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.

img_7326

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.

Whale Watching from a Zodiac … Maybe

I slept much better last night and got up at 7:00 to get coffee. When I got downstairs I discovered breakfast had been moved to 8:00, fortunately coffee had not.

Today is the day, if the weather permits we’ll be on a Zodiac with 10 or so other people and our pilot in search of whales.

An hour on the road with one short ferry ride and we’ll be in Tiverton where our adventure begins.

We walked into an old house where we were met by a very sweet and knowledgeable young woman.

She told us that we would have to wait until about 12:00 PM before we would know whether or not our 1:00–1:15 Zodiac whale watching trip would happen or would be cancelled due to weather.

The rain was threatening and the sky looked ominous.

There is very little in Tiverton, there used to be a little lunch place next to the ferry but it’s either out of business all together or out until next season. Either way it was very much closed. We had hoped to get some lunch before the whale watching trip and that was the place we had hoped to get it. Okay, switch gears. We walked in the direction of what seemed to be the town, at least the post office was there, looking for someplace to get something to eat and found a tiny store with a few provisions. It was undergoing some minor construction but we were still able to buy some water, peanuts and potato chips. Not a very nutritious lunch but “beggars can’t be choosers.”

By the time we got back several other people had shown up for the trip, they had been smart enough to bring real food, I guess they’d been here before.

Turned out the trip was going to happen and all we had to do was sign wavers and get suited up in Survival Suits with toques and gloves.

Below is a photo of us looking for a juvenile humpback whale that had just taken a dive under the water.

After that we headed off to the dock and the Zodiac.

We all got into the Zodiac and Tom (the owner of Ocean Explorations and pilot of our craft) gave us all instructions on what to do and what not to do. Also how to point out a whale sighting and a bunch of information regarding whales. He is an extremely knowledgeable and very experienced fellow who had worked for Jacques Cousteau on the Calypso back when he was young. Read all about him at the above link.

We were lucky enough to see a juvenile humpback whale several times as he breached 3 times and dove several times even showing us his tail a couple of times. My photos are awful but I’ll treat you to a couple anyway. One of mine and one of my husband’s.

img_7270

I’m the blonde taking a picture of the whale. Photo by Chris Neary.

Tom decided we should move on and see if we could see any other whales so we jetted along with no further luck.

As we began heading back it started raining, softly at first and the fog began closing in. We came across another whale watching boat, this one was possibly a converted fishing boat and had two decks. They had been unlucky until they ran across what we suspect was the same juvenile humpback we had been watching.

By the time we got back to the dock it was raining pretty hard and the water was very choppy.

All in all it was a very fun day and I would definitely do it again especially if I could do it with Tom as the pilot.

We were pretty beat by now, it had been a very long day. We got in the car, waited for the ferry and headed back to Digby and our favorite restaurant The Sydney Street Pub and Grill.

Now we’re back chilling in our room.

Driving Around Nova Scotia in Search of the Highest Tides

Before going to bed last night I discovered that our new B&B did not have coffee making facilities in the room. Ack!

Set my alarm for 7:00 AM and after a not so great nights sleep (not the B&B’s fault), I got up before the alarm went off, brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes and went downstairs to get some coffee in the dining room.

Once I was there I decided I may as well stay and Chris came down a couple of minutes behind me.

We had a very nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon (if you wished) and toast. We had some great conversations with some of the other guests. Learned about a Zodiac Whale Watching tour. They said they had booked it months in advance but we could get lucky. Chris called and we got in tomorrow if the weather permits.

After breakfast we took a walk around town and onto the pier.

By then it was getting close to 10:30 AM and we thought we’d better get going if we were going to drive out and watch the worlds highest tide at its lowest point. Nova Scotia has the worlds highest tides at 54 feet, if I haven’t mentioned that before.

It’s a long drive from Digby and we made a few stops along the way. Our first stop was in Annapolis Royal which is a very charming little town. It was first settled by the French in 1605 and then later became the capital of Nova Scotia for almost 150 years. It was designated a National Historic Site in Canada in 1994.

We found a wonderful little place to have lunch there call German Bakery and Sachsen Café and Restaurant.

We had a very tasty lunch of homemade chicken noodle soup and half a smoked salmon sandwich.

After lunch we headed out to try and catch the lowest tide so we could watch it come in. It was supposed to be at 1:30 ADT today.

We accidentally happened on a place called Minas Basin where the tide was all the way out and just beginning to rise again.

We didn’t stay to watch the entire return of the tide but you can watch a bit of it on this video. It’s pretty impressive, it was also extremely windy.

