Vacation 2017 Day 4: On the Way Home!

The final day of vacation is here! Of course, only the trip portion as I still have one week of staycation afterwards, which turned out pretty great as I caught up with movies and TV series and a ton of chores that needed to be tended to. I managed to get some cooking done as well. Getting  ahead of myself again! What’s new, right?

Let’s go home!

The way home was pretty smooth. A few clouds and a few raindrops, nothing as intense as the first day. We ended doing a bit of the Acadian scenic route. Being Canada Day, there was a lot of Canada flags but there was also the Acadian flag which we didn’t know until we saw it. Its pretty impressive to see the Acadian settlements and how prominent they are, even after so many years. Its pretty amazing. I’m not a history major by far and I honestly have the worst memory for it. Still, the drive slowly went from that to looking again at creepy country houses and barns and formulating creeps in our head. Probably not the best thing to do but still. Between that and talking about home and games and working together with my husband on his first post for Game Warp, which is still in the making, it was a really nice drive home. Super long and stretched out, but also so very beautiful.

These pictures are after we crossed back over to the province of Quebec. We took a little bit of a shortcut from the originally planned route and it cut a little off the time of driving. We did do a lot of driving over the last few days and would like to get back sooner rather than later to just sit back and relax. We got to New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and there are some fantastic scenery there. We head back into Quebec and every time we do these drives, we remember how big this province is and while we’ve traveled quite a bit of it, there is still so many places to explore and the road trips on Quebec roads may sometimes be boring but mostly, they are just so breathtaking that its something that everyone should try.

This wraps up the vacation recap! Like I probably mentioned before,I did have a week after that where I was on staycation and it was great because I managed to prepare for Montreal Comiccon, mentally, physically and with the blog and channel. I caught up with a lot of movies which I have ready to review when Fantasia Festival ends. July is a busy month for the recreational side of things like blog duties and event coverage, but also for actual work. 

That’s it for Day 4 of our vacation!
It was a long and calm drive back home with really not a lot of stops.
Its a lot of passing images as we drove by nice scenery.

Vacation 2017 Day 3: Prince Edward Island Drive

And we continue our journey of Day 3 recap of our Vacation 2017.

Today’s itinerary includes mostly a drive around Prince Edward Island. One of my husband’s request for the trip was to cross the Confederation Bridge so that’s what we are doing today. Hopefully, we’ll manage to get a hike in and see some nice scenery. We had a sudden change in our plans halfway through the day as we stopped for lunch to meet up with one of my good friends currently undergoing training in Charlottetown, which was pretty cool.

Let’s see Day 3!

Shediac, New Brunswick
World’s Largest Lobster

Shediac

In the words of my fantastic Game Warp Podcast cohost when I sent this picture to him, he wondered why and who thinks of these things. But then, why not, right? The Atlantic Canada is known for their seafood and PEI for their lobsters. I visited this when I was 12 probably (or younger) and it doesn’t look as menacingly large anymore although still very sizable.

Crossing the Confederation Bridge to PEI

We had a gloomy morning heading into Prince Edward Island. What can we do, right? Breakfast was included at the Days Inn in Moncton so that was pretty awesome. It took one headache off our hands and gave us time to hit the road faster and cross bridge which takes over 10 minutes to cross, I think. The speed can’t be too fast and its about 13kms long.

Lots of Lighthouses Along the Way

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island

Not weird for an island to have plenty of lighthouses and Prince Edward Island had a whole lot. We obviously didn’t stop at all of them, because we are under a time crunch, much more than we even imagined. You’ll see… However, these lighthouses are different just from where they are located and how they are taken care of really seems like they have their own story behind each one.

Port-La-Joye-Fort Amherst

 

Port La Joye Fort Amherst

Port La Joye Fort Amherst

A last minute decision to turn into this National Historic Site to check it out! Port-La-Joye-Fort Amherst is a pretty location. It has several walking trails spanning out of the main trail. There is some history to learn from this land during war and still seeing a part of the formation/trenches. It was a gloomy day and the rain was going to hit any time so we did the main trail, took a general look around, borrowed their washrooms before getting back on the road.

