My (insert positive adjective here) Summer with Them Days

Time is starting to get a little bit short for me here at Them Days and if it goes by as fast as the rest of the summer has, it’s a good thing that I’m writing this now. Just a day over 3 weeks left! It’s really going to suck to have to say good bye to Aimee, Abby, Brianna and the office before the summer is actually over but I’m heading out to St. John’s for surgery (in which the recovery process will bring me right on up to the start of school).

The past 10 weeks here have been nothing short of rewarding. In the first week here alone, I learned more about Happy Valley-Goose Bay’s history than I did in 13 years of school. Learning about where I am has always been important to me. I’ve always been the one to Google every hotel I’m staying in and everywhere I’ll be visiting. Traveling around, I’ve always been the tourist to ask the Tour Guide an alarming amount of questions and It really surprises me that I haven’t asked more about Happy Valley-Goose Bay in the nearly 18 years that I’ve lived here. Every day that I come into this office I manage to learn something new. For example; I had NO clue that there were 11 atom bombs stored in the woods of Goose Bay…I had NO clue that the Broomfields, Perraults and Saunders were the first families of Happy Valley (Before, they were just really popular last names)… I had NO clue that El Grecos, before it was my favorite pizza place, was a taxi stand… I had NO clue that I would ever take getting a review on Trip Advisor so intensely…or that Twitter could be actually interesting…or that ARC-ANLA was such a massive thing (let alone a thing to begin with).

When I tell people “I’m working with Them Days this summer” it’s always a- “Oh and what do you do there?” and when I say “I’m a tour guide!” It’s always “Tour Guide? What? There’s tours here?” and my response is usually “You haven’t seen 1 one the 250 flyers floating around this town??” followed by plugging the tours until I cannot plug anymore. But when I tell people “I’m working with Them Days this summer”- I take good pride in it. Growing up, I’ve always known what Them Days was and would go through it, looking at the old photos while at the co-op with my mother or while at my parent’s friends’ houses. But one thing I have a brand new appreciation for is the effort that it takes to put together just one of these magazines. So much hard work goes into photo finding and identification, interviewing and transcribing, finding what actually fits in the magazine and what doesn’t, and even thinking of an issue to start in the first place. It’s needless to say that I’ve found a whole new level of respect for Them Days and how hard everyone is willing to work around here to get it done (and always on time at that).

FullSizeRenderThis is a whole new job experience for me. Before I’ve only ever worked in a restaurant and in retail and never had the opportunity to get out, explore and share knowledge with other people. I’m really starting to think that this is my calling, ‘my jam’ if you will.

As I head back to St. John’s for another school year, I’m going to be attending the Tourism and Hospitality Management Program with the College of the North Atlantic. Working with Them Days has helped me realize that exploring the world around me, learning about its people and sharing my knowledge with others is what I exactly want to do with my life. Before- my interest was in nursing and I refused to accept the fact that I wanted to do anything else…but on the second day of this job, Shirley and Aimee sent me to a Tourism and Hospitality workshop with WorldHost and that’s when it clicked. I was won over. This is what I want to do. So shout out to Them Days for solving my teenage identity crisis and sending me in the right direction.

I know this was a sappy post, but a boy needs to let it out sometimes! I’ll be back with our regular programmed, humorous blog post next week!

-Bradley

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My First Tour Experience In The Rain & Meeting Lawrence Millman

My First Tour in the Rain

Today, July 27th, 2016, was the first day that since I’ve started conducting the summer tour program, that the weather Gods have gone against myself and the tour guests.