Our last stop before beginning the return trip to Digby was the Scots Bay Look Off in Canning. We didn’t have time to do the trail which would have been great but it was getting late.

We got back into Digby at just about dinner time so we went up to the Sydney Street Pub and Grill for dinner and drinks.

I had a couple glasses of the Great Big Friggin Red which is a local Nova Scotia wine and was quite good. Chris had a couple of different local ales. We both had the Pan-fried Digby Scallops with the roasted potatoes. Their roasted potatoes are the best thing on this earth and the potatoes themselves are sourced from Prince Edward Island.

I also had a cup of the haddock chowder (yummy) and Chris had the seafood chowder.

We are now back in our room relaxing.

Travel Day

Left Bar Harbor at 7:15 MDT heading to The Bay of Fundy Ferry in St. John, New Brunswick.

We arrived with an hour to spare. New Brunswick is ADT so it’s an hour later.

Now we’re on the ferry starting to move toward Nova Scotia and the little port town of Digby.

We’re about 30 minutes from dock and the captain is blowing the fog horn. Visibility is white.

As the ferry pulled in to dock in Digby the fog lifted on a beautifully sunny day!

We have been tremendously lucky with the weather, nearly every day has been beautiful and sunny.

We’re all checked into our lovely B&B The Bayside Inn. We’re right across the street from the bay.

Digby has very high tides in fact Nova Scotia has the highest tides in the world at 54 feet.

The boats in the harbor in front of the B&B where we are will drop 29 feet within the next 6 hours.

The light was amazing this evening at dinner and all I had was my old iPhone SE. Even with that you can see how gorgeous it was.

I ran back to our room and got my better camera but it was really too late for the gorgeous light.

On the way back to the room I took these. Digby is a wonderful little town, I’m so happy we are staying here.

Exploring Mount Desert Island

Today we spent the entire day exploring Mount Desert Island.

We drove up to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia NP and enjoyed the views with several hundred of our very closest friends.

The first photo is of Eagle Lake, on the way up.

After that we headed off to explore the sights around the outer rim of the island. It was another gorgeous day with mild temperatures and some breeze.

The coastline here is so beautiful. Lots of rock with trees and flowers. The trees are just beginning to turn so every now and then you’re treated to a pop of color! A little bit of a tease for what is to come.

We stopped for lunch at a place along the harbor called The Chart Room where we had really good Caesar salads, mine with perfectly cooked, freshly caught scallops and Chris’s with perfectly cooked tuna. The service was excellent too, in spite of the fact that they had a group of about 35 with small kids.

After lunch we headed back to the Park Loop Rd. to view and take pictures of the ocean.

I wish we had more time to do more hiking and exploring but we are leaving tomorrow early for the ferry across to Digby, Nova Scotia.

First Day in Bar Harbor

Really nice room at the Inn on Mount Desert and we slept very well.

Before going to bed we had a chat with Branden at the front desk who is a wealth of information. We were interesting in moderate hikes in the Acadia NP. He gave us lots of options and recommended we buy a good map in town.

This morning we had breakfast at the Inn. Then headed down to Bar Harbor to the recommended shop called Acadia Shop. They were super nice and helpful and we bought a trail map.

When we came back Branden traced some trail hikes for us and gave Chris verbal information.

There are a lot of trails criss crossing Acadia NP from the Wild Gardens of Acadia so after meandering through the Gardens we decided to do the Hemlock Trail.

Below are a few photos from the Wild Gardens of Acadia.

Time to set off for the Hemlock Trail. We hiked along the designated trail until we came to a fork and a trail marker where we turned in the indicated direction.

It was pretty easy and we motored right along. After awhile the trail started up over some stairs. It then began to go up even more steeply scrambling over rocks, it kind of felt like a steep creek bed. We began to doubt our trail marker following prowess and stopped to get our bearings.

We were perfectly fine through the stairs and steepness but had been warned about getting on the wrong trail and how onerous it was. That was when we began to doubt ourselves so we turned around back to the fork and went toward the Stratheden Trail. We followed it until it came out on the road then followed the road up to the Gorge Trail where we began hiking again. Soon we came to a juncture that pointed us toward the Hemlock Trail…that was when we realized we had been on the correct trail in the first place! By then it was getting close to lunch and we hadn’t brought enough food for too much more exploring. We followed the Hemlock Trail back down the steep rocks we had already descended back to the trail fork and then back to the car. We had a good laugh!

Drove back to our room and walked to lunch at the Side Street. I had a large lobster salad with an Allagash Black and Chris had large chicken salad with a beer called Juiced.