Friday, 14 July 2017

Epic 10th Anniversary Road Trip Post

Hi Everyone! Ryan and I finally got to go on our honeymoon at the end of last month; from June 22nd to the 28th we were on the road from Sudbury to Prince Edward Island and back. We had a wonderful trip with miles upon miles of beautiful scenery, nice folks, gorgeous beaches and even a whale!

A happy caucasian couple with brown hair smiles for the cameraOur first day we were on the road a long time, from Sudbury to Prescott ON to Quebec City We were a little late leaving because of poor planning on our part but once we got underway we had a great time. North Bay flew by, we took a pic of the Tim Hortons just about everywhere we stopped, and then we had dinner with Ryan's cousin's family and had our first look at the St. Lawrence River. It's very wide. We drove on after dinner through Montreal where, even at 9pm, the traffic was  heavy and everyone was speeding like whoa. We made it to Quebec City by about 1130pm and finally got to sleep at the Hotel Bonaparte. It was about a 12 hour day. The hotel room was nice, clean and quiet and the front desk clerk said he spoke 5 languages.

The next morning we had breakfast at the little restaurant attached to the hotel then hopped back across the St. Lawrence into Levis to drop our stuff at the Quality Inn, then drove down to the ferry terminal to walk over to old Quebec City. If you ever get the chance to visit please do! It was beautiful and incredibly well preserved. We walked all over the place for about 5 hours in the drizzle and didn't even care that it was raining. We saw the gates that protected the old city, nearly 400 year old shops and houses, the Citadel and even the Plains of Abraham.

This is the heart of Old Quebec City and it feels like you're walking abound Europe. Highly recommend! We had dinner at a quiet little bistro by a park where it just so happened a man was playing the harp. It was exactly what I wanted for our 10th anniversary dinner and I was just about in tears from joy. I had the duck, Ryan had a rabbit pastry pie and both were just to die for. Our server was attentive and warm and I made sure to leave a good review on Trip Advisor for Le Lapin Saute.

The St. Jean de Baptiste Festival started to get rolling by about 8:30 and our cameras and phones were dead so we decided it was time to go back across to Levis and get some sleep. The Quality Inn in Levis does *not* have a jacuzzi or hot tub like I thought, sadly.

The next day we drove from Levis QC to St Andrews in New Bruswick. It was a long drive day again and we kept losing time but we made it all the way there just in time for our whale watching tour. Scratch another thing off my bucket list! We saw a minke whale and we were the only people that day to see one at all. There were a few seals lounging about on the rocks in Paddy (Passamaquoddy) Bay but once we got out on the big water in the Bay of Fundy it got a lot colder and that's where we found our whale.

The sunset made him a bit hard to see but I didn't mind at all. It added to the atmosphere. We were able to get pretty close and keep tracking at a distance thanks to the type of boat we were on, a Zodiac. Highly recommend the Fundy Tide Runners if you're out that way and looking for a fun trip! Not expensive either. After we got back to port we went in search of some food and then our bed and breakfast in Chamcook.

We received a bit of a frosty reception for coming in so late and missing the 4pm check-in (we were still on the road from Quebec at the time and were late for our whale watching trip) and were informed that, since the owner had to be at church the next morning for 11 and would be leaving at 10:30am sharp, breakfast would be served at 830am so please be downstairs. It was definitely an unusual experience staying at a BnB instead of at a hotel and it's really turned us off BnBs to be honest.

The next morning after a broken sleep in an antique bed and delicious pancakes at 9am, we hit the road and followed the coastal route from St. Andrews. Along the way we stopped at a waterfall where Ryan had a swim, the Cape Enrage Lighthouse, like eight thousand beaches and salt marches, and finally the famous Flower Pot Rocks at Hopewell. They're truly an amazing and unique area of the world; most of the East coast is made of sedimentary stone like sandstone, so everything is built of layers and layers of old mud that's been dried and petrified into rock. It wears away thanks to the high tidal action and leaves amazing sculptures all over the place.

The Hopewell Rocks were definitely a highlight of the trip! We got to the site at low tide so we got to roam around a lot of the area even though the park was officially closed. Turns out the staff don't care if you're on site after hours or in the dark as long as your car isn't in the parking lot and you obey the safety signs. One of the larger, more famous of the rock formations collapsed earlier this year so there are lots of areas roped off  where you shouldn't go. If you visit please obey the signs!

I don't know why jigsy isn't letting me load vertical photos vertically....

We spent the rest of the evening poking around the beach and taking pics then driving over the enormous Confederation Bridge to PEI and our resting spot in Cavendish, the Shining Waters Inn. As promised, since we were so late (it was nearly midnight) our key was in an envelope stuck to the front door. No kidding. It's such a small community, and the RCMP station is across the road, that they felt comfortable leaving the key to the inn AND our room stuck to the front door inside the screen so we could get in. Amazing.

The next day after a bit of rain and a lovely breakfast at Rachel's we went to see the crown jewel (for me) of the trip; The Anne of Green Gables house. It was everything I could've wished for and more. I was so overcome with emotion I basically cried my whole way through the house. I took a few pictures but Ryan took more for me and at one point, upstairs in Anne's room, he just held me as I sobbed on him. It's hard for me to express what Anne means to me, especially to people who've never read Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic work. She was an orphan, a chatty little girl who was smart and funny and imaginative and she loved the world she lived in. Anne got straight As in school and became a teacher but in her heart she never let go of the irrepressible little girl who moved to Avonlea as an unwanted waif. As a teacher she cared deeply for her students and as a mother she taught me a lot about grace. Anne of Green Gables was the first series I read start-to-finish as a young person and it shaped me immensely. Being in the house Lucy called home and where she based the Cuthbert farm, with it's little bedroom upstairs that looked out on the Snow Queen and the Haunted Wood, Lover's Lane and all the rolling, beautiful land of PEI was a dream come true.

We spent the afternoon, after I recovered, driving south to the Point Prim Lighthouse, the oldest light on the Island, and investigating little beaches and spots along the way. Dinner was a proper Celtic themed pub in Charlottetown and then off to the Cavendish Beach for sunset and again, not disappointed. PEI is known for it's sunsets and boy was ours a treat. When we arrived I became very excited as I'd forgotten that Cavendish was the host of one of the best spots to see PEI's famous red sandstone cliffs! Are they ever red!

All red with sand dunes up behind us where we were lucky enough to spot a fox. Ryan wasn't quick enough to get a photo unfortunately. Then the sun set and it was a perfect ending to a nearly perfect day.

The next day we started for home, stopping in at Shediac Beach for an attempt at a swim but we were thwarted by little red jellyfish in the water. We stayed the night much, much later at a little motel on the side of the highway somewhere in Quebec called the Silver Maple, slept and got back on the road the next day. After a visit in Kingston to see some old, dear friends, we went home to the kids. Our honeymoon, though ten years late, was wonderful and we can't wait to get back to the East coast next summer.

via Fat and Not Afraid