06 July 2009

Canada Continued...

Thanks ya'll for some nice commentary on the last installment of our trip. I like knowing that folks read the blogs and are enjoying the adventures. It makes me feel connected. Here is the story continued...

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One thing of note I forgot to mention on Day 5 was seeing the "Bluenose II" docked at the Halifax harbor. We didn't ride on it or anything, but we walked up to it and got a good look. (Popeye, the sailor man, on board, got a good look at us too. I think he was eyeing us because babies have suspicious smiles. Or maybe I look like a pirate because I have "booty." Ha.) The Bluenose II is a really nice looking ship. It is a full-sized replica of the original "Bluenose" on the back of the Canadian dime.

Day 6 - HALLA-HALLA HALIFAX (or a really LONG day)
Did we really only dedicate two days for the entirety of Nova Scotia? Yes, but that just means that some day, Tim will have to bring me back so I can see the rest of this pretty place. (Hopefully, the next time will be when there is no rain forecasted.) Some day I will visit you, Cape Breton.
Anyway, we began the day with a nice little drive to Peggy's Cove. The rain stopped just as we got there, as if on cue, and so we jumped out of the car and took pictures like crazy people. Peggy's Cove is home to the "most photographed lighthouse in the world," so they say. The lighthouse isn't much to look at, but the rocks the lighthouse sits on are spectacular! We spent some time here, amidst hoards of fellow travelers, admiring the way the tide crashed onto the white rocks and wandering around this sleepy little fishing village. This is picture perfect of what I think of when I think "Nova Scotia."
We popped into the fun wagon and made our way back to Halifax to see the Public Garden (seriously gorgeous and bereft of tourists) and get some more history at the Citadel. There was a very interesting display entitled "If Americans had attacked Halifax..." which made us smile a little. This display later prompted the purchase of this book... So funny. Anyway, we did the token fort visit things: posed with cannons, searched the tunnels, and giggled at grown men in skirts (okay, "kilts") who think they are manly because they carry around muskets. Check out this picture of us at the Citadel. Tim says he wants grow his hair like this guy. Now, wouldn't I be lucky?
As we were leaving Halifax, we stopped off at an amazing candy store and stocked up on our very favorite Cadbury delight, the Curly Wurly. It is sheer heaven in chocolate and caramel form. I also picked up a few funky PEZ and some plastic zombie finger puppets (because who can resist plastic zombie finger puppets?!?).
We drove to Truro to see the giant indian at the heritage center in Glooscap. He was seriously more buff than I thought he should be and his head seemed a little disproportional. Creepy, but well worth the stop. And then we drove on to Pictou, which is where the ship Hector landed, thus making it the birthplace of "New Scotland." We hung out here until we hopped onto the late ferry to take us to Prince Edward Island. (Another first for Oscar - a boat ride!) We got to our cute little cabin really late that night and went straight to bed. (Liar. We actually got to the cabin and unpacked, tried to get Oscar back to bed, also tried to get the freaking heat to come on because we were popsicles. Rough night.)


Day 7 - PRETTY P.E.I.
We slept in a bit and then headed out for the Prince Edward Island National Park to see the red sand beaches and the sand dunes. We even had good ole Lucy Maude Montgomery on audio! (How can you go to PEI and not listen to some Anne of Green Gables?) Our first stop was Brackley Beach, where Oscar found his first seashell. We took some pics and scooped up some "rusty" sand to bring home and drove on to Cavendish to see... you guessed it... Green Gables!
So, I have to say, I am not the world's biggest Lucy Maude fan, but this visit was probably my most favorite stop of the whole trip. It was the most peaceful and relaxing place - no wonder Anne loved going home best of all. If I lived here, I would too. It was a perfect spot. (The only thing I would have changed would be the blood-thirsty mosquitoes. They were a bit on the ridiculous side. I'm really serious about that. I've never seen anything like the mosquitoes there. You'd be standing outside and then all of a sudden your arm is covered in them. They were like piranha. It was insane.) We had the best time, though. We walked through the house and around the area, strolled down "Lover's Lane" and "Balsam Hollow," we even went into the "Haunted Woods" - all of which were so lovely and moss covered. When we walked the trails, there wasn't a soul to be seen all around us. It really was perfect. Then we had a picnic on the grounds and the sun come out in full. I got a "Raspberry Cordial" and it was pure rapture (only true fans will get that reference). And then we made a stop at the gift shop, where Oscar preceded to charm the ladies and Tim played dress up. (I know that he does not look pleased in this picture, but I assure you that in his heart, he is dancing with glee.) We drove on through Cavendish and got some of PEI's famous Cows ice cream at their store (strangely reminiscent of Chick-fil-a's advertisements... hmm...) and also stopped at the Anne of Green Gables Chocolate store and got some chocolate covered potato chips. For real. PEI is known for their potatoes, so why not? Dude, and they were GOOD.
Next, we drove around the island to get to Woodleigh Replicas and Gardens, a garden with mini versions of houses and castles in Great Britain, which is something my friend Mary did when she visited with her daughter years ago. It looked like a cool thing to see. Anyway, we looked EVERYWHERE for this place. Turns out the owner went bankrupt this past year and didn't reopen, so they took down the sign (meaning we drove past it a few times before stopping to find out what the deal was). We snuck up to the place (but didn't trespass) since we had already driven the distance anyway, and took a couple of pictures. I bet it would have been a pretty place. Too bad. We drove to Charlottetown to see what we could see and were fairly unimpressed, so we packed a picnic and headed back to Brackley Beach, where we spent the rest of the day. Oscar LOVED playing in the sand. He got sand in places I never thought possible. It was a good day.

