East Coast…,Pirate Ship “Jolly Breeze”, No Hotel Vacancy…Are You Kidding Me?

Excerpt from my diary of our adventures on the East Coast (Tuesday, August 13, 2013)

IMG_2577

IMG_2457

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.

IMG_2474

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.

IMG_2485IMG_2483IMG_2499
IMG_2520



IMG_2559IMG_2611We 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.

IMG_2628IMG_2629

 

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.

th-1
thIt 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.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_2642She 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!

 

 

 

Advertisements

East Coast, Treego, The Reversing Falls, and St. Andrews By The Sea

Excerpt from my diary of our East Coast Trip (Monday, August 12, 2013)

IMG_2265There is a place in Moncton, New Brunswick called Treego.  My cousin and I thought the kids would like it because it had zip lines, various wooden platforms to walk on, rock climbing apparatus, etc. all on the tops of trees, so we booked a 10:00 appt.  There was also a Treego location in Fredericton, which we booked the day before, but we drove right past it twice and decided to call it quits, despite the grumblings in the back of the car from Frick and Frack in the back.  It is not nice travelling with two discontented children, believe me.  We wouldn’t have made that afternoon appointment in Fredericton anyway because we were in a different time zone and hadn’t changed our watches.  Not sure at what point in time during our road trip that the clock changed, but it did.

IMG_2283It took the kids about 1 hour to go through the course, and while they were high in the trees, having the time of their lives, Boo and I were being bitten alive by mosquitoes below.  And the situation became much worse after some kind woman let us use her bug spray (someone told me later that sometimes the local people are mean to the tourists and give them spray with sugar water in it).  Not sure what happened but I swear I had a steady cloud of mozzies after me after that.  You wouldn’t believe how many bites I have in my face and head, the lousy buggers.

IMG_2333

Later we drove to The Reversing Falls in St. John’s and took a boat around the harbour.  This is another place I longed to see because my husband told about a neat waterfall where the water looked like it was cascading up instead of down (something about the moon’s gravity).   Part of the rock near the waterfall drifted all the way from the continent of Africa.  The captain let Frick and Frack drive the boat, which they enjoyed.  The tide was up so we didn’t see as much of the “reversing” effect that we would have seen if it was low tide…which was a bit disappointing.  We saw the ripple, a whirlpool or two, a carnival cruise ship in an adjacent harbour, and a seal (which was actually a garbage bag floating in the water), all for a mere $70.00.

IMG_2317

We went to a local market square for a bit and made our way to the tourist information centre at our next destination (St. Andrews)where we were told that all the bread & breakfast places were full.  I always wanted to stay at a bed and breakfast place (part of my bucket list) and thought that this would have been a great place to try a B & B, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen.  So we booked a place called St. Andrews Inn and Suites instead.  It had the most marvellous view of the Bay of Fundy and we had a great view of a red/oranage quarter moon at night on our balcony.  The hotel was in dire need of a retrofit, but it was okay for the night (until Boo screamed because she found a Kleenex in her bed and was totally grossed out by that).

Looking forward to tomorrow because we booked a whale watching expedition on a “Pirate Ship”.

IMG_2396

IMG_2411





 

Our East Coast Trip…The Trigger Happy Cop and Quasimodo

Last year at this time, my cousin from Australia and I drove our to the East Coast on an adventure with my two kids.  I didn’t get a chance to post our trip on my blog but decided it was too funny not to publish what happened to us…so here it goes.

Friday, August 9, 2013

We left Quebec City to make our way to New Brunswick today.  When we got to Riviere de Loupe, we only had 1/4 tank of gas left.  One of my cousins who had visited the East Coast before, forewarned me to make sure I filled up at a gas station in Edmunston (I thought that was what she said) because there wouldn’t be any gas station for miles and miles and miles.  I figured with 1/4 tank of gas that we would safely get to Edmunston for a fill up after we left Riviere do Loupe, but boy was I wrong.

Mountains and trees was all we could see for miles and miles and miles.  I often stretch the limit when the yellow empty gas tank light goes on at home…but that’s when I know where the gas stations are.  My husband always freaks out on me when the empty gas light goes on and has told me that one day I would get stuck.  “That’s why we have CAA”, I would tell him.  “Let me out of the car”, he would respond, “I’d rather take the TTC”.  Truth be known, I like to see him sweat  (and besides, I know that even on empty, I can drive downtown and all the way home on a yellow light because I’ve done it before!).  However, this was different.  Now I was driving in an unfamiliar province and I didn’t know how long it would take CAA to bring me gas in the middle of no where.  Besides, I didn’t have a cell phone.  How would I call them?

Well, the yellow light appeared and my sisters GPS (which I borrowed) didn’t show any signs of civilization or gas for miles.  My cousin told me not to worry because we had at least 50 km left to find a gas station.  We temporarily stopped at some guys house off the road to ask, but it really looked like an axe murderer lived there and I was secretly glad no one answered the door.  Actually, you couldn’t get to the door because there was a wooden plank barring the entrance.  Thought that was weird.  So I hopped back into the car and kept going.  I was getting anxious that we were going to get stuck on the highway.  “Bobo will be in his glory when he hears this story”, I thought.

Shortly thereafter we saw a cop car who pulled over some poor slop who was speeding.  Boo told me to pull over and ask the cop.  I wasn’t sure that was a good idea, but I didn’t think we had much of a choice.  So I stopped behind the cop car.  Not a good idea.

The police officer got out of his car…and he had his hand on his gun.  “Holy sh*#$%”, I thought, “This guy is going to shoot us!”  I’d better say something fast.  Meanwhile, my crazy cousin who was sitting in the passenger side, starts waving her arms around like a mad woman.  “What the heck is she doing that for”, I thought.  I’m not sure what she was saying because I had my eyes fixated on the gun.  I rolled down my window and told him that I was out of gas and would he mind telling me where the nearest gas station was.  He hesitated, looked at all of us in the car, and then told me it was about 20 kms away in a place called Cabano.  Good think the kids were in the car.  I think he was as relieved that we posed no immediate danger to him because he took his hand away from the gun and walked back to the driver of the speeding car.

As we drove by him, I told Boo that at least if we run out of gas down the road, we know there’s a cop behind us and he would recognize our car if we got stuck at the side of the road.

We took the next exit ramp and discovered a gas station where the attendant actually came out to fill up our car.  However, he really kind of looked like Quasimodo and I was quite scared to death and so were the kids.  One of his eyes was twitching and I think he had a limp.  I swear if I didn’t desperately need the gas, I would have taken off like a shot, but we wouldn’t have gotten very far on empty.  I asked him to fill it up and gave him a tip.  Locked the car door and got the heck away from there at lightening speed.  Beginning to think that travelling in New Brunswick was not exactly a good idea.

It rained on our way to Fredericton.  We stopped at a Best Western Hotel with a salt water pool and then went out in search for a lobster dinner.  We are on the hunt for the best seafood dinner on the coast.  Can’t bring my husband to the East Coast for seafood dinner because he would buy the crab/lobster set it free in the sea.  “Be free!  Be free!”, he would shout, “And don’t get trapped again”.    I never order lobster at a restaurant when he is around because he starts making shrieking noises (he claims that is the sound it makes when it goes into the pot).  But they taste so good.

Must say they have an interesting presentation of lobster dinner in New Brunswick.  Never seen anything like this in Ontario.

IMG_2245