Newfoundland 

We drove from the ferry over to Cornerbrook. Stopped in at the information center and looked up the 1930 sensus.  We found the address for the house my Dad grew up in and got a map of the town.  It was a bit surreal.  We stopped at the church were they went for years and where my Grandmother and my Greatgrandmother both were intragle to making the First United Church of Cornerbrook cookbook.  I have several additions of this cookbook at the house some with hand written notes and many letters from and to my Grandmother talking about the recipes and ideas for new things to include.  The church was locked up so we couldn’t go in but we walked around outside for a bit.  

We then drove over to the house and took some pictures.  No one was home so we didn’t get to go inside or around back but it was neat to think of my dad running around the neighborhood and seeing trees and houses that have been there since the 30s, knowing it probably looked pretty much the same.  I really had a pretty hard time there.  I wish I could ask him about his life there and what he loved and missed and what it was like, etc.  I took pictures of the papermill that was so pivotal to his, our lives.  My Dad went to school to be a forester like s father.  He went to the University of New Brunswick and then got his masters from the University of Washington.  My Grandfather worked for Bowater in Cornerbrook, then moved out to Victoria British Columbia when my Dad went out to Washington to school.  Bowater sent my Grandfather to Tennessee to scout locations for a new papermill.  He picked the site in Decatur Tn for the Bowater company.  When my Dad finished school he came to TN to see the new plant.  He met my Mother at a Christmas party and decided to take a job at the new mill rather than going back north.  So in a lot of ways I wouldn’t be here without that papermill in Cornerbrook.

We drove up to the Gros Morne park and hiked he Coastal trail.  Fantastic walk next to a trout stream that spills into the ocean.  The coastline is rugged, rocky and beautiful.  The trail runs along a coast filled with sun and salt bleached drift wood lined up along the rocky shoreline and on the other side are wetlands and bog plants and twisted juniper trees.  It was wildly beautiful.  I kept having visions of a massive battle between stone giants and Tree Ents that must have happened so long ago that it has faded from memory.  All that is left are their scattered remains littering the coast and bleaching in the sun.  

We came tot hotel to discover that the hotel is remodeling so No air conditioners in the rooms.  85 degrees here by the way is hot, really hot, Africa hot, ok not really, we just had to wait till the sun went down and open the patio door to cool off the room.  We went down to the hotel restaurant, Oceans Dinning room, for dinner.  I had a fantastic pork chop with maple screech sauce.  Miklos had the Duck confit which was also superb.  Desert was a lemon curd wih gingersnap and toasted meringue layered in a mason jar.  We also had. A fantastic bread pudding with partridge berry sauce.  All in all excellent day.  Cheers!

Published in: on August 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

P.E.I. And over Cape Breton and the ferry to Newfoundland

In the morning we got up and out the door stunningly early. Grabbed breakfast as we checked out of the hotel.  Drove into the national park and hiked the Greenwich dunes trail.  It is buggy.  Like douse your spouse in bugs spray and then use a flame thrower to cleanse a path kind of buggy.  Don’t use the bathroom there because you didn’t spray bugs spray there and you can’t pee that fast, kind of buggy.  Until you get out of the trees.  Flee from the trees.  Then it was breezy and beautiful.  Easy walking with views across meadows down to the waters edge.  Loads of wild flowers.  Saw a salamander, titty bitty thing, only about an inch or so long and bright orange.  We saw a very fluffy crow hanging out in the top of a pine tree. We also saw a tiny snake.  (Although we don’t tell Betty that because she hates snakes.). It was cute.  

Then the pah went into the woods.  Bugs, trees, bugs, streams, bugs, fields of deer moss, bugs, bugs and bugs.  But then the trail comes out to this oasis.  A series of boardwalks and floating walkways through this amazing wetlands.  They lead up to the sand dunes and onto a beach that had sand like brown sugar.  The wetlands were just spectacular.  Miklos loved the floating walkways. However after walking on the beach, back through the wetlands we made a mad dash through bug cage match 2015 and then back to the car.  

 It by far was my favorite hing on PEI.  

