Friday, June 28, 2019

On the Road again... heading home!

We home!  After many, many hours in the car we made it home. Finally!

We left Cape Breton yesterday.  It looked like the sky could open up at any moment, and it sure did along the way!  Again, we traveled in the rain, and not just a little!  When we left Baddeck, it was cloudy and the more we were heading West the cloudier it got.

Cape Breton and its people were nice.  Would I want to go back?  Not really.  Been there, done that, wouldn't really want to do it again...  It was nice, but I think we've seen nicer on our way back home...  Halifax was nice and there I wouldn't mind going back.  Don't think I will anytime soon, but still, it is a nice little city.

Heading home, we took a different path, and basically went around the other way in New Brunswick, going through different towns, and along the coast.  It wasn't as woodsy as on the way to Nova Scotia.  It might have been nicer if it didn't rain so darn much!

We crossed to Québec, using an inter-provincial bridge (between New Brunswick/Québec) not too far from Matapédia.  To my surprise they had this cute covered bridge, so we had to take a picture.  There were a few of those along the way, and not everyone was this cute and well maintained... some I would not have wanted to cross!

Since they had decided to break their ride home rather than doing it in one day like we did on the way there, they had reserved a little motel in Pointe-au-Père where Stinkypaw had stayed a few years back, when she attended a meet-up there (that is in Rimouski).  The location of that place is right on the water, by the lighthouse.  Yet another!

This morning when we were getting ready to hit the road again, you could barely see the lighthouse from the motel - and it is about a five minutes walk, at most!  There was this think fog, making the waterfront really eerie...

After seeing the place in this thick fog, we all wondered how ships did it on the sea with fog like this... no wonder they hit things!

We also hit some rain, but on and off, and the closer we got to home, the clearer it was getting... the sky that is, not the road!  There was quite a bit of traffic, people heading off for the long weekend most likely.  Many caravans, cars and trucks loaded, trailers, etc.  I guess vacation time started for many.  Here we're crossing the Pierre-Laporte Bridge in Québec...

We did well on time, and despite a few rocks being kicked up from other cards - all in Québec by the way, nothing like that while visiting "Canada"... I guess the road conditions have a lot to do with this.

Also, the closer we got to Montréal, the more expensive the price of gas was. Interesting things you notice when paying attention to not only the scenery!

Anyway, we are now home.  Everything is unpacked and put away and at this very moment, I'm just happy to be out of the car!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Cabot Trail - Check!

Our road trip continues!  The day started out nicely, with a nice sun and a good breakfast at the lodge.  You must admit, it is hard to have a bad day when it starts off with such a view! 

Today, since it was on Stinkypaw's list we had to make it to Cabot Trail.  She had been told by many that it was a beautiful sight and a must if in Nova Scotia / Cape Breton, so after Hubby looked it up, they decided that they would do it in one day, the full loop.  He had read that it was better to do it counter clockwise, only because the passenger (in this case Stinkypaw) was on the outside of the path, and would be able to see and snap pictures. So, we left right after breakfast and headed North.

We made a few stops here and there, along the Trail, to get some postcards (duh!).  Stinkypaw also wanted to make it to a beach, so we made it to Ingonish Beach.  We had a little pause there, time enough to hear the waves, for her to touch the sea - which was cold - it wasn't a lay on type of beach as such, but it was nice nonetheless.

We stopped a few places, some view points, some sights were pretty and impressive, and others were just meh... I guess that having been in places like Norway and having driven along fjords and glacier made us a little unimpressed.  It was pretty but much of it remind us of sights we have in Québec, so pretty but not really breathtaking.

There was road construction along the way, in and out of Parks Canada.  It cost $16 for the day pass to access the Cape Breton park.  We figured since they do maintain the roads, etc. it wasn't a bad thing as such, but there was a lot of construction.  Some parts we had to follow a pick-up, very slowly, other parts we had to wait until the opposite had made it through the zone.  It added to the joy of it all!

We had lunch at the Rusty Anchor in Pleasant Bay.  Everything was about anchors and marine things in there.  It even had candle holders shaped like lighthouses.  Just my size, check it out!

After lunch we kept going, heading North and the sights did get somewhat better.  We drove along the coast, not as much in the woods as the other side.  It was neat to see the road winding through the mountain and along the ocean. Also noticed that side being more French with their names.  When we started the drive the names were in Gaelic and as we were doing the loop the names (of places, lakes, streets, etc.) were French and there were more Acadian flags.

