Eating On The Road

Dinner at our campsite in Shediac, New Brunswick

No, I’m not talking about dining on road kill, although Betty & I have seen our fair share of squished skunks, run-over raccoons, slimed squirrels, and other unidentifiable flattened furry things between Winnipeg and the east coast. I’m referring to what and how we eat as we travel the continent on our overlandish odyssey (oh oh!). BTW, oh oh is what the furry friends all said just before they got lost between the headlights…

All things potato, at PEI’s Canadian Potato Museum

I’ve been somewhat ambivalent about addressing this topic in our blog. On the one hand it seems rather narcissistic to post one’s meals on Facebook, or any other public medium. But on the other hand there are now dozens of television shows highlighting food and how it can be cooked. It’s a somewhat different experience gathering supplies and preparing meals on the road, so we thought our family and other readers might be interested in what’s cookin’ on our travels.

Sharky’s Seafood, Summerside, PEI

First, I guess it’s not uncommon for travellers like us to eat out more often. We hear and read about great restaurants across the continent where “you gotta eat”, and we do like to try local fare prepared well by local chefs. As an aside, Betty & I have had few regrets in our adventures, but we did miss out on visiting a restaurant in Souris, Prince Edward Island, owned and operated by one of Canada’s celebrity chefs, Michael Smith. It was too early in the day when we passed through Souris, and we weren’t sure the chef would be in if we waited on a possible reservation. Well, we’ll just have to better plan for that on another trip!

Huge, fresh lobster roll & the best PEI fries ever, as take out at Sharky’s in Summerside!

Each province so far has had notable restaurants, but three PEI locations stand out for great seafood: Clam Diggers in Cardigan had great muscles and seafood chowder; Sharky’s Seafood in Summerside had fabulous lobster rolls & fries, and was worth the return trip for a mixed seafood platter that was more than enough for Betty & me to share; and of course

New Glasgow’s Lobster Supper.

the New Glasgow Lobster Supper, served up with enough fresh bread, salads and dessert to keep you going for a week. Honourable mention must also go to the Canadian Potato Museum for their french fries & stuffed potato skins. (I would expect our daughter, Lisa, to put this as number one on the list. LOL)

Unlike dinners prepared in our bricks ‘n sticks kitchen – especially after a full reno adding a 4’ x 8’ granite island – storage, prep and serving space in our motorhome is decidedly

Direct from the farm, on the side of the road in PEI

less. OK, it also needs to be noted in this blog post that I’m talking mainly in the third person, as I am not usually the first person to prepare and serve our delicious meals. LOL. While limited storage is a negative, it also forces/allows us to stop more often for local fresh produce at roadside stands, fish markets, bakeries, butcher shops, and buy whatever else is in season, or a local specialty.

Fresh catch at Dartmouth’s Sobeys. (Antigonish Sobeys display was even nicer!)

With much of this trip in the maritime provinces, a lot of our current menu is fresh seafood based. Usually locals tell us about the best outlets to pick up today’s catch, but yesterday’s lunch came from a different source: Sobeys. We had stopped in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to pick up some basics, and got into a conversation with a staff member about our travels, and their large fresh catch section. When we mentioned our inability to cook lobster in our motorhome, he offered to pick out a couple of live lobsters from their tank and steam them for us while we waited. Betty & I had purchased the

Sobey’s staff steams our spectacular lunch

necessary hardware for shell cracking and meat removal in PEI, so we ended up having a great lunch, right in the Sobeys parking lot!

As mentioned in a previous post, our solar system has allowed us to use all of our electrical outlets as we travel, and some of our best

Dinner on the road.

meals have been clam and seafood chowders, slow-cooked while driving down the road, and ready to eat when we stopped for the day. Yum!

While seafood has been our main focus, we have also enjoyed the lamb sausage from Lismore Sheep Farm on the Northumberland Strait

A “before” pic of our Lismore Sheep Farm lamb sausage. Betty says: “That’s just baa, baa, baaaad!”

in Nova Scotia. Of course from time to time I have to bbq a rib eye & prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, but lately we’ve been topping the steak with crab or lobster, for a surf ‘n turf presentation – because we can… This forces us to open both red & white wines to pair with the meal, but we’re never driving after that meal. LOL

Anyway, a lot more could be said

Picking potatoes at a roadside stand on PEI

about good food, and the many delicious dishes we’ve sampled on our adventures. While we were on Manitoulin Island we saw many signs warning of deer crossings, and were informed that some didn’t make it across. Apparently it is not uncommon for locals to quickly harvest the road kill for a number of hearty meals. Betty & I have not ventured that far on our travels to date, but who knows what we’ll end up eating on the road.