Every time that it’s been called for poor weather during a tour, it has always managed to turn around. For example; this past Tuesday Aimee and I did a tour with some Pre-med students and a resident from the hospital! They were great guests to have but we were anxiously watching the forecast all day. It would call for thunder and lightning one minute, a complete down-poor the next, scattered showers the next, sunshine the next which had us on our toes all day! After scarfing down some chicken fries from Burger King (which were absolutely delicious) we headed out on our tour and the weather Gods were with us! We were blessed with sunshine and a nice gust of wind. However, today it called for rain and that’s exactly what we got. Author Lawrence Millman, Morgan Mills and his summer student were our guests today! The weather was looking promising for the entire day with just some simple over cast and 17 degrees but the very second that we stepped outside it started to drizzle- “Manageable!” we thought. As we headed towards the nursing station it started to rain a little harder, and as we walked down the path along the Churchill River we had a complete down poor. Mr. Millman was clearly the most wise of the group as he had brought an umbrella with him. The rest of us might’ve gotten soaked but we did so while I spewed information about Happy Valley and as we learned a lot about Mushrooms from Mr. Millman!

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Aimee (R) and Author Lawrence Millman (L) shortly after the office tour.

After the tour was over and we start approaching the parking lot of Them Days- the rain had finally ceased- perfect timing…When we got inside and dried off a little bit, Aimee gave a building tour to Mr. Millman and the other summer student that had joined us. He had found a lot of interest in our Library and what he was able to lay his hands on from the archive!

It was a fun experience but I think I’d definitely choose the sun over rain any day!

Until next time!

-Bradley

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Things To Do In North West River: Beach Festival Edition

In honour of the 30th North West River Beach Festival coming up this weekend, we decided to make a list of things to do during the summer in the beautiful North West River.

  1. After your walking tour with Them Days, and a bit of shopping in Goose Bay- it’s time to head on the highway and down to North West River. Usually, after the walking tour, people’s legs are pretty tired- so what better way to rest than to heading to Motel North? Motel North is only seconds away from the beach and in agreat, quiet area to get some beauty sleep. However if the Them Day’s tour has you wanting to interact with more locals, give the Red Wine Bed and Breakfast a try! Like the Motel, the Bed and Breakfast is just seconds away from the beach and we’re sure they’d love to have you for thespecial weekend coming up. But you better book early! A lot of people come into town just for the beach festival.
  2. When you’re all settled away at the Motel or the Bed and Breakfast; you’d definitely want to head on overto the beach to watch the beautiful Labrador sunset. The North West River Beach is full of white sand, and long green grass. The water may be a little chilly but nothing that won’t bother the kids or that you can’t dip your toes into. With the Mealy Mountains clear on the other side of the lake it’s the perfect place to take that summer photo to make your new Facebook profile picture!
  3. When the next morning arrives and after your beauty sleep it’s time to get up nice and early to explore as much as you can before the Beach Festival goes on its way. Things you can do are: go for a hike or drive and visit Sunday Hill look out, try the tranquility trail that is located at the far end of the beach, or go to the gift shop and tea room for a more relaxed morning.
  4. Once you’ve got your breakfast, morning walk and tea in- it’s time to head over to the wonderful museums. The Interpretation Center and The Hudson’s Bay Museum(aka. The trapping museum) are great places to learn anything and everything about Labrador’s history. At the Hudson’s Bay Museum you can see the old cable car that was used to cross people and supplies over the river! At Them Days, there is an issue all about it and the staff there would love to share some information and set you up with the issue!
  5. After you’re all history’d out, it’s time to relax, listen tosome music, play some games, eat some yummy food and buy some nick-knacks. Walk down to the water front on River Road and join the festivities! The rise of balloons floating to the sky and loud local music will help you find your way. If the weather is nice and you stay all day, you’ll get to see the spectacular fireworks show that gets put off every year.
  6. When you wake up the next day, get your shovels and buckets ready because you can compete in the Sand Castle building contest! You better bring your A-Game because people can get really creative over there!There’s no end to the amount of beautiful walks you can take, information you can learn, food you can eat, people you can meet and friends you can make when in North West River. The Beach Festival weekend is what a lot of the locals take pride in and we believe that there’s no better time to visit.

