Posted 10 hours 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 1 day 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 2 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 3 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.

Posted 3 days ago

Monday, July 21, Quebec. The crowds here got smaller yesterday and we left town on a short road trip up the river. But, before leaving, we stopped at the basilica of Notre Dame - not to be confused with the church of the same name in Montreal. I am convince that, since the province of Quebec was allowed to stay catholic by the British, every bigger city has a church of Notre dame.
We toured a large island in the St. Lawrence and we’re struck by how European all the homes were. Sharon got fresh strawberries along the way.
On the way back a childhood memory for her - dim at best - but she recalled a trip to St. Anne de Beaupre church with her mother and sisters when she was nine or ten. It was known far and near for granting miracles to the devout. Cost us two bucks each to get in the parking lot. It was a miracle that I had exact change.
Headed to the city’s big museum this morning then more intense planning for the second part of our trip, the Canadian Maritimes.

Posted 4 days ago

Sunday, July 20, Quebec …yesterday this city was jammed with people, it was Disney World without the rides and the mouse. Today it is more settled. We toured the fortress, rode in another carriage for a tour, saw kids playing in a fountain and thought of how much fun Lily and Jack would have there, saw a neat statue and stopped for refreshment and lunch. Thinking about visiting an island today…hum..we shall see.

Posted 5 days ago

Saturday, July 19, Quebec ! A lovely drive from Montreal - largely because we avoided the interstate for all but ten miles. We journeyed down Route 138 which parallels the St. Lawrence river and goes through little villages the entire route. One second we felt like we were in Maryland the next, France. The motorcycles and cyclists were out in force and we saw a bunch of Mustangs as well. The weather was marvelous and we arrived in Quebec just before five. It is absolutely jammed with people but we think it’s just a Saturday thing ( and we are probably very very wrong!).
Oh, French fries. My God the French fries in Quebec province are unbelievable or at least they LOOK that way. I haven’t eaten any because I haven’t had a chance to buy a portable defibrillator.
The specialty in this part of the world is fries covered with cheese curds and gravy. It’s called Poutiene and I will abstain.
More to come…Ou revoir!

Posted 6 days ago

5pm, July 18, Montreal…the afternoon begins with a walk to the street fair that’s gotten a lot of publicity. Sorry, once you’ve been to the Montgomery County Fair it’s hard to accept anything else - especially something without cheese blocks, pig races and fresh ice cream.
A statue along the way was interesting, called The Crowd it features people in front amazed by the light and people in the back dying.
Then, in our “People are dying to get in there” department a trip to the largest cemetery in Montreal. There Sharon found a stone bearing the family name of her grandmother. Could this be a brother, perhaps? The dates were close. We will turn to sister Maureen for a closer look. In all, nearly a million people are buried here and we found some beautiful monuments and at least one unusual crypt.
Dinner in Little Italy was spectacular and now it’s time to get back to the hotel, get a good nights sleep and begin our drive to Quebec in the morning, the concierge gave us directions for a beautiful back roads drive. More on that later.
Disclaimer: almost all of the photos published so far are in their “as shot” form and nearly all of them were taken with an iPad.

Posted 6 days ago

Friday, July 18, Montreal. The Fabrege Collection is on our schedule so we go to the Museum of Fine Art to see these precious relics. (NOT Sharon, the Fabrege eggs!)

Ironically, part of the collection is on loan from the Virginia Museum but it was impressive. We later lunched at a sidewalk cafe and are asking no about placed outside the city we might want to see. Stay tuned!

Posted 1 week ago

3:50pm, July 17….Montreal has sections in the old city that could make you believe you’re in Europe again and then along comes a bronze alongside the walkway that is pure Canadian.

We have put some miles on our sneakers today…we will sleep tonight!