Lunch at Charlottetown

Swiss Chalet

Swiss Chalet

This trip has marked both a lunch and a dinner experience at two different Swiss Chalet restaurants. Funny, because both of us haven’t eaten there before and we wanted to see how it was. The dinner in Moncton wasn’t so good but this lunch at Charlottetown was much better. A nice and relaxing meal to catch up with our friend about what is going on and his upcoming plans.

Prince Edward Island National Park

PEI National Park

PEI National Park

PEI National Park

PEI National Park

Cavendish Beach

PEI National Park

Green Gables House

Prince Edward Island National Park spans over the top part of the island with three areas to visit. We visit maybe two of the areas as we drove along the scenic routes. The highlight is to visit Green Gables House and the Cavendish Beach’s sand dunes. Our little last minute detour did cost us more time than anticipated however we did see these beautiful sceneries, plus at two parts, we actually saw a fox. You see one of them here, right in the middle of the road. It did break my heart a little to see it so skinny. I think it was looking for food which we don’t have and I don’t believe we should give food to wildlife anyways.

This was the final stop before exiting the National Park. For us, it was getting late and we still had to get to Summerside and exit the island and head further up to our next hotel. At this point, we were certain that we were immensely behind schedule.

Dinner at Summerside, PEI: Five Eleven West

Five Eleven West

Five Eleven West

Five Eleven West

Five Eleven West was the best meal on our trip. While we were behind schedule, we still took time to relax for a nice meal and just enjoy ourselves. My husband loved the burger, and I was pretty happy with my mussels. However, the show stopper here is the sweet potato fries. They were awesomely delicious.

Last stretch to Miramichi, New Brunswick

Prince Edward Island

Sunset

Prince Edward Island

Confederation Bridge from afar

Crossing back to New Brunswick on Confederation Bridge

We ended up getting to Days Inn Miramichi past 10pm. It wasn’t bad but we pretty much got to showering and resting right away as we have a long day on the final day and pretty much our trip back home for another 9 hours. And we do recommend Day Inn Miramichi if you ever decide to go there. Really nice service, the rooms are comfortable and spacious and breakfast is included.

That wraps up Day 3 of Vacation! Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! 🙂

Have you been to Prince Edward Island?
Did you visit the red sand beaches and the sand dunes or even Green Gables House?

Vacation 2017 Day 2: Fundy Bay Coastal Drive, New Brunswick

Moving onto Day 2 of our vacation!

To compensate for the incredibly long drive on the first day, we decided to take it a little easier on the driving department and instead of the 900+ kilometres of the first day, we actually only have about 400 kilometres in the second day. However, we do have some time sensitive spot to hit and also want to get some hiking in so its going to be a time trial all on its own. Good thing that we are great with working on tentative schedules and don’t mind missing out on things if we need to. The second day works mostly along the Fundy Bay Coastal Drive.

Let’s go!

Breakfast at Mix Resto-Bar

Mix Resto-Bar Mix Resto-Bar

Seeing as we were tight on time, we decided to just eat at the hotel restaurant and went back to Mix Resto-Bar. The selection was pretty good. My husband had the belgian waffles and I had the classic breakfast with 2 eggs and bacon. It was very good and really enjoyable.

We took a quick walk to our first stop…

First Stop: Saint John’s City Market, New Brunswick

Saint John's City Market

Saint John’s City Market

Our first stop was a quick walk to Saint John’s City Market which was open pretty early so it fit our schedule. We picked up some apples for the road and also some souvenirs for the family. I’ll have a haul post in a few days. My family reads this and I’d like them to get their gifts before I post it up here to ruin the surprise.

And back on the road after check-out!

Fundy National Park

Viewpoint in Fundy National Park

Second stop: Fundy National Park – Dickson Falls Trail

Fundy National Park

Dickson Falls Trail

Fundy National  Park

Dickson Falls Trail

Fundy National Park

Dickson Falls Trail

Fundy National Park

Dickson Falls Trail

Dickson Falls Trail in Fundy National Park is a really nice short trail. Its a pretty easy trail and for us needing to do a quick but pretty one, it fit perfectly. Along most of the hike is walking next to the flowing stream of water that came from the waterfall. If you don’t know, I love waterfalls. A major sucker for them. A lot of times, its really the treat of hiking on certain trails. If you need, just flashback to a Saguenay hiking where we did the Sentiers des Chutes.

