August 1, 2006 Tuesday
We made it to the Owen House on Campobello Island. We left 150 Fessenden Hill Road, Denmark, a little after 10:30am and got to the island a little before 5pm which was 6pm Canada time. We stopped at that great Chinese restaurant called Capital Buffet in Augusta just off the highway. Great assortment of food! Only trouble is they were showing Fox News on a big flat screen display. We spent almost an hour there and left shortly after 1pm. It’s a long way to Bangor but we were there before we knew it and got a little confused connecting to route 1. We did it though and then proceeded on to Ellsworth and started looking for route 182. This looked like a bit of a short cut, and also Cynthia wanted to go by Tunk Lake because the Sawyers once had a place there. We were a bit uncertain whether we’d gone by it (route 182) but we hadn’t and got a glimpse or two of Tunk Lake. Then we got behind this big trailer truck with the trailer empty, but it was going fairly fast. Finally we got to Machias about 4pm and we stopped at a Mobil station so I could take my pills and use the facilities. Cynthia got me to take a picture there of a roaring river just behind the Mobil station. (You gotta be tough to live in Maine!)
It was not far to Lubec from there and we went through the Canadian customs easily, arriving at the information booth on the island about 10 of 5pm, really 10 of 6pm Canada time. This is an old house with primitive but comfortable appointments. We have a king size bed. The co-owner was very efficient in explaining everything, and after changing clothes we headed for the Fisheries restaurant which was highly recommended by the co-owner. Incidentally, the temperature dropped from a muggy 82 in Denmark to a cool and cloudy 62 here. The Fisheries restaurant was crowded but we got a table in the corner beside a couple of women, Karen and Lauren, who are also staying at the Owen House.
We got into quite an enjoyable conversation with them and they ended up giving us each a glass of the nice Zinfandel wine they were drinking. The lobster stew we ordered was delicious and full of great tender lobster pieces. Best lobster stew we’ve ever had! (or so it seemed at the time — you gotta be there :-))
August 2, 2006 Wednesday
Got up to suddenly warm and muggy weather. Promised to be a hot day and it was. We ate in a communal breakfast starting at 8:30am sharp. (Thems the rules here.) An interesting couple sat to the left and across from me, David and Diane, who will be going soon for three years to Shanghai. He works for the US Dept. of Agriculture as an import-export facilitator. I was worried about the small amount of gas in my car, so on the advice of others we decided to drive back to Lubec to fill up, there being no gas stations on the island. The customs official was named Seavey, so we had no trouble getting back to America. We filled the tank and drove around through the little town of Lubec with its little ice cream and chocolate stores. Then we crossed back over to Campobello Island and drove down a side road where I took some pictures of the town of Lubec from the island side.
Next we drove to the Roosevelt International Park which was extremely impressive with much detail on FDR, his life and times. We saw a movie too and listened to a couple of his speeches. What a great man! And how lucky we were to have him along with a democratic congress. (My apologies to all you good republicans out there, but if it weren’t for soc sec and medicare I’d be in deep doo-doo. :-)) After visiting the Roosevelt “cottage”
which was separate from the information area, we had a nice lunch prepared by Cynthia on a table on the grounds sheltered from the sun. Then we drove to the Herrings Cove Beach down a long dirt road. It was very hot so we didn’t stay long even though there were lots of nice rocks. We drove up to the tip north end of the island, the East Quoddy Light and there were a lot of tourists like ourselves there. We met a friendly Canadian fellow, named Murray Woodley,
there who used to be a tour guide. He told us the channels between islands are very deep, 200 to 400 feet, and whales often swim into the channels and can be seen. For supper we went back to the Fisheries restaurant again, and met Karen and Lauren there once more. We gave them a little of the Zinfandel we had bought earlier in the afternoon at the one super market on the island. I had salmon but it was very dry. Prices good though… Incidentally, here’s a shot of me at East Quoddy Light park:
August 3, 2006 Thursday
It rained during the night and was much cooler when we got up but it warmed up later. We had a nice breakfast of blueberry pancakes and sausage and then headed for the Deer Island Ferry.