After the hike came the drive back across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to the ferry in North Sydney.  We had dinner at Flavor on the Water.   We managed to pass up Lickin Chicken, I know, how could we?  Flavor was excellent.  It was right on the bay in Sydney with a beautiful view and a modern vibe.  Miklos got the Rootbeer BBQ Ribs and I got the Aged Cheddar stuffed Chicken breast with Apple slaw we both got the garlic mashed potatoes.   Both were outstanding.  We had lemon cheesecake with a berry reduction and a piece of chocolate tort both were stab your neighbor with a fork if they get to close to your next bite good.  

We got to the ferry terminal about 9ish.  We boarded and had sleeping compartments, which was awesome.  We didn’t leave port till almost midnight.  Tried to sleep, failed miserably until about twenty minutes before announced wake up happened. Got to Newfoundland at about 6:30am local time.  Which is about half an hour off of everywhere else.  

Published in: on August 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

P.E.I

We went to Green Gables!  I was so excited to get to see the setting that inspired one of my favorite book series.  PEI is all about Anne, really, really, really all about Anne.  It’s almost like an Anne and L. M. Montgomery omage. That and potatoes. 

The house and grounds have been made to match the descriptions from the books with items from the time period.  We went through the house and then took a walk down lovers lane and around the Balsom Hallow loop trail.  The house was beautiful.  The furniture, wall paper, appliances (like an awesome cast iron oven/stove) were very cool. Took loads of photos.  Then got an ice cream and looked throgh the gift shop.  I had a good time.  

We then decided to drive down the coast.  We stopped at different pull offs for photos of the beach.  The sand was red and brown.  It looks like Tennessee red clay from a distance.  We drove down to a lighthouse and Miklos and I walked out on an old pier.  It’s more of a retaining wall.  It was neat to see the water rush in curve around the shore and rush up along the retaining wall.  

The early afternoon was hot so we went back to the hotel.   Deciding to go back out later in the day.  

Skip to later that day.  We got another boom burger for dinner.  Yes they are that good.  We then drove back over to the coast and were getting out at a pull off spot when we saw foxes.  One older one with a bad eye and a younger more energetic one.  We took pictures and then drove a little more up the coast to a cliffside overlook of the ocean.  We met a nice guy from New Brunswick and talked to him for awhile.  He was there with his wife and grand kids.  He was on crutches so was at the overlook while they played on the beach.  He told us that Apparently there were fox farms on pei for the fur trade. When the trade died out there were foxes that escaped and became naturalized to the island.  

We went on down the coast to watch the sunset and saw four more foxes playing by the side of the road.  Just awesome.

Sunset walking along cliff tops watching the surf and holding hands, great way to end the day.  Cheers!

Published in: on August 3, 2015 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cape Breton to Price Edward Island

We got up and again had magical blueberry pancakes. And a really nice cup of hot tea.   If only those could happen everyday.  Le sigh.  We then proceeded to hike out to the point,~ 2km one way, 2.4 miles round trip,  middle head trail is the name of the trail.  I learned a new abbreviation, puad, pointless up and downs.  I mean really.  The views along the way and seeing the baby seagulls just learning to fly for the first time was well worth it, but one more set of stairs and I was going to get a bulldozer and show them a level trail. 

We then got I the car an drove and drove and rinse and repeat. 

The bridge to PIE is eight miles long.  It is a marvel to drive across.  The welcome center on PIE  reminds me a bit of Pigeon Forge. Kitschy and touristy. 

Got a fantastic cheeseburger at Boom Burger.  They use local, beef, potatoes, cheddar cheese, butter, buns,  I mean it was awesome.  

We went to Anne of Green Gables chocolates and got some truffels.  Yummy! 

Hotel, Laundry, enough said.

Cheers!

Published in: on August 3, 2015 at 8:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cape Breton day 2

The day started as all days really should start with home made pancakes with wild blueberries that I didn’t have to make. And there was much rejoicing. Yaaaay!

We started with a short hike at the Bog trail.  It is a flat trail on raised platforms through a mountain top bog.  There were pitcher plants and all sorts of wild flowers.  Yellow Water lilies and purple water Iris were in bloom.  The breeze was nice and there were actually few bugs.  Pitcher plants are so weird but pretty when blooming.  There were fields and fields of them.  Once you start seeing them they are everywhere.  

