The Loonies Gave Us Away

Sunday, May 30, 2010 Road Junkies 1 Comments

Moncton, NB
We had a delicious lunch today at the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse on Main Street in Moncton.  The creation of three Irishmen, the pub offers tasty food, including some traditional Irish fare, a variety of brews, and a friendly atmosphere for reasonable prices.  Our server was prompt, attentive, and educational.  At the end of the meal, when we paid in cash, she asked whether we needed change.  Ken handed her some cash including a C$5.00 bill and asked for four ones in change.
The server looked puzzled for a moment, then asked where we were from.  After we replied, she informed us that we gave ourselves away as foreigners when we asked for ones rather than Loonies.  Unlike our repeated failed efforts to make one dollar coins circulate in the U.S., the Canadians succeeded in their transition to dollar coins by simply ceasing production and circulation of one dollar banknotes. 

People accepted the coins so well they began affectionately calling the one dollar coins Loonies because the back side of the coin features an image of a loon.  When two dollar coins went into circulation later, it logically followed that they were Toonies.  Our server, in her early twenties, admitted that she had never heard the coin called a "one" before.

Because the whole of southeast New Brunswick is a letterboxing desert, void of a single box, we decided to make a contribution by planting two boxes in Moncton today.  An obvious location was the city's premier tourist attraction, Magnetic Hill. 
As one might suspect just from the name, Magnetic Hill is magnetic only in the figurative sense. The hill is an optical illusion, appearing to slope down when it's really going up. Gullible tourists get to pay C$5.00 to drive to the "bottom" of the hill, shift into neutral, and coast backward "up" the hill. A perfect place for a letterbox. We hid it in the woods beside the road where visitors start their "uphill" climb.

The other letterbox was planted in Moncton's Centennial Park. When we hiked in this 270-acre urban park today, we discovered lots of people playing in the trees. A company called Treego has built an elaborate aerial adventure course to allow anyone to discover his inner monkey.
We could only wish we were a bit younger (and in Dianne's case, a little less clumsy) so we could have been participants rather than just spectators. We did plant our letterbox near the course so we can bring the activity to the attention of letterboxers in the clue.

Two surprising sights today:

1.  The first Canada Geese we've seen since arriving in Canada

2. A different kind of lighthouse
(Click on the photo for the rest of the story)

Today's Stats
Miles driven: 28
Miles walked: 4.8
Letterboxes planted: 2
Human monkeys: 46
Loonies:  6
Toonies:  1
High temp:  65° F