We got there way early and were the first ones on when it arrived at 10am. It took just one-half hour to get to the island and it was fun going smoothly across the channel to the island. Saw no whales though. It took another 20 minutes to drive across Deer Island with its three or four little fishing towns along the windy road. About 11:15am we finally got on the second ferry, the one going to the mainland. This was larger and had restrooms and an observation deck. It didn’t take long to cross, then we headed for Saint George (and the dragon?) where we found a bank and I changed $600 into about $645 Canadian. Then we proceeded on to Saint Andrews and the famous Kingsbrae Gardens. We got there about 12:30 I think and Cynthia prepared lunch under difficult conditions – no bench available in the parking lot. But the garden was wonderful. (Here’s a photo of me taking a photo of myself in the garden using a pyramidal mirror structure which was there in the garden. Crazy, huh?)
(Another name for lysimachia flowers, Cynthia tells me, is “gooseneck loosestrife”, not that I myself knew either name.)
The garden had just about everything in it. All kinds of flowers of course, but also a cedar tree maze, an orchard of historical apples, a therapy garden for seniors, a scaled down Dutch windmill, and other features of various kinds. (Here’s another photo from inside the garden:)
After visiting the garden we headed for Saint John and got to the Dufferin Inn at about 4:45pm. Unfortunately, the only person at the Inn was the mother-in-law of Margret and the MIL could speak no English, only German. But she got Margret on the phone and she explained to me that she would tell the MIL, in German, to put us in the Carleton room. Also, she gave me the network key for internet access. Margret came back later and talked to Cynthia, telling her among other things about their restaurant, The Opera Bistro, in downtown Saint John. We had a fabulous dinner there, the highlight being the lobster bisque with two shrimps. We had trouble finding the restaurant of course but fortunately it was very handy to the parking garage and in plain sight.
August 4, 2006 Friday
I had some trouble with the internet access, but eventually it came back. We decided to take in the New Brunswick Museum and it was very impressive: history, science and art on three separate floors. We spent a lot of time there and between visits had a nice lunch at a busy Ale House. We returned to the Dufferin around 4pm and then I tried to find some wine. Turned out they don’t sell wine or other alcoholic beverages in regular stores in Saint John, only in special liquor stores. This I found out in the convenience store just up the street from us. The clerk and a man with a Moosehead beer uniform gave me a map and showed me where the nearest liquor store was located. I got there with no trouble and came back with a Shiraz and a Pinot Grigio. We decided to eat at a Tim Hortons, and ate at the one near the entrance to the road to the Digby Ferry from route 1. I was able to send an email to Kate and earlier I had sent one to the Classmates.
August 5, 2006 Saturday
I tried not to worry about catching the ship to Digby at 9am but still I had some trouble sleeping. Turned out of course that there was no problem. It’s been a lovely cool and sunny day today. We left the Dufferin abut 7:45am after I had a nice poached egg with avocado on the side. We had to wait awhile in the auto line of course but 9am came around before we knew it and we got a place in the boat at the head of the side row of cars. This lucky position gave us early exit from the ship. We arrived here at the Brier Island Lodge about 3:30pm or earlier. The room is small and tomorrow we’ll move down the hall to a room with a Queen sized bed. Cynthia made us nice turkey and cheese sandwiches with a banana for supper. We had had lunch in Digby after we got off the ferry. I got a Digby Scallop plate, Cynthia got a neat spinach salad, and we shared. The Digby Scollops were delicious! We went for a short walk up the path by the farm animals before supper. I did a hard level Sudoku using the Sudoku game I downloaded last evening while at the Dufferin. There’s no internet access here at the Brier Island Lodge.
August 6, 2006 Sunday
We woke up to another lovely day, similar to yesterday. We had a nice breakfast in the dining room, and then I went for a walk, wearing my hiking shoes, over toward Seal Cove, taking the Teddy and Dudley Trail (in memory). It was beautiful along the rocky northern shore of the island and I saw three or four seals out in the water cavorting about. (Here’s an attempt to photo them:)
I could see the lighthouse on Seal Cove but decided to go back. Later we drove around a little in Westport, had a coffee in the little café, and I used the Internet in the General Store for about 25 minutes while Cynthia picked out a tomato and a couple bananas and waited. I answered email messages from Nadim and Kate. When we got back a little later we found the service girls had moved us into room #10, as planned, which turns out to be a nicer room than #4. Cynthia made some great sardine sandwiches which we ate sitting on the cement cistern covers on the grass close to our room. This afternoon we took a brief nap then drove up to the Northern Light where Seal Cove is located. We walked out on the path a ways and saw a big flock of seals making crying or grunting noises. Back to our room we noticed the sheep and goats walking around and eating grass outside our window. I took a bunch of pictures. (Here’s one of some sheep and a rabbit outside the Brier Island Lodge dining area :-))
We had a nice supper in the dining area, blackened Pollack and salad, and I had delicious bread pudding with rum sauce for dessert. We went on a walk down the road to the bottom of the hill after supper.