Cheers!

One great lobster.
Two great lunch lobsters freshly cooked by Sobeys.
Betty flexing her muscles. Delicious little treats!

Nova Scotia Provincial Parks

The eastern Nova Scotia coastline is getting more rugged, with greater wave action along the way.

When Betty & I left Whycocomagh Provincial Park, near Baddeck, Nova Scotia, we weren’t sure how far we would make it on our next day’s drive. Each of our maps is set to a significantly different scale, so some apparently lengthy journeys take no time at all, while other drives – particularly along the scenic routes – take far longer as the road dips and dives, twists and turns, and bumps at slow speeds through many tiny hamlets on our path.

Hadleyville: Home of the Hadleys, Carters, and McKays. All worth knowing!

Our wonderful next-door neighbours in Calgary – the Hadleys – originally came from Hadleyville, Nova Scotia, along the eastern shore, not far from Cape Breton Island, so we thought it only appropriate to take the scenic Marine Drive through the community that brought them together so many years ago. Unfortunately, the road was in very poor condition with no pull-off large enough to handle our motorhome and tow vehicle while we stirred it up with the local Hadleys, Carters, and McKays. We can hear our old neighbours breathing a sigh of relief that we didn’t stop to participate in the tradition of buttering the noses of anyone having a birthday that day! LOL.

The redeeming feature on this lonely, bumpy (one of our automatic leveler

Our site, surrounded by water on 3 sides, at Salsman Provincial Park. Staff brought a load of firewood right to our site, as Betty had Charlie in the Smart when she registered.

controllers got knocked loose along the way!), twisty road is that it leads to some very beautiful underused provincial parks. Our first night after Cape Breton was spent at site 18 in Salsman Provincial Park, Goldboro, Nova Scotia. As with many of the province’s provincial parks, there were no serviced sites available. But because of our solar system

Betty enjoys the view from our campsite.

and large storage tanks, we were able to fully enjoy a private site on a small peninsula, providing dramatic water views on three sides.  It was a quiet spot to listen for the loons while we watched the shooting stars in an area not subject to light pollution.

Betty & I are now in site 11 at

Site 11 at Porter’s Lake Provincial Park, surrounded by berry bushes and wild roses.

Porter’s Lake Provincial Park near Halifax. The few serviced sites in the park are full, but many of the unserviced sites are empty, with a large selection from which to choose. Attached are some pics of this nice site.

Our campfire area, with lake beyond, at Porter’s Lake Provincial Park

We hope to spend at least another week in Nova Scotia, and have noted two Harvest Host sites, and two Boondockers Welcome sites, but we expect that much of our time will be spent in Nova Scotia’s apparently underutilized, beautiful, but somewhat remote provincial parks. We’ll keep you posted…

Cheers!

Ecum Secum, one of the many “blink & you miss it” hamlets along Marine Drive. This one is regularly mentioned on the local weather forecast. LOL
An old fishing boat (#5687) that has seen better days…
Another view of our site 18 at Salsman Provincial Park, looking away from the picnic table & bench
Betty adds Nova Scotia to our map.

Remembering Donald & David

As Betty & I drive from our campsite at Whycocomagh Provincial Park to Baddeck, Nova Scotia, I can’t help but think back to an interesting encounter in the early 1990’s.  David Milgaard had recently been released from Manitoba’s Stony Mountain Penitentiary, after serving 23 years in federal prison for a murder that he did not commit. The John Howard Society of Canada was holding its Annual Meeting in Baddeck, and I arranged for David to be flown in as guest speaker.

Donald Marshall Jr. had similarly been wrongfully convicted of murder, with a high profile 1990 royal commission producing 82 recommendations for fundamental changes to the justice process. It turned out that Donald, who was originally from the Membertou Reserve in Sydney, Nova Scotia, was living just down the road from Baddeck.  David and Donald had never met, but each was familiar with the other’s case due to national – and some international – attention.