It was still foggy but we drove up to the Skyline trail. Up and up and up and up and out then to stairs that led to an abys of fog.  The trial was amazing.  It goes along the ridge line and you can see for miles.  It is a 7km or 4 1/3 miles.  It is 950 -1330 feet high elevation.   After walking along a nice trail that has snippets , teaser peeks, really of the big views you see a thousand and one stairs and platforms that look like MC Escher was asked to design them that peter out to the very edge of the mountain top.  One one side a sheer drop to the ocean.  On the other a sheer drop into the valley you drive up to get to the trail head.  You could see the spaghetti road ways with itsy bitsy cars.  We saw glimpses of the ocean but mostly we saw a cloud bank that we could see both above and below it. 
By the time we headed back the sun had come out and it was hot.  We hiked from shady spot to shady spot.  It was a long haul back to the car.  I was glad to have cheese and crackers with a lot of water for lunch.  

We made our way back down the mountain stopping often to take pictures at overlooks.  We saw a moose!   Our first moose sighting in the wild.  Thought we saw a whale, rotten lying rocks in the surf just looked like whales.  I was very disappointed.  Walked along the beach, picked up some rocks.   

We stopped a couple of places along the shore to enjoy the surf.  The waves were just spectacular.  We worked our way back to the in and had dinner, which was again good.  My bacon, mushroom, Mac n cheese wasn’t as good as Miklos has the night before, so that was a bit diss appointing but the desert made up for it.  

I wandered over the grounds taking pictures and watched the sunset over the bay.  Just as the sun was setting I turned around and noticed a full, perfect, blue moon rising over the other side of the cove.  I must have looked funny going from one side of the grounds to the other as both the dun set and the moon rose.   In all a magnificent day.   Cheers!

Published in: on August 3, 2015 at 7:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cape Breton

We drove and drove and drove through mostly rainy weather from Alma, New Brunswick to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.   Around 8 hours.  I was so ready to get out of the car.  We walked laps at the rest stops to stretch.  When we could see through the fog the scenery was georgous.   However with the fog so thick it was impossible to see much farther than the roadside.  So in a lot of ways it was like driving into another world, or possibly the start of a Call of Cuthulu campaign.  

When we finally got out of the car it was like stepping into an Agatha Christy Murder Mystery set. The Keltic Lodge is beautiful.  It sits on a spit of land with oceans on both sides with steep cliffs and vistas that are sure to be amazing when the fog clears.  I took a short video of one of the beaches it’s so neat it sounds like thunder when the wave hit the cliffs just right. Then when the waves start to go back out they pull so hard on the rocky beach that you can hear to rocks crackle.  It sounds like someone jumping on a box of cornflakes.  It is the strangest thing.  There are a profusion of flowers here in bloom.  Foxgloves, peonies, water iris, daisies, roses, mountain laurels, and loads more.  I’m in picture heaven for flower photos.  Going to drive all y’all to boredom looking at the photos.  If you want to check it out you can see it here: http://www.kelticlodge.ca

Dinner was good, there are several dining options. We choose the Atlanic Room is where we choose to go for dinner.  It has a fantastic overlook of the ocean.  We had the bruchetta to start, which was tasty.  I had the fish and chips,  Mike and Miklos had the chicken, mushroom, bacon Mac and cheese, which was as freakin awesome as it sounds.  Betty had the seafood chowder which was also terrific.  Then we had Ginger and Guinness spice cake with a butter rum sauce for desert.  It was magnificent.  

It has been raining pretty steadily this evening so mostly been lounging in the room with audio book and comfey clothes.  I hope it gets it out of its system befor tomorrow.  We are going on a long hike around the Coastal trail and a bog trail.  Cheers!

