We left Mom’s on the 24th hoping to make it home on the 25th.

We stopped the first night in Levis – outside of Quebec City. We weren’t allowed to have dogs in the motel that was open, but Jeff begged a little, and they let us stay. It was a total dive. Jeff would have preferred to drive all night, but we needed a sleep.

We didn’t get much sleep – Monty wanted to growl and bark at every noise. We put him in his kennel and then he licked the metal door all night and drove us nuts.

We got up the next morning – Christmas – and headed for home.

As we turned onto the 185 towards New Brunswick, the battery light came on!

We went for awhile, and then Jeff exclaimed – it’s dropping fast now!! As we took the first turn off, the clock on the dash went blank. Our eyes darted around and we saw we luckily turned off into a little town – and we drove until we found a motel parking lot.

And there we were. At the Royal Motel in Cabano, Quebec. On Christmas Day. And they don’t take dogs. And are very French.

But they were open.

Jeff went in and talked to a French woman who said her husband would be back shortly and knows English. We got a room and said we had no choice with the dogs but we would pay extra.

It was even more of a dive than the first one. Tiny tiny room. Not even an alarm clock let alone a pen. But there were a few English stations on the TV!

So that is where we spent Christmas 2007.

Did I mention we were hungry?

That morning there were no stores or restaurants open so we ate what was left of the dinner the night before – which was half a bag of chips. We were expecting to find more stores open maybe by Christmas afternoon.

But in the middle of nowhere, Quebec, there is nothing open on Christmas. We dug into the back of the truck and found a box of chocolates! And a cookie tin from Julie of baking! AND a frozen cooked ham from the wedding.

We were in real survivor mode then. Jeff got out his swiss army knife and carved off a couple slices of semi-frozen ham. It was like we were on that movie Alive. We called him Leonard. He tasted good.

The owner of the motel called and had a friend who rebuilds alternators! Unfortunately that was going to take a few days. He lent us a battery charger so we plugged in the truck all night so we’d have a charge this morning. We were hoping the Canadian Tire would be open in Edmunston, New Brunswick this morning. We got the number from Brian (there was no Internet at the motel, let alone a pen, did I mention that already?) We called repeatedly, but there was no answer. I headed out on foot this morning for some food. I walked to the far side of town and waited at the door of a supermarket until it opened. I felt like I was some refugee in a foreign country. People kept talking to me in French and I would smile and look down. Finally it opened and I got some food to make Leonard… I mean ham… sandwiches fit for a king!

I walked back to the motel. The tricky this with this town of Cabano – it must have thawed for a day and refroze – the streets were totally slick and covered in thick ice. There were some attempts to spread some sand and gravel on it, but for the most part – it was extremely treacherous even trying to walk the dogs to pee. Walking across town led me to be a bold rebel and I walked in the streets and dodged traffic.

The town was nice. It was on a scenic lake – probably attracts tourists in the summer.

At noon today when Jeff went to renew the room, the husband realized he knew the owner of the Canadian Tire in Edmunston! He called him up and he said it was opening at 1pm today.

We immediately jumped to action and threw everything back in the truck. We pulled out the headlights, turned off all the electronics we could, turned off the heat and fan, and headed out for the 45 minute drive to Edmunston.

And that is where we are now. The Canadian Tire wasn’t open. With Brian’s help with Google at his fingertips, we managed to get to a Comfort Inn and tomorrow hopefully the truck still has enough juice to get back to Canadian Tire, or to a Ford dealership so they can fix us up. We’d like to get home someday. …… I was supposed to work tomorrow….

More to come from the honeymoon trail…