Monday, August 24, 2015

Oh Canada!

I don't spend all my time organizing and decorating. Camping is pretty important too! We spent the second week of August road-tripping through Down East Maine and New Brunswick, Canada in our little Casita.

We stayed at beautiful Cobscook Bay State Park in Dennysville, Maine. The sites here are huge , wooded, very private, and sit high over the Bay. In fact, the current issue of Down East Magazine lists it as one of Maine's 10 Best State Parks. We agree.

The State of Maine allows you to dig a peck of clams a day while you're camping at Cobscook Bay. Sadly, DH's clamming expedition wasn't very successful . . . he returned coated in mud with not even one tiny clam to show for it! (Guess we didn't need all the cornmeal we brought to clean our gallons of clams with!)

One our my favorite things about camping is just sitting together quietly, breathing and reading. This time I finally got to read Go Set A Watchman, the recent release by Mockingbird author Harper Lee, and The Boston Girl by Anita Diamont, which I enjoyed so much that I finished it in a day. DH was deep into a Lee Child thriller.

After one day of set-up and a second of R & R with our books, we set out on Monday to visit the nearby Canadian Province of New Brunswick. Clearly neither of us was thinking very clearly when we ended up in Lubec, Maine. There is a crossing there, but it only takes you over the bridge to Campobello Island (the historic summer home of the Roosevelts) with no access to the rest of New Brunswick.

When we turned around, we had to head back through the border crossing into the U.S. As we handed our U.S. Passports out the car window, here is how our questioning went:
Stern-faced US Border Patrol Agent: "Where do you live?"
DH: "Falmouth, Maine"
Stern-faced US Border Patrol Agent: "How long have you been in Canada?"
DH: "Five Minutes?"
Stern-faced US Border Patrol Agent:  Just laughter and an eye-roll, not followed by enhanced interrogation techniques, thank goodness.
Us: Embarassed and relieved.

Since we were back in Lubec by 9:00 a.m. ,we decided to stop there for breakfast before driving the 30 miles to the border crossing at Calais. We wandered into The Atlantic House, which was obviously the local gathering place judging by the number of times I heard someone say "Ayuh".

The menu read, "Three Blueberry Pancakes - $5.00" and that sounded perfect to DH. But the waitress, in true Down East fashion, peered down at him and pronounced, "Nobody ever orders all three; one is plenty for you".  She pointed up and added:  "The only guy who ever ate three is a professional body-builder . . . his photo is right there on the wall". DH was glad he took her word for it. Even with my help, he couldn't finish the one pancake he ordered. It was the size of a dinner plate and overflowing with wild Maine berries.

Which left me wondering all the way to Calais:  "If a grown man can only eat one pancake (in fact is told he shouldn't even consider ordering three), then why not just list "One Blueberry Pancake" on the menu instead of three???
Only in Maine!

From the deck of The Atlantic House (on left in photo above), we could see a rocky beach below.  To me, a rocky beach near a town only means one thing: the possibility of finding sea glass. So after breakfast we crept down the narrow alley between the restaurant and the shop next door and found sea glass heaven! Here's just part of our haul from that morning . . . .

During our 5-minute visit to Campobello, I did manage to take a couple of photos. This one is of the lighthouse on the Canadian side . . . 


And the little town of Lubec looking across from the Canadian side.


We did finally make it to Calais, where we crossed to St. Stephen, NB. We had had our fill of the famous chocolate in St. Stephen on our last trip so (like good Weight Watchers) we drove through this time, stopping in the nearby little town of St. George.

St. George is the location of this historic mill and gorge which is a favorite of photographers. The town's tiny main street has two or three cute shops, like this one selling every kind of penny candy you'll remember from your childhood and then some.

After a long day of sightseeing along the NB coast, we stopped for the night in Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick. The next morning, at the suggestion of New Brunswick blogger Pamela, we headed to nearby King's Landing Historical Settlement.

We are so glad we did! The weather was perfect for a day of time-travel back to the 1800's.

For my American friends, King's Landing is similar to Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts but with pastoral, river and mountain views and a distinctively Canadian feel. The whole area is a photographer's delight.

Once you cross the bridge, you stroll back into the 19th century. The people of the village are uniquely in character and totally "unaware" of the 21st century, or even the 20th for that matter. A mixture of English and French is spoken; New Brunswick is the only Province with two official languages.

Inside the homes and shops, life at King's Landing goes on as it always has;. We visitors are just 21st century observers of daily life in the 1800's. 

Linen is woven (my Fiber College friends will love these next few photos!) . . .

Clothes are sewn . . .

Washed, and hung on a line to dry.

Rugs are hooked . . .

or braided . . .  to keep floors warm . . .

And mittens are knit to prepare for the cold Canadian winter ahead.

After a delicious lunch of traditional foods at the King's Head Inn . . .

we walked to the other side of the village . . .

Where school was in session. Note the date on the blackboard: August 11 . . . 1840.

(I wondered if I looked that scary to my own students???)

Nature was on full display in this little corner of New Brunswick on this beautiful summer afternoon.

Even Charlotte was at home in her web in the barn.

In the late afternoon, after our reluctant re-entry to the 21st century, we headed to the city of St. John, NB, to spend the night.  This was our second visit to St. John, which reminds us so much of our hometown of Portland, Maine. It is a beautiful city of about the same size, huge cruise ships can be seen docked along the wharfs, and the public market and shops are reminiscent of those we love in Portland. I think I could make myself right at home in St. John!

On Wednesday, after a lunch of what have to be the best fried clams in Canada (at Comeau's on old Rt. 1 just outside of St. George), we crossed back to the US on Wednesday at Calais/St. Stephen.

We love the little town of Eastport, Maine and spent the day there on Thursday . . .

Antiquing . . .

Relaxing over coffee . . .  

Watching the activity in the harbor . . .

And (I just can't help myself!), searching for sea glass.

Which we found, in abundance.

I loved this sea glass art wreath in the Eastport Historical Society's shop. Maybe I'll use it as an inspiration piece for future sea glass projects. 

After a great six days, Friday was "pack-up day", my least favorite day at camp. The clothes are dirty, the camp gear is wet, but the memories are definitely warm.

It's good to be back home but I'm already looking forward to our next opportunity to spend some time in "Down East" Maine and to revisit beautiful New Brunswick. 

Are you, like me, wishing that summer would never end?


This post is being shared at:
Show & Share at Coastal Charm
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Take Me Away Link Party at Calypso In the Country


  1. Hi Cheryl, what a wonderful post of your travel adventures in Maine and New Brunswick. I'm so sorry we didn't get to meet up but will definitely arrange that next time you're up this way! Your post makes a great travelogue of our beautiful province. I also appreciate the shout out to my blog! Thanks. Glad you had such a great trip. Your camping spot looks so relaxing. Happy week to you. Hugs. Pam

  2. Another great story and writing. Love your pictures. When we took our big cruise from Boston, we stayed a day in St John.

  3. I really liked St. John. Did you go to the reversing falls? Amazing!

  4. This is my mother's very favorite part of the world. I have never been (my husband doesn't like to travel, and I'm just now starting to go without him), but my daughter just spent a week in Maine with a group of friends and she loved it. Maybe right after retirement I will head that way! The photos are gorgeous.

  5. What a picturesque place to visit! Looks like you had a wonderful getaway! Thanks for linking up to Take Me Away!

  6. This is a wonderful vacation! I think I'd thoroughly enjoy every minute with the beautiful views, antiquing and open water! (I'm longing for open water these days!)


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