Only in Canada…

We had some proud Canadian moments while on our annual writing retreat in Port Joli last week. While on a working holiday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau paid a visit to Keji Seaside, part of Kejimkujik National Park, and we got to meet them (and take lots of pictures.)

the security cavalcade appears


Since the house we were renting is owned by Americans, there was nary a Canadian flag to be found. Being creative types, we concocted one from a Rubbermaid lid, a towel and a red paper napkin.






JT (as we like to call him) and Sophie chatted with the Parks Canada people and two women of the First Nations, then hiked down to the beach, possibly the most beautiful in all of Nova Scotia. A small group of us went along for the stroll (plus a few dozen security people and paparazzi).






On the beach, he approached us to shake hands and exchange pleasantries (he’s taller in real life than I’d thought and has a super-firm handshake), and we got to chat with Sophie for about 10 minutes while he talked to the Parks Canada people. She’s not only naturally beautiful, but very warm and friendly, including asking what we’d written when she found out we’re writers. I was sure to mention THE KING OF KEJI, wishing I had a copy on hand to give her kids.

Back at the house we were renting, we sat by the roadside to wave as the stream of black vehicles rolled past. We didn’t think much of it when a guy jogged past – we’d seen him on the beach and assumed he lived up the road. Then we looked again, and the PM was right behind him! “Nice to see you again ladies,” he said as he jogged past (in very colourful shorts), a female security person and two RCMP officers on bikes flanking him. I couldn’t help but point out our flag and tell him we’d made it (like he couldn’t tell…). Sadly, we couldn’t collect ourselves enough to get a picture. Only in Canada (and on an extremely rural NS road). Gave us lots to giggle about on the final evening of our retreat!

With Sophie Gregoire Trudeau

10 thoughts on “Only in Canada…

  1. I love this!!! This is one time, my friend, I really wish I had been with you. You lucky gal. I loved reading about it, but enjoyed hearing you tell it on Sunday at the market. I’ve got to stick closer to you! 😉

  2. Carole Tanner

    Very, very cool Jan! (I work with Nancy, our rockstar anchor. :)) What a wonderful opportunity to meet our amazing PM and his wife! I saw the security cavalcade seemingly casually exiting a suburb in Calgary during Stampede Week, as we headed to Banff with our family. JT was at the Stampede that a.m., so we assumed Sophie and the kids were in the line-up. Very cool, but definitely not as cool as your experience, wowzers! Have an awesome summer and I look forward to getting The King of Keji for my classroom! Carole T. 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Carole – hope August moves very slowly for those of you heading back to school. Hope to visit North River Elementary again someday. When I read the King of Keji, I get the kids to write/draw about their experiences with some of Nature’s treasures – imagine my surprise when several kids drew dead deer (in rural hunting Hants County) – treasure is such a personal thing:)

    1. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to take on such a public job, especially with kids ages 3, 8 and 9 – has to be stressful despite the smiles! Thanks for saying hi.

  3. Jan, I LOVE this, how wonderful that you got to speak with both, pics taken etc. I’m so jealous:)
    I imagine his being, from birth, in the public eye and around politics all his life, helps him to find a balance between personal and professional. Just moving into sussex was going back to his childhood home.
    I would think it could be harder for Sophie but she must also find it exciting and challenging at the same time.

    1. Hi, Christine – yeah, I hadn’t thought of JT in that way – returning to his childhood home; must be very odd to be raising your own family on such familiar turf. I like that they keep the kids out of the spotlight as much as possible.

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