Maritime Tour

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September 10th 2016
Published: September 20th 2016
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After a very enjoyable, but hot summer in Niagara on the Lake, we started out September touring around the Maritimes and the New England Coast. Our first stop (after a 9 hour drive through upper New York State, Massachusetts, New Hampshire), was in Ogunquit, Maine, a beautiful former fishing village and now a coastal resort town just south of Kennebunkport. This was a good 1/2 way point on the 15 hour drive. There's numerous restaurants, hotels, a nice beach and a scenic walking trail along the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, we were unable to explore in more depth as we only stayed one night.

Of course, the next day before heading to New Brunswick, we had to make the obligatory visit to a big Outlet Mall in Kitterry to buy "stuff" we don't need just because it was on sale!!! The only enjoyable part of Kitterry for me, was the excellent Lobster Roll we had at Al's Clam Shack (somewhat expensive at $19.95 USD). Over the next few days we stayed at Daryl and Angela's cottage (my brother and his wife) for some R&R. The cottage is located on First Eel River Lake which is about 40 minutes outside of Woodstock. New Brunswick is known as the "Picture Province", however, to appreciate the full beauty, it's necessary to spend time away from the main thoroughfares and the location of Daryl and Angela's cottage certainly supports the province's reputation.

Next stop on our Maritime tour was St. Stephen, N.B., on the border with Calais Maine and home of Ganong Chocolates. We spent a couple of days at my brother-in-law Don's cottage which overlooks the St. Croix river. Of course I took the opportunity to play St. Andrews Golf course(about 20 minutes from St. Stephen) and visit with some folks at the Ganong plant. We also took a drive down to Eastport Maine, which is about a 45 minute drive from St. Stephen. Eastport, like Ogunquin, is a former fishing village that has transitioned to a tourist destination. It was interesting that the town was holding a "Pirate Festival" on the weekend after we were there. On the way to Eastport, we stopped at the International Monument to the St. Croix Island. The Island is now uninhabited and was the first attempt by the French to establish a settlement for North America in 1604. Samuel Champlain was a member of the settlement which eventually failed and moved to Port Royal, Nova Scotia.

Later in the week, we're off to Fredericton to participate in my brother Daryl's Charity Golf Tournament. Over the past 15 years, he's helped raise well over $200,000 for 2 University Scholarship funds in memory of his two boys, Michael and Anthony, both of whom passed away of a rare genetic disease. The Golf tournaments were held at both Mactaquac Golf Course and Kingswood Course, both of which are some of the best courses in the Maritimes and compared to the cost of golf membership in Ontario, both offer superb value.

We have a group of friends, who once lived in Ontario, but now are retired in various parts of Canada. Every two years, one couple hosts the group and this year we gathered at Linda and Alan Mcdonald's house in Rothesay N.B. (Just outside Saint John). They have a gorgeous house located on the Kennebacsis River which runs into the Bay of Fundy. The guys played golf at Riverside Golf and Country Club and the ladies had lunch in St. Martin at the start of the Fundy Trail. The Fundy Trail hugs the coastline along the eastern shore of New Brunswick and as you see from the pictures, it has some of the best coastal views that we have experienced anywhere. For those travelling to NB, it's a must.

Our group then proceeded to PEI for a few days of golf, lobster and touring around. The weather co-operated throughout our trip and continued while on the Island. PEI has such a charm with the gentle rolling farm lands, the dramatic coastlines and of course the red soil providing a complimentary backdrop to the green meadows and fields. We enjoyed playing two great golf courses, Glasgow Hills and Eagles Glen, had the traditional Lobster Dinner and toured around the Cavendish Beech, Charlottetown etc. What makes PEI such a special place is not only the scenery but the people who are so friendly and accommodating. The only disappointment on the trip was that Debra fell one dark rainy night over a curb and broke her wrist. It was a small break so she has some mobility in her hand but must suffer through wearing a cast for 4-6 weeks.

While the balance of our group returned to New Brunswick for a visit to St. Andrews by the Sea and a final dinner at the Shadow Lawn Inn in Rothesay (it's a wonderful 150 year old historic Inn), Debra and I visited our friends Mary Ann and Barry Bisson, who have just retired to PEI and purchased a home on a gorgeous property just outside of Charlottetown. When the tide is out, Barry goes harvesting bar clams and they are just a few minutes drive from beautiful Fox Meadow golf course. What a life!!

Our trip to the East concluded with a stop at Quebec City on the drive home. In our short visit overnight, we did manage to enjoy a fine dinner and walk around the city which has so much "old world" appeal with the cobblestone streets and the well restored stone buildings containing numerous art and craft stores.

For those planning a trip to the Eastern Part of Canada, make sure you allow enough time to explore New Brunswick particularly the less well known areas. There is a major two lane highway that cuts through the province so to really appreciate everything the province has to offer, visitors should get off the "beaten track" and you'll discovery a very interesting and enjoyable part of Canada.

Debra and I are off to Australia for the winter and are looking forward to that trip and covering the highlights in our blog.

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3rd October 2016

Wow !
Great blog Dana and wonderful to hear about your maritime travels - though sorry about the wrist Debra. We are still hoping to visit you in Canada next year, and the chance to see maybe just a couple of such wonderful places in New Brunswick. It all looks and sounds amazing - and the lobster .... ! We are off on our travels to Oz and NZ in a couple of weeks - not sure if we're clever enough to do a blog, but will take lots of pictures and will let you know all about it when we get back.

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