Wednesday, September 29, 2010

North Sydney to Port Aux Basques

Breakfast at Annfield Manor, North Sydney. Incredibly good coffee.
Elegant setting. Delicious food.

Hey Sam, we took this picture for you! In North Sydney this morning.

The really lovely, friendly lady who welcomed us to the ferry dock.

The mouth of the ferry boat is open, ready for cars and trucks to board.

A tractor trailer drives on to the ferry. Incredible that so many heavy
vehicles fit on a boat!

Cormorants hang around at the North Sydney docks.

And a-wake we go!

Dave looks great with a Canadian flag sticking out of his head.

Me. Seasick. Doped up on Gravol. In the background, our first glimpse
of "The Rock."

Land ahoy! Thank god!

Port Aux Basques looks so scenic and charming from the vantage point
of the ferry.

Our very comfortable hotel, up on a hill overlooking the harbour and the town.
The St. Christopher's is a fine place with an awesome restaurant.

We're about to drive off the ferry. The folks who work there have the
loading and unloading down to a science. Everything goes smooth as silk.
Except for my stomach.

Saying good-bye to our ferry and hello to Newfoundland!

The view from our hotel parking lot. Doesn't this house look so inviting?
Tomorrow the weather forecast here is for sunshine and warm weather.
Looking forward to driving across the province tomorrow and arriving in
St. John's tomorrow night.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fredericton to North Sydney

Dave lookin' sexy at the Best Western in Fredericton.
We were on the road at 8 a.m. and it was raining cats and dogs.
There was an election here last night - apparently the Liberals
got tossed. Who knew?

We actually got lost looking for the Magnetic Hill, driving right by
this super-subtle unobvious sign. In my defence, the last time I was here
(about 16 years ago), the Magnetic Hill was just a simple dirt road out in the
New Brunswick countryside. Now it's a goldurned theme park
complete with zoo and restaurants and all kinds of crap.
A zoo? Really?

How it works. And it works! Really! It works!

At the bottom of the Magnetic Hill. It's a hill, right? Well, the good old
Jeep went right up that hill backwards, in neutral! Incredible!
They say it's an optical illusion but that looks like a hill to me.
What do you think?

Yup. Another province. We were suh-moking fast.

At the Welcome to Nova Scotia tourist information place on the Bay of
Fundy flatlands. I only put this picture in because my hair looks good.
Good hair is important.

Dave doing the pomp-pomp count. We only had 20 left at the tourist
welcome place in Nova Scotia. By the end of the day, though, we had lost
all the pomps on the roof racks. The last one I saw leave was on Cape
Breton Island.

Pugwash: where the Raneys take their dog Tyson to get bathed.

I drove, too! Even though I looked like a crazed chipmunk!

Ooooh, cool diner alert! This one was a Petro-Canada gas station just off the
main highway near Glenhomme. The place was full of men and older
couples. The men were truckers and workers. The seniors know great
food and great value when they see it. This place was GREAT!

My club sandwich was about the best club I've ever had. Honest.

Usually Dave's sandwich is known as a western but not in Nova Scotia.
Here they called it an eastern. Whatever they call it, it was delish.
And look at the size of it! Also in Glenhomme.

My name is Webster. I'm a mother.
I don't know how to open my eyes but I'm a mother.

"Stool Bus." hahahahaha! Near the Canso Causeway, Mulgrave Nova Scotia,

Cool cliffs, Mulgrave, Nova Scotia.

Crossed the Canso Causeway. Welcome to Cape Breton!

The first thing we saw in Cape Breton was a dead moose head tied to
a fourwheeler on a trailer. Welcome to Cape Breton!

Dinner at Pizza Delight in North Sydney, Cape Breton. Should be called
Pizza-Not-A-Delight. Suckage,  people, suckage. Look close in the
mirror to see Dave leaving the joint.

North Sydney sunset.

