Friday, August 6, 2010
The kayaking part was easy. We went out with Fresh Air Adventures on a very windy day. We were afraid that it would be cancelled because of the harsh wind, but we went out as far as we could go and then turned back a little early. The wind was not so bad when it was blocked by big cliffs, but pretty rough otherwise. Our trip out, we saw a bald eagle in a tree and a harbor seal playing off to the side. Once we docked our kayaks and got out for a snack, one of the guides gave a lesson on tides. I really wished I had had my flip video recorder. She did a beautiful job. There were lots of kids in our group of 23 and she played right to them. Of course, it was us adults with the questions at the end of the lecture. I would love to teach that just like she did. With a little memory jogging, I bet I can do it! After our snack of canteloupe and granola bars...oh and dolse, which they recommended we eat first and then enjoy a drink quickly. The dolse was not good. Yucky even! It is very salty dried seaweed...a delicacy and we saw it everywhere after that! Not good...try it for yourself....but NOT GOOD!
As far as moose go...we used every trick that we knew. Look for them in meadows in the early morning or late right before sunset. There were NO moose in Fundy National Park. The problem really was that there are so many trees, it is hard to find open areas. We went to a couple of ideal spots and waited and watched...no moose. The moose didn't get the memo about being in meadows in the early morning or later right before sunset. We had three days in Fundy and then it was time to move on to Grand Manan Island. We did see lots of birds here in the park...more eagles and some hawks. We even got lucky and saw one deer...just as Joe was taking pictures of the sunset. "We'll see tons of moose in Maine later", I kept saying. So we packed up and checked out and were on our way.
On the drive out of the park, there was one lone moose crossing the road in front of us!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The next morning, we took a long walk early and had breakfast at the inn with the managers, who were from Holland. We enjoyed that lovely view and talked of other travels yet to be for us and for them. Then we were off to Fundy National Park!
The city is gorgeous and very old with very old buildings. But...the buildings are all full of touristy shops or restaurants. Don't get me wrong, I love a good shop and a good restaurant, but there was nothing really left of the old. If that makes sense. The buildings are in great shape for being built in the 1600's but I would have like to have seen some history of the buildings somewhere. There was no celebration of what used to be. At least we did not see it. We saw tie-dyed t-shirts and even adult themed items for sale. Oh, and my GPS was ssssssssoooooooo confused by the layout of the city. Roads on top of roads really freaked her out. It was difficult for me to get around and about in my car.
We did have a FABULOUS Ghost Tour in QC. Camilla was our tour guide and had a really wonderful Scottish accent. She was so animated and into every single story she told, you would think that she had been there throughout the events of which she told. This is where we got tons of history! My favorite story is about a ship that sank only two years after the Titanic. It took only 20 minutes for the Empress of Ireland to sink completely and over a thousand people were killed. How long did the Titanic take? The Empress is still at the bottom of the St. Lawrence River. People have been diving to find what they can, but usually cannot get very far because of the roughness of the river. Some people have even died trying to find their treasure at the bottom of the river. I wondered why we never heard about this wreck...EVER. It seems that two weeks later, World War I began and the world was focused on something other than the sinking of the Empress of Ireland. I am definitely intrigued to do more research on this wreck. The ghostly part of the story is that the captain of the Empress had been cursed by a passenger on a previous voyage for turning him in for killing his wife. It is said that this same man is guarding the boat at the bottom of the river and this is why no one can retrieve much from the wreckage.
Quebec City is a quaint old town and I am glad that we went, but it is not one of those places that I feel the need to go back. Been there...done that. And if you are wondering, I did make a purchase at one of those cheesy touristy shops...not tie-dyed and not adult themed, but...still! Remember...I do love a good shop!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I have gotten my new drivers' license, a work permit...even though I am not planning on working, and have had my car inspected. Getting my new tags has proven a bit tricky because I did not declare that my vehicle would be staying in the country with me while I am here for 13 months, even though I drove it in. That part was easy to fix...didn't have to go all the way back to the border, just to customs here in Ottawa. At the office to register the car, there was more trouble. Since we are paying on the car and don't own it out right, I had to contact the Florida DMV so that they can send a letter stating that it is ok for me to register this car here in Ontario. So now, just waiting for that to come.
Ottawa is a beautiful city with all that comes with a "city"...traffic, lots of people, cool shops, museums, fabulous restaurants. Unlike most cities that I think of, Ottawa does not have pollution, TOO many people or TOO much traffic. I have visited many of the museums and even though I said earlier that I would not drive downtown, I do and it is so easy! I will post separately about where I'm going and what I'm doing. I have to keep telling myself that I am not really on vacation, I am unemployed. With unemployment comes a lack of funds to do everything that I can think of, so sometimes, it is just regular day to day stuff.
There is a great park within walking distance and Boomer and Lillie LOVE to go and walk there. Boomer chases squirrels and with his two bad legs from three surgeries, he has had to take it a bit easier lately. His legs seem fine now, but given the chance, he overdoes it often. Lillie has had to have a lump removed from her paw and she is healing nicely, but does not need to be out and about walking too much. Once again, I have joined a gym that I am not going to as much as I thought I would. With Lillie's surgery, we have been back and forth to the vet for bandage changes about three times a week. That's my excuse!
Joe is doing well at his job here and enjoys being able to hike and bicycle in this lovely city. It has been pretty hot so we haven't done a lot of hiking, but we bicycle downtown often. He gets to go back to South Africa for some kind of trade show in September and I am going to get to meet him and enjoy a week there! Next week we go to New Brunswick for a week to see the sights there. I can't wait to finally see some puffins! I love them after reading all about them in our old third grade reading series.
I know that I will miss being at school this year, but I am in the process of being approved to volunteer in the schools here. It feels weird not preparing for a class this year. Kind of sad, but I keep thinking about all the cool stuff to share with my class when I return!
~ Deb James, Temporary Canadian
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Right now, we are just making appointments and settling things here before starting the trip. More will be posted when we actually get started!
~Boomer James :)