Posted 9 hours ago

9:00pm, July 27, Truro, Nova Scotia…We left Saint John like our tails were on fire and headed for the Bay of Fundy. It was a foggy morning, one of those “blah” days. We wondered if our weather luck had run out. THEN on the road to Fundy National Park a black bear crossed the road in front of us. Would this mean even worse luck? Apparently, a black bear crossing the road in front of you is GOOD luck because the sky cleared and a beautiful day appeared.
Fundy National Park was lovely. We hiked a trail to a copper mine and then drove on to Alma, a tiny mountain town where a place called Kelly’s features sticky buns to die for. On the recommendation of our breakfast waitress we tried one. It’s worth the stop if you’re in the neighborhood.
At Hopewell Rocks we saw the phenomenon of Fundy - a tide that rises at least 46 feet each day. At low tide, the little tree-topped islands turn into Rocky stacks. With about 150,000 other Sunday tourists we walked the beach and took it all in. This was a biggie for Sharon and it didn’t disappoint.
The day stopped in Truro where we dined at a pasta place and the dummy in the car ordered fajitas!! In Nova Scotia. Fajitas!
One note: the final photo here shows a milestone: 3,000 miles since the moment we picked up the rental at ILM. 14 days, six hotels, 13 good dinners and we’re still going. Tomorrow we set our sights on the southern Cape Breton area.

Posted 1 day ago

Saturday, July 26, Saint John, NB….Beware the flashy web site. Case on point: Saint John on the bay of Fundy. A fabulous site led us to believe the magic of Canada would be found here. Instead, as Sharon so accurately put it, we found a city on its heels.
We DID visit a nice little museum and Sharon found a crowd to pose with while I finally found a moose. But the “reversing rapids” on the Saint John river never materialized and we found the rest of the area wanting.
So, we are moving on. We will sample low tide on Fundy in the morning, explore some caves and then work our way north at least as far as Amherst with a final goal north St. Peter’s and the road to cape Breton.

Posted 1 day ago

SATURDAY FOOTNOTE: I promised some flavor from the Scottish Highland games so sit back and enjoy a bagpipe band:

Posted 1 day ago

Saturday, July 26, Fredericton, NB…Our journey stops in the Capitol of New Brunswick that was settled by the French and later taken by the British. The first cathedral of the colony was built here and remains today. A golden eagle stands inside.
But Saturday here was largely devoted to the Scottish Highland Games featuring Scots from all over the region competing in traditional games and dancing while the bagpipes bellow from solos to entire bands. THAT in the post that follows. (Incidentally, that Mom is checking the tuning of her son’s bagpipe before he competes. I didn’t know these things could be in tune!)
This was a good time. We got a couple of souvenirs and met some very friendly people.
The afternoon concluded with a drive of just over an hour to Saint John, a city on the bay of Fundy. We stepped out of the car and found ourselves in weather 20-degrees cooler. Out come the heavier clothes and it’s about time. They’ve traveled in style for 2700 miles so far - it’s time they went to work!

Posted 2 days ago

8:00pm, July 25, Fredericton, NB….We leave Prince Edward Island with mixed emotions, feeling like it is a place where you spend a full week to relish in the delight of the place. We are so used to barrier islands but this is different - carved out by glaciers, heavily wooded and covered with rolling hills of wheat, corn, canola and potatoes. The potatoes are in bloom now, they will start the harvesting when the plant tops wilt.
Our next stop, Fredericton, capital of New Brunswick, the place where the French first settled and the British came to drive them out. The old barracks still stand along with the prison and very helpful guides give you all the information you want. In one section of the downtown area, there are several blocks of beautiful old homes, fully restored so we grabbed a couple of photos to share.
The Highland Games start in earnest tomorrow morning. We have never seen the Scots compete in them so we will soak up as much as we can and then move on down to St. John to finish the week on the Bay of Fundy and, perhaps, go on a whaling cruise.
The travel can be tiring but around each bend there seems to be something new worth visiting.

Posted 2 days ago

Friday, July 25, Moncton, N.B. Our journey takes us ninety minutes south to the city of Moncton which is famed for a couple of things but the Magnetic Hill remains #1. Enjoy, I’ll fill you in on the rest in the next post.

