As you may recall from last week’s adventures, we took a break from DC’s
heat and humidity surprisingly chilly spring to hang with moose and spend some loonies in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. It. Was. Incredible.
Yes, I am saying this about Canada. Despite what the travel magazines and Facebook humblebrags will tell you, one doesn’t need to travel to an exotic and expensive destination to have a fun, adventurous, and scenic vacation. Some highlights:
- Biking and Beaches on Prince Edward Island. We took the ferry over from Caribou (yes, really), Nova Scotia, and enjoyed the hour
whaleseal watching and taking advantage of the strongest wifi we’d encountered all trip. PEI is utterly delightful. It’s not too far to get anywhere, all the roads and trails are well-marked, every inch is scenic, and its local cheeses and ice creams win awards. We rode along the Confederation Trail (formerly the very extensive rail network), squeaked the sands at Basin Head Provincial Park (not a euphemism!), and sampled the local suds at the Gahan House. Since tourist season hadn’t kicked in yet, we often had the beaches and trails to ourselves, though apparently that’s not the case during the summer; plan accordingly.
- Birds in New Brunswick. Apparently, NB is known as the “drive through province” and when we mentioned it to Nova Scotians, they always apologized for it. But the small part that we visited was actually pretty awesome. Sackville, NB, hosts a nifty bird refuge, great restaurants, and one of the top-ranked universities in Canada. If you’re there in the fall, there’s even a pumpkin regatta!
- Rocks and Rafting in Nova Scotia. We spent a night in Parrsboro, NS, one of many towns that used to be important but is now just quiet and quaint with incredible Victorian-era houses that are now B&Bs. The town is on the Bay of Fundy, which is known for having extremely high and low tides. Slow clap. But what this means is that if you care about geology, paleontology, etc. then it’s got lots of cool stuff for you. (And the “you” in this case was Elliott, but since all the rocks we collected went into his suitcase, I couldn’t complain.) I did enjoy rafting the tidal bore, however. Note: “bore” has nothing to do with “boring” in this case. In a nutshell, you head upriver in a motorized raft, hang out on an enormous sandbar for five minutes, hop back in the raft, watch the sandbar disappear over the rapidly approaching tide, then raft the rapids that emerge, build, build, and disappear under the changing water levels.
All in all, an excellent trip. Plus, I had plenty of time in the passenger seat to study the Canada travel guide and start scheming for future vacations. Stay tuned…