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A Bit of Time in the Maritimes: New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island

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Aug 3rd, 2014, 01:52 PM
  #1
Amy
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A Bit of Time in the Maritimes: New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island

This is a continuation of a trip begun in New England, as seen here: http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...-and-maine.cfm

We drove from Maine to River Albert, NB, on July 3rd; there was a stop in Calais, and then the easy border crossing (we had a notarized letter from the parents for the nieces!) and then a long straight highway stretch...and then, we got onto Route 114. Because our directions weren't too specific (and my niece hadn't been able to download what she wanted onto her GPS in Maine) we didn't know how long we would be on the route. Let's just say, it took a while. It's actually only about 45 miles down 114 to the ranch we were looking for, but it felt longer as we didn't know where we were going for sure. But it was all worthwhile!

Broadleaf Guest Ranch was just what we needed: a spacious clean cabin (with good free Wifi!), beautiful scenery, and proximity to the Hopewell Rocks. Plus we had meals included (hearty home-style fare) and horseback riding for the girls, all for a bit over $200 (US) per person for two nights. I was so happy to have lucked into this while doing some Internet wandering while we were planning. It's not for the night-life types, but it suited us all very, very well.

We ventured down to the Bay of Fundy/Hopewell Rocks in the late morning the next day, and were greeted with a cheerful "Happy Independence Day!" from the ticket seller. It's a little walk down to the Bay, and then steps down to the ocean floor and those amazing "flower pot" rock formations. I was in geo-geek heaven, and the day was just perfect weather and viewing wise. All I can say is, good thing digital photography exists, or I would have been out of film.

(Some of the pictures are here; I wouldn't inflict all of them on anyone.) http://missalg.smugmug.com/Travel/Ne...3216118_BPcLXz
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 02:42 PM
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Amy
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Before I forget (again) let me add the website for Broadleaf:
http://www.broadleafranch.com/

As, of course, the idea of visiting the Bay of Fundy is to see the difference in the tides, we visited twice. The middle of this Bay of Fundy sandwich was spent by the girls in horseback riding, and by me in hiking. (Yes, I can ride horses. That doesn't mean that I need to.) A peaceful stroll took me to a covered bridge, and then I walked back along Rt. 114. Such a lovely lolling landscape, and gorgeous July weather!

It was a bit of a tease, that weather, though, because Hurricane Arthur was coming up the coast.

In the later afternoon, we returned to Hopewell Rocks and saw the ocean floor where we had walked covered, albeit not very far up those rocks. Still, it's a pretty impressive sight. Despite seeing a moose crossing sign on the way back, we didn't see any moose, which was probably good for the car.

Dinner at the ranch was barbecued ribs for most of us; very good and rather reminiscent of other July 4th meals.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 03:16 PM
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Love the report and pictures.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 03:16 PM
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There is a moose in one of your pictures.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 03:54 PM
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Amy
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Er, okay, we didn't see any live moose! Mooses. Whatever.

Anyway, we were off the next day in Hurricane Arthur's preliminary winds to go to Prince Edward Island. We heard some rather scary stories and those winds were wicked, but we made it across the long (and kinda boring) billion dollar Confederation Bridge into Prince Edward Island without being blown overboard. So that was a good thing.

Our home for the week was Wexford Heritage House, a restored farmhouse on the south shore (Cumberland, to be precise) that was not only beautiful but extremely functional: I've never been in a rental house that was better prepared. Anything I went for in the kitchen was there, and that doesn't happen often. It was even prettier than the website, which is here:
http://www.wexfordheritagehouse.com/ The website is understated, actually; this is Canada, after all.

One of my favorite things was the fields of lupines everywhere. The house sits in potato fields, so the autocorrect on my email home may have been a Freudian slip, instead: fields of lupines came up as "fields of lumpiness."
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 03:57 PM
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Amy
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I do have to say that the potatoes were superb. I even made potato soup as part of dinner one night.

Here I'll put in the link for the Prince Edward Island pictures: I have a long way to go on the writing bit, but you need to see that house. It's scrumptious.

http://missalg.smugmug.com/Travel/Pr...3240962_fJF8fn
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 04:02 PM
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I think I voted for that place. Warmer water or something like that.

You are braver than I am Amy. I would hate that bridge in any sort of wind. It would play with my mind.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 05:29 PM
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Good trip, even if it's not philadelphia.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 05:55 PM
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Oops I voted for the other place but at least mentioned the warmer water:

http://www.fodors.com/community/fodo...pei-please.cfm
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Aug 4th, 2014, 03:03 AM
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Amy
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I was feeling sorry for my niece for having to drive in those winds! (But, on the other hand, we weren't climbing the Inca Trail...)

