November flew! My oldest daughter and I went on a Mom/Daughter road trip to celebrate her 30th birthday! She is a nurse and I picked her up at the hospital at 7:30 a.m. after an all night shift and we hit the 417 – Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada bound! She nodded off for a few moments but for the most part stayed awake to entertain me along the way. The weather was clear, the roads were dry and we arrived at the home of my youngest daughter not long after dark.
We spent 3 nights seeing the sights of Saint John (we have both been there before)…but our prime goal had been to watch the youngest daughter playing in a Football game on Saturday morning…..welllll……she went early and we wandered over once the game was started, couldn’t see her on the field…but there she was on the side lines….as we got closer we realized she was holding a big bag of ice on her knee and she looked in pain….DARN….she insisted upon staying at the game to watch her team mates (they won)…..then we headed to emerge to have the leg checked out….the emerge doctor prescribed crutches and recommended a visit to her doctor the following week….it was painful and she had a tough few weeks but luckily it didn’t require surgery. She was a trooper all weekend and she hobbled around on crutches and we stilled enjoyed ourselves.
Monday morning the oldest and I hopped into the car and headed to Prince Edward Island where we were going to go to our new cottage to see what had been left behind (the sale had closed on October 17th). We stopped in Shediac, NB for lunch and a photo shoot with the giant lobster, we dropped by a great 2nd hand/antique store in Charlottetown and then headed out to Savage Harbour, PEI to see the new cottage. My daughter hadn’t been there before, but she loved the cottage, the space and especially the BEACH! It was a cool November day and there were no lights or heat at the cottage (power off) so we really just did a walk-through, dropped off a few things we had brought down then we headed off on a tour of the the north shore, round to Summerside and then back to Charlottetown and off to dinner at a nice restaurant where we had lobster for the 2nd? or was it 3rd time in 4 days? 🙂
Early Tuesday we left Charlottetown, stopped at tourist store near the Confederation Bridge, did out ‘Anne of Green Gables’ dress up photos and turned the car toward Quebec City. Arrived in Quebec City around 5 pm ish…..checked into our awesome little boutique hotel in lower town Old Quebec…did some wandering, grabbed a bite to eat….and watched the U.S. Elections *sigh*…..SIGH…..SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Wednesday morning, breakfast, wandered around Quebec City for a while longer then hopped into the car and headed back home to Ottawa.
SO……today, it’s December 12th……..weeks have gone by……..winter has started and my husband and I are counting the sleeps until we head off to spend our first Christmas on a Sandy Beach! Last year I made the decision that 2016 was going to be the away for Christmas trip…future years we may have grand children and feel the ‘tug’ to be near the family…..so …December 24th @ 6 a.m. we head off to Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic…..2 weeks…..yipppeeeee! Home again on January 7, 2017…..STAY TUNED!
Our daughter Chloe moved from Calgary, Alberta to Saint John, NB in May. This was our first trip to see her and her boyfriend Kyle in their new home. They both had to work the two days we were there, however, they were going to spend an extended weekend with us in Nova Scotia, so we still had some quality time together! As per my previous post, we arrived at their place just around 6 pm in time for their volleyball tournament and then dinner at Saint John Alehouse! Saint John is a little tiny city and their apartment is right downtown. They can walk to everywhere including Chloe’s office. It’s an old city with a lot of heritage. It’s not known for being a trendy upscale city but it certainly has it’s charms. Unfortunately, as apparently is often the case it was rainy and quite foggy the whole time we were there. We were pretty tired from our previous 5 days on the road so spent the morning doing laundry and relaxing! Then we headed off on a drive around the area and ended up first in the quaint little village of St. Martins website here and then onward to the Fundy Trail website here. Luckily, the kids plan to live in Saint John for a few years and we will go back, stay longer we hope and manage to get there when there isn’t a fog hanging over everything! What we saw was beautiful, and what we have read what we didn’t see is even more beautiful 🙂 The second night we went to the theatre to see a band who travels the world the show was called It’sa Kinda Magic website here. I love Queen and it was really quite good, although the kids found it a bit ‘out there’ 🙂 The Imperial Theatre in Saint John is a beautiful old style theatre, very elegant, we had great seats just a few rows from the stage! Before the show we went to the best Indian restaurant I’ve been to. Food was amazing, we ordered a variety of dishes and shared. If you are in Saint John check it out Thandi.
