Trip to Maritime Provinces

Aug 30th, 2013, 07:18 AM
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Trip to Maritime Provinces

In August DW and I were on a two week tour of the Maritime Provinces leaving from Boston. We enjoyed the beauty and history of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island. Luckily the weather was great with only a few showers.

This Grand Circle tour began at the Boston Sheraton with the first night in Bar Harbor at Acadia Inn. Lunch was corn chowder at Linda's Bean Topside in Freeport across from L. L. Bean. That store has really expanded plus lots of little shops. Touring Acadia National Park we stopped at Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond. Late lunch at Geddys. A lobster dinner was provided at Poor Boys Restaurant, including a demonstration on how to tackle one.

Destination next day was St. Andrews in New Brunswick. We toured Campobello passing back and forth through customs since the island is Canadian. FDR spent childhood summers here and brought bride Eleanor later. After his death Eleanor loved to come with friends. That day a neighbor's house was open (Hubbard House). At Machias we viewed the falls. This is a site of the first naval battle in the American Revolution. Lunch there at Helen's with lip smacking Cabot cheese and mac and blueberry pie.

Our group was lodged in St. Andrew's Inn, less elegant for sure than the Algonquin Hotel undergoing renovations previously used. The highlight for the day was a whale watch in the Bay of Fundy. I had 20 whale sightings plus porpoises, bald eagles, seals. Later on a walk through Kingsbrae Garden. Dinner at The Gables and then Scotsburn ice cream.

Beautiful countryside going through New Brunswick. Lots of dairy farming. Big fencing on the sides of the road to prevent collisions with the moose. At St. Johns we saw the Reversing Falls where the tide rushes into the river forcing an upstream surge. Went through the city market at St. Johns. Lunch at Magnetic Hill in Monston. Then over a nine mile bridge to Prince Edward Island known as PEI. Many potato farms and dairies. Our stay was at Rodd Charlottetown. Evening we had shepherd's pie at the Olde Dublin Pub down the hill.

more later
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Aug 30th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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After breakfast was a trip to Anne of Green Gables Museum. Author Lucy Maude Montgomery wrote this popular story of a feisty readhead orphan in the home of her grandparents, she herself raised by them as an orphan. Then came sequel stories as Anne grows up. Did some of you read these stories as youngsters? I forced myself to do so. As we arrived a short pony and buggy ride.

We passed through quaint towns and stopped at Prince Edward National Historic Site and a boardwalk along the shore. PEI is known for wide beaches and sandstone cliffs. Lunch in Sudbury and getting money at an ATM. Canadian and U.S. currencies at about a par. For dinner I got an authentic Greek salad (which is minus the layers of lettuce) at the Globe. Evening performance in Charlottetown of a new musical drama: Evangeline. This is based on the eviction of the Acadians and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem of two lovers who were separated.

Next day a ferry to Caribou, Nova Scotia, and then on to Pictou for lunch in Aulds Cove. Destination was Baddeck on Cape Breton Island and our lodging for two nights at Auberge Gisele's Inn. This is a nice rambling hotel overlooking the lake. On this day we toured the Alexander Graham Bell museum. Seems he was with his family alot here and worked on many inventions. We know about the telephone based on some knowledge of electricity plus his research in loss of hearing. Another invention was a huge hydroboat on the lake with engines so loud neighbors complained. Also an early aeroplane which flew to Paris.

Beautiful drive around Cape Breton with a stop at a cultural center in Cheticamp. This is a fishing village and center of French culture today. Floras is a shop keeping alive the Acadian culture. There are many rug-hooked wall hangings of artist Elizabeth LeFort. We stopped along the rugged coastline. Had lunch in a park along with a busload of Amish from the States. Also a stop at Celtic Lodge in the National Park. Continuing along the Cabot Trail we saw stunning coastlines and settlements. Brief stop at Neil's Harbor lighthouse...very windy.

more later
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Aug 30th, 2013, 12:24 PM
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Next day we passed many dairy farms and strawberry fields. Lunch at Main St. Cafe in Antigonish. Then we had a visit
to a fish hatchery and later in the Mi'kmaw Museum in Millbrook. This is about the history of these First Nation people. Interestingly on the wall a picture and document about an important treaty signed in Watertown (my home town). A stop at Auld's Cove. We lucked out in the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax...a swanky suite. Enjoyed shepherd's pie down the hill at Durty Nellies.

A morning tour of Halifax began at the Citadal fortress and then harbor area. This has been a major port for years but in 1917 there was a horrific explosion of two ships, one loaded with TNT. Then we went to Peggy's Cove which is a fishing village. Fog gave way enough to view the historic lighthouse and village. Back in Halifax we stopped off at Fair Lawn cemetery having the remains of many of the Titanic victims. Since the movie it has become a popular site. DW insisted on a small lobster roll at McDonalds for lunch.