So, Saturday we got in, started laundry, and went food shopping--about ten minutes away. My sister, brother-in-law, and the three kids (14 year old girl, 12 and 10 year old boys) arrived while we were shopping, and everybody got settled in and explored the area while I made dinner. We'd just finished cleaning up and doing the last of the laundry when Arthur hit with a vengeance: the electricity went out. So from about 8PM Saturday to 4PM Sunday, we had no electricity and no water. Oy! I was glad, though, we'd gotten done what we did.

So, Sunday was spent partly looking for a place where they might be able to cook, so we ended up at the Red Rooster Restaurant (and Motel) in the charmingly named Crapaud. Here I finally had my first lobster (roll) after a fairly significant wait: the restaurant was absolutely mobbed due to the electricity situation. But it was all good; we weren't in any big hurry in the first place, and it was nice to be in a place with running water.

The rest of the afternoon we spent in the Gateway Village, right by the bridge exit, which has a visitor center and various shops in a Disney-esque version of historical Island building styles. The one gift shop had Anne of Green Gables costumes, including the hat with the braids, of all sizes; for three bucks, anybody could become Anne, so my BIL promptly did. That is a classic picture.
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Aug 4th, 2014, 06:39 AM
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https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...93021822362114

Amy: This had to be the funniest sign I saw on PEI....Canadian sense of humor!!)

Amy..I brought this over from the New England side....good for a laugh
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Aug 4th, 2014, 08:55 AM
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Sounds like a fun trip Amy. The Maritimes and New England are on my bucket list.
May I just say I have returned from my trip to Philadelphia and we loved your city! I might have to work up the nerve to do a trip report.
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Aug 4th, 2014, 06:34 PM
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Amy
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Oh, raincitygirl, please do! There can never be too many trip reports on Philadelphia (in my admittedly biased opinion.) I am glad that you had a good time.

Monday found us wending our way to the Cavendish area--I use wending our way advisedly; it's a fair amount of wending--to go to that creation of Cows (gotta get Cows ice cream, it's like a law or something) Creamery known as Avonlea Village. We weren't quite sure what to expect or whether the boys would last, but we all had a great time! www.avonlea.ca

It's small, with historic buildings and replicas; the one cafe (Moo) serves grilled cheese sandwiches (amazing varieties; we liked the Avonlea one with jelly and ham best) and mac and cheese (onion-y and strong cheese; not for the traditionalist.)
There's also an "Anne of Green Gables" candy store with a Cows counter, plus an artisan place and a huge gift shop. But the big draw was the performers: Anne and Gilbert and Moody and Diana and Josie and so on perform throughout the day and interact with the visitors in various ways. There's a "fair" that includes potato sack races and a pie eating contest; musicians that play trad tunes; a school concert at the end of the day; stilts and sand art in the schoolyard; Miss Stacy's lessons; step-dancing lessons; yarn dying, butter churning, pig races, carriage rides, dress-up...Let's just say that you have to be interactive, and it helps to know the story a bit. The actors were multi-talented (Gilbert with a fiddle? How perfect!) and very inclusive. There weren't many people there, so that may have made the day more enjoyable, but it was just a fun scene altogether. We stayed until the end of the day, 5PM; you can go in after 5 for free to shop and sightsee, but the actors are gone by then. Your tickets are good for two consecutive days, although we only used them the once.

(When "Gilbert" was leaving at about 5:01 I heard a Village worker call out, "Bye, Gilbert!" His response--"Shut up." I imagine it would get wearing carrying the part after, oh, about two days.)

That night, some of us attended a strawberry social in the next town over. Strawberries with ice cream and as assortment of home-baked goods, in a community hall...all good!
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Aug 5th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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I had a great time on PEI back in 2010; seems like you hit some of the province's highlights. Red cliffs. Check. Anne of Green Gables schmaltz. Check. Cows Ice Cream. Check. Ceilidh. Maybe (as seen from one picture). Did you make it into Charlottetown?
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Aug 5th, 2014, 04:29 PM
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Amy
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Ah, that was ceilidh-lite, at Avonlea Village. Great music!

Tuesday the family went to one of the northern beaches, while I stayed back at the house and made potato soup and such. My batteries were pretty low by that day, and it was time to recharge. (Introverts will understand.) I did take a stroll down to the beach across the street and down a bit, where the red cliffs were at their red-cliffiest. The colors really are intense and lovely with the orange-red of the iron oxide contrasting with the vivid greens and blues.

Wednesday found us going toward the northwest of the island, to visit the Anne of Green Gables museum at Silver Bush. I'm not much for car rides, but I really enjoyed riding while in PEI. Having your directions tell you to turn and you're suddenly on a red road...that's cool. I do have to say that I wondered what the dirt roads would be like in the rain, though!