August 7, 2006 Monday
Got up to a rather cool blustery day with clouds and threatening rain. Turned out the post office wasn’t open because it was a civic holiday. We went to the General Store where I spent 32 minute on the Internet sending email to Kate and Savarino. I continued the fantasy gag with Savarino about my being the Siamese twin separated at birth from Raul Castro. We drove out to the Western light and the bird sanctuary. Read about the bogs and heard the birds squawking loudly. In the late afternoon I took a walk along the road from the Inn to the Northern light, looking into some side paths on the way, and I picked up a discarded program for a Memorial Service for a Clyde Titus, age 67, who was interned at sea.
August 8, 2006 Tuesday
We left Brier Island by catching the 8:25am Ferry to Long Island and then the next Ferry from Long Island to the mainland. Then we drove on and took route 8 across Nova Scotia to Liverpool. We shared a sandwich from a Subway at a little park with bench next to the river. We had to drive down a rocky but short road next to a movie rental store to get to the tiny park. It had been drizzling a little bit from time to time but was ok when we had our lunch. Then we drove on, heading towards Halifax on route 101 and avoiding the coast, although we did make one detour through Bridgewater where I was able to mail the cards to the Kellys and Waughs. We didn’t have too much trouble locating the Commons Inn but there was a bit of stair climbing and the internet access was spotty. At least they had a refrigerator which pleased Cynthia. I picked out the Sweet Basil Bistro for our evening meal and it turned out to be almost as good as the Opera Bistro in Saint John. We sat in a patio outside, same as at Saint John.
August 9, 2006 Wednesday
This was a breezy sunny day and after our continental breakfast at the Inn we drove down to the center of Halifax, parked in an open lot by the wharves, and walked around there. It was busy with tourists lining up for boat rides. We got coffees, sat in the sun on one of the tables alongside a building and got into a friendly conversation with an attractive young girl, one of three on their mid-morning break. (Here’s a picture of Cynthia sitting at the wharf in Halifax on that nice warm day:)
Then we spent awhile in the Maritime Museum with its great ship models and historical displays. We watched a movie on the horrific explosion of colliding tanker ships in Halifax in 1916. Our legs were tired so we drove back to the Inn before our parking time had expired (it would have been 1:05pm) and Cynthia made us sardine sandwiches again. Later I walked downtown by myself, stopped at a Telus to inquire about using Blackberrys for internet access, and went to the gift store in the Art Museum to buy a card to send to Llanda because her mother had died (email forwarded from Nadim). I mailed it at the Post Office nearby then walked back to the Inn, this time going uphill – quite a climb. For supper we ate at the swishy but efficient and classy gio restaurant on Prince street. I had great Artic Char with veggies and potatoes on top.
August 10, 2006 Thursday
This was another nice day, warm and a little muggy. We drove out of Halifax and up the highways (route 102, then 104), stopping at a roadside Tim Horton’s for more coffee (and sweets), toward Cape Breton where we first stopped (route 105 now) at a pathetic restaurant (long wait) for lunch. I should have taken Cynthia’s advice and gotten sandwiches for us at the farmers’ market beside the restaurant. Next we drove through Baddeck, a starting point for the famous Cabot Trail and home of Alexander Graham Bell. Around the 130km point (I had estimated 136km for the location of Church street) on route 105, I stopped for gas, asked about Church street and was told it would be at the next set of lights. There was no sign there but we turned right anyway and after a km or so we found the Annfield Manor where we are now. The proprietor, Mark Teeter, was very nice and hauled all our bags up to the third floor. For sup-sup we first tried the place Mark had suggested, after some uncertain driving around, my fault, but found it was too chaotic inside and left. We then went to the Captain’s Table, a short distance away, and got waited on right away by an attractive young waitress. I had seafood chowder, Cynthia delicate pan-fried haddock.