Here you can sing along to my favourite Queen song ‘Made in Heaven‘
My featured image for this post are rocks on the shore of the Bay of Fundy in the Village of St. Martins, New Brunswick. They were amazing…..every rock tells a story….different sizes, colours, fossilized…..if only we could hear that story!
. Two nights in Saint John, then we headed off to Halifax, Nova Scotia!
After a very long drive we arrived in Quebec City. I hadn’t been there for over 30 years….Johnny, who is from Europe had never been and I think he was surprised at how old world Europe it was. We stayed in a wonderful little hotel Chateau de tourelles that was once an 8 room B&B, but had grown to 12 rooms which qualified it for hotel status while still retaining the features of a B&B. One has to ring the doorbell to get into the building and moments later a tattooed, pierced fellow named William with a wool cap on greeted us and carried our luggage upstairs where he proceeded to check us in. There is no on-site car parking but William directed us to the hotel parking about 2 or 3 blocks away. Once back to our 3rd floor front of the building room which we reached by ascending wonky and wonderful stairs with oriental style carpeting over old wood we arrived at our room which had 3 big windows that we flung open as soon as we arrived…love my fresh air and light! We hastily unpacked, cleaned up and changed our clothing and headed down St Jean to the gated walls of the old city! We stayed at Chateau de tourelles for 2 nights nights and enjoyed wine from its roof top terrace with commanding view of the city. A yummy breakfast was served daily in the rustic style breakfast room. William`s friend was our server and from Japan so Johnny was able to practise his Japanese with her!
Our two days in Quebec City was comprised mostly of just wandering around but we did do a double decker bus tour to learn the history of the old city from Plains of Abraham to Chateau Frontenac, we try to do these types of tours whenever available in a new city, gets you off on the right foot. Saturday evening we did a ghost tour of the city, it was a chilly night and the tour a bit too at 2 hours and not really as polished as it might have been, it took us from the top down to the lower city and had us creeping through alley ways and encountering the ghosts of historic Quebec City. Overall, a lovely place to visit, lots of great places to eat & drink, shopping galore….but for us, not the type of places we need to go to often. We far prefer the more rural and rustic settings. When in Quebec City I highly recommend your most comfortable walking shoes as you are up and down the hills and through the cobble stone streets always! The very strange photos we take below…not sure they are all that representative of Quebec City 🙂
COSTA RICA March 2014 – Next photo gallery is whitewater Rafting in the Balsa River, Costa Rica. Our first time rafting, and it was only a Class II/III, adventurous none the less! Johnny and I spent 17 days in Costa Rica. For 14 days we rented a little cabina just a few blocks from the shores of Lake Arenal in the pueblo of San Luis, just outside of Tilaran. This side of Lake Arenal is a little less populated (by tourists) a very quiet. The cabina was only $600 for the 2 weeks and it was a great base camp to go off and see the sights. During that two weeks we spent one night at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort a hot spring hotel in La Fortuna near the base of Volcano Arenal. The hot springs are amazing. While in Fortuna we also went ATVing in the area of Volcano Arenal. I’m a bit wreckless and when hot dogging it I accidental got thrown off the ATV and it flipped over on top of me. Very luckily, I only suffered a sore shoulder for about um..6 months 🙂 My next ATV ride will be a bit more sedate!
We took two days away from San Luis and headed to the Pacific Coast, a little village called Montezuma on the Nicoya Peninsula where we stayed at the cutest little hotel I’ve ever been to. Love it! Ylang Ylang Beach Resort. The hotel is only accessible by foot or by the hotel’s vehicle that goes along the beach to reach the hotel. The setting was awesome, the food very very nice. We could have stayed longer! Montezuma itself is a bit of an old hippy haven, not really my style of place but the surroundings are well worth the visit!
Renting a car for our entire Costa Rica trip was the smartest thing we did. It enabled us to go wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted. Johnny and I love ‘backroading’ and spent a good deal of time on narrow dusty, bump roads in the mountains (big hills) enjoying some incredibly scenery and seeing Costa Rican life from the inside. Our drive to Monteverde was our first major dirt road drive and well worth it! I’m from the Near North of Ontario Canada and quite accustomed to driving the dirt roads, so I got to drive, Johnny navigate!