Published in: on July 29, 2015 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wolfe point and tide beaches

Today we slept in a bit then went in search of a local pottery studio, unfortunately it was closed.  We then went to find the bird sanctuary at Mary’s point, which really didn’t exist.  So most of our morning was spent looking at some beautiful but fogged in scenery from the car.  This afternoon however was awesome.  We drove back out to wolf point and hiked out to the beach during low tide.  It takes a good 8 hours for the tides to change because there is so much watt involved.  The hike was good only about 250 stairs from the time I remembered to actually count them.  It was broken up into smaller staircases with boardwalks inbetween it felt like walking in between tree houses at some points because of the steep hillsides on ether side of the trail had us looking into the tree tops. The view at the lookout points was fantastic.  The trail down to the beach was steep but manageable.  

We got down to the bottom and the fog just poured into the cove.  The beach is a mix of rocks, pebbles, sand, boulders, snails, and seaweed.  Ie. when it is wet it is slicker than ice.  I know I looked like a human pinwheel with my arms sometimes acting on their own volition to keep me from slipping.  There were so many rocks that I wanted to bring home.  We walked out to the edge of the gorge to see the waters edge and stopped at the the rock formation I’ve dubbed snuffalapagus. It was rough walking but worth the effort.  When the tide is out you would never know that it could fill the entire basin.  Mud flats appeared, turning into sandbars, then into fully connected outcroppings of land in minutes.  

There were also some really pretty little waterfalls along the forested sides of the gorge.  It was cool to see the moss tun into seaweed covering the rocks.  Loads of greens from a light sap color to a dark forest green were all mashed together it was just stickingly pretty. 

The walk back was all up hill and stairs, and more stairs and then uphill with some more abut we made it. Woot!  Took pictures in the red chairs that they have placed in the parks here at a beautiful and more important breezy overlook at the apex of the dirt/gravel trail down to the beach just before the boardwalk and stairs start.  I kid you not from those chairs to the trail head at Wolfe bridge ther are 125 stairs.  So having gone down and back we managed 250 stairs in one hike.  Not to mention walking out to the edge of the gorge.  Deserts are so happening tonight.  Miklos and I went and looked at the Wolfe bridge again at low tide the land around it looks so different.  We then jumped back in the car and drove back into Alma. Saw some deer and a marten ran across the road in front of us.  Cute little buggers.  

I got let loose unsupervised on the beach in Alma and tried to get out to the water but only made it 3/4 of the way before my family made it back to collect me.  It is a muddy mucky sandy sticky mess to get out there.  It would be easy to have your shoes sucked right off your feet.  So needles to say my boots are sleeping outside tonight.  It was just this massive expanse of sand and mud flats that go on for about half a mile or so maybe farther the people at the waters edge looked like specks from the shore.  

In the bay of Fundy low tide exposes over 620 square miles of ocean floor as mud flats.  Bay of Fundy. Has a time laps view of the tides changing you should check it out.  It says water can move as much as three miles away from the shoreline.  I believe it.  

We went back to the Tides for dinner.  We had the Lobster dip to start with again because it was damn fine last time and even better tonight.  If you come here and eat nothing else get the lobster dip at the Tides.  Miklos got the seafood pasta with muscles, salmon, shrimp, and scallops in a garlic butter sauce with tomatoes an d basil.  I had the sautéed local scallops with the sweet chili sauce.  Mike and Betty got the chicken stuffed with lobster.  Lemon cake, chocolate moose and caramel pie, and chocolate peanut butter cheesecake were shared among all of us.  It was all fabulous.   Early night in because we leave for Cape Britton.  

Published in: on July 28, 2015 at 6:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sea Kayaking! Was awesome,

This morning started drizzly and early (5:30 am).  We drove back to Hopewell rocks and joined a group of adventurers on kayaking around the flower pot stone outcrops that litter the bay.  I was able to walk around them yesterday.  Today with the tide in we we’re able to kayak by the same rocks as well as through some short tunnels and by some sea caves and over to a local estuary.  It was so much fun.  We were in the two man kayaks and a sorely missed my pungo (back support was non existent in the divorce kayaks). Miklos and I did very well working the boat together and stearing through some really tight turns through the rock formations.  I was very proud of us.  Mike and Betty walked the trail above us and Yohooed to us from all of the overlooks.  Mike got some great photos of us in the boats.  It was terrific fun so if you find yourself in Fundy bay go to Hopewell rocks and try the sea kayaking.

