Friday, July 26, 2013

Geeking out

Day 8: Fredericton, NB, to Newmarket, NH
Mileage total: 1,572
Final route:

While the drive from Halifax to Fredericton was long and sometimes stressful, when I woke to sunshine coming into the hotel room, I was very happy. I done good. Now I had a whole day to relax.

And what better way to relax than at a living history museum! Wheee!

I'm guessing I lost half of you just now. I totally understand.

King's Landing Historical Settlement is huge! They recommend four hours to see it all. I spent about five. But I'm also the jerk standing next to you snapping a million pictures in a place like this. That can slow a girl down. But I like that they have recreated a small village of British loyalists, black loyalists from the States, and Irish laborers. You get to see how each socioeconomic layer lived (white paint meant you were doing well; renting meant no voting rights [along with breasts and skin tone]). I tasted a fig cookie fresh out of a wood stove (why yes, it was warm in that kitchen) and got to scratch a giant pig behind the ear. I was in my history-geek heaven.

Gladys, roll the tape...

This is just a portion of the settlement. Horse-drawn carriages come around like taxis
to get you from place to place if need be.

For people who have been in a car with me when I see sheep and I squeal, "Sheepies!"
--I also do this when I'm alone.

Just out taking my ox for a walk...

It was surprisingly soft and gentle. I want one!

This is my second time in the Saint John River Valley. It is absolutely beautiful.

This woman was taking pictures of horse poop. No lie.

Seriously--beach roses line the walkway to the door. Sigh...

Yes, just remove the insect from your plate and slip it on the underside.

Rug hooking in progress.

Visiting the smithy.
Yummy crisp apple salad.

Just a dude playing the dulcimer for your enjoyment.

Chillin', 19th century style.


Practice potty!

Her piglets were in a barn behind me.
Sweet horse done working for the day.

Inside the black loyalist house, which was one room rented out to a family of four.
The grounds are so beautiful that two movies have been filmed here, and staff have worked as extras. Copperhead is just out now. It appears to have gotten mixed reviews, but I'll be checking it out soon.

Heading home is always full of mixed feelings. I look forward to the comfort of home, but I am still basking in my adventures. As I pulled off at a rest stop to nibble one of the cookies my boss baked for me with her daughter (shout out to the Cartons!), I enjoyed the sun and thought about how lucky I am. I have a lot of love around me and a lot of people who challenge me to be the best version of myself. The people I have spent time with this past week have all been incredibly kind and thoughtful and open. Some folks have expressed sympathy that I cut my trip a little short, but I'm completely happy. It's been an awesome week.
 And man am I lucky--my cats don't punish me when I go away. They're just happy that I'm home.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Working with lemons

Day 7: Lunenburg, NS, to Federicton, NB
Mileage: 1,726 (do they call it "mileage" in places that use the metric system?)

This morning, in conversation, I mentioned the blog to the kind woman who owns the inn. She was curious, and I told her it was not for the easily offended because I swear a lot. "You swear?" she asked. Yes, I look that angelic. And then I drove away, cringing and thinking that I probably do offend a lot of people. But then I straightened out, said fuck it, and turned the music up.

The weather was a little dreary, so rather than hang out for more foggy pics, I headed for Mahone Bay. If you google images for Mahone Bay, you'll get a barrage of pics featuring three churches. That's kinda it. So I'll leave you to it. I did make one stop, however, at the Amos Pewter shop.
Nicest parking lot I've been in in a while.

Amos Pewter

Yup, you get to watch.

I actually preferred this house that sits between the churches to the churches themselves.
Next stop: Chester!

When I research a trip, I begin to follow people/businesses in those areas on social media. I get a better sense of the day-to-day stuff (this is especially clever if you're interested in whale watches; a lot of companies either post pics from each day or list out what they've seen and it varies greatly). And a little over a year ago, I started following a shop in Chester, The Village Emporium. And then I caught hell for not stopping by during my Cape Breton trip. I was not going to make that mistake twice. Plus, it can be very rewarding to meet someone you only know virtually. Now Angela and I are in-person pals. We had a nice, breezy chat for a while.

Chester is a nice, seemingly well-off little town. Angela says a lot of New Englanders created summer homes up here that have since been handed down through the generations. Also there's a TV show (Haven) filmed here. I need to check that out. Anyway, it definitely looks like home. Sort of like Rockport without all the people.

The food was seriously good, and the people did seem happy. Thai salad and
grilled banana bread with a drizzle of honey, what?!
Someone did not need dinner after that.

I didn't want to do Peggy's Cove, because it's a long ride to see a lighthouse. And I'm a New Englander, damn it. I can see a lighthouse anytime. But I was feeling guilty about leaving the area. So I was thrilled when Angela suggested taking a scenic drive around the Aspotogan Peninsula. The drive was shorter, uncluttered (um, "clutter" being people), and pretty. Every time I got out of the car, I could smell the ocean and beach roses. I could live like that.
A memorial site for SwissAir Flight 111, which went down about 8 km offshore.

8 km is just under 5 miles off this coast
where it's difficult to tell where the water ends and the sky begins.

Then, it was time for the big city: Halifax. It didn't go like I'd envisioned. While the rain held off earlier in the day, it picked up as soon as I got to the city. And I'm just not good at driving in cities (I know this is a teeny tiny city, but still). So I drove around in the rain and traffic and stopped in at the Citadel for a while.
The weather started to go downhill.

That's right--shoot that big bank. Pew! Pew!

It's not a good pic, but I like it.
Everything I wanted to see was outdoors: the old burial ground, the public garden, the pubic cemetery, etc., but... meh... So I made a bold decision. I headed west. But I'll be back, Halifax. See you later, alligator.

And what started out as "let's see how long it takes to get to Truro..." became "let's see how long it takes to get to Amherst..." and "let's see how long it takes to get to Moncton," which quickly became "holy shit, no rooms are available in ANY hotels in Moncton, so I wonder how long it takes to get to Fredericton." (Georgie, I can hear you from here--it was after 9 pm on a Wednesday; I don't plan things out.) And Fredericton at 10:45 pm is where I landed. But along the way...

Head toward the light!

Hello...blueberry. So we meet again.

This doesn't quite capture it; it was spectacular.
But I was driving and not looking at the camera. I swear.
Just hoping the rain holds out for my updated plan. There should be sheep involved...and maybe costumes...