An overnight retreat at Woody Island Resort – #SplitTheRock

I had been passing signs for Woody Island Resort on the Trans-Canada Highway my whole life, but had never really known much about it. I just knew it sounded cool. I like resorts. A Newfoundland-based resort would probably be much different from the Caribbean resorts I’ve grown accustomed to.

Our day started out with a 40-minute cruise to resettled Woody Island in Placentia Bay. Although it’s technically an abandoned island, it’s anything but dead: many former residents have built cabins here, and the island was semi-busy when we arrived. The resort itself is a giant complex of rooms and social areas, including a fire pit and a large lawn for games of horseshoes. We spent most of our time near the bar, of course.

The first thing you’re gonna notice in this video is my very Canadian pronunciation of “boat.” The second thing you’re gonna notice is that my posse and I were the youngest people by about…well, 20 years. One of the kitchen aids would run around the front deck beating a triangle to indicate that dinner was served, and then we’d all be seated at tables with smiling strangers. One by one, the cooks wheeled out trays filled with Newfoundland faves: pea soup, toutons, molasses…and of course, the largest kettle of tea I’ve ever seen. I felt vaguely like I was living in a senior care home — no disrespect intended. It was amazing.

We had stupidly not brought any beer, and so we spent our meagre savings on drinks from the bar while we were entertained by a proper Newfoundland kitchen party and singalong. Oh yes, and line dancing and a good mummer’s party. Cailin and I played card games at the table, under the lamp light, and we observed one man walking back and forth to the bathroom so often with a glass full of whiskey that we were convinced he was hiding a bottle under the sink. So we went to investigate. True story. (He wasn’t, btw.)

Mike and I made new friends that evening and we sat out on the patio underneath the most brilliant starry sky I have ever seen. I mean that; it was overwhelming. The Milky Way was like a thick painted swirl in the galaxy. One man jabbed at me for being a writer and asked me to recite some poetry, but my tongue was thick with beer and I ended up being the brunt of the joke instead. Smooth move, Candice.

But seriously. Those stars.

The next morning we chugged along to Sound Island where we had a boil-up on the beach. The crew was already underneath the tarp tent cooking up a storm, while Richard Woodrow stoked us a mean fire and then played the accordion for us. We had stew and tea.

Let’s not forget about the Grecian urns I found on the beach. Legit.

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