On the next day a journey along the Evangeline Trail. Included a visit to Grand Pre National Historic Park with a memorial to the Acadian people. Many today are descended from those who returned and speak French. A special scallop lunch at Fundy Restaurant in Digby. A short distance away was the ferry for a three hour trip across the Bay of Fundy to Saint John, New Brunswick. Our hotel was Delta Brunswick where we had dinner.

Homeward bound from Saint John into Maine. Congested traffic at border crossing. Did security have personnel walk through the bus to check our passports? Oh no, we were instructed to get off and form a long line inside a building with a careful inspection of each document of these 36 older Americans! First stop a duty free shop where you can and will buy maple syrup and candy and surely something. In Bangor we ate at Dysarts known for their pies. A little shopping in Portland along the harbor and then locating up the hill at Clarion. A farewell dinner.

Final day into Boston. We perched on stools at Oyster Bar in Quincy Market for clam chowder (chawdah i.e.) Although we have toured parts of Boston this time we saw Old North Church and upscale Beacon Hill houses north of the Common. Posed in front of John and Teresa's House (Kerry). Finally over the Charles to Cambridge and a walk through Harvard Yard. Back at the Sheraton we grabbed our bags choosing to not stay overnight (living in nearby Watertown) so our son picked us up.

I know, this isn't an exciting report with restaurant ideas but like many in our group it seems we had been to Paris and London etc. and wanted so see closer home sights. These northeastern Canadian provinces have their own beauty of fields and shorelines and forests. I'd be happy for anyone to add a note.
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Aug 30th, 2013, 06:42 PM
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Very enjoyable trip report; I love what I've seen of the Maritime provinces and it seems you had an excellent overview. I've only stopped in Charlottetown, Cavendish and vicinity on PEI, Moncton in New Brunswick, and Halifax and vicinity in Nova Scotia... you remind me I have a lot more to see!

Best wishes, D. Williams
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Aug 31st, 2013, 09:08 AM
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Hello, Ozarks,

Thank you for your trip report. I enjoyed it v/ much.

Was this a bus tour? If so, what is the name of the tour company.

It sounds as if you did the entire Cabot Trail in one day travelling in a clockwise direction. Is that correct?

Thanks again!

OB1
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Sep 3rd, 2013, 01:30 PM
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Yes, this was a bus tour with Grand Circle Travel. Program director is native of Halifax and so knowledgeable. That a real plus...it's like he's showing off his homeland. So lots of stories. Cabot Trail...Cheticamp, Ingonish, Baddeck...I think that is clockwise the one day.
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Sep 3rd, 2013, 04:34 PM
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Interesting.
Yes, that is clockwise.
Sounds like a great tour!

OB1
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Sep 11th, 2013, 10:37 PM
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Sounds like an amazing trip !
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Sep 14th, 2013, 04:12 AM
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Anyone actually read Anne of Green Gables as a child? Before the trip I read it (with little interest but looking forward to the trip).
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Sep 14th, 2013, 06:23 AM
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I did. As a matter of fact I read many of L.M. Montgomery's books. I have in my possession one of L.M. Montgomery's books signed by her.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 06:39 PM
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Once again the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, has provided a large Christmas tree for the city of Boston. It is now on the Common...and the gift is a long standing expression of thanks to the Bostonians who were first responders in providing emergency aid following a disastrous explosion in Halifax harbor Dec. 1917. It has special meaning this year.

Two ships collided, one loaded with wartime munitions, with 1600 killed, thousands more injured, and a wide area devastated. Despite a snowstorm the relief from Boston was the first to arrive and they remained for weeks.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 06:51 PM
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Check this: http://www.celebrateboston.com/event...-lighting.html
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Nov 26th, 2013, 11:07 AM
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Seems in www.celetrateboston.com you need to check events and than go down to last item in November about Nova Scotia Tree Lighting...which is November 29 from 6-8. Good description of that tragedy in Halifax harbor and Boston's response.

Story also in "Shattered City" by Janet Kitz.
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Dec 31st, 2013, 07:17 PM
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Thank you for such a great report. I want to do this trip, hoping this year. I keep going to Europe but have never been to Maine or Nova Scotia so next on my list. I think I have covered most of our other states but Mississippi, Lousiana and Arkansas. Were you on the bus a lot of this trip or did they stop often?
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Jan 1st, 2014, 04:29 AM
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flpab, likewise my DW wanted someplace not overseas...so the trip was her idea. We didn't spend much time in Maine which is in itself a good destination (but not today with snow and ice).
One complaint was indeed long bus travel but the ferry up to Halifax no longer operational. We ourselves didn't mind, after all used to such in European travels. We've been in every state except Alaska with many earlier camping and RV trips and also Road Scholar programs (40) exploring different places.
Example: see Fodors report on Savannah (mispelled Savanah).
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