 At this point, we were getting incredibly close to missing out on walking the ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks so its time to press on…

New Brunswick

Stop on the way…

Third Stop: Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks

We made it with about 30 minutes to actually walk around on the ocean floor. I had been here before but last time, we came on tour so it wasn’t as much time so this time, we actually walked across the entire length. We made it to one viewpoint as we walked back which is about a 15 minute from the entrance to the ocean floor access. I actually took a few pretty cool macro shots however those shots will be over on Avenue of Daydreams. I’m going to have that up and running back to normal again.

As the thunderstorms caught up with us, we sat down for a late lunch at the restaurant at the Hopewell Rocks area.

Fourth stop: Magnetic Hill, Moncton, New Brunswick

Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill has changed a lot from my memory of it. My husband and I decided to try out the Magnetic Hill experience, which is pretty much an optical illusion made by the rolling hills next to it to create the effect that it is pulling your car uphill and all you have to do is steer. Here’s a little video of our experience. Its mostly my husband talking. He’s only steering and for him, that is a strange experience.

Moncton was where we made our stay for the second day at the Days Inn.
We had dinner for the first time at Swiss Chalet and also went to New Brunswick Liquor to find some local wines.

Check back this weekend for the haul and next week for Day 3!

Vacation 2017 Day 1: Montreal to Saint John, New Brunswick

Wednesday marked the start of our vacation! After postponing the Eastern Canada trip for almost six years (if not more), we finally managed to get a part of it fitted into this upcoming trip. As usual, I will be showing it day by day over the next two weeks. With events coming up, I have to keep it released a little tighter than usual. However, we actually spent most of our time driving than spending a lot of time sightseeing. Hopefully you will still enjoy it as we still had a lot of time. With our job schedules, we don’t usually spend a lot of time together so its nice to take a vacation where we can spend 24/7 together.

The first day was all about heading to our first hotel in Saint John. Going to New Brunswick takes a good few hours from Montreal. Our first day mapped out to be 9.5 hours without any stops. Suffice to say, we wouldn’t make a drive that had no stops. The good part however is that New Brunswick can be traveled in scenic routes and our first leg was all about the River Valley Scenic Route.

Let’s go on Day 1!

On the way over, we passed a county called Saint-Louis-du-Ha!Ha!. Suffice to say that it was pretty fun to say the name and entertained us for a little while.

First Stop: Grand Falls – Grand Sault, New Brunswick

Ron Turcotte

Ron Turcotte Statue

We know nothing about horse racing but Ron Turcotte is a horse racing legend. Another tourist there from Alberta told us that he had met Ron Turcotte and that he was a stellar man, also that he is one of the best before he had to retire.

Grand Falls Gorge

Grand Falls Gorge

Grand Falls Gorge was our main goal of this stop. The gorge is really beautiful. There are a few walking trails around however, the day was all about the thunderstorm chasing us down so we walked down one path a little while out before we say the storm getting incredibly close so we decided to just get back on the road and stay safe in the car and maybe beat the rain again as we headed to our next stop.

Second stop: World’s Longest Covered Bridge – Hartland, New Brunswick

World's Largest Covered Bridge

World’s Largest Covered Bridge

I’ve never actually really seen a whole lot of covered bridges and this one is the world’s largest covered bridge and so incredibly cool to drive through. It was a game of taking turns with the other people on the other side. A little dangerous but everything worked out.

Third Stop: World’s Largest Axe, Nackawic, New Brunswick

World’s Largest Axe

We are on fire on checking off our non-existent bucket list of visiting the world’s largest stuff in Canada. My darling co-host Elwood Jones actually shared a list of the world’s largest objects when we shared the image on our Game Warp Instagram feed and my personal Facebook feed and I’ve actually went to a few of them across Canada. This was way more awesome than we had anticipated. Other than the thunderstorm threatening us to leave, we had a lot of fun there. Plus, there was some nice scenery by the river.

Saint John’s  & Dinner

Here’s a shot before getting into Saint John, New Brunswick where we had our first hotel stay at Delta. While the amenities were pretty cool, my main thing about this hotel is that unless you pay extra for valet parking which is like $5 more or something than normal parking next door, the parking lot next door is actually pretty inconvenient because you need to walk from one end of the mall to the next to get into the hotels and have access to the rooms. However, the room is pretty neat and it was spacious and very clean.

