling Club in St. John, New Brunswick.  What a wonderful and welcoming club.  It was great to finally play an eight end game and see how our teams worked together and started to gel.  

Afterward, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner prepared by the club, debuted our singing ability as a group with some awesome curling songs.  Their club then entertained us with some group games that had us laughing and shouting.  Tonight we were billeted in club members' homes - a great way to share more time with our Canadian friends before we set off on a tour of the area tomorrow. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

After crossing the impressive Confederation Bridge into Prince Edward Island (PEI), we got into clubs and onto ice!  First stop was Cornwall Curling Club where we had a great lunch and 4-end games.  


We also met two ladies who had visited several of our home clubs during the 1997 Friendship Tour, Shirley Lank and Eleanor Meek (pictured below).

Then onto Summerside, PEI to the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club for our welcome dinner. 

Unique overnight accommodations were in the Marguerite Bourgeoys Centre, a former convent, now a retreat center run by the Congregation de Notre-Dame.

Monday, November 5, 2018

This was a day of disappointments for the Friendship Tour participants (15 of 16 pictured above in red) starting with our direct flight to Halifax being cancelled.  Rerouted through New York and Montreal, we finally arrived at 1 am, missing our chance to visit and curl at Silver Fox Curling Club in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.  Instead we spent many hours in many airports.


Thank goodness we had good company.   

The happiest moment of the day was meeting a Scots tour just finishing their own round of curling in Canada.  The 22 curlers from west of Glasgow were part of an exchange that happens every 8 years with clubs in Ottawa Valley.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

We gathered!

All 16 members of the 2018 Friendship Tour made it to Boston where we had dinner and met with the tour coordinators.  Much appreciation to Molly Jensen (pictured below, standing) and her team for pulling together this wonderful event. 

Each of the 2018 tour curlers received beautiful quilt squares as a place to put all the pins we'll collect over the next two weeks.  Each one is unique and a delight.  


Pin exchange started with each curler sharing their home club's pin.


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