Annfield Manor, the B&B we are staying in tonight before hopping
the ferry to Newfoundland tomorrow. Can hardly wait!
This place, by the way, is just amazing. Stunning Victorian
atmosphere. Incredible antiques. Beautiful rooms.

Annfield Manor: bath mat.

Annfield Manor: our clawfoot tub.

Annfield Manor: our four poster bed; my laptop.

Annfield Manor: the knocker on the front door.

Annfield Manor: our dresser.

Annfield Manor fountain.

Annfield Manor: the garage is full of antique sleighs.

Annfield Manor: the gardens are beautiful.

People get married in the gardens at Annfield Manor, often
at the gazebo.

Annfield Manor: the official greeter. Works for food.
I hear the breakfasts here are great - let you know tomorrow.
(Hope it's not hay.)

Quebec in a Day

Is the bloom off the rose already?
I noticed this morning that we didn't take one, count 'em, photo of each other yesterday. Lots of pictures of scenery taken out the windows of the Jeep. Lots of blurry photos of scenery.
Then I realized why – we didn't stop yesterday. Just for pee breaks, mainly. Oh, and a whole 15 minutes at a Subway halfway through Quebec. We spent 12 long hours on the road yesterday, from Cornwall, Ontario, all the way to Fredericton, New Brunswick. 
Talk about road ass, we had it.
We rented a room at the Best Western because it had an indoor pool and a saltwater hot tub but we were so darned tired by that time that we just went to bed. And immediately fell asleep. (Couple of romantic honeymooners we are, eh?)
Yesterday did have its moments, though.
First off, the entire province of Quebec stunk. I mean, stunk as in nostril offensiveness. All along the St. Lawrence valley all we could smell was manure. Yes, we knew Quebec is famous for its cheese but are that many cows really necessary? And do they all have to shit so much? Isn't there a plug, people? Maybe some bovine-strength Imodium?
Speaking of stink, the best thing about traveling through Quebec are the roadside rest areas. These things are amazing – clean washrooms, coffee kiosks, picnic tables in shady nooks – all this every few kilometres. Ontario has nothing like this. In Ontario, if you have to pee, you have to pull over to a bush and hope the cops aren't looking.
Montreal was insane, just as insane as we thought it would be. But we made it through unscathed. There was one Bonnie & Clyde moment where I was screaming, "GO NOW! NOW!" And Dave was wheeling the Jeep across three lanes of roiling Montreal traffic, everyone screeching, "Sacre bleu! Go back to Ontario, you crazy English!"
But it was in Fredericton that we had our first fight as a married couple. We were looking for The Diplomat, a Chinese buffet restaurant that apparently is an institution in this city. It was late. It was dark. We were hungry and exhausted and we got lost. One thing led to another and I was telling my beloved new husband to shut up. I'm cringing just thinking about it. We kissed and made up and everything but I do feel bad. Poor, lovely, perfect Dave. Bad me. 
Oh! The funniest thing happened yesterday. We pulled into a Tim Horton's somewhere near Grand Falls and we went in for a cuppa joe and we looked at the time and it was 5 o'clock. 
"Five already?" I said to Dave. "I didn't think it was that late."
"Either did I," said Dave.
Turns out we had crossed over a time zone and didn't even realize it. There was no sign saying, "Turn your clocks ahead, dummy!" 
Suggestion: we need signs that say, "Turn your clocks ahead, dummy!"
Tonight we hope to get to North Sydney on Cape Breton Island. Tomorrow is the ferry to Newfoundland. 
So excited!
This was a wicked bridge going over the St. Lawrence in Montreal.

Same bridge, different angle.

The fall colours are better in Eastern Quebec, especially
with the Laurentian mountains in the background.

The washrooms in Quebec. Visited quite a few.

This was a big hill in New Brunswick.
Look how little the traffic looks in comparison.

You know what's weird? A city bus coming towards you
on YOUR side of the road during rush hour traffic
in Montreal. They actually close down certain lanes for
buses only during the busiest times of the day. Smart!