Donald (known as Junior to his family and friends) graciously agreed to pick up David and me at our hotel in Baddeck, and drive us back to his home on St. Patrick’s Channel. That night Donald’s family gathered at his home to recognize his brother’s birthday, and we were invited to stay for a traditional Mi’kmaq celebration. David and I ended up spending the night, with Donald and David sharing many heavy conversations about their injustice experiences.  It was a most unique encounter, and I have always been glad to have played a role in their meeting, and to have shared the many learnings from their life stories.

It has now been a quarter century since that get-together, but my thoughts go back to that time as we journey the TransCanada Highway from Whycocomagh to Baddeck. With the help of the Association In Defense of the Wrongly Convicted, Donald and David played a significant role in addressing the plight of those in prison for crimes they did not commit. Donald passed away in 2009, and David continues to encourage others from his home in Calgary, Alberta. A big “miigwetch” to them both!

Discovering Cape Breton Island

They say John Cabot discovered Cape Breton Island in June 1497, but I am here to record that Betty, Graham, Charlie & Gavin discovered the island in August 2018. This is a brief pictorial rendering of what we found yesterday.

First, we established a new base of operations at Whycocomagh Provincial Park. The park is strategically located, enabling us to conquer the whole island with few retreats, just forward movements.
We sent Gavin to act as lookout on the top of this adjacent peak. Unfortunately he left the camera behind, so we don’t have pictures to prove it…
We were warned by local inhabitants that we would need to increase our strength in order to conquer the island. Here is Betty working on her muscles. LOL
We encountered this ship just off the coast of Baddeck. I’m pretty sure one of those is a flag of surrender. (Likely one of the big white ones. LOL)
As with many of our major offensives, Betty said “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!”
Apparently word got out of our imminent arrival. Here are 2 ferry loads of inhabitants trying to make their escape to Newfoundland & Labrador from the Sydney harbour.
They say an army marches on its stomach. Here local fishermen prepare the many lobster traps required to sustain our forward movement.
One of the many lighthouses, marking our way down the island’s Atlantic coast.
The formidable Gavin is obviously undeterred by the treacherous coastline.
Graham captures an image of Betty capturing a high point of land near the Fortress of Louisbourg.
Finally, the target of our offensive: The Fortress of Louisbourg, built by the French between 1720 & 1740. It was originally captured by British colonists in 1745, and would have succumbed to a similar defeat in 2018. However, I don’t think dogs are allowed. Sorry Charlie!
For $7. our little troop was able to commandeer this ship for a sail across St. Patrick’s Channel to the Reddoch Retreat.
What do you mean “Reddoch Retreat”? This band of desperados doesn’t know the meaning of surrender! LOL

Ok, that was yesterday. Most of our future troop movements are a secret (even to us), but we’ll keep you posted if you have the necessary security clearance to receive our updates.

Cheers!

The Majestic Cabot Trail

The narrow trail snakes around the rugged coastline, at Cape Breton Highlands National Park..

As Betty & I continue our overlandish odyssey, we are struck by how beautiful and diverse Canada is! There are so many grand iconic symbols in our country, from west to east, north to south. Each has a story to tell that contributes to the amazing, elaborate fabric of our nation.  This week we visited one of the east coast’s iconic regions: The Cabot Trail at the tip of Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island.  Words and pictures alone do not do justice to what we saw and experienced. At some point I hope that all of our family and friends can make the journey to this breathtaking region. In the meantime, here are some pics taken along the way – many from a moving Smart car, as the narrow trail would have needed a continuous roadside pull-off to capture all the beautiful vistas.

A peaceful Boondockers site in Wallace, Nova Scotia

Our first stop after leaving PEI was at a Boondockers Welcome home on the south shore of the Northumberland Strait, in another new province: Nova Scotia. Our host was away at the time, but was gracious enough to allow us to stay in her driveway and sit at her patio by the water, while she was gone.

We expected to find a serviced

Our unserviced site at Whycocomagh Provincial Park.

campsite on arrival at Baddeck, a centrally located town on Cape Breton Island. But when Betty & I stopped at the Welcome Centre on the way into Nova Scotia, the staff member warned us that we might not find accommodation without a reservation. She called the Baddeck area campgrounds for us, and sure enough, they were full. In the end, she found unserviced spots for us in Whycocomagh Provincial Park, near the start of the Cabot Trail. We spent 2 nights in the first, and are now in the second scenic spot for 3 nights.

