Posted 3 weeks ago

Tuesday August 5, Longport, New Jersey.
A fun day of shopping for books, pizza for lunch, plenty of play time this afternoon and an after-dinner stroll on the beach.
The kids are fun, typical and very loving. It’s good to be a grandparent!

Posted 3 weeks ago

Monday, August 4, Longport, New Jersey.
Family. Is there anything better than family?
Certainly a highlight of this trip was stopping here to spend a couple of days spoiling two very special people: grand daughter Lily and grandson Jack.
Before long we were headed down the street to the pier where Patrick keeps his boat and it was off to a place called Back Bay Ale House for dinner with family and some of their friends. At one point Lily took over the helm and did a good job. She said she enjoyed it, as long as we went slow. Jack navigated and sounded for proper depth.
Then, on the return voyage we looked at Atlantic City at night with Kristen at the helm while Jack fell asleep on my lap in the back of the boat.
A beautiful night on the bay behind Atlantic City and a bunch of more memories to take home.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Saturday, August 2, Rockland, Maine. Out of Canada and back into Maine we stop about halfway between Bar Harbor and Portland in a fishing village called Rockland. Have I mentioned how lucky we have been on this trip? We get to Rockland just in time to unpack and walk a half block to the annual Lobster Festival!
Sharon decides on a pound and a quarter lobster with corn on the cob, cole slaw and a roll. Cost:$15. I go for the seaman’s platter of haddock, calamari, shrimp, scallops and a “crab cake”. Cost:$16. Top it off with a fresh cannoli and you’ve got a good ending to a good day.
We enjoyed Canada immensely but it seems nice to have the grill of that Nissan pointed at Carolina.
Our impressions of Canada changed a bit. We admire their politeness and the technology they use on a daily basis. The actually go out of their way to yield on the ramp leading to the highway but they WILL race you on the hill as you take the passing lane and they drive on the right. By golly it just seems like a good thing to do.
We have had a great time and we hope you’ve enjoyed our notes from the road, eh?

Posted 3 weeks ago

August 1, Saint John, New Brunswick. We are at the end of a long day that began at 6:30 this morning in Digby as we rushed to pack, grab some breakfast and then drive an hour south to a little island for a whale watching excursion. The company we called was just introducing a Friday morning special so, instead of the normal fee of $50 each, we paid $28.
Sharon got the photographers luck by being on the correct side of the ship each time these whales came up for air but I got them the last time we saw them before heading back.
Once in the car it was a one hour dash back to Digby to catch the afternoon ferry across The Bay of Fundy.
We stay here tonight then head for Portland and the start of the drive home - AFTER we spoil some grandchildren in Longport, New Jersey.
Another great day and a lucky one, as well. We no sooner got on the ferry than the fog rolled in, obscuring the entire landscape.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Thursday, July 31, Digby, Nova Scotia. Timing is everything and ours has been unbelievable. We left Sydney in Cape Breton in the rain this morning, facing a seven hour drive to this little fishing village on the north shore of the Bay of Fundy. An hour into the trip the skies cleared and we had nice weather the rest of the way.
I mentioned earlier in our voyage about the amazing tides here. At one point in the journey we passed the spot where the tide change is the highest in the world: 51-feet 6-inches. About a mile up river I stopped and took a couple of photos to show you and, yes, the kids would LOVE to play in that mud.
By six o’clock we had arrived at the Admiral Digby hotel overlooking the bay and a little later we were dining on world famous Digby mussels. They were really good, fresh out of local waters and cooked very simply. Delicious.
It should be noted that one member in our party is having a fine time laughing at the other member of our party after he left five pairs of underwear and at least three pairs of clean socks in the dresser drawer of our last hotel. Humbled by this act of omission your humble servant was forced to buy three pair of the ugliest underwear he’s ever seen from a Digby store of doubtful integrity. I mean three pair for $6.05? C’mon!!
Whale watching tomorrow. In clean underwear. She giggles.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Wednesday, July 30, Sydney, Cape Breton. We devoted much of our day to Louisbourg - the first French fortress built on the coast here and, after New York and Boston the largest in the colonies. It has been restored much the same way Williamsburg, Virginia was recreated.
This was a delightful experience. Everyone who works here dresses in period costumes and talks to people as if they really were the colonists they represent. They bake bread in wood fired ovens, serve a four course meal in their inn and help you find the rest rooms (which are marked by tiny signs). I finished the morning watching children dance in the square and sent a video to my grandkids to show them what kids did when there were no iPads.
The fort was taken twice by the British because of its strategic location. While not completely restored there is enough here to get a real sense of what life was like in an 18th century French village.
After lunch in town we took a lazy drive around the edge of the island, stopping to see the waves crash near the lighthouse, visiting a miners museum and seeing where Marconi brought the first trans-Atlantic cables on shore.
A spot called Flavor on the Water is in our sights tonight then it’s off to Digby with hopes of a whale watching journey on Friday.

Posted 1 month ago

Tuesday, July 29, Sydney on Cape Breton. We took the drive around the Cape Breton highlands today. We started in light fog but the skies cleared and it turned into a beautiful day. A couple of stops along the highway produced photos but this was mainly a touring day. We stopped at St. Ann’s College where Gaelic is taught. Sharon bought goat milk soap and lotion. Down the road we watched a glass blower create a vase. It was mesmerizing. We must have stood there twenty minutes watching him turn a wad of glass into a beautiful vase. Our “selfie” was taken at Cape North - the furthest we will be from home and 3535 miles into the journey.
Sharon detects a need for lobster tonight so we will take in Governors Pub and then get an early nights rest for tomorrow’s trip to the French fort at Louisbourg and drive down the Marine Road to Halifax.

Posted 1 month ago

Monday, July 28, Sydney, Cape Breton. The question begged as we left Truro: would the luck of the black bear hold up another day or would the weatherman get one right? Give this one to the weatherman. We think the storms that plowed through Wilmington last week finally showed up here in the form of light fog and rain. Still, the drive across northern Nova Scotia onto cape Breton was beautiful. Lots of water and wild flowers. 💦
How do you make the day more rewarding? Why not stop in Glendora at the only distillery of single malt whiskey in Canada and look at the science involved in the brew? They have copper pots and wooden bins and pipes and samples at the end of a twenty minute tour. Then, in the gift shop, you may purchase same - the smaller bottle starting at $80 and the numbered bottle from the last run priced at $500. I wish them luck.
Our transportation today included a ferry ride - eat your heart out General Jubal Early. While this one also uses a cable in the water it features hydraulic ramps for the cars. We were impressed.
Cape Breton promises to be a highlight of this trip once the weather breaks. It should offer the first real opportunity to give the cameras a workout.
Hampton Inn tonight..the eighth hotel in our journey, the eighth room number to remember!💬

Posted 1 month 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 month 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.