Last Day in Fuquay and it’s another gorgeous day

Another wonderful breakfast made by Patty. She’s such an awesome person and a great cook.

We took another walk around the area, this time heading out through the Fuquay-Varina Mineral Springs Park. Really pretty little park and there are roadways with little traffic and connecting dirt roads to extend your walk.

We headed on over to Chris’s folks house at around 11:30 where we visited until about 2:00 when I started getting anxious to eat lunch.

We had lunch at a place called Anna’s Pizzeria in Fuquay-Varina. They serve excellent soups and panini, we’ve never tried their pizza but I’m sure it’s delicious.

We shared a Chicken Panini and went back over to the folks house to chat until dinner.

Tomorrow is an early day as we are heading back to San Jose on Southwest and then driving home from there.

We will be going to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles in December just before Christmas. That is the next time I will post.

Thank you for reading.

Beautiful Day in Fuquay-Varina

Got up this morning to beautiful blue skies, cooler temps and low humidity. After one of Patty’s wonderful breakfasts Chris and I set off on a short walk around the neighborhood.

We saw a few limbs down but for the most part people had already cleaned up the worst of it.

We saw some great Halloween decorations and I took a photo of one of the porches that I particularly liked.

On the way back we took a little turn through town and I got a photo of a mural and of the Fainting Goat Brewery sign that happens to be right across the street from our B&B.

Had dinner at a nice little place called Thai Lotus in Cary. They have very good food, wine and beer. The portions are large enough to split and the prices are reasonable.

Good Morning Fuquay! It’s Raining

Michael hasn’t made it’s presence known other than lots of rain. They’re predicting high winds but we are far enough away that it shouldn’t be too much of an issue…I hope.

It’s pouring rain right now and the wind is blowing pretty hard.

Spending the day sitting in Chris’s folks living room staying dry and catching up on what’s been happening in their lives.

Since the sheriff had advised that no one go out if it wasn’t absolutely necessary our plans to go out for dinner were skuttled. Chris’s mom made a quick dinner of spaghetti between numerous short power outages, making sure that we got on our way before dark.

As it turned out the weather had pretty much broken up by the time we left and we had an easy time driving back to our B&B.

Once we arrived we took a walk down to The Mason Jar for our nightly beer.

Hey, our B&B has a brand new front gate!

The inscription says:

The angel, Nature, doffs her cloak of night to stand naked, transparent, that you may see her beauty by the light.

Flight to Raleigh and on to Fuquay-Varina

Sitting in the San Jose airport waiting to board our Southwest flight to Raleigh.

We had a good breakfast at San Jose Joe’s with plenty of coffee. Bought a sandwich to split for lunch at Brioche Dorée. We should be all set.

Other than the part about getting up in the middle of the night, I love taking an early flight, the airport is almost empty.

We had an almost nonstop flight to Raleigh as our only stop was in Denver and we didn’t leave the plane.

It was along day though so I’m really happy to be here.

We are staying at the Fuquay Mineral Springs Inn where we always stay when we come to visit family here. John Byrne came out to welcome us when we got here and even showed us the back way path to the Mason Jar! How great was that!

I was surprised at how beautiful the gardens are, even though it’s October.

I would say that “hurricane season” is probably not the choice time to visit North Carolina as it’s very warm and mostly raining. I’m certain the wind will be a factor soon as well. It’s still a beautiful state.

We walked from out B&B to the Mason Jar which is our favorite neighborhood pub to have good pub food and some good beer or wine. Tonight I was in the mood for wine but often I choose one of the beers on tap.

Chris had to strawberry spinach salad with chicken and I had the black bean burger with cheddar. Both were darned good.

Now we’re sitting in our room feeling very relaxed.

Off we go to Fuquay-Varina Again

On our way for another visit to Fuquay-Varina, North Caroline where we have family.

We just arrived at our “home for the night” before we take a Southwest flight leaving at 6:30 in the morning.

The only place I could get a room in San Jose for a manageable price near the airport when I was planning this trip was at the Extended-Stay America on North 1st Street in San Jose. What a dive!

Very nice and helpful people working here but our. room is very dirty; think possible pubic hairs and some kind of scum on the phone, and something gritty on the floor which has no carpet, (that may be a good thing).

Everything looks and feels decrepit and uncared for. At least it was only $200 bucks a night, Yikes! It is close to the airport though and we can watch the light rail from the bed.

If you are coming to San Jose I can’t recommend this place. In case you’re wondering; yes I’ve stayed in worse places but not for $200.