Posted 3 days ago

Thursday, July 24, Prince Edward Island. For the first time in the ten days of our trip it rained so touring Anne of Green Gables tourist trap became impossible. Frankly, we thought it no big deal. There are scads of beautiful farms in the countryside here.
We made it to Summerside just in time for lunch and Yelp mentioned this place called The Mussel Shack. Wow! Fresh from the fishmonger an hour earlier we sat and watched the chef steam a pound of them in butter, garlic and onions (for Sharon). I chose something I’ve never heard of - lobster tail corn dogs.
The rain let up for a brief period after lunch giving us time to drive to McCallum point for a photo of the red sand cliffs, beaches and the lighthouse there.
On the way back we came across the little schoolhouse where Lucy Maude Montgomery served as a substitute. (she wrote Anne of Green Gables.) It has been restored and turned into a museum. Door wide open, no admission and an impressive display of artifacts from the 19th century.
With that, the rains began to fall and we headed back to the hotel for a quick nap. After all, one must be fresh for a 7 o’clock appointment with a big lobster!

Posted 4 days ago

8:00pm, July 23, Prince Edward Island…decided that this island and the attraction of Green Gables was too much to pass up until later so we drove down, settled in to a hotel and talked with some locals about what to see.
Everyone seemed to recommend this lobster house in downtown Charlottetown so we went. We got reservations for tomorrow night.
The lady inside suggested we try a new place called Steamers on the docks. Within a half hour Sharon was diving into a lobster while I turned to a regional delicacy called “Poutine” which is basically French fries in a light gravy with cheese curds and, in this case, bits of hamburger. The nice thing is they included a portable defibrillator free!
We closed out the afternoon with a drive down to the famed red sand beaches and caught a sunset.
The evening is ending with a complete overhaul of our suitcases since we packed for what the weatherman said would be cooler weather. (The thermometer has flirted with 90-degrees for two days now!).
Green gables tomorrow as well as a couple of national parks then, hopefully, more photos tomorrow night.

Posted 5 days ago

9pm, July 22, Bathurst, NB…Monday night closed with me be,ing picked out of the crowd to help a juggler in his efforts to climb aboard a six-foot unicycle. Fun was had by all.
We felt like we had exhausted all the possibilities of this Quebec and we got tired of the tourist traps and expensive meals so, this morning, we struck out across the St. Lawrence river and drove north along its eastern bank.
A beautiful countryside unfolded before us, from the wide river floating to the sea on one side and wooded mountains carved out of the granite by glaciers on the other.
By lunch time we had reached Ramouskie and we lunched at a little French deli, two of us eating for the price of one a day earlier. Had time to take in the famous submarine and lighthouse before heading east into New Brunswick, a Canadian province where English is the predominant language.
Oh, Kristen will be delighted to know they have moose signs here just like the ones in Vermont and some of them are really big. Just like Vermont we didn’t see a single moose in 350 miles of driving.
In Bathurst we discovered the lobster season has ended (I’m not sure what that means), enjoyed a nice dinner and checked into our hotel in time to do some laundry and post this entry.
Tomorrow we think we will drive down to Moncton and work our way out to Prince Edward Island, Sharon wants to walk around the farm where Anne of Green Gables lived.
The countryside here reminds me of Colorado and Oregon. It is deliciously green, the flowers are blooming and we have yet to meet anyone wearing their “cranky pants”. Keep your fingers crossed!

Posted 6 days ago

July 21, Quebec. A passing thought: After nearly a week in Canada some subtle differences appear. Let’s begin with the overwhelming number of people who speak at least two languages and can turn from one to the other without hesitation.
Then there’s the lack of paranoia that has become routine in Washington. We can drive up to the Parliament building here without encountering a prison atmosphere of barriers, bright lights, police cars and brutish security people who won’t permit photographs of anything.
Finish a meal and the waiter brings the check and then processes your credit card right at the table with a hand-held terminal and you can add your tip automatically with either a dollar amount or a percentage!
So often Americans assume these poor Canadians are a backward people who simply can’t keep up. Actually, it MAY be the other way around.