It was about a seven hours tour; a fun way to spend a day in Cape Breton.  I will say this in closing, Canada is a nice and BIG place!

Tomorrow we will be heading home, and decided to go a different way than the one we used coming... should be interesting!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Going Further East...

Today we left the Prince George,our home away from home since Friday night.  It was well located, right smack downtown Halifax, comfortable and come on, you have to agree with me, how can anything be wrong with the place when their logo is so darn cute!

Today, we hit the road again and headed East.  We drove four hours heading for Cape Breton Island.  Along the way the road changed color and became this pink color... Stinkypaw, who has been to Prince Edward Island and Hawaii, knows about red dirt but seeing a pinkish road like this was a first even for her. 

They had reserved a room in Baddeck, which is one of the places where the Cabot Trail can be accessed.  Stinkypaw has been wanting to drive that coast line for a while now, so being in Halifax was the occasion to indulge in this scenic drive that is said to be breathtaking and one of the most magnificent drives in North America.  By the time we made it to the lodge the clouds had moved in, so they decided to instead stick around town (if we can call it that!).  Since everything closes very early - like 6 pm (even worst than Halifax!) we made our way to the center of town for a place to eat.  Let's just say the choices were quite limited.  There was only ONE shop opened (a Celtic one), and after talking with the person there, she suggested a little place not too far from her shop.  It was by the Yatch Club. 

The  little street leading to that restaurant, called The Old Freight Shed, is a REALLY small place, a shed really, was right on the water.  The scenery was very nice.  A nice light house, some sail boats and this pirate.  I just had to balance him out and sat on his shoulder.

There was a long waiting line before getting seated (over one hour!), so they left their names and went for a little walk around the pier. Along their walk, they spotted this old cannon aimed at the lighthouse.  That old cannon came from a ship that sank in the 1700's in Louisbourg and was found by a local in the 30's and brought to Baddeck in the 60's.  A real piece of history just sitting there...

On their way they stopped to get some water for Stinkypaw, and she spotted these Cheetos - shaped as Maple Leaves, really, only in Canada!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Another Day in Picturesque Canada

What a day this was!  Not only was it our National Day - St-Jean Baptiste - which is just a regular day for the rest of Canada, it was a day of touring Nova Scotia!  Our day started with a bite to eat and good coffee at Starbucks.

We actually had to go back to the hotel room because Stinkypaw couldn't drink properly and had to change her top.  And all those talks I've heard about opposable thumbs and stuff they have, making them more evolved than animals, yeah right!

Anyway.  We met up with her Postcrossing friend and her husband and headed for a little road trip.  Despite Stinkypaw's hubby lack of interest in seeing Peggy's Cove (just a lighthouse, according to him), I'm happy we went.  It was quite the sight!

I guess we were lucky enough that there was wind and the waves were crashing, showing and reminding us of what a force of nature the sea is. Look at this nice picture of us three.

Don't we just look like the puuuurrrfect little family?  Can you believe some people were taking pictures of me, as I sat there posing for Stinkypaw?  Some were even being nosy enough and asking if I'd traveled anywhere else in the world.  I tell you some people, as if they'd never seen a trimmed beaver before!

We walked around some, took some pictures, that place was quite scenic to say the least.  Stinkypaw even got her passport stamped by the lady at the postal counter (just like she did when we went to the Arctic Circle Center a few years ago)...

We continued our drive by heading to Lunenberg, also a picturesque, quaint little town.  They had lunch on a terrace on the waterfront, quite the view and then walked around some.  One thing we've noticed since we've been visiting Canada, it closes early.  By 5 p.m. the little shops were closing.  This morning we've noticed that most restaurants were not opening before 10 am, thus making them go to Starbucks! Those Canadians, I tell you, they almost have union hours!

On our drive back to Halifax, we spotted ring-a-dings as Stinkypaw calls them (they're actually lupins) and she managed to catch a picture of them, love those weeds!

You must admit they're not bad, right? Right! Glad you agree!

We were almost at Mahone Bay - here's the proof that I've been there! |Also quaint and picturesque.

