I dreaded the 8 AM wake-up call that Sunday morning. The fact that it was raining and foggy outside made it that much harder to get out from the blanket. I mean, rainy days are prime time to curl under a blanket and sleep indefinitely – don’t you agree? We had driven the Cabot Trail the day before, which means all of us spent a good 10 hours or so in the car. While the scenery was stunningly beautiful, the pain I felt all over my body that morning certainly made me resent the drive a little bit.
Since it was a Sunday morning (a.k.a. a day of obligation for Catholics), we needed to decide where we would go to celebrate Mass. This is the one thing I love about the Church – no matter where you are on the planet, there is always a Catholic church nearby. That said, our options were a) celebrate 9 AM Mass at St. Michael’s parish in Baddeck, a 30-minute drive or b) drive 2 hours to Antigonish and attend 11 AM Mass at the chapel of St. Francis Xavier University. Option A is dreary only because it is a 9 AM mass. Sure I talk about how beautiful it is to celebrate Mass first thing in the morning, but when it comes down to it, and let’s just be very honest here, I would rather sleep-in and go to a later Mass. Option B is unappealing simply because it’s far; we wanted to take it slow that morning, to drive without any pressure of time. After a quick back and forth, we decided to suck it up and go to Baddeck. Hence, the 8 AM wake up call I mentioned above.
With the rain pounding down on us, we checked out and quickly drove towards Baddeck (at least, as quick as it was possible to be on the sleek and wet asphalt – safety first!) Baddeck, a small, charming town on the Cabot Trail, is known to be the hub of the Cape Breton International Music Festival in October. Many also consider it to be the unofficial start of the Cabot Trail. For me, Baddeck was a gem we stumbled upon that Sunday morning.
The Church was very small, probably better to be considered as a chapel, but the congregation was as lively as ever. It was a community where everybody knows everybody else and the priest delivered his homily much like how a friend would deliver an advice. Best of all, it felt personal, like everyone belonged there.
We had breakfast at High Wheeler Cafe just a little up the street from the church.
It was as simple as flax seed and cranberry scone with butter and a cup of coffee, but, oh my goodness, it was delicious!