A scenic viewpoint on the Cabot Trail.

From our campground we set out on a counterclockwise loop around the Trail, placing all of our scenic lookouts on the right-hand side. Fortunately, we heeded the warning to take our Smart, and leave the Boy at our campsite. BTW, this move saved us about $175. in gas costs. While we saw a few motorhomes on the trail, most appeared to be laboring on the steep, twisty inclines. We saw

Our slalom course.

one struggling diesel pusher, with its tow vehicle disconnected and following behind with hazard lights activated. Very few pull-offs could accommodate a larger motorhome, and the narrow roadways, with little or no paved margins, would have contributed to a not-so-pleasant white-knuckle drive.

Cape Breton’s rugged coastline.

In the seven hours we took to make the loop, Betty & I took about 300 pictures. The approx. 18 pictures in this post only provide a brief taste of this spectacular landscape. We hope all can take the time to visit this iconic corner of our beautiful tapestry.  Enjoy the Trail!

Cheers!

Where does this road go? LOL
Taking a break at Ingonish Beach.
Charlie meets a friend – a bigger, younger version of himself!
Betty & Charlie at Cabot Landing Provincial Park in Sugarloaf, N.S., where John Cabot landed in 1497.
John Cabot found North America in 1497. The original peoples said: “We didn’t know it was lost!” LOL
Charlie says: “Help, mom. That rascally, salty wave got me!”
The Cabot Landing beach was a fine place for Charlie to cool off as the heatwave continues.
A hazy look up the coastline on the Cabot Trail. Is that the B.C. forest fire smoke in the air?
Simply breathtaking!
Another disappearing road.
Follow that car…
Looking down on the Atlantic Ocean.
A little closer to sea level along the rugged Atlantic coast. Reminds me of a “Group of Seven” painting!
By the look of those striations, I think someone tilted that rock! LOL

Quintessential PEI Too

Dramatic red cliffs border much of PEI

Betty convinced me to start a new post of PEI pics, rather than add to our previous post, as not everyone would scroll to the bottom to see the additions.

From Panmure Island Provincial Park we travelled the coastal road to the eastern tip of the province, appropriately called East Point. Unfortunately, much of this scenic road is in fairly poor condition, and is not actually following the coastline.

Taking the plunge at Basin Head

The heatwave has continued, so young people gathered on many bridges we crossed, jumping into the cooling waters below. The most popular spot for this was Basin Head Provincial Park, where the wharfs border a deep channel, providing a safe (lifeguarded) location for young and older to plunge into the salty waters below a footbridge.

Three at a time…
Here they go!
Should have posted a video…
A popular way to cool off as the heat wave continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our campsite at Linkletter includes about 120′ of waterfront, and is about 120′ deep.

From East Point we travelled cross-country to Linkletter Provincial Park, just west of Summerside, PEI’s second largest city. At our huge campsite Betty & I can see the Confederation Bridge in the distance, and watch the tides ebb and flo.

Today we took a day trip to the North Cape, the most northwesterly point of PEI. On our way we stopped at The Canadian Potato Museum for some great fries and loaded potato skins, and took a tour through the Stompin’ Tom Centre in Skinners Pond.

Our tranquil setting at Linkletter Provincial Park, with the Confederation Bridge in the distance.
Making a pilgrimage to the Canadian Potato Museum (LOL)
So many potato choices on PEI!
Remembering Canadian Country Music Legend Stompin’ Tom Connors
The actual one-room schoolhouse in Skinners Pond where Stompin’ Tom went to school.
The lighthouse at North Cape, PEI’s most northwesterly point
Visiting the East Point Lighthouse
Green topped red cliff & beach at Basin Head
The popular Singing Sands beach at Basin Head, PEI
Aiming for a sore back…
Îles de la Madeleine ferry passes Basin Head, PEI
Loading the lobster traps in Summerside
Betty & Charlie take a stroll at North Cape, PEI
Looking toward our Linkletter campsite at low tide
The specks in the distance are Betty & Charlie walking in the Northumberland Strait at low tide. They went further out, but the pic doesn’t even show them as specks…
The tide at our LInkletter campsite is either part way in or part way out…
Almost high tide, as the sun begins to set at Linkletter Provincial Park
Our unserviced campsite (#68) runs from the post to the water. Our solar system has contributed to a very comfortable stay.
Chocolate-covered potato chips from Cows. Betty says “What could be better!” LOL

In the end Betty & I spent almost two weeks on Prince Edward Island, which was longer than we originally intended. It is a very rural, tranquil island, where the favourite saying, at least from young people, was “no worries!”. PEI is a great place to relax and unwind, whether for a few days, a few weeks, or longer. We certainly enjoyed this restful stay, and look forward to future visits.

