Archives by Tag 'Parks Canada'

July 2016 Nova Scotia Tour (11 nights) Part 2

By DD - Last updated: Tuesday, October 4, 2016

uniacke-estate-lakeAfter postponing writing this second part many times it’s about time we post it. We’re so thankful for taking notes! A pictures paints a thousand words but still, there are some details we wouldn’t have remembered without notes. This article is about the second part of an 11 night trip to Nova Scotia we made this past summer. We toured the Nova Scotia Museums, among other attractions, using a Parks Pass, skipping those we had already visited before.

We started our trip in Moncton, driving counter clockwise. In part one (Day 1-5) we drove through Truro, Wolfville, Annapolis, Yarmouth, Liverpool, Lunenburg and Bridgewater.

Day 6

Our day started in Halifax at the Best Western Chocolate Lake Hotel. We weren’t very happy with our kitchenette suite, one of the last rooms not refurbished yet but it had everything we needed, including a delicious complimentary breakfast looking out the lake. Despite being cold and rainy, we had a great day and did all we had planned.

Our first stop was at the Museum of Natural History. This was DD’s second visit and her favorite parts were the wildlife dioramas and the indoors bees nest connected to the outside world by translucent tubing. We did a quick tour of the Halifax Public Gardens right across the street while we still had some money in the parking meter. After a quick visit of the Maritime Museum we drove 35 minutes to what would become one DD’s favorite houses in Canada: Uniacke Estate Museum. Before our tour, we had lunch in the car admiring the grounds behind the rain drenched windshield. Later, as we were touring the house, DD had this feeling of dej√† vu, this sense of having been there before and told the lady working there about the movie Somewhere in Time which she had never heard of. In the movie, Richard Collier (Christopher Reeves) travels back in time at the Grand Hotel to be with the love of his life, Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour). Then, walking to another room, DD got a flash back all the way to the Big Island of Hawaii at the Jacaranda Inn, the old Ranch Hotel that we had almost all to ourselves back in 2007. We walked around the property and along the lake and it was with great sadness that we left the Estate as if we had to go back to 2016…









Day 7

After another plentiful breakfast buffet we started the day at the Halifax Citadel where we used our Canada Parks Pass. Although it was still grey, cold and windy, thankfully it didn’t rain. It was Dami’s first visit to the fort and DD’s second; DD had visited with Mama D before. We went on a French guided tour then explored some more on our own and had a comforting cookie and a soothing hot beverage at the coffee bar before heading out to Shubenacadie Wildlife Park (home to the famous groudhog Shubenacadie Sam), a 45 minute drive from Halifax. On the way there, we realized we had left our binoculars in the room; We gave the park a call and they reserved two pairs of binoculars for us at The Greenwing Legacy Interpretive Centre! We were able to use them on the trail around the pond and in the park as well so we were able to get a better view of the animals that were further away. Even though we only did two activities we still did a lot of walking: DD’s phone registered 13000 steps and 8.5 km: almost a Tater Tour day; A little later on our trip, in Sydney, we spoke to a woman with an organized tour group called the Taters. They are a group of people that travel across America and hike ten kilometers a day. We’ve seen them at a few places we stayed at.  We’d love to participate in one of their tours!









Day 8

After leaving Halifax, driving towards Cape Breton Island, our first stop was at the Fisherman’s House. The lady there highly recommended we stop at Memory Lane Village which we were glad we did. The highlight of our visit was playing and cuddling with Laurel the tabby kitten who had lost his brother we presumed was named Hardie. We also met a widow at the church who told us she was wed to her deceased husband in that same church a long time ago; it was a special moment.









Our next stop was the Sherbrooke Village we had been wanting to visit for so long! But before doing so, we checked-in to our hotel Liscombe Lodge which was on our way to the Village. We started our Sherbrooke Village tour with a very disappointing lunch at the Tea Room. We were expecting a meal like the ones we had at Louisbourg, Le Pays de la Sagouine, King’s Landing or at the New Brunswick and the Nova Scotia Acadian Villages but The Tea Room was more like any ordinary diner with nothing special and a very limited menu. We should have listened and have eaten at Memory Lane. The best part of our visit at Sherbrooke Village though was that the streets were almost empty as it was the end of the day and we had our picture taken at the photo shop using the original 1860’s wet plate collodian ambrotype process. It was so neat as we dressed up and stood still for the photographer. We would like to go back next year for another picture which was a lot more exciting than our Passport pictures! We drove twenty minutes back to our cabin at Liscombe Lodge.









