Monday, September 29, 2014

Traveling Around: Nova Scotia

We took the ferry from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia and continued on to Cape Breton Island as far as Port Hood.
Always looking for a spot near the water we spent the night at the Sunset Sands. Water in front and a cemetery behind.

The Sunset was lovely.

On Cape Breton Island the Glendora Distillery was our next stop.
The tour explained all about the making of single malt whiskey, which could be called scotch if it were being made in Scotland.

Lunch was fine at the Inn with live Celtic music.
On up the coast to Cheticamp, where we camped on the beach again at Plage Saint Pierre. 

Cheticamp was an interesting town. Populated with French from Arcadia. Acadians, as they came to be known. They were isolated from the outside world until a road was built in 1947. They speak an Acadian version of French, but learn both "book" French and English in school. The men fished and the women hooked rugs.

Up the windy coast and through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
Lunch near a light house at the Chowder House on Neils Harbor.
Our last night on Cape Breton Island was at St. Ann's Bay.
 On the beach as usual. But the day went from fairly warm to blustery and cold the next day.

The bay was rough. We weren't going to take the ferry to Englishtown anyway.  We are heading South and will reenter the USA probably day after tomorrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Traveling Around Prince Edward Island

Although the weather has been lovely, cool and windy, but sunny, this is the off season. Camping rates are cheaper and the PEI National Park ticket kiosks are buttoned up. We take for free, drives that cost a bunch and are crowded with people in the summer. Some attractions are closed down. We don't get to go to the water park or the amusement park. We will also miss indoor black light mini golf. Darn. Ha ha.
We stop and look at the ocean views and informative signs. The Island has French, English, Scots and Irish heritage. The Irish must have been poor as usual. My Irish dander gets up at references to Irish this or that. A picture of a man harvesting seaweed with a horse pulling a rake is labeled as Irish Moss harvesting. Bah! Right up there with Irish Lace. There is of course lovely Irish lace. The derogatory meaning was as raggedy or frayed edges of a slip or curtain. Maybe I took offence at Irish Moss too soon. Although the eating of this seaweed was common during the Irish Potato Famine, it seems to have many uses in foods as an emulsifying agent and for the clarification of beer.
The lovely PEI coast. X marks the spot.

Birds on the red rocks.

I really like these red Canadian Adirondack chairs at the picnic spots. 

Dining at Dalvay by the Sea 

Dalvay by the Sea

Dalvay by the Sea is a very upscale resort at the east end of the island. The meals are very tasty and pretty reasonable. Tour bus groups are not welcome to come inside.
At Cornwall/Charlottetown KOA. Yes, it's windy.
Earlier this year the Charlottetown Festival production of  Anne of Green Gables: The Musical was officially acknowledged as the longest running annual musical theater production in the world. This year was the 50th summer the show was in production.
Matthew, Anne and Marilla
As soon as I heard that there was a show, I wanted to go. We got to go to the last show of the season. The theater is a huge affair in downtown Charlottetown, The Confederation Centre of  the Arts, Homburg Theatre seating 1,102. The downstairs was pretty much full. Maybe they sell in the balcony in the summer. 

We don't often go out in the evening. Getting back and parking in the dark and all that. Plus the fact that by 9:30 we may be reading in bed. We were out until 10:45! But the show was certainly worth it. This is a Canadian, professional theater production. Around the world there are many long running annual productions that are thoroughly professional and excellent and produced for the tourist trade and sentimental locals. We have been to South Pacific in Australia. And the fabulous Palm Springs Follies unfortunately closed now. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Traveling North: Prince Edward Island

On our way to PEI we take the scenic coastal drive which is completely shrouded in fog. You can barely see the Cape Enrage Lighthouse. This is when you need a lighthouse.
Cape Enrage Lighthouse
Further on on New Brunswick 915  out of the fog, right before the intersection with 114 there is a shoe tree.

shoe tree
I like the Anglican Church in Riverside-Albert on 114.

 There are a lot of covered bridges around. We see another visible from the road.

Sawmill Creek Bridge est 1905
The Hopewell Rocks are huge and amazing. At low tide you can walk among them on the sandy rocks.
Looking down from the stairs
The rocks look like sentinels, faces, castles and caves. It is like a natural Easter Island

The wind was strong enough through some places that it almost was enough to blow you over.
The bay here is chocolate with mud. It is known as the Chocolate River even though it is just part of the Bay of Fundy.
Chocolate River
We cross over to Prince Edward Island on the about 8 mile long Confederation Bridge. It was like being on the bridge down in the Florida Keys.
Confederation Bridge
I wanted to go to the Green Gables Heritage Place while we were here. I was introduced to the Anne books by Grandma Nettie, my dad's stepmother. She had fallen and broken her arm. So at 12 I was nominated to travel from California to Illinois on the train to help her that summer. She had an old copy of Anne of Green Gables on her bookshelf. She let me read it and keep it. Thus began my love of the Anne books. I did not know the book was first published in 1908. The stories were modeled on locations here on PEI.
William and the buggy

The house was her cousins

Me at Green Gables
 Prince Edward Island. Blue of the sky and sea. Red of the cliffs and earth. Emerald of the trees and grass.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Traveling North: New Brunswick

