My Sweet Marie

East Coast Tour for Canada 150

Posted on: August 2, 2017

Being  a Canadian for all of my 55 years, people find it hard to believe I’ve never been on the East Coast! Well, I can now say that I have done the East coast! Denis and I recently toured the East Coast while on our summer vacation! We decided to do this by car to take advantage of all the beautiful sights along the way! I will share with you some of our itinerary, some cute stories and some not so cute ones!

We started our trip ironically on the American East Coast. We headed from home, London, Ontario to Portland, Maine! According to Google maps it’d be a 12 hour drive. We wanted to put a long day in the first day and get to the coast, we had no idea what we were in for! We set the GPS and away we went. It was a brand new GPS so we thought, what could go wrong? So silly.

Well that 12 hour trip turned into 17 hours as what we didn’t do with that new GPS is make sure the settings were to our liking! It had been set by someone to avoid all toll highways which meant we took the scenic route there. The upside was, we took the scenic route and what sights we say! Truly we laugh about it now, but let’s just say, in spite of the A/C being on, it got a little heated in that Honda that day!

We stopped along the way in a beautiful park to have our planned picnic lunch, took a few minutes to just chill and breathe in the beauty. We had a cooler in the trunk filled with delicious fruit, veggies, cheese, kubi, salad etc. This saves time and money, and it keeps your healthy eating habits on track! We had a dry bin as well loaded with crackers, nuts, seeds, cereal, snacks of all shape and size!

Day#2 was much better, we only had a short time in Portland so we headed to our favourite place….the beach! First though, we stopped at Holy Donuts, a bakery that our nieces, Natalie and Laura, told us about, so glad they did! If you’re ever in Portland, do make the effort to find them, they have gluten-free donuts as well! So we headed to the beach and I am happy to report, it is as beautiful as they all say!  We spent a few hours on the beach, walking and taking in the sunshine and breeze. We walked their boardwalk, stopped and did a bit of shopping, picked up a fidget spinner for Evy that somehow didn’t have one yet and then hopped in the car and headed to our next destination!

We wanted to be in St.John, New Brunswick for Canada Day. There were many festivities planned and we wanted to be a part of that! Unfortunately, it was raining when we got there and though some activities carried on, the fireworks were put off till the next night. Not a problem we thought, we’re here one more night. We stayed at the Homeport Inn.  It has a view of the Bay of Fundy, was built in 1855 so lots of history in one of Canada’s oldest cities. The breakfasts were superb! They were great about my food sensitivities, had special things for me and they were very friendly!

One of my favourite things about this B&B was at breakfast one morning, we shared our table with an American Mom, her daughter and her grand-daughter. The Grand-daughter was 14 and her favourite thing about Canada was our scratch and sniff money! She said if you scratched it, it smelled of maple syrup! Denis and I both got great enjoyment out that innocent comment! She had so many questions, a genuine interest in our history so the time passed quickly.  Denis, bless his heart, showed her the Canadian coins, the loonie and toonie and then shared their stories with her. He then gave her one of each as a souvenir and you’d think he gave her gold. I loved that.

In Saint-John’s, we saw the Reversing Falls, at all stages of the tide, we went on a Bay of Fundy Parkway tour, got to see it at low tide which was very cool. We also did a walking tour of the downtown, it’s a self-guided tour so was done at your own pace, and we stopped and saw the old buildings we wanted to see and we also toured the New Brunswick Museum. It was a jam-packed couple of days but we had fun with it! We never did get fireworks as on the second night, there was so much fog they couldn’t do the demonstration! Apparently Saint-John’s is known for their fog, who knew?

On day#4 we headed to Charlottetown PEI! We crossed the 12.9 kilometer( 8 miles) Confederation bridge and headed straight for the beach! Another afternoon of sun, sand and breezes! The beach is a red sand as are the stones along the beach. It really is quite incredible to see firsthand.  On the island we did the lighthouse tour, which simply put is driving along the coast and yelling stop every time you see a lighthouse! There is an actual map with them all but what fun is that? They are beautiful and I got to see several, some from a distance but still, I saw them! One of my musts for PEI was to have French fries, as Cavendish has a huge plant there and they grow all their potatoes on the island, so it seemed like the perfect excuse to have fries, non? We did not go to Anne of Green Gables as it’s not my thing but you have at it, when you all go next! Let me know how it is!

On Day#5 we headed to Halifax. We were both excited as we’d finally get to see Dave and Jan, friends that we’ve known for 35 years but haven’t seen in 25! We planned to stay at the Best Western as we weren’t about to impose ourselves on these friends but after one night at the hotel, we packed up and stayed with them after all. They were most gracious and shared their beautiful home with us along with some pretty delicious meals!  We got to see Stephanie, their grown daughter, who we hadn’t seen since she was just a toddler. Wow, she sure grew up fast! They were great at directing us to the sites, where to go and what to skip! Truly their help was invaluable!

We spent one day downtown Halifax doing the Maritime museum which has the Titanic display along with all the other history of the city. There was a huge display on the explosion in Halifax in 1917, it was a maritime disaster where over 2,000 people were killed by the largest human-made explosion in the world (at the time). I had never known about it, or if I did, I forgot. It was a very well done exposition with so many facts, I could have spent the day just doing that.  There was a ship to be discovered as well and yes, I had to do the Titanic pose much to my hubby’s dismay!

That same day we shopped the market that is on the waterfront boardwalk, which we walked as well. We also got to see the cannons go off at noon at the Citadel! It’s fun to watch people down below who aren’t expecting it…lot of jumping going on! We then lunched right next door to the Alexander Keith’s Brewery but did not do the tour, maybe another time!

The next day we did the Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg and Mahone Bay tour. Dave directed us to which roads to take and off we went! The trick is to get there early, by lunch time the place is hopping with people and busloads of tourists! Peggy’s Cove took my breath away! I was overwhelmed by it’s beauty and it didn’t help that there was a bagpiper in the background! I had brought Mom’s ashes with me and I left a few of her ashes as I think she’d really like it there! It was quiet in spite of the number of people, beautiful and serene.

In Peggy’s Cove there was a little bakery advertising fresh lobster rolls on their fresh baked buns. This being on our trip bucket list, I pulled out one of my gluten-free buns and asked if they’d make me a lobster roll on my bun and they gladly did! We sat looking out at Peggy’s Cove eating our lobster roll, absolutely content with the world.

Mahone Bay and Lunenburg were equally as beautiful, scenic places to visit. In Mahone Bay the scenery was to die for, the water, the sail boats, the town with eclectic shops, boutiques and cafes. It was all very lovely.

Lunenburg is known for it’s colorful buildings, it’s waterfront and it’s historical churches. We tried to see it all but truly we need to go back and spend a few days or a week there!

Our last night at Dave and Janice’s was a fun night which started with dinner of bacon wrapped scallops, ribs, potatoes, corn, salad, cake and on and on! There may have been some wine consumption and even cigar smoking with the guys in their gazebo but one thing that did happen is we reconnected with old friends and for that, this trip was worth every kilometer we drove to get there!

More to come….stay tuned!

Happy trails to you,

Sweet Marie

 

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