Day 9

Liscombe Lodge has a beautiful setting but the bed as in other cabins we rented in Nova Scotia, was not comfortable. We’d love to go back but unfortunately our cellphones were not working in the area so we will not be able to go back as we need to stay connected at all times for our work. After a morning walk, we set off for the longest drive on the trip (five hours total) to Canso, another place we had been wanting to visit for a long time; Every time we drove to Cape Breton Island and saw the signs to Canso. For some reason, everywhere we went was quiet but whenever we mentioned it we were told it was either super busy earlier in the day or the day before which was fine by us. On the road, not far from Canso, we stopped at a lookout where there was a plaque and information about “The Chronicles of Prince Henry Sinclair’s Voyage to the New World in 1398”: Who knew? At Canso, we took a boat ride to Grassy Island that we had all to ourselves for an hour and we could have stayed longer if we had wanted to but we still had a long way to go to Sydney. The island is a berry picker’s and a birder’s paradise. We didn’t find any berries as they had all been picked along the trail but we did hear a lot of different bird songs we hadn’t heard before. On our way to Sydney, we stopped in Guysborough for lunch at the Days Gone By restaurant and bakery. It was a very busy place and food was better than at the Sherbrooke Village in our opinion. DD had a seafood chowder and Dami a bowl of chili with a spinach salad. We shared a bowl of bread pudding. We arrived at The Hampton Inn Sydney early in the evening, did some laundry and had the last of our prepared meals.









Day 10

A day at the Fortress of Louisbourg! One of our favorite places in Canada. Before taking the bus from the Welcome Center to The Fortress, we hiked the short trail next to the parking lot. We like that trail with its view of the Fortress. On the bus to the Fortress, we were disappointed there was no introductory recording –  that on our previous visits reminded us of the ones on the Disney buses to the parks – but we were still happy to be there once again. Since we moved to the Maritimes, we’ve been to Louisbourg at least once a year and some years twice so that would make it at least our 6th visit. We were told at Canso Islands to mention we were from Canso when at the gate of the Fortress and if the guard knew his history we’d be put in jail but no luck, we walked straight in! As always it was very windy but it was sunny and for once all the buildings were open. In one of the houses, just as I mentioned we hadn’t seen any cats yet (we’re always on the lookout for cats), I turn my head and there I see it, a drawing of a family with children playing with a cat in a cradle! We saw the sheep and goats and had a delicious turkey meal with a vegetable and rice soup and bread pudding for dessert. We left Louisbourg with some freshly baked buns to take with us from the bakery.









Day 11

After two nice days of blue sky, rain came back with a vengeance so we decided to go shopping and we got three dwarf African frogs to bring home; they don’t sell them in New Brunswick anymore. It was so much fun to have them in the hotel room with us! We had a little precious Cargo the next day on the ride back home. They made it fine and adapted very well to their new tank with our other frogs, tetras, plants and snails. After shopping we came back for lunch to our room and then went for a walk at the Petersfield Provincial Park trail. It was a lovely trail with beautiful views of the water. And that is the end of our July 2016 trip to Nova Scotia. We can’t wait to go back next year! It was an awesome trip.






Back in the spring, Mama D and DD were in Alberta and British Columbia and while at the Calgary Tower were lucky enough to be there while they were filming the last season of The Amazing Race Canada. We waited anxiously for the season to start and enjoyed watching the show, especially the Western Canada part and the Maritimes! We have been to almost all the places they visited in Canada and it made us so proud to be Canadian and have such an awesome Country! We were so happy for the winners: Steph and Kristen; they are on our pictures of day! DD posted the picture she took as they were the first to come out of the elevator at the top of the Tower. Mama D and DD have a trip coming in December. Can you guess where they are going to?











