Ohhh Ca-na-da! (Part I)

I disappeared and didn't even mention I was leaving....oopsies about that.  But I'm back now, and boy do I have a few good stories and photos from my 5 day adventure in New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. 

Should probably start with the point of the trip; my Mom likes to go away for her birthday ('08 was Austin, '09 was Florida, '10 was Bermuda/St Louis, and this year she wanted to go to our norther neighbor, Canada).  I flew into Manchester, NH Wednesday night after work and Mom swooped me up from there (she drove up from Delaware).  We stayed the night in Portland, Maine, and got up super early to get to the border.  Now, from my only other encounter with Border Patrol, I was expecting it was going to be time-consuming and stressful.  Quite the contrary, so much so that it was mind-numbingly easy to go through border patrol.  The stressful part ended up being Mom with coming across as a stereotypical American asking the border patrol 15 questions about hotels, food, and travel speeds.  At one point she asked, "Do they accept English money?"....meaning American.  And the pure mortification moment, "My GPS stopped working, do you not have GPS in your country?" His response to her with quite a laugh, "We aren't a 3rd world country Ma'am".  Thank god I was driving so I could look up at him and apologize and turn to her and tell her to be quiet.  She said she could do and say what she wanted because it was her birthday......how do you argue with that?!
Mom turns 63 in Canada

We drove along the coast line once we were in, going by St. Stephens and St. Vincents until we got to St. John. (Mom could only say St. Johns and I just gave up after about 30 times.) It was not what I expected; WAY smaller and not a whole lot of things to do. There was a place though called Reversing Falls, where we could get our first real view of the Bay of Fundy and it's tides.  The Bay of Fundy is known for having the highest vertical tidals ranges in the world.  So at Reversing Falls, we got to see the first glimpse of the power and force of the Bay's tidal changes.  It was literally like a raging rapid of the water flowing out.  Really neat to see.

We didn't stay in St. John as long as we expected and instead took off for Moncton, which is where we stayed the night. We chose Moncton so again, we could get up super early and head down to Hopewell Falls during low tide. 
Hopewell Falls is up for nomination for one of the 7 new Wonders of the World, competing against sites such as the Grand Canyon or the Great Barrier Reef.  After being there, it was definitely something I will never forget.  I took WAY too many pictures, but heres a few.

First view down onto the ocean floor

Within 6 hours from when we were there, it would be high tide, which was roughly 15ft of water.  A guide there said that it's almost a foot of water in every 20 minutes until high tide....crazy.  People were probably kayaking over where we were standing later in the day.

It was really hard to capture the size aspect of the coastline, but the picture below is a little helpful in that there are two people out towards the left of the shot.  And I still think that they were a bit closer to me, so it still distorts the size. 

If you care to see any more of Hopewell, I have about 100 more, but I'll just email them.  After we had our fill of Hopewell, aka, the tide was going to be coming in shortly and we didn't want to get caught in the current, we headed off to what we thought was going to be a day on Prince Edward's Island.  When we got to the bridge, it was horrible weather, and then we also found out it was $40 to even get to the island. (Some private company built the bridge that cost them 1 billion dollars...$40 a pop for each car and I'm saying their making their money back quickly).  Instead, we just headed off for Halifax in Nova Scotia.  There was definitely an instant feel of difference crossing over from New Brunswick Province to Nova Scotia Province in that New Brunswick is almost entirely trees other than the coastline.  While Nova Scotia had it's trees, there were also grassland patches along the countryside. Silly thing to notice, but whatevs.
We drove over to Halifax to take in the "big city" of the Province.  Again, for being such a known city, I was so shocked by how small it felt. 
View of Halifax from the other side of the river in Dartmouth

There were fun things in Halifax though, and beautiful scenery.  We first stopped at the Downtown Clock tower, which is on the Citadel's grounds.  Really beautiful view of the city from there.

Finally got to see our first lighthouse from the restaurant we ate dinner, which was on the Boardwalk in downtown Halifax.  Great view, and delicious FRESH seafood.

We were going to stay there for the night, but a big convention was in town, so we decided to just get up the road a bit, and we stayed the night in Truro.

This looks like just about the perfect place to stop for now.  Part II is Cape Breton Island, Cabot Trail, Fredericton, Maine, and New Hampshire.  


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