All Information for the above:

Them Days Inc. (Walking Tours)
Phone Number: 1(709)896-8531
E-Mail: themdays@themdays.com
Address: 3 Court Manche St. Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL.
Website: http://www.themdays.com/
Tours: http://www.themdays.com/tours

Motel North
Phone Number: 1(709)896-9301
Toll Free: 1(877)996-9301
Address: 13 Paddon Rd. North West River, NL
Website: http://www.hotelnorth.ca/north-west-river
Red Wine Bed & Breakfast
Phone Number: 1(709)899-2666
Address: 25 North West Rd. North West River, NL
Website: http://www.redwinebedandbreakfast.com/

Labrador Heritage Tea Room and Gift Shop
Phone Number: 1(709)497-8282
Address: River Rd. North West River, NL
Website: http://www.labradorheritagemuseum.ca/tea-room-gift-shop

Interpretation Center
Phone Number: 1(709)497-8566
Address: Portage Rd. North West River, NL.
Website: http://www.destinationlabrador.com/guide/labrador_interpretation_centre

Hudson’s Bay Museum (Labrador Herritage)Phone Number: 1(709)497-8858
Address: River Rd. North West River, NL
Website: http://www.labradorheritagemuseum.ca/home

North West River Beach Festival
E-Mail: nwrbeachfestival@hotmail.comAddress: River Rd. Field, North West River NL
Website: http://www.nwrbeachfestival.com

 

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Things to do in Happy Valley-Goose Bay During The Summer

Whether you’re a first time visitor, returning or local- here’s a list of things to do in Happy Valley-Goose Bay during the summer!

  1. Take a walking tour of the heart of Happy-Valley with Tour Guide Bradley and one of the other Them Days staff members! On Thursdays they meet up with an elder from their community and you get to hear a lot of fun stories about the developments and history of Happy Valley. The tour is about 3km long and takes about 2 hours for the regular story walk and 2.5 hours for the elder experience. It’s a great way to spend an educational afternoon outdoors and being active!
  2. After the walking tour or maybe even during the walking tour if time is plenty, take a drop into Slippers N’ Things for all things Labrador! From things to custom engravings and t-shirts to seal skin boots and dream catchers- Slippers N’ Things and their extremely friendly staff have you covered.
    3. Once you’re good and hungry after your walking tour and little shopping spree you can head on over to El Greco’s where the pizza is fresh and garlic bread sticks are hot! (They serve other Greek dishes and very yummy poutine as well.) It’s an extremely popular place to satisfy the tummy with the locals!
    4. When your stomach is stuffed and eyes are tired after the busy tour you had- you can continue to support local business by booking a room at the Big Land Bed and Breakfast or the Royal Inn for a leisurely sleep.
    5. The next morning when you say “Man! That walking tour was absolutely fabulous and so interesting…but my legs are a little sore”- you can head on down to North West River beach and have a relaxing day in the hot sand warm breeze. You can even pay a visit to the Interpretation Center to continue learning more about Labrador, the traditions, trapping and its people.
    6. After a busy two days of a great walking tour, good food and a day at the beach- you might be hungry again! For any seafood lovers, Mariner’s Galley is the place to be! Every Friday night they have a full seafood buffet and a delicious menu. When you are nice and full (again), a walk around the bunkers would be a great idea! When leaving Mariners Galley you turn left, walk through the 5-Wing Goose Bay gates, and the road to our bunkers will be your first street on the left thought a set of 2 soccer fields!
    7. After exploring the bunkers, you’re probably really curious as to what they were used for, when they were used and what they stored! Well, if you’d like to pay another visit to Them Days, they would be able to tell you all about it and maybe even set you up with an issue or two with all of the information you would be looking for!

    Links and Contact for all of these wonderful activities and locations are found below

Them Days Walking Tours
Website & Tour Ticket Information – http://www.themdays.com/?page_id=1037
Tel. – (709)896-8531
E-Mail – themdays@themdays.com

El Greco’s
Tel. – (709)896-3473
Address – 133 Hamilton River Road

Slippers N’ Things
Tel. – (709)896-5660
Address – 55 Grenfell St.