Cheers!

Quintessential PEI

This pictorial post is intended to capture some – but not all – of the essential elements of Prince Edward Island. I am hoping to add to it before we leave.

Potatoes growing in the red earth. This scene alone would excite our daughter, Lisa, who is a potato aficionado. LOL
The stories of Anne of Green Gables have captured the imaginations of children (and adults) around the world. When we visited, there were 6 (Prevost) tour busses of visitors in the parking lot. (The Prevost H3-45s captured my imagination. LOL)
Fictional Anne’s fictional bedroom, realistically recreated… LOL
The birthplace of Lucy Maude Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series.
Little red dirt roads that lead to the edges of red cliffs. We unintentionally found ourselves on this cliff edge due to navigational errors. ’nuff said…
At the bottom of many of those cliffs, and all along the coastline, are beautiful fine sand beaches. This one is at our current campground at Panmure Island.
In the harbours along PEI’s long coastline are ships of all shapes and sizes. Two of these, in the Summerside harbour, were named after our granddaughter. LOL
And the fishing boats bring in the lobsters that are served at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers. BTW, lobster traps are everywhere on the island, and can be purchased at the side of the road for $5. Think how much we could save by catching our own lobsters! Betty says “No!”
All around the island we have seen spectacular sunsets. This one from our campsite at Cabot Beach Provincial Park.
Here is that Cabot Beach campsite during the day. There are many great provincial parks around the small island.
Another PEI sunset on another day. Betty & I have dozens of pics of PEI sunsets, but we think you need to see them in person to capture the full effect, so we’ll restrain ourselves from posting too many more….
I should write a segue to this bridge post, or is a bridge a segue. LOL. The bridge is now an icon for the link to PEI
OK, speaking of posts. Here is a post from PEI. How’s that for a segue! LOL (practicing my photography skills…) I can hear our kids groaning about how corny that is. And yes, they grow lots of corn on PEI, but I’ll save your sensibilities by not posting any pictures….

 

Our current campsite at Panmure Island, representative of the many great island sites that are available with little or no advance booking.
Charlie says: “Do I turn right or left to get to that beach?” LOL

What Makes Charlottetown, PEI, A Great City?

Naïve and uniformed. Those are the qualities I attribute to myself as I think about preparing a post to describe Charlottetown, the capital city of the province of Prince Edward Island. Betty & I have only been here a matter of a few hours, so how is it possible for me to accurately and legitimately assess the pulse of this place?  Of course, it is not, so I should just fold up my laptop and not further clutter the www with my simplistic characterizations.

Or not… If you end up reading this post, you will know which way I went. LOL.

My first impression is that size matters, and Charlottetown appears to be right-sized. The streets and sidewalks are busy with people, but not to the point where you can’t find a parking spot, or have to wait in long lines for any activity (except maybe ordering Cows ice cream. LOL). At the extremes, there are cities whose cores have died – you could shoot a cannon down the deserted streets and not hit anyone. Then there are cities that have become so bloated that every artery is a traffic jam, and every transaction requires a monotonous wait for others. Charlottetown is in a very pleasant space between those two extremes.

An honour system potato purchase on PEI: Take what you want and put your money in the box.

Personal safety is not simply a factor of size, but many of the desolate city cores seem to have been abandoned to dispossessed street gangs. And many of the oversized cities appear overrun with impatient people who become easily irritated by their neighbours.  It’s ironic that anonymity is more prevalent in larger urban areas. At both extremes, we seem to see a much greater police presence. I had to chuckle to myself that, while I did pass 2 RCMP detachments in the few hours of visiting the suburbs and the active core, I didn’t actually see one police car, or officer walking the beat. Some people might question their level of personal safety if there aren’t visible armed officers to protect them, but I think not on PEI.