I must give credit where credit is due though. As I said earlier the people working here are very nice. I called down because we are leaving at a little before 5:00 in the morning and there was no way to make coffee in the room. The young woman at the front desk not only sent up coffee making paraphernalia, she also remembered how early we were leaving and sent up some little packaged muffins. That was very thoughtful.

Just returned from dinner at Vito’s NY Trattoria. It’s pretty good and very close. We are now trying to wind down enough to go to sleep so we can wake up refreshed and ready for the day at 4:00 AM. Wish us luck!

Long Day of Driving Back to Portland, ME

Today was sadly our last morning in Saint John. We got up early, showered, finished packing and walked down to Cora’s for breakfast.

The food was still good but the service this time was pretty bad. We were seated at a table by the window, handed menus and left. After about 10 minutes, I got up and asked if we could please get some coffee. I got a big smile and a yes she would be there in just a minute, which she was. Since we had her there we ordered our breakfast.

Breakfast came and that was the last we saw of her. Chris was hoping for another cup of coffee so after another bit of time, I got up again and asked for some coffee, which came after a minute or so. Weird cause when we came here on Friday morning the service was excellent.

Walking back to our room we came upon the Loyalist House built between 1817 and 1820. It’s the oldest building in Saint John and survived the fire of 1877 that destroyed most of Saint John.

Next we packed up the car and headed out of Saint John.

Not a very exciting day. I kept hoping to see a moose and there were signs to watch for them but no such luck.

We did find a really pretty Rest Stop with a very filthy outhouse and no paper, I opted to go behind a bush.

After that we headed straight for Newport, ME where we found a pretty good little sandwich place called Harvest Moon.

After a couple of very scenic wrong turns we took a break in Augusta, the capitol of Maine. Augusta is a nice little city but it’s very empty on Sunday.

We walked around town and took a few photos. The weather was absolutely gorgeous today!

7587874336_img_4845 Old Fort Western. (Click on the photo for more information.)

This will be my last post until our next trip.

Last Full Day in Canada

We are staying in the Chipman Hill Suites at 76 Union Street. They have the distinction of being one of the few buildings that predate the fire that destroyed Saint John in 1877. They were built in 1869 and were at the boundary of the area that was destroyed.

There are 3 such neo-classical buildings that were saved from fire but later were slated for destruction in order to urbanize the city. They were saved by Chipman Hill Suites and are now designated as a Local Historic Place for their architecture.

We had a pretty bad breakfast with service to match at York Bistro and Pub which is associated with the Hilton Hotel in Saint John. The odd thing is, we had had a late lunch here yesterday and the food and service were excellent.

Next we set off to find the rest of the 10 Salmon Run 2018 sculptures  and 5 covered bridges we had scoped out earlier.

First we went over to the Sculpture Saint John New Brunswick to walk around and look at the sculptures now that everything was cleaned up and ready for touching and viewing.

Such an amazing idea, I really hope it is mimicked across Canada, the U.S. and the world.


This is a sculpture of the audio graph of a particular humpback whale song.

After enjoying all of the sculptures we went off in search of the rest of the salmon sculptures. We found them all and here they are.

Off we went to find covered bridges and enjoy the countryside around New Brunswick, as always we wished we had more time.

It took awhile but we finally amassed 5 covered bridges.

Next we headed back to Saint John and our room at the Chipman Inn. By now we had finally stopped having indigestion from breakfast and were starting to think about lunch. As it was close to 3:30 PM we made a decision to have an early dinner at Gahan House Port City, what a great decision that was!

They brew their own beer based in Prince Edward Island and also run a very good restaurant here in Saint John.

We had the stout which was quite good along with Focaccia Chicken Sandwiches which were amazing. Dessert was an ESB which we split that was also quite good.

All in all a very fine ending for our last day in Canada. Tomorrow we leave for Portland, ME and then home to California.

First Full Day in Saint John, New Brunswick

Got up this morning, made coffee and Chris started looking for a place to have breakfast while I showered. Another surprise, there are very few places that serve breakfast here in old town Saint John.

We finally ended up in a place called Chez Cora, which is a chain here in Canada. Both food and service were pretty good so yay! They even have turkey sausage.

After breakfast we decided to just spend the day walking around Saint John.

First we took a walk through the Marketplace, which is really wonderful! I wish we had something like this near us.

Next we headed on through the old town and into The King’s Square which is quite a nice park in the center of town.

Then we wandered around just taking photos and looking for Salmon Sculptures.

The people of Saint John have installed 10 different Salmon Run sculptures throughout the city, each one designed and painted by a different local artist.

Below are the 5 we’ve found so far.

At that point we headed off to see the Reversing Falls which is accessed by walking along a beautiful red concrete path with branches that go off to other places and beautiful planting’s and art installations along the way. The walk amounts to a 4 mile out and back from the city.