After the kayaking we headed to lunch in Alma.  We went to The Octopus’s Garden.  I had a magnificent panini with mushroom soup.  The panini was crisp and hot, had turkey, havardi cheese and pesto.  It was scrumptious.  Miklos reports that his Hungarian salami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, whole grain mustard panini was exceptional. We then went into Fundy park,  drove up to Wolfe lake which was pretty but lots of people and bugs.  

We then found a boardwalk trail called Caribue plain that was very short but went through some beautiful forests and wetlands.  Bright yellow water lilies were just starting to bloom.  They were beautiful.  There were also some flowers that looked like callalilies.  The path was slippery in the forest but easy through the wetlands. 

The road then led us to an overlook of the town and the bay which was beautiful and striking with the tide out.  It really is apparent all the boats are up on blocks at the dock.  There were tiger lilies growing wild in a field full of grasses and other wild flowers.  Mist was rolling in over the mountains making the bay look silver and the horizon infinite. 

The park has a swimming pool which is right nest to the beach access.  We drove by to take a look but felt like the temps of 60’s was too cold to swim.  Although there were a bank of giant solar panels next to the pool area that made us wonder if the pool was heated.  

It still being early we drove up to the waterfall trail, I need to look up the name of the falls, and headed down the trail to see them.  OMG the stairs.  There were so many stairs but boy was it worth it.  The trail was either board walk or really easy but there were like 20 staircases, and not short 5-6 stairs but 15-25 stairs easy.  Up and down she wandered.  Up and down both ways so glad it wasn’t raining.  The falls were like those out of the world of the Fey.  Crowded with lush moss covered bolders that made for pools and rapids that terraced the mountainside.  The trees had grown so tall that there was only dappled sunlight.  The effect was like looking at the world through a brilliant emerald.  The main falls were beautiful and the staircases afforded a good view.  So many stairs, warm up your knees and eat your bananas cause your calves will be having some not nice things to say about your parentage when you get back to the top of the trail loop.  

Dinner was ok.  There was a general desire for low key burgers an chicken tenders kind of fair so we went to the Alma’s boat house and it was good but not great.  My fish cakes were mostly potatoes.  Miklos said his burger was good. Betty got the Lobser bisque which was awesome.  Mike got chicken tenders which he said were tasty.  The deserts were good, chocolate cake and bread pudding with rum sauce.  The bread pudding was my favorite.  Tomorrow looks like it will be laid back hanging around the park.  We plan to walk along the coast during low tide and take some pictures of the bay to compare high and low tides.  There are several trails we hope to go on as well.  Cheers!

Published in: on July 28, 2015 at 6:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Canada Trip Fundy Bay

This is one of the most strikingly beautiful places I’ve ever been.  The forests are every color of green and the wild flowers are prolific swaths of bright purples, blues, yellows and white.  The ocean and inlets are different one minute to the next as the tides come in and out.  At the Hopewell bay it is a 52 foot vertical chand of water level as the tide changes.  We were ther at low tide today and walked the nature trail and took lots of pictures of the wild flowers.  We went to the cove called the flower pots because of how they have eroded they have made fascinating formations.   We plan on going back tomorrow to kayak aroind the formations.  The walk was beautiful and the temps are in the upper 60s low 70s.  Just awesome.  

We drove a little ways and came to a covered bridge.  The landscape all around it for miles was grassy marshes.  It was a beautiful bridge.  Huge beams and a couple of windows  half way down each side.  It’s the first covered bridge I’ve seen.  It was neat.  

We drove a bit down the coast and found where an old ship yard used to be.  They have made a  monument to it with a long three masted ship on one side and a lighthouse on the other.  The river I’d dammed up and you can walk acros the sluse gates to see all the mechanisms.

We then went to Enraged bay to see the lighthouse and fossils.  The beach there is covered with them. It was a lot of stairs but so worth it.  I didn’t bing any rocks from there just lots of pictures.  