Big Land Bed and Breakfast
Tel. – (709)896-2082
Address – 34 Palliser Cres.
Website – http://biglandbedandbreakfast.com/

Royal Inn & Suites
Tel. – (709)896-2456
Address – 3 Royal St.
Website – www.royalinnandsuites.ca

Interpretation Center North West River
Tel. – (709)497-8566
Address- Portage Road, North West River NL
Website- http://www.destinationlabrador.com/guide/labrador_interpretation_centre.html

Mariners Galley
Tel. – (709)896-9301
Address – 25 Loring Drive
Website – http://www.hotelnorth.ca/happy-valley-goose-bay-1/restaurant.php

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Exciting Tour Announcement for The Ranger passengers!

Good morning everybody!

We have some pretty exciting news- starting this coming Monday (July 18th), we’ll be adding in an additional walking tour for Monday mornings!

The tour will start at the Them Days office (3 Court Manche St.) at 9:00AM, it will take roughly 1.5-2 hours and if the weather stays like it has been for the last week, it’ll be a great way to get a morning walk and learn some interesting information and hear some great stories about Happy Valley with our Tour Guide Bradley!

The reason that we are doing this is to accommodate people that are travelling to the coast via. Northern Ranger.  We figured it would give people some time to stretch their legs, get away from the dock and have a good time with friends and family while waiting for the boat to leave again.

More information can be found at the ticketing desk at the docks or the following:
Call us at: (709)896-8531
E-mail us at: themdays@themdays.com (or bradleybaker@themdays.com)
Visit our websites: themdays.com (and click the ‘Tours’ tab)
OR just show up around 8:45 at 3 Court Manche St. We’d love to set you up with a ticket and have you join the group!

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Do you want to help us? (For Free)

If there’s one way that you can help us (for free)- it’s writing about us on trip advisor.

Back in May, Bradley, our Tour Guide and Social Media Guy, went to a full-day workshop with World Host here in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. It was an extremely interesting and educational day but if there’s one most important thing that he learned and took away from it; it’s that Trip Advisor is completely changing the way that people travel and explore.

The thing about Trip Advisor is that it supplies travelers and tourists with the raw truth about attractions, things to do, restaurants and hotels in a desired area as opposed to most other sources where nearly everything is glorified to be a “Life changing experience”. It’s real people, giving their real opinions; which can be an extremely dangerous or absolutely fantastic thing.

So if you’ve come to us, whether it be to shop for a magazine about your family, look up some family history, take a tour or to even just look around, a review on Trip Advisor would mean a lot to us (and as well to other people who are looking for things to do while visiting Happy Valley-Goose Bay.) We’re currently standing at #2 right now… help get us to number 1!

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WWI Commemoration

Last week, on Thursday, July 7th– We headed on down to North West River for the WW1 Commemoration Event at the Interpretation Center in North West River. After lunch we all piled into Anna’s vehicle to head on down. After fun music, good chats and wind blowing in our hair- it was time to get serious.

We walked into the Interpretation Center to be greeted by legion members, community elders, and staff who supplied us with poppies and forget-me-not pins to wear on our shirt. After getting situated in the lobby we went on outdoors to the flag posts. One of the legion members read a very beautiful and strong passage about the battle of Beaumont Hamel and we went back in. After standing outside in the beautiful July sun we went upstairs. Upstairs we heard a lot of different stories from the legion member, elders, family of people who fought in the First World War and anyone else who had something to say. It was a great bonding experience for the community.

2016-07-07 13.37.01Shortly after walking in, we were asked if we could place tiny Labrador flags on a wreath as the names of Labradorian soldiers we read out. One by one, we placed the flags down and thought about the men who fought for our freedom.

2016-07-07 14.46.15After everyone who talked, needed to- Perry Trimper, who had got back from the Beaumont Hamel 100 Year Commemoration 2 hours before the event started, showed us an amazing slideshow of some of the photos he took. As I would love to pay my visit some day in the near future, I can only imagine how emotional and powerful it must’ve felt to be standing right where so many people sacrificed their lives.

Thursday was a beautiful day to say the very least and will definitely be one of the most rewarding experiences that I know I’m going to have at Them Days this summer.

-Bradley

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