We went to the restaurant located in the mall called Mix Resto-Bar.

Mix Resto-Bar

My husband took the Fish & Chips. And I took the Maple glazed Salmon with Basmati rice and vegetables.Mix Resto-Bar

Mix Resto-Bar was okay. The food tasted good. We both enjoyed our meals quite a bit. However, the service is not too good. Our waitress was friendly however, while she suggested a drink to me, she never brought it to me. The good thing is it wasn’t even charged but then she also forgot to charge my husband’s drink and I had to remind her to add it back on. It was late at night and I guess everyone makes mistakes and forgets stuff. I wasn’t really desperate for a drink either so it didn’t matter too much. We had decent food and that is what really counted at that moment.

That’s the end of Day 1! A long drive but a few interesting stops!
Day 2 will be on Thursday!
Have you been to New Brunswick before?

Toronto: Casa Loma 

Toronto Comicon weekend was super busy. However, being the troopers we were, we managed to meet up earlier and skip out on one panel and made our tourist attraction visit to Casa Loma happen. Drew and I had originally planned for a Friday afternoon visit but realized it would be too rushed. Seeing as we did see Beauty and the Beast the night before and it was snowing in the morning when we arrived, it was the perfect memory of the Beast’s castle in real life (although it isn’t the same).

Casa Loma

The entrance for Casa Loma is $27, which might seem a little steep but you will soon realize as we did, that it is pretty worth it, plus this castle was used for quite a few movies as well.

Here is how we visited Casa Loma!

The First Floor

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

Library

Casa Loma

The first floor of Casa Loma highlights the elegance of the building. You walk in to an open high ceiling area. Its something of a reception area. Down the hall are socializing areas. The billiard room was closed but on the other side, there was a beautiful library and a conservatory with a beautiful glass dome. There’s some fun facts about the office which has two secret passages: one that goes to the second floor and the second to the basement. The basement pretty much takes us to a vault. However, these are only two of the supposed three secret passages, however the third hasn’t been found.

Casa Loma

Secret Passage upstairs

The Second Floor: Guest Room

Casa Loma

The secret passage way leads up to a corridor next to the Guest Room which has a Chinese theme which is exactly up my alley, of course. This was an incredibly pretty room and very reminiscent of a lot of Chinese antiques. We only did this room which lead to stairs going up to the 3rd floor. We’ll come back to the second floor later.

Casa Loma

The Third Floor

Casa Loma

Walking up to the third floor was the Queen’s Own Rifle Museum which showed a lot of the history behind the war and military facts. It lined the hallway and leads into the Formation Room. Walking to the other end was the Group of Seven Room and other spaces. The military portion was one that Drew liked a lot whereas I’m not quite into this sort of history. However, the third floor does lead up to the two towers which we could look out the windows and also a lookout on one for a nice vantage point. Plus, it was snowing so it made for some nice scenery.

The Towers

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

A little eerie at first to walk up those stairs and then decide where to go and then keep going up on these super twirly narrow steps but the view is quite beautiful. It is a gloomy day so while Toronto would make a fantastic backdrop, perhaps the nicest part is capturing a different view of the castle along with its details.

The Second Floor (other half)

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

Going back down to the other part of the second floor was mostly the suits for the Lady and Sir Pellatt who owned this castle. They had some super elegant bathrooms (which I didn’t show here) and some fantastically charming bedrooms. Just to say, its important to note how far our bathrooms, especially showers have gone since then.

The Tunnel

Casa Loma

Lucky for us, Drew was around and we headed down to the Lower Level where we happened to realize there’s still one really long tunnel with a Castles and Dragons medieval theme with paintings and animations projected on the walls which seemed to tell a story. It was pretty cool to see. This tunnel lead to The Stables which also had an antique car exhibit and carriage room along with the garage and potting shed. The stalls actually had two horses which I didn’t capture any clear enough to add here.

Casa Loma

The Movies

Casa Loma Casa Loma

There’s at least a dozen more films that were shot here but I can’t show them all here. These are some of the pretty popular ones. As I waited for Drew at the gift shop, I ended up watching all the clips of which movies and what rooms were used.