We then drove on into Alma and settled into the hotel.  No Air conditioning, but then it’s getting into the 50s at night so I don’t expect a problem.  Dinner was awesome.  We went to the Tides restaurant.  Had a lovely view of the ocean.  Got a lobster dip starter with homemade pitta and chips.  Miklos got chicken stuffed with lobster.  I got the special lobster and scallop pie topped with cheddar biscuits. (Yeah we suffer so).  Mike and Betty got the sautéed scallops with a sweet chili sauce.  Lemon cake and the chocolate turtle pie were awesome.  We walked around the harbour for a bit then drove up to Wolfe Point.  

There is another covered bridge there that is just cool.  We saw Salmon swimming in the stream.  Saw the remnants of a saw mill.  We drove up to an overlook of the bay that was georgous.  All in all fantastic day.

Tomorrow we start the day off at kayaking at like dawn.  Cheers!

Published in: on July 26, 2015 at 7:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Oh Canada

We are off onto another adventure.  This time we are going to Canada.   My father grew up in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland.  He went to the University of New Brunswick and then got his Masters degree in Forestry from the University of Washington.  My Grandparents moved from Cornerbrook to Victoria British Columbia.  My grandfather also a forester was tasked with finding a location in the south for a new paper mill and so he and later my father moved to Tn to work for Bowater.  The last time I was here I was four years old and my family were packing up my Grandfather’s house to make the move to TN permanent.  I remember having a series of aweful accidents that led me to the emergency room twice in one week.  I was jumping on the bed and was told to stop, I didn’t, (duh). The lady looking after me during all the packing went to catch me and when she caught my arm my elbow got yanked out of socket.  My Dad made a fantastic sling. It was so fantastic that he and the doctor spent what seemed an eternity talking about the sheer magnificence of his sling making talents.  One the sling of Turin was removed my elbow easily popped right back in on its own…. I have residual hate issues involving slings now.  We then went to get lunch, when my Dad opened the door for us to the restaurant, I was right behind him and the door went right over my feet ripping out my big toe nail.  My Dad made a terrific bandage out of the former sling and we carried on.  That night my parents went out for dinner and my oldest sister was left in charge.  After giving me a bath she was helping me out of the tub when I slipped and cracked open my chin.  Face wounds bleed a lot.  My sister took me to the emergency room.  I was too small for anistetic so stitches were put in without any numbing agents.  My sister is still traumatized from that experience.  I also remember swimming in the ocean and riding trees floating in the bay like ponies.  Picking up tiny jellyfish (they didn’t sting, but I think given my track record on that trip it was only a matter of time.) freaked my Mom right out but at least I didn’t have scars from jellyfish stingers.  I also remember getting grape Popsicles on a really hot day and vague images of a White House with stairs with my Grandfather.  So overall momentary pain to imprint some very interesting memories and impressions of Canada.  I think I will come out ahead this time round.
Day 1

Flights.  It’s never good when the captain comes out and says well we can’t fly this plane we just finished boarding because of a technical problem.  However luck was so with us today.  There was another plane at the airport we were able to transfer everyone and thing over to the new plane and get underway only 30 min behind schedule.  We got to Philadelphia and they had new tickets for us if we missed our connection.  We ended up not needing the and made our connecting fight with a minute to spare. We were the last ones on the plane but we made it.  We had easy flights and the van we rented is awesome.  We’ve stocked up on snacks and lunch foods so we can go hiking and not worry about finding a place to eat till dinner.  Our hotel is comfortable and a few min from down town Moncton.  Dinner tonight was fantastic.  We decided on Italian and went to Pastalli.  We had a sampler starter of calamari, bruschetta and artichoke dip.  The artichoke dip was amazing and callimari was good and not over cooked.  Miklos had the local scallops with mushrooms, white wine, cheese sauce baked and bubbling it was magnificent.   I had the Fillet of Sole crusted with assigo cheese and a tomato sauce.  The starter was a Mellon salad with a wonderful light citrus vinegrette.  Dessert of lemon and white chocolate cheesecake was the winner with the triple chocolate cheesecake coming in a close second.  Betty said it was a good palette cleanser for the lemon.  We were so punchy tired by that time that we just sat and laughed and laughed. I’m so glad to be on this adventure but now I must to sleep.

Published in: on July 25, 2015 at 7:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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