Monday, June 17, 2019

The Best and Worst Things I Encountered on My Trip to the East Coast


1. Bay of Fundy, NB

You are on the ocean floor so wear appropriate shoes or boots. High heels are frowned upon. If it is a drizzly day just bring an umbrella. It is so worth it. When we were there it was drizzly and we didn't care. Have trouble walking? When you are buying your ticket at the front gate pay the bit extra to get a ride to the stairs. The experience is awesome. I wished I'd brought a lawn chair and just sat on the ocean floor until the tide started to come back in.

2. Fort Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

AMAZING!! Pristine condition. Interesting to see the continued restoration and recreation of this historic site.

3. Very friendly people

They just are! If Canadians are friendly and polite, they learned it from the citizens of the east coast. Amazing, friendly, helpful, and charming people.
Hal with Billy Bennett

I'm letterboxing with Marilyn (Mitsy) Bennett.
We've known each other forever but meeting in real life for the very first time.

With our nephew Marc (who is in the Navy) and his beautiful bride, Andrea (a true East Coast girl).
They showed us their Halifax, fed us royally, and were wonderful hosts.

4. Port Royal, NS

Work continues on restoring and recreating this national historic site and watching the construction is just as interesting as the fort itself. It was nice being greeted by people in period costumes.

5. Trot in Time Horse and Buggy Ride, Lunenburg, NS

Cash only. Tours start and end the Trot In Time stand just outside the Fisherman’s Museum of the Atlantic on the Lunenburg waterfront. A lovely 45 minute tour of Lunenburg. The drivers are very knowledgeable about the area, charming and rather funny.

6. Waterfront Warehouse Restaurant, Halifax, NS

The BEST restaurant we ate at during the whole trip. I wasn't brave enough to try the oyster bar (maybe next time) but did try the solomon gundy (pickled herring appetizer) which was delicious.

7. Dominion Hill Country Inn, Digdeguash, NB 

A beautiful inn with many amenities and run by a lovely couple from Ontario. It is really in the country! Quiet, peaceful, and I wouldn't have minded staying for a few more days. They serve a substantial continental breakfast in the morning. Our room was beautiful and very comfortable. We asked about making tea or coffee in our room and our host ran off and returned with a tea kettle and all the fixings for a nice cuppa tea.

8. Resurgo Place, Moncton NB

What a great museum! Something for everyone of every age, plenty of hands on experiences, and an excellent gift shop.

9. Richmond Highland Farm, Ireton (Port Maitland), NS

This is definitely in the country with cows (beautiful shaggy Highland cows) and a dog. If you get there on the right days you might be able to book a homemade dinner but that only happens 2 days a week. We were there on sausage making day and the farm kitchen really smelled delicious. The hosts are a very charming European couple. Our room was really an apartment with full kitchen and a huge bathroom. Bring supplies to cook yourself breakfast before you head back out on the road. There was even canned goods in the cupboards. Very very quiet and your hosts go to bed early.

10. Peggy's Cove, NS

So much to do in this tiny town. Hal and I enjoyed the landscape, lighthouse, gift shop, and a delicious dinner at the restaurant, Sou'wester. 

11. Freeland Restaurant (aka The Port Grocer), Port Medway, NS

This eclectic gem is the local restaurant, grocery store, post office, gift shop, library, bakery, meeting space . . . and the food is delicious. Try the seafood chowder with an oatmeal beer. So delicious!
Hal and the Sea Hag

12. Moth Lane Brewery, Ellerslie, PE

It didn't take long with so many delicious types of beer to try at $2 per sample to get a little tipsy. Good thing they had chips . . . LOL . . . or bring a sandwich to soak up some of the beer. Cash only.

13. Magnetic Hill, Moncton NB

Oh my goodness! This was so much fun. We went up the hill twice.

14. Going and Leaving PEI

Here's the trick for coming and going on PEI . . . The ferry is more expensive than the Confederation Bridge but if you take the ferry onto the island and the bridge off of the island you only pay the bridge price. If you prebook the ferry you have to pay for a 2-way ferry trip even if you are planning to take the bridge out. Save your money . . . on with the ferry and off with the bridge.


1. Fortress Inn, Louisbourgh, NS

Advertised with continental breakfast and restaurant but neither were open. We ended up with prepackaged sandwiches from the general store for supper. In the morning we had to drive back to Sydney for breakfast . . . so if you are going to Fort Louisbourgh (which you really should) book your hotel in Sydney or at one of the bed and breakfasts in Louisbourgh rather than the Fortress Inn.

2. The Cabot Trail, NS

A historic site and a challenge whether you hike, cycle or drive this trail, it is beautiful but quickly becomes monotonous. We drove these mountains for 2 days and it didn't take long until we were very bored with seeing another rock, another tree, another rock, another tree . . . Do it for the challenge so you can say you did the trail if that is important to you. We were happy to get off the trail by the end of day 2.

3. Maine

Northern Maine is boring, beautiful but boring with another rock, another tree, another rock, another tree . . . 

4. Midtrail Motel and Restaurant, Pleasant Bay, NS

This was our stopover after the first day of driving the Cabot Trail. We really enjoyed our supper in the restaurant. The menu is pretty standard but well cooked and the decor is very back woodsy. And then we dragged our tired selves to our cabin, unloaded the car, and started getting ready for bed when I noticed one of the two office-style chairs in our room was broken. Hal crawled into bed to watch TV while I was writing my blog and realized the frame of the bed was REALLY bent. This was damage that housekeeping would have seen and just decided to hide so they could keep renting the room. The furnishings were very spartan. The view from the patio door was nice . . . rocks and trees. (LOL!) Oh yeah, and the restaurant wasn't open for breakfast in the morning.

5. Museum Lunenburg, Lunenburg NS

It really wasn't bad. There were lots of cool fish in big tanks on the main floor. But it also wasn't really great.

6. Pot Holes

I blame the season but some of those pot holes could have swallowed my Sonic. Stick to the main roads as much as possible.

7. Roundabouts (or as my niece-in-law says, "rotaries")

We ran into a lot of new roundabouts which didn't show on our gps. No, not a cheap gps. We were using Hal's gps from his transport truck. I love roundabouts personally but be prepared if they aren't showing up on your gps and drive accordingly.

8. Small bathrooms
Almost every hotel and motel we stayed in had tiny bathrooms where you had to step out in order to change your mind. Tiny! The exception was Richmond Highland Farms . . . the bathroom there was huge.

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