Reversing Falls is an area where the water reverses direction with the tides. We thought it was very pretty. The link above goes to a YouTube video that shows the tide when it reverses, it’s pretty dramatic.

We were too early to see the tides cause a reversal but you can see where the water seems to meet from different directions.

Some of the sculptures along the path were quite lovely. They are carved out of the natural stone available in New Brunswick.

While we were out we went to where 8 sculptures were being carved by 8 artists who had been chosen from 175 international applicants, to participate in the fourth New Brunswick International Sculpture Symposium in Saint John.

The idea for this event began in Maine in 2007 where the first event was held at Acadia National Park. This resulted in 7 sculptures that were placed along coastal towns in Maine. There were 4 more symposia ending in 2014 which produced a trail system of 34 sculptures that spanned nearly 300 miles.

Then came Sculpture Saint John in 2012 with 6 sculptures placed around New Brunswick. It has continued every 2 years since then.

The artists have 6 weeks to produce their sculptures from stone found in New Brunswick.

Tomorrow everything will be cleaned up and the sculptures will be on display for all to touch, look at and enjoy. The sculptures are meant to be climbed on by children and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

I took some photos of the old buildings in town and of “Theodore Too” a tugboat on loan for the summer from Halifax. He’s a character from a Canadian television series called “Theodore Tugboat” very popular with the children and they get to take rides on him.

Last Morning in Nova Scotia, First Afternoon in New Brunswick

This was our last morning in Digby, Nova Scotia and look what we got! This is from our window at the Bayside Inn B&B.

Now we are packing up and getting ready for our ferry ride to St. John, New Brunswick.

Most of today was taken up with a ferry crossing and then searching for a parking spot in order to have lunch once we got here.

We finally found a parking garage and got rid of the car. I would say that St. John is more a walking town then a driving town.

We went to lunch at the Saint John Ale House and ordered a couple of beers and salads. They have a bandstand right across the lane from the pub and a young man came, set up and began singing and playing the guitar. He was extremely talented and I can’t believe he doesn’t have a recording contract.

There are a number of pubs and eateries along the lane where our pub was.

After lunch we went in search of our Chipman Hill Suites building which it turned out was about 0.3 mile from where we were at the pub. Awesome, that had been my plan when I booked it but they have several buildings. When you book with them you get access to a private parking garage for a nominal fee.

We relaxed in our room for awhile and then began the (arduous) search for a place to have dinner. I had no idea that in a place like St. John finding a decent place for dinner with a wine and beer list would be so difficult.

The first place we phoned was out of business for the foreseeable future. We looked at another that served only Port. What restaurant serves only Port??? The next was Indian and they had a nice wine and beer selection but their prices were through the roof; $25 per dish, for example. We are used to getting several dishes and sharing…

We finally decided on a place called Britts and it was an excellent choice. Great friendly service, good beer and wine and very good food. We may go there tomorrow night as well.

St. John seems to be a very art friendly city, we love that and I took a few pictures while we were out.

These life-sized sculptures are being refurbished that’s why all the white paint.

It’s Raining so we’re Off to Peggy’s Cove

Woke up this morning and it was blowing a gale and raining. No decisions yet; who knows it could clear up.

We joined a nice couple from Pennsylvania for breakfast and had a nice chat. After that we went out on the enclosed porch to finish our coffee and decide what to do for the day.

As it was still raining pretty hard and windy we decided we would drive the 2.5 hours to Peggy’s Cove.

The only negative about staying in Digby is that it is a long way from Halifax and many of the sights in Nova Scotia. Other than that it’s a wonderful place to stay; Quiet, friendly, beautiful and they have The Sydney Street Pub and Grill.

We headed off toward Peggy’s Cove. Peggy’s Cove is a very popular tourist attraction and it was packed when we got there. There is a restaurant there called Sou’Wester, the foods pretty good and the service is great so that’s where we headed for lunch.

After lunch we went outside to take a few photos before heading to somewhere with fewer people.

We headed off toward a small village called Lower Prospect that we had read had very nice scenery.

On the way there we came across a small Anglican Church that I found to be very interesting so we stopped to take a few photos.

Then we headed on down the road to Lower Prospect which turned out to be a wonderful place to take a few photos.

By this time it was after 2:00 PM and we knew we had a 3 hour drive back to Digby so we got on the road and just watched the scenery go by while making miles.

The day ended with a couple drinks and dinner at our favorite place in Digby, The Sydney Street Pub and Grill.

We are now relaxing in our room. Tomorrow we will take the Fundy Rose back over to St. John, New Brunswick.