From there it was cruising along the highway, Nova Scotia style.  I must say, despite being all relaxed and stress free, it was a long day.  Stinkypaw had not really realized how far of a drive it was from Halifax.  She was happy to spend that time with her friends exploring that part of Canada.  She believes, as I do, it was worth every moments, and we're all thankful to our local "guides".  I guess it is true what is said about those Canadians folks being nice and all...

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Road Trip to Canada

Well hello there!  It's been a while since I traveled anywhere, but this time it's a doozy as we went for a road trip, not a little one, but one that took over thirteen hours of driving!  Stinkypaw wanted to attend yet another meet-up and this one was taking place in Halifax, Nova Scotia - two provinces over heading East.  She managed to convince her better half to accompany us and off we were!

As we drove through New Brunswick, there were many patches of wild daisies, and since it's always been a dream of mine to lay in a field of wild flowers, Stinkypaw pulled over, during the little stretch of road she drove, since Hubby drove most of the way, and indulged my fantasy...

Don't I look like the cutest thing among these flowers?  I sure think so...  Good thing she stopped when she did, because an hour or so after, it started to rain and it poured for the rest of the way, really crappy drive, if you ask me, and I wasn't the one driving!  By the time we arrived in Halifax, the rain calmed down some, so that was nice.  I was happy to get out of the car and welcome the nice bed after that long and exhausting day.

Saturday the weather was trying to clear up some, so they decided to walk around some and explore while slowly making their way towards the café where the meet-up was being held.  Along the way we passed this big city sign and just had to take that tourist shot...

Can you see me among the flowers, bottom right?  I know I`m small, but I'm all there!  Not long after that, we stopped at a local whole in the wall type of place, very bohemian, which turned out to be a café but also a youth hostel.  The had good breakfast burritos and Hubby had his first local beer, which according to Stinkypaw fitted him perfectly since an old friend of his used to call him ''Propeller Head" turned out to be a nice IPA, according to him...

After the pit stop we kept walking, heading towards the meet-up place.  Ten ladies were partaking in this one, four locals, two from Ontario and four from Québec.  It was quite the Hen Party, lol and many postcards were signed.  Don't know the total tally since the organizer had made an official card, and two others also did their own cards, so there were lots of cards!

After the meet, some were heading home, others went out for dinner and we followed one of the locals.  Turned out we made our way to a restaurant where a bunch was supposed to be, but we did not see any of them there, so after waiting for a while, we decided to go some other place along the water front.  We had a great dinner, great company - nice to put a face (and more!) to a Bacefook and Postcrossing profile and actually get to know them.  After dinner Hubby and Stinkypaw kept on walking along the water front, even if all the shops were closed by that time, but they spotted a few places to come back to for Stinkypaw to get some postcards.  Along the way I actually ran into a public figure in Canada, so I had to take a picture with this old Prime Minister of Canada...

He's never been a good looking man, but he always wore his red rose on his lapel, such a sharp dresser!

After a good night sleep, we started our day by walking downtown.  We walked through the Halifax Public Gardens, beautiful place, full of trees and so many flowers, I was so happy...

Look at these purdy flowers...
Today the sun was shining at 23 degrees (not bad!), but man oh man is it windy here!  They had a bite to eat on a roof top terrace, and then made their way back to the waterfront for Stinkypaw to get some postcards.  After some shopping, they stopped for a refreshment (of course!)...

Nice spot they chose, by the water but somewhat protected from the wind.  Hubby had another local beer and I think he was afraid I'd take a sip or if!

I much preferred her root beer floatie... that was quite yummy!

And this concluded the first chapter of our road trip 2019.  Stay tuned!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Another Meet-Up!

Would you look at that, here I am, yet at another meet-up!  This one was in Montréal, downtown, at the Cafeteria of the Bay, on the 7th floor.   I came with Postman Pat and his cat, of course.

They had a good turn out, and many cards were signed, check out the pile...

Friday, August 3, 2018

On the road for Postcrossing... again!

This time, we are heading to Canada, as she said! We took the train and headed towards Toronto.

She had a Postcrossing meet-up in Ingersoll, ON so instead of driving (by herself) she went VIA.

It was a pleasant ride, really.  Got to look at the scenery, enjoyed a good meal and mostly do nothing but be driven!

This was a big meet-up, over 2,500 cards were signed that day!  It was a good one to attend as the two founders of Postcrossing came all the way from Portugal.  We got a chance to meet them.

I will say this, though, it was a mighty long way to go to sign some cards, that's all I have to say!