August 11, 2006 Friday
Not so good weather today, cloudy and cool with some drizzle and rain. Great waffles for breakfast made by Mark. We drove through the town of Sydney Mines, then on to Sydney where we had a nice visit at the Cossit House, the oldest house in Sydney. After this we visited the new Sydney construction nearby celebrating fiddle music and playing, and having a giant steel fiddle and bow outside. (Here’s a photo of the giant structure in relation to the building beside it:)
We saw a movie on the history of fiddle playing on Cape Breton Island. Then we ate lunch at MacDonalds. It rained hard for awhile this afternoon and I took a nap. We went back to the Captain’s Table tonight; I had fish and chips, Cynthia scallops. I spent an hour and a half on the Inn’s office computer reading stuff on the internet and just as I was coming back, Cynthia knocked on the door leading to the office. She was worried and didn’t know what part of the house I was in. It’s a big house. Wish I’d gotten a photo of it.
August 12, 2006 Saturday
Got up to sunshine this morning but I slept terribly. I was too cold, then the blankets were too heavy, then crazy half-awake dreams. Well, I survived the day ok in spite of that. Had a great breakfast again, goat cheese and spinach omelet for me, regular omelet for Cynthia. We drove to Louisburg, Cynthia driving, and saw the fortress and grounds. Took a few pictures there. Here’s one of Cynthia standing on the bridge near the Fort entrance:
And here’s me sitting inside one of the Forts:
We took a full bus from the info building to the fortress. There were many people in period costumes milling about, chatting, doing work, and a firing musket occasionally. The day stayed cool and sunny. Here’s a pic of a Louisburg vegetable garden:
The period restaurants were filled up around noon, so we caught the bus back to the info center. I finally bought that book of detail section maps of Nova Scotia at the gift shop in the info center. Then Cynthia drove us to Louisburg town and we had a very pleasant luncheon at a Lobster restaurant right on the water. A man volunteered to take our picture
and we reciprocated. Cynthia had a Caesar Salad with lots of Mussels and I had a seafood salad sandwich, plus we each had a glass of Jost wine, native of Nova Scotia, red for me, white for Cynthia. Then we did a long drive up to the mining country. We visited a park dedicated to miners at New Waterford. Here’s a shot of Cynthia walking toward the central display:
We talked to a boy on a bike and then a decrepit looking guy came buy on an old bike and rattled away to us about the terrible conditions miners worked under and his personal problems. He was hoping for a handout and we gave him a dollar and a quarter. Then he tried to hale us to stop and have a tea with him but we waved and didn’t stop. (I should have given him a twenty.) Had a little trouble finding route 4 back to Sydney, then stopped at a Tim Hortons when we did get to route 105 and got a couple sandwiches to take out for supper.
August 13, 2006 Sunday
Well, it was supposed to rain today but we again woke up to sunshine although I slept poorly yet again. We had a great breakfast again, scrambled eggs in a slice of ham cooked in a biscuit tin and topped with nice seasoning. Well, we did do the Cabot Trail, although we hadn’t intended to at first. We took the short ferry north from Englishtown, thus bypassing a bit of the trail. Cynthia stopped at a little cemetery at Indian River but there were only MacDonalds, etc., buried there.
I saw a couple eagles flying above us there. We went on and stopped at a little store where we got lobster sandwiches and another map. As we went on we realized that we’d made a lot of progress and thought why not do the whole trail? We had to pay (11.75CA$, senior charge for two) to enter the Cape Breton National Park. There were lots of great scenic breathtaking views. One we stopped at was Green Cove and I picked up a stone for Heather and we took pictures.
Unfortunately, it began to rain intermittently and we had to drive on quite a bit to find suitable picnic tables. The rain kept us from visiting the place where there were 350 year old sugar maples and a Scottish crafter’s cottage. We cleaned off part of a table and the rain held off long enough so that we could eat our lunch consisting of the lobster sandwiches (quite good I thought) plus crackers and cheese put together by Cynthia. We drove on across the mountains with great views and when we left the mountain regions and the national park, we noticed that it had not rained at all in these lower-lying areas. I took over the driving at Margaree Forks and we finally got home about 4:20pm. Tonight we went over to the Captain’s Table again and we each had the scallop dinner and shared a blueberry pie with whip cream.