Colourful sailboats ply the waters in the Charlottetown harbour.

In my last post I referred to the qualities of kindness and generosity as apparent locally inherent characteristics. That sense is sustained in this city, from easy lane merges on the highways to polite rotations at 4 way stops. At a local PEI liquor store, I asked the checkout clerk about local wineries. He and the clerk next to him gave me a quick rundown of where they are located, but he seemed

One of the many old character homes still standing and occupied in the downtown core

apologetic that he couldn’t tell me more. I almost felt he was about to say: “Come over to my place for supper tonight, and I’ll call my nephew, Bob. He has a good friend that works at one of the wineries, and he can tell you all about it.” That didn’t happen, but if I had lingered long enough, it wouldn’t have surprised me if it had! LOL.

In his important criminal justice work, entitled “The Lucifer Effect – Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, Stanford Professor Philip Zimbardo noted:

“Dehumanization is one of the central processes in the transformation of

ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even wanton perpetrators of

evil. Dehumanization is like a cortical cataract that clouds one’s thinking

and fosters the perception that other people are less than human. It

makes some people come to see those others as enemies deserving of

torment, torture, and annihilation.”

Another well kept older home in downtown Charlottetown.

Ok, maybe that’s a little too heavy for this blog. When I served on the Federal Justice Minister’s Advisory Committee on Crime Prevention and Community Safety, we noted that block parties are an effective tool for preventing crime by building healthy neighbourhood networks. Charlottetown appears to have those networks in spades!

During our stay in the neighbouring town of Cornwall, we have been graciously welcomed by our Boondockers Welcome hosts Kevin & Ellie. They live in an 1830’s era farmhouse in the centre of town, on a beautifully landscaped property that provides a great home-base for us. Last night Ellie took Betty to yoga at a scenic spot by the

Parked near the second largest Linden tree in PEI, in our hosts’ yard.

water in Argyle Shore Provincial Park, and it was free! Kevin shared some of his travel experiences with us, and we have a sense that there are many more stories to be told.

In a province with an overall population of around 145,000, it feels like people know and respect each other with a genuine sense of caring. Naïve and uniformed. That is a legitimate critique of this post. We are off to the Confederation Centre of the Arts tonight to see a local production of Jesus Christ Superstar, and are scheduled to leave Charlottetown tomorrow. It is too short a visit to make a more accurate assessment. So I guess we’ll just have to come back!!!

Cheers!

Another great sunset over beautiful PEI.

Adventures In Paradise

A Pastoral PEI Field of Dreams

The visual image that most often comes to mind when thinking about Prince Edward Island is that perfect pastoral setting, where there are beautiful shades of green everywhere – even on the gables – and everyone is kind. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but after spending a day here, it’s not too far off!

Driving down the New Brunswick coast

From Shediac we drove down the New Brunswick coast until the Confederation Bridge came into view. I think it was a pipe dream for many years to establish a fixed link between PEI and the rest of Canada, (sorry Newfoundland), but at some point someone had the vision and ability to make it happen. It is quite

Crossing the Northumberland Strait

the experience to drive the 12.9 km (8 miles) from one end of the bridge to the other, rising 60 meters above sea level to allow ocean-going vessels to pass.

Once on the island, it was not long before we reached our first

Our Boondockers Welcome spot in Bedeque, PEI

Boondockers Welcome spot. True to our expectations, it was a very pastoral setting, as reflected in the attached pics. For most of our stay, we couldn’t confirm that our hosts were kind, because they weren’t there! They texted us a picture of their property and welcomed us to stay, even though they were rv-ing in Ontario at the time. While we had an address, there was no number at the entrance to the property. We drove in, set up, and had an ongoing laugh that maybe we had set up on one of their neighbour’s farms, and they were just too polite to tell us to leave! Does that remind anyone of European Vacation? LOL.

As it turned out, Heath came by as we were preparing to leave, and yes, he was as kind and generous as our preconceived notion of a PEI resident. Yea Heath!