Day 8 - ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Well, it was time to start making the journey homeward, so we started off early to make a few stops along the way. Our first stop was right after we drove across the Confederate Bridge, the bridge that links Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick. It is the longest bridge in the world; over a 12 minute ride! They had to build it with a curve in the middle so truckers wouldn't dose off when driving across, which is a strange fact - who falls asleep when driving over a bridge?!? Regardless, the bridge was cool except that there is a fatty toll to get across. (We read the best way to visit PEI is to take the ferry across first and then take the bridge home - that way you end up paying less because you pay on the return trip. Good tip!)
So, after taking a picture of the forever long bridge we had just driven over, we drove on to Saint John to finish up our sightseeing in New Brunswick. We spent the morning there, checking out Barbour's General Store (a free turn-of-the-century museum general store - pretty cool), the funky totem poles at the harbor, and the huge City Market. At the City Market, we bought some pickled fiddlehead ferns and some dulce (purple seaweed from the Bay of Fundy), both New Brunswick delicacies. We haven't tried the fiddleheads yet, but we walked over to King's Square to let Oz stretch his legs and we chomped a couple of pieces of the dulce there. Holy Man. That jive is so nasty. It tasted like tobacco leaves but salty and it stuck to the roof of my mouth. And I still tasted dulce funk hours later, as it adhered itself to my molars. Sometimes trying the local cuisine is a bad decision.
After playing in the park a bit, we drove on to see some scenic overlooks (that were by now scenic - since the sun had finally come out) and we also made one last blueberry stop. Oh and our tummies thanked us for it, too. There was this "Wild Blueberry" shop somewhere near St. George with some funny looking giant blueberries on poles. Of course I can't resist a photo op, but the picture I'd rather share right now is of the most delicious bowl of blueberry ice cream I've ever had. It was homemade blueberry ice cream topped with blueberry preserves and fresh (real) whipped cream. Whoa nelly. (Notice the background? That is my "to do" list for New Brunswick. How appropriate.)
We crossed over the US border with the usual funny comment on Tim's bizzaro passport picture and made a brief stop at the Moosehorn Preserve to watch some nesting eagles. It was too dramatic for young eyes, so we went on to our destination city - Bangor, ME.
There really is not much to do in Bangor. Like basically, there is NOTHING to do in Bangor. Okay well, for some reason, Stephen King lives here, so you can drive by his house and that is pretty cool. His house looks like I thought it might. It is a creepy Addams family Victorian with a wrought iron fence all around it. On top of the fence spikes are iron bats. And I kid you not, right as we drove up, a huge crow landed on his roof top and stared us down. It was wack. Because we were so freaked out by that, we just went on to our hotel and checked in.
Oscar seemed to really like our hotel for the night, or maybe he was just delirious from traveling so much, but he laughed and laughed that night. He cracked me up too. I was trying to wrestle some pj's onto his squirmy little self and he gave me chase! He kept crawling away from me as fast as he could and then laughed about it like we were playing a game. It was so funny. Crazy kid.

Day 9 - HOME AGAIN, HOME AGAIN, JIGGETY JIG
Like I said before, there is really nothing to do in Bangor. We did go see the giant Paul Bunyan statue, though. He was big. I always liked that folk tale, especially the part about Slue-foot Sue. And then we stopped for breakfast at the Friar's Bakehouse and got the most tasty blueberry (well, naturally!) muffins in the universe. Honestly, even though there is not a thing to do in Bangor, I'd go back for another muffin. The Bakehouse is owned and run by Franciscan friars who must be putting in some special holy ingredients, because their breads were ridiculously good. It was practically sinful.
Then we drove to Freeport. We've been to Freeport before, but we really like it and I figured that Children's Place may be having their "monster sale" again, since it was at the same time we visited last year. And dude, they sure enough did. We got some mad sale prices... as in $3 dollar dress shirts. This kiddo has a better wardrobe than either his mom or dad. It's not even fair.
Our final stop before home was a touch of nostalgia for us. We needed to walk the "Marginal Way" in Ogonquit and take some pictures there. Last year at about this very same time, we were here prior to the birth of our little rascal, soaking in the magic of expectation. This year, it was neat to walk the same trail and remember all our hopes and fears and excitement and anticipations and see how life has become something different and wonderful. It was the perfect way to end our anniversary trip, I think. It was like ending a chapter in a book (possibly entitled "our married life before kids") and starting a whole new one. And this chapter has already proven to be full of drama and adventure!

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Thanks for listening to my tales! Hope I didn't drag on too much!

2 comments:

Christie said...

oh my goodness that was so great. I especially love the last part. What great pictures to have side by side! I also thought it was really cool that you listened to Anne of Green Gables while exploring the sites. I've never read them but want to. I grew up loving the movies. Love you my bosom friend! :)

Jeremy said...

so envious of day 5!

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