Silver Bush has a lot of Lucy Maud Montgomery memorabilia; although she had some happy times here, really, she had a sad life in many respects. It was in the parlor at Silver Bush that she finally married; her husband, poor man, had some pretty severe emotional problems. You can have your wedding in the same parlor, but somehow it's not a really joyful thought to me. The house was owned by her aunt and uncle, and seemed to be one of her favorite places: Anne's "Lake of Shining Waters" is right there. You go through the house on your own; there are lots of little signs. It's in Park Corner, and still owned by the Montgomery family. http://www.annemuseum.com/

We started out a bit too late to go to Green Gables in the afternoon (as everyone needed a late lunch) so we spent the rest of the afternoon at the Cavendish "Boardwalk", a collection of shops that includes, of course, Cows. Plus a Beavertail stand, so that was good. The family actually did do a fair bit of shopping here. It was pleasant and not terribly similar to the Jersey boardwalks that we're used to.
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Aug 5th, 2014, 07:09 PM
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You're making me want to fly there tomorrow. Those potats are so good.
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Aug 5th, 2014, 08:26 PM
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Amy
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I'm finding myself rather missing the Island. And the potatoes. (Although I do think that I probably wouldn't be a success at living there, what with almost 50 years of city in me.)

On Thursday evening we had tickets for the "Anne and Gilbert" musical, so my sister, oldest niece, and I went into Charlottetown early to do some sight-seeing whilst the rest went back to the beach, planning to meet us later. (By the by, getting tickets, the actual on-line process, was oddly difficult. I do not care for the ticket-seller website.)

We wandered the town a bit and went into St. Dunstan's cathedral, had a break in a little mall with the nicest juice-making lady ever (Watermelon slushie! With a smiley face!), and then toured Province House. The tour isn't long, but quite interesting. Interesting, too, was the movie that we saw later: the implication was clear that the idea of union was helped considerably by libations at luncheons. ("Here, have a beer, eh?") How very civilized.

Our somewhat forgettable dinner had a great location: Peake's Quay patio. There were nine of us, we were in a bit of a rush...it got the job done, but I wouldn't particularly recommend it for the food. Nice view, supremely forgettable food.

I would, however, recommend "Anne and Gilbert." The theater is tiny and you are right on top of the stage, pretty much, but the musical is fun and the actors perform with verve. I am a bit of an Anne purist (the first movie is okay, the second one--the one where they chop up bits of Little Women and sprinkle it into a stew of about five of the books--is endurable, but the third one is a travesty {P-tooey!}) and even I was okay with the liberties that they needed to take in order to put a number of books into one musical of about 2 1/2 hours duration. There's a nod to some of the traditional music and just a lot of fun...if you like musicals and have a passing acquaintance with Anne of Green Gables.
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Aug 6th, 2014, 06:13 AM
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I'm really glad you made it into Charlottetown; Province House was fascinating...I learned there that the road to Canadian confederation was more turbulent and interesting than I had thought! (PEI wanted no part initially, many Nova Scotians felt betrayed (they thought it was going to be a Maritime Union only and wanted out right away)).

Did you try some of PEI's amazing oysters? My friend went oyster-nuts when he was there...spending over $80 on them when all was said and done, he loved them so much.
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Aug 7th, 2014, 04:01 AM
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Amy
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No oysters! (Not really one of my favorite things, to be honest.) With Province House, it is kinda funny that PEI didn't even join right away, yet is the "Birthplace of the Confederation."

On our final full day, Friday, we actually got to Green Gables. I'd gotten up in time for sunrise pictures--the mosquitoes were still an issue, but it was beautiful. At Green Gables House in Cavendish there are some nice walks in the "Haunted Woods" and "Lovers' Lane", and we then toured the house itself, with its literary rooms for the various characters. It was quite crowded, which wasn't unexpected; "Anne" is a book series of amazing popularity in many places, particularly, as I'm sure many of you know, in Japan.

The Prince Edward Island Preserve Company provided a delicious lunch; the fruit salsas were great and the raspberry pie outstanding, as was the view of New Glasgow from the windows.
http://preservecompany.com/pages/restaurant-menu

We wanted to do something a bit silly with the afternoon, so we went to the incredibly schlocky wax museum/mining for stones/etc. complex. That wax museum had some really, truly, amazingly bad wax figures. We also returned to the Boardwalk for some final shopping for the nieces, who were buying souvenirs for multiple siblings. Of course, we had more Cows ice cream.

We left (a bit sadly!) the next morning, after a beautiful and restful week in lovely surroundings. Our sixteen hour+ trip home was thankfully uneventful, and our overnight in Haverhill, MA, was actually quite nice: good stay at the hotel (Hampton Inn) and really great service at the 99 restaurant.

All in all, a terrific time in the Maritimes!
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Aug 7th, 2014, 07:58 AM
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We give you Anne, you give us Rocky. Call it even.
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