Would you look at all that? The pictures I used are only highlights and my favorite rooms. Plus, I only had my phone and not my DSLR so the pictures aren’t quite as refined. They still turned out alright. Casa Loma was a pleasant surprise with everything it had and we didn’t even watch any of the scheduled performances so if we had more time, there is still more to do, like going in the summer and having a chance to visit the gardens.

Have you visited any castles?

Hiking: Owl’s Head

More hiking was set for us on that week of staycation we had. With a little research, we found our second location which is rather nearby to Montreal also at a offseason ski resort, Owl’s Head. I’ve only ever heard of it before. Owl’s Head, just like most ski locations but hiking spots in the summer/fall, are really another type of beast. They have some designated paths but mostly, its a free walk uphill. Owl’s Head was no different. In fact, the trek up was pretty intense. it was incredibly steep and pretty tiring for such a short walk. We didn’t make it all the way but we did get almost there except for a winding path that went up to a booth or ski station or something. However, the view along the way opened up over a lake and with the leaves changing colors, it was really breathtaking.

Here are some shots of what we saw. It gives an idea of how steep it was and also the views we saw. On our way down, we actually encountered a cute little fellow and I took a little video of it.

Owl's Head

Owl's Head

Owl's Head

And for our little porcupine encounter. This porcupine is definitely not full grown but then I’m not a porcupine expert. It was adorable as heck as it walked around forward and in circles and forward more and then went up the hill. It was a slightly windy day so sorry about all the windy  noises.

A lovely  little location for a short but challenging hike. It was getting cooler that day and on the hills near where we saw the porcupine, there was frost forming on the grass. Still, we enjoyed it a lot. Sometimes, hiking can really get to us and we want to give up but when we turn around and see all the natural beauty around us, it gets us all pumped up again to go higher and makes it all worth it!

Vancouver & Kelowna: Vancouver Aquarium & Lynn Canyon Park

We’re finally here! The recap of the final day of vacation over on the Canadian West Coast. For this one, we took up our courage and headed to the Vancouver city central towards Stanley Park to go to Vancouver Aquarium and get an indoor activity before heading out to Lynn Canyon Park & Suspension Bridge. We talked with some of the locals there (my mom’s friends) and they told us that Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is almost as pretty as Capilano Suspension Bridge which charges more and is higher. This is a great choice for it being free and having just a lower canyon but still really  nice to walk through.

Vancouver Aquarium

As you can see, Vancouver Aquarium has all sorts of stuff, its not just fishes and rays and giant turtles and sharks. It also has monkeys and birds, etc. It is a pretty cool experience. Something else I like is that they don’t do a lot of shows with the animals. Only the dolphins are in these shows. The porpoises and belugas up top are actually in a training session which is like the trainer talks about these animals and how they came here and their story while giving them a little workout explaining why certain moves helps them to make sure they are healthy. In other cases, they also talk about the wildlife preservation centre that people can call if they ever believe that a marine animal is in danger and needs their assistance so that they can get them healthy and send them back to the wild. While I haven’t seen the documentary on Blackfish, I like the fact that it may be because of things like that documentary which make aquariums more aware about their transparency on how they are treating the animals with them.

Regardless of that, I like going to aquariums quite a bit and Vancouver Aquarium isn’t exceptionally different but they have their forte and is a rather educational process. They have a few different species of animals. My favorite is always the jellyfish tank and also seeing the porpoises and also going to the touch tank and getting to touch rays.

Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon Park

As I mentioned above, we indeed skipped the really well known Capilano suspension bridge. I have been there before when I was around eight years old. However, in my mind, Lynn Canyon Park was really beautiful. It was a rainy day but everything was absolutely lovely just with the rainforest and the tall trees towering over us. It was a great place to go. And a nice way to round up our vacation with a nice light hike around. It didn’t  take too long but was good enough to give us time and energy to head back to the hotel and pack up for our trip home the next day.

Overall, the Vancouver and Kelowna trip was a lot of fun. We had some fantastic scenery and we had an enjoyable time seeing all the relatives. We got to hike and eat some great food and even fangirl over Storybrooke. There are still a ton of activities we didn’t get to do because of time and hopefully we will return again eventually.

This vacation’s post is done now but as we speak I just got back to work this week after a week off for a lovely staycation where did also went out to do some hiking so that will follow for what seems like Vacation Tuesdays here. 😉 We do have some day trips planned before winter hits so hopefully this segment will go on for at least another few weeks.