We have eaten a lot of lobster in Maine and I am sure we will have more as we continue into Canada. It seems strange now that lobster were once considered trash and used to fertilize fields when a lot washed ashore after storms. Servants complained if they had to eat lobster too often.
We have had wild blueberries in Maine and there are wild blueberries in Canada. We pass Wild Blueberry Land on the highway.
Wild Blueberry Land
We cross into Canada to Campobello Island.
Herring Cove

Herring Cove Selfie
After spending the night at Herring Cove Provincial Park we tour Roosevelt Campobello International Park. I did not realize that the Roosevelt's summer cottage was in Canada.
Roosevelt Cottage

In the 1880's and 90's wealthy families fled the heat of the east coast to points north. In 1883 FDR's parents visited Campobello Island and decided to buy land for a cottage. Cottage was just what you called your summer house regardless of the size. So after Franklin and Eleanor married they came here also. His mother, Sara, bought them the house next door and that is the cottage that remains. With a large family and 6 to 8 servants plus help hired from town they needed a big house. With the addition the house grew to 10 thousand square feet. Although the house always had running water from water pumped to a tank on the third floor, there was no electricity while it was owned by the Roosevelts. FDR contracted polio here in 1921 when he was 39. He made only 3 more brief visits to the island after that, preferring to spend most of his free time in therapy at Warm Springs, Georgia. Although the family still came here.
Hubbard Cottage
We toured the house and had a “Tea with Eleanor” at the neighboring Hubbard Cottage that is also part of the park.
Back over the bridge and back into the USA. Such a hassle, filling out customs forms, etc. We were on a little island for one day.
For the night we went back into Canada and stayed at New River Provincial Park on the Bay of Fundy.
The tide is low
Our guide book said that the Provincial Parks were open until the middle of October. Wrong. Most of them are already closed and this one was closing the next night. They had already closed up all but one bathroom.
Sunday in St John we first went to the reversing rapids.
bay is right and river at left
Painting of the Reversing Rapids
The Bay of Fundy has very high tides. About 28 feet right here. When the tide is low the St. John River flows down in rapids to the bay. When it is right in between high and low the water is flat and the river water and the bay water just meet under the bridge. At high tide the rapids go up river and the tide flows up the St. John River. We watch the water go up the river at high tide.
The Queens Square Farmer's Market is still open for the season. So we buy a few vegetables.
Queen Square Market 
Then on to the New Brunswick Museum.
Outside the museum
This museum is a bit confusingly laid out. It is obvious that the war of 1812 was very important to the locals because it comes first. On the second floor we get a bit of an idea why. After the revolutionary war in the USA there were about 500,000 Americans who had supported and fought on the losing side, for the British. A lot of these people were not comfortable staying with the revolutionaries. Many of them packed up and moved north to New Brunswick which really did not exist then as a settled land. The British helped them move and much to the chagrin of the local natives, parceled off land for farms to the new settlers. The Loyalists said they came because they were tired of war and wanted peace and the security of the British. This is why the importance of the war of 1812, which they portray as a war of American aggression. It is also characterized as a war that both sides claim to have won. Just what anyone won I am not clear.
We hoped to learn more about the Loyalists, which is what those Tory Traitors were called here, at the Loyalist House Museum. But after huffing up a steep city block, it was closed.
No one is home

Built on a rock

So we hit the road again. I spot a sign on a telephone pole advertising Shack Jackers. Move your house for you.
I watch for moose in the Musquash Marsh.
There is a covered bridge visible from the highway.

We are spending the night at the Fundy National Park. Very small park. We are camped up on a bluff overlooking the Bay of Fundy and the town of Alma. It is low tide right now. In Canada they are fond of having kitchen huts. There are two kitchen huts and one bathroom house in our row of campsites. The kitchen huts are meant for group parties with two big wood cooking stoves and many tables.
We are going to look at the town of Alma and go look at the Hopewell Rocks.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Traveling East: Acadia

Acadia National Park is lovely. Some people come here in May and stay until the season in over near the end of October. We have a view of the Bay of Maine.
The rusty leaves on the ground in the field in front of us hide a few of the remains of this years crop of wild blueberries. We are scavengers so we pick a few.
Wild Blueberries and the Bay of Maine

We drive along the park loop road in a light rain. On warmer days people often play in the water at sand beach. But the water is seldom above 50 degrees. 
Sand Beach

We walk among the rocks at low tide and then go to the top of Cadillac Mountain. At 1530 feet it is the highest spot on the eastern seaboard.
The Old Man in the Granite blocks

Top of Cadillac Mountain
We took a walk on the nature trail before we have lunch at the Jordan Pond House. 
William and Bubbles
These are called the Bubbles, North Bubble and South Bubble. For sure.

The Jordan Pond House
Lunch has to include warm popovers with butter and strawberry jam. I just had a cup of soup and hot tea, so I could fully enjoy the popovers.
On the trails you frequently see these trail markers put up long ago.

Another day we walked around Bar Harbor. At least we went on a day when there was only one cruise ship in town. We first went to the local Native American Museum. 
Abbe Museum

Agamont Park 

Whoopie Pies
My impression from Bar Harbor is that people in Maine like Whoopie Pies and puns.