A weekend in Prince-Edward-Island on the Central Coast

By DD - Last updated: Monday, July 27, 2015

One of the greatest things about living in the Moncton, New Brunswick area is that we can go for a weekend trip in PEI, Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. With family on vacation in PEI we decided that it was time to return to the island we barely visited and meet up with G and C who were camping at The Borden-Carleton KOA.

On our way back from PEI on the 13km confederation bridge. It costs $45 to leave the island.

On our way back from PEI on the 13km confederation bridge. It costs $45 to leave the island.

PEI is one Maritime province we still have to discover and we had an awesome trip with lots of discoveries and laughter. As if we didn’t have enough books on our to read list, now we just added Anne of Green Gables.. whew another 8 books!

This is where the author of Anne of Green Gables was born on November 30, 1874.

This is where Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables was born, on November 30, 1874.

On our tour of the Central Coastal drive we could have stopped many times as we passed lots of photography opportunities and this one looking out over French River was not to be missed.

No bad pictures at this lookout of French River on Prince-Edward-Island.

No bad pictures at this lookout over French River on Prince-Edward-Island.

During our 2 hour of visit at The Ann of Green Gables historical site, we  were able to watch the short introductory movie, visit the house and walk the 3 main trails, Balsam Hollow, Lover’s lane and Hunted Woods. At 5 O’clock we almost got kicked out and it was the perfect time to snap those perfect pictures of the house and gardens.

The grounds of Ann of the Green Gables House all to ourselves for a few minutes.

The grounds of Ann of Green Gables House almost all to ourselves for a few minutes.

We stayed overnight at the Cavendish Resort motel that was nothing to write home about but it was clean and we were able to get a good night sleep. They have free family passes to the Ann of Gables Site and we took advantage of this perk.

Cavendish Beach

Boardwalk to Cavendish Beach at the PEI National Park on the Green Gable Shore.





On the next day, we headed towards Charlottetown, still on the scenic drive route, passing through PEI National Park and Cavendish Beach. The sand dunes were like gigantic snowbanks and and few were adventurous enough to swim, even though the sea was calm, it was a little on the chilly side.








Then it was off to the Acadian site of Farmer’s Bank and the Doucet House, after a quick stop in North Rustico at the bay where the hiking trail reminded me of our Riverfront park in Riverview.

North Rustico Bay with the picnic tables and gazebo.

North Rustico Bay’s hiking trail with the picnic tables and gazebo and the view!

The museum at the Farmer’s bank was where the first Caisse Populaire / Credit Union started. Our guide at the Jean Doucet’s house let us pick some fresh herbs and in return I pulled a few weeds. There was a lot of people gathered as it was the annual Acadian Festival in Rustico. Dami had some hot dogs courtesy of the Lions Club.

A fresh Acadian herb garden bouquet: Mint, basil and lemon balm at the Farmer's Bank and Doucet House in North Rustico.

A fresh Acadian herb garden bouquet: Mint, basil and lemon balm at the Farmer’s Bank and Doucet House in North Rustico.

We stopped in Charlottetown where we had a late picnic lunch in Victoria Park next to a family event with a concert, big inflatable toys for kids, a petting zoo and Police cars. We were lucky enough to find a parking space close to a picnic table and brought our kitchen stuff to make a nice salad from scratch and receive G&C in style!

Victoria Park Lunch

We ended the day with the 3.4 km Heritage walk that we did counterclockwise starting at the information center. I wish there would have been a descriptive guide available as we had lots of questions with few answers. We were surprised to see a Harbor Hippo! It’s an amphibious bus, and Mama D and I rode one in Halifax, NS and Victoria, BC. Charlottetown, PEI is beautiful and we hope to visit again soon.

A door on Great George Street in Charlottetown, PEI.

A door on Great George Street in Charlottetown, PEI.

We had an awesome walk with G&C chatting with many laughs as usual. Hopefully we’re able to visit the West and East portions of the island this summer. It’s too bad the Province House was closed.

SDU Place