Huge, fresh lobster roll & the best PEI fries ever! Expect more on the spuds in a future post…

Betty & I spent our first day exploring much of the western end of the island. After stopping in Summerside for a huge fresh lobster roll with fries, we visited a series of buildings made of glass bottles (I should have known there was another use for all of those empty wine bottles!) before

99 bottles of beer in the wall…

carrying out a search for a brewery that was a possible Harvest Host site. Is there a theme starting here? LOL. As with the Boondockers Welcome site, there was no road sign leading to the brewery, so we explored a number of red dirt paths that barely accommodated the Smart, and would have been far too much for

The red road less travelled

the old Boy. It took Betty’s mind back to the many Sunday afternoon drives with her family, when her father was most happy to see grass between the two wheel tracks in the isolated lanes. So that’s where Bet’s adventurous spirit comes from!!

In the end, we booked into Cabot Beach Provincial Park on the north shore, and spent a very enjoyable day today relaxing on the beach. Our campsite is amazing, with ocean

The view from our porch

views out our windows, and a vast cliffed seascape by our patio. We’ll have another day here before heading to the Charlottetown area, passing Cavendish and Anne’s green place along the way. It may be too soon to declare that Prince Edward

The view out our bedroom window
Approaching the beach at Cabot Beach Provincial Park

Island is the perfect pastoral province, with only warm, welcoming residents, but we’re off to a great start in this adventure in paradise!

Cheers!

As the heatwave continues, a break at the Cabot Beach
A day in paradise at a beautiful PEI beach (facing east)
Facing west on the Cabot Beach beach
Positioning a Pretty, Practically Perfect Petite Province – PEI. (with LOTS of Potatoes)

Shediac – Lobster Central

Our quiet Boondockers Welcome site near Kouchibouguac

After a quiet, peaceful stay at John & Donna’s Boondockers Welcome site near Kouchibouguac National Park (you have to ask the locals how to pronounce it) we drove down the picturesque New Brunswick coast to Bouctouche, where we expected to get our fill of scallops. The annual scallop festival was last weekend in Bouctouche, but we figured there would still be some left over if we arrived on Monday. We figured wrong…

There was not a scallop to be had, so instead the local fish market stocked us up with crab, lobster, and seafood lasagna. I guess we didn’t come away too badly after all. LOL

Betty in Shediac, New Brunswick, home of the world’s largest lobster!

We continued on down the coastal road with Shediac, New Brunswick, as our destination for the next couple of days. Our large, full service site is in the popular Parlee Beach Provincial Park, where we were eligible for a senior’s discount. Ain’t it great being old!

It’s likely been at least 20 years

Maybe not the world’s largest, but still too big to fit on the plate!

since I was in Shediac – the Lobster Capital of the World! – and I remember stopping at a canteen on the wharf for a lobster supper. The cook passed the lobster out through the open window, and I unceremoniously ate it at a picnic table overlooking the harbor.  I was hoping to share a similar experience with Betty, but it seems the vendor has been replaced by a series of

Fresh baguette, lobster, drawn butter, and a bottle of wine, and we’re good to go. At least two of us found a bib. LOL (Note to Isabella: Check out the charms on the stems of our glasses!)

full-blown restaurants. While they offered attractive choices of inside or outside dining, in the end we opted to stop at a local fish market, and picked up some cooked lobster for dinner.

We took the lobster back to our campsite, where we could shower off after splattering ourselves in lobster goop. You can see by the pic that we bought three: one for Betty, one for Gavin, and one for me. Ok, in the end Betty & I helped Gavin eat his, as

Gavin couldn’t take any more of this lobster goodness. Lisa says: “Gavin looks really stuffed!” LOL. Thanks dear daughter.

his eyes were bigger than his stomach. LOL.  Since we didn’t have the delicate tools on hand for removing the tasty morsels from the crustaceans’ extremities, we resorted to smacking the claws with my hammer, and cutting the shells with a pair of tin snips. It wouldn’t have been an attractive sight in a restaurant, but MacGyver would have been proud! LOL

Breakin’ lobster in the  — hot sun, Bet fought the claw, and the claw never won. (Just call me Weird Al Yankovic II)

Tomorrow we head across the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island, where church basement lobster suppers became popular. Betty, Gavin, and I are looking forward to at least a few more crustacean delicacies before we leave the Maritimes. But we know if other locations run out of seafood, we can always head back to Shediac – Lobster Central!

Cheers!

Beautiful Shediac, New Brunswick