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I can get you rooms at The Ritz

Several years back, Donna and I left Leesport on a motorcycle trip through New England and into Canada with our friends Deb and Glen. Before every trip I get nervous about leaving DAK Self Storage as it seems something always happens before we leave or during our trip. I sometimes wonder if vacations are worth the headaches. Donna had her own motorcycle at that time, but always felt more comfortable riding on the back with me, so she did. Deb and Glen each have their own bikes. After two days of riding in New England we headed toward The Great White North.

Once inside of Canada we took some two lane roads toward Quebec. The scenery was typical farmland with very little traffic. Almost the second we pulled onto the two lane road, my Sirius Satellite radio started playing a triple play of Rush. I am a huge Rush fan and have seen them every tour since 1977. So to be on Canadian roads and be jamming out to them was a nice fuzzy feeling. I know, I know they are from Toronto, but come on we’re in Canada. It took some time to get used to road signs being in French and kilometers per hour, but we got used to it. 100 KPH is 62.1371192 MPH. I just looked that up now. I knew it was 62 but thought it could not be exact.

We passed Ontario along the water way leading Nord into the Gulf of St Lawrence all the while still seeing only signs and billboards in French. Around Riviere du Loup (I don’t know how to put that little thingy above the e?) we turned Sud onto the Trans-Canada Hwy 185 toward New Brunswick.  This was a very nice road with plenty of wildlife along the road. On a motorcycle moose seem very large. Our plan was to stop along the 185 and find a room. We would always drive until dark and stop.  This is how we have done it in the past and never had an issue getting a room, but we did not realize that a large concert and some type of festival were in the area.

The first place we stopped looked promising to Glen and me. It had a few motorcycles in the lot and a large sign that read “danseurs de XXX” I looked at Glen and he at me. We both said” I wonder what that means?” This looks like a good place to stay. What more could we want? It had a bar and a motel on the same property. At the same time Donna and Deb said “Oh sure you’ve been reading signs in French all day and you don’t know what that means.” In unison they said “NO!” That no would be a mistake. It was about 5:30 or 6:00 pm. The road ahead was long and desolate.  It was now getting dark and the last thing we wanted to do was have a moose run out in front of us.

We traveled what seemed like forever before coming to the small town Notre-Dame-Du-Lac on the banks of Lac Temiscouta. It was a nice little town with restaurants and rooms. It was about 7:30 pm and we stopped at a nice looking motel for a room. The manager was on the phone speaking French. After he hung up, I asked if he had two rooms and was then told everything in about a 1 hour radius was booked solid.  This is when we found out about the big concert. The nice man at the desk asked what direction we were traveling.  I told him south. He said he would make a call and see if he could find us a room. He got on the phone and started speaking French. After a short period he covered the phone with his hand and said “I can get you rooms at the Ritz”. He said this would be the nearest rooms available to where we were and it is only about 50 kilometers just nord est of Edmondston, New Brunswick. I asked him to ask if they would hold them. He asked in French and said they would. He asked for my name and told me they would have the rooms waiting. Everyone was tired and hungry, so it did not matter what the “Ritz” was going to cost.

It was at this time we got a frantic call from Kelly, our daughter stating a DAK Self Storage tenant called the police about a minor personal issue. I am told I can’t discuss it here. Oh boy I wish I could. After at least a half hour on a long distance, international cell call with Police, tenant and Kelly it was all resolved.

While we fueled up before hitting the road to New Brunswick, I had to give the short story to everyone as they all heard my conversation. We headed sud toward Edmondston. It was dark and all eyes were toward the side of the road looking for moose. After about 30 minutes we saw a large lighted sign to the right of the roadway “The Ritz”. I think we all laughed out loud. We had to ride past the sign about a half mile, exit the ramp and return on the service road.  I don’t recall seeing anything but woods and the motel. It seemed in the middle of nowhere, but it was a room. The front desk was in a small hallway and almost reminded me of a home office. We got there just in time, as a few other people also needed a room. While waiting we discussed driving another 20 minutes into Edmondston, after all we were sure to find a place closer to a bar and a good meal. I confirmed our hold on the room just in case. I told them we were driving all day and wanted to get something to eat. They said that would be fine they would hold them for us. We cruised into town only to find one room that the manager said he could put a rollaway bed into. We asked to see the room. The room was about the size of a 10×10 storage unit and had he put in that roll away, one would need to climb on the other bed to get to the bathroom. We declined and decided we would grab a bite to eat and head back to the “Ritz”. While a dinner I called Kelly and she assured me everything worked out OK. I explained the issue to Donna, Deb and Glen. Glen laughed and said every time we take a bike trip something strange happens at DAK and that certainly tops the list. We had a real good meal at a nice  steak restaurant and headed back to the “Ritz”.

After checking in I soon realized that the very first place may have been the better of the two. The room was only wide enough for the bed and a few feet on each side, with the bathroom in front and to the left of the bed. Deb and Glens room was the same. Being a long day and wanting to get an early start we decided to call it a night. The carpet floor was so sticky Donna used a patchwork of towels from the bed to the bathroom. Sometime during the night I woke up to see our room door wide open. I got up and looked outside when Donna said she opened it. She said it was so stuffy and small, she had to open the door and did not care if a bear or moose came into the room. This is a strange thing for her to do as she normally will almost put a chair in front of the door. In fact she has done that already.

In the morning we got showers and headed down the road. About ten miles, ah 6.2 kilometers down the road to our first Tim Horton’s (A much nicer version of Dunkin Donut’s).  We must have passed 100 of them. While drinking coffee and eating a fresh coffee roll, I said that place was certainly not the “Ritz” I was expecting. I laughed and said I am writing them a letter when we get home.  After breakfast we headed est toward Prince Edward Island.

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