Excerpt from my diary of our adventures on the East Coast (Tuesday, August 13, 2013)
Today we booked a pirate ship called the Jolly Breeze and had a great time whale watching. We were given delicious hot chocolate and fruit and bagels for breakfast on the Tall Ship.
It was eerily foggy at different times during the morning trip. It was so gorgeous and I felt at peace overlooking the water. Absolutely loved it. We saw lots a whales….one was named Gonzo because he had a bump on his fin.
It got cold, but there were warm blankets available for us on the deck. The kids had so much to do on this outing. After we had breakfast, there was face painting and “pirate” colouring sheets. There was an information session about whales, an aquarium touch table, and they children were allowed to set the sails and even steer the boat back to the harbour. The captain looked like Nicholas Cage. It was a great morning adventure and I am so glad we came here.
We then went into the towns aquarium were we saw some real seals. it had a fabulous touch table were the kids could pick up clams, mussels, starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers…but that was about it. I was a bit disappointed because I was expecting more for $45 bucks. However, the kids loved picking up the clams and watching them open and shut and started spitting each other with them. It was funny. Boo taught them that trick. I didn’t know clams could spit.
We saw a cool BLUE Lobster too!
Later that afternoon and we headed out to the U.S. border through a place called Calais. Boo was convinced we would get held up at the border crossing because she was Australian and needed some special visa or something. I had my letter ready from my husband to say he gave me permission to leave Canada with the kids. Fortunately, the officer was kind and just chatted with us for a while and sent us on our merry little way. We drove for awhile and decided to go to a local restaurant for some food called Helen’s. It was pretty good.
It started getting dark and we were a bit concerned about hitting a moose or a deer. We saw a lot of those signs all throughout New Brunswick and the road we were on was rinky dinky…no lights, virtually no one else was crazy enough to be driving at dusk on a one lane highway. We had our sights on the map of what appeared to be a larger town called Bangor. There was not much out where we were but bush. Told Boo that even if the car stalled or we ran out of gas I wasn’t about to stop and knock on anyone’s door because we were in the U.S. now, the place where everyone is allowed to bear arms, and someone would probably shoot us.
Eventually we made it to Bangor and quickly found a Holiday Inn…no vacancies we were told, “Don’t bother going to the Econo Lodge next door either because they’re also full”. There appeared to be a lot of other people milling about trying to find accommodations for the night and we kept trying to go from one hotel to the next to beat them there. It was crazy. The Ramada Inn was full too. So was the Marriott. We started getting desperate. There was some sort of World Series for Liitle League in Bangor this week, and everything was fully booked.
We were told the Super 8 had vacancies. That didn’t go over too well with me because once upon a time that husband of mine took me to Niagara Falls for New Years at a Super 8 hotel (CAA approved for some reason, I do not know why), and there was no heating or hot water in our room. Now every time I hear the name of that hotel, I shudder in horror. We went to take a look anyway because the next town was at least an hour away on a dark, animal infested road. The Super 8 smelled like smoke and my kids said forget it. I agreed. Boo didn’t think it was that bad though, but I really don’t do well with the smell of cigarette smoke. We walked across the parking lot to take a look at the nearby Travel Lodge . We asked the clerk if we could check the room before booking. It looked okay until Boo pulled off the blanket from the head of the bed and found some long hairs on one of the pillows. EWWHHH! She screamed. Needless to say, we were out of there.
By this time it was 10:00. Told Boo I wasn’t staying at either of those 2 hotels, we were going to Tim Hortons, I was going to get a coffee, everyone could sleep n the car tonight and before they knew it we would be in Cape Cod because I would be flying high on caffeine all night. However, once we got to Timmy’s, I had a little chat with the server… asked him about animals running in front of the cars at night and was it safe to drive the I95 right now. He said he hadn’t personally hit anything but it does happen and if you see two glowing eyes, you are about to hit a deer; whereas if you are about to hit a moose, you wouldn’t see anything. Boo thought that was hilarious, but it made me think twice about driving any further.
So we went back to the Holiday Inn and asked them to book us a room in the next town south because we weren’t about to stay in a hairy bed. I think she felt rather sorry for us when she told us that next Holiday Inn was 3 hours away. Lucky for us, the woman thought of another place (that was clean) not too far way that might be available, but it was north of us and we’d have to backtrack.
She phoned the Black Bear Inn as more people came in asking for rooms. We got directions and ran like hell out the door because I knew that if other desperate people beat us to that hotel, we’d probably wouldn’t be sleeping tonight. Boo quickly typed in the address in my sister’s GPS and we were off like a shot. ‘Cept there was another family behind us who heard our conversation about the only available hotel around and they started following us. I felt like we were in the “Amazing Race”. Yelled at the kids to quickly get their seat belts on, because we had to win or sleep in the car. Michelle, our Gps, fired off directions turn right, turn left and we got there in no time flat. Success! The room was waiting just for us. We got the most adorable bear county room and it didn’t have any hairs Kleenexes in the bed! We were so happy we happened upon this place. It became one of my favourite overnight hotels of our trip. Just take a look at the room….soooo cute! Loved the comforter with all the bears! And the staff were super nice too!