August 14, 2006 Monday
Signed out of the Annfield Manor and left them a 20 as a tip with a nice note written by Cynthia, this after being unable to take a shower because the water was too hot and uncontrollable, and the water from the bathroom sink faucets tended to spray out as though the washers needed replacement. Anyway, they (Mark and Lisa) are a nice young couple, new to the business, and have a lot to learn and do to improve the place. We set out at 9:10am for Fredericton and finally got here about 5pm I think, after traveling about 403 miles. We made several stops on the way and were pretty beat when we arrived. But this is a real nice place called “’The Very Best’ Victorian B&B”, and it is such a relief to have things work, e.g. the bathroom fixtures and the wireless internet connection. Mr. Sam Rubenstein greeted us warmly and promised a map after we freshened up to show us how to walk to the nearby restaurants. We found a nice Pub nearby where we had supper but Cynthia’s left leg was hurting. This is a beautiful, fairly quiet neighborhood with large Victorian style houses set back on nice lawns.
August 15, 2006 Tuesday
Slept fairly well but still, it could have been better. We had an excellent breakfast and found it easy to engage in conversation with the other guests at the breakfast table. It had been threatening rain but I took a quick walk with umbrella and didn’t need to use it. A bit later we set out for the Lord Beaverbrook Art Gallery where a Rodin exhibit was being featured. But first we headed for the area where the changing of the guards was to occur at 11am. Sam told us about this and also about an interesting bookstore called the Owl’s Nest. We had some trouble figuring out where the changing of the guards was taking place, but finally got to the area and it was impressive with about ten or twelve soldiers, a barking leader, a drummer and a bagpiper all marching around in a controlled ritualized manner. The rituals, involving also a young man and women with an “interpreter”, were difficult to understand but colorful. (Wish I had remembered to bring my camera!!) Then we visited the historical military museum on the site, and after this found a nice little restaurant, called Regent, for lunch. We had Nova Scotian wine plus nice mushroom soup and shared a neat seafood pizza. Then walking began to get difficult again for Cynthia and I was getting tired too. We finally found the Owl’s Nest bookstore and it was everything Sam said it was: littered with all kinds of used books in a narrow set of rooms stretching all the way through the block. Cynthia did buy a few books. After this we were really getting tired and rested for a bit on a bench before proceeding on to the Art Gallery. The Rodin sculptures were fascinating and also there were a couple huge tapestries described to us by one of the attendant guards. There were a number of paintings of Canadian cities too. Then we proceeded very slowly back to this place because Cynthia’s leg and knee were really hurting. Around 20 after 5pm I decided to walk up to the Food Court on King St. and get a couple of nice sandwiches for us so Cynthia wouldn’t have to walk. Well, when I got there the places had all just closed (at 5pm and 5:30pm) so I ended up getting a couple toasted chicken sandwiches at Tim Hortons. Had a good vigorous walk though.
August 16, 2006 Wednesday
Had a great breakfast this morning of soft hard boiled eggs on great toast and ham, and we chatted a bit with a young German, probably gay, couple and another mixed racial couple. Fun and interesting. I had nice chats with Sam Rubenstein, the owner; he’s my kind of guy! Great easy going sense of humor. We left about 9:15am I think. Filled up with gas about 9:25am and hit the road for Houlton, Maine. We had to wait a bit at US Customs because there was a line of about seven or eight vehicles, and we had to answer a few simple questions from the officer. We drove through Houlton after this because Cynthia wanted to find the college that Nancy and Bob were on the Board. We didn’t find it. Then we drove down the Maine turnpike starting at the 300 mile point around Houlton. Cynthia had purchased nice sandwiches at a Subway in Houlton and we stopped at a rest stop with tourist bureau, between Bangor and Newport, for lunch on a nice outdoor table. It was in the 70’s. I picked up two updated Maine maps and through away the two old ones. We stopped to fill up again with gas a little further along and I did some simple shopping (bread, milk, bananas, etc.) at the Shaw’s later in Windham. We finally arrived home about 4:20pm (would have been 5:20pm in the Maritimes) having traveled a total of 2,254 miles! Nice and warm today, no rain.