Thursday, November 27, 2008

Canada - Day 6

Day 6 began with packing up our suitcases again. Today we are headed to Annapolis Royal. Joshua spent several months of his mission in this area.
On our way to Confederation Bridge we passed by a spot where Joshua had quite a adventure while serving his mission.

We wanted to see where this adventure took place, so we took a slight detour down this road.
That road led us to the following road..............
Did I say road? Joshua claimed that it looks a lot different than it did on that fateful day twenty-something months ago. Every now and then the missionary companionships go on "splits" with missionaries from another town. This is what had taken place on this particular day and Joshua and the other Elder were on their way back to meet with the other missionaries. They had a map of roads that were "shortcuts" on PEI and decided to take one of the so called "shortcuts" to save a bit of time. Excuse me while I take a moment to chuckle here.

This took place in the winter months, so this "road" would have looked a bit different then.
They travelled down the road and as it narrowed and grew steeper, they realized their mistake and looked for a place to turn around. There wasn't one. The road became very steep and icy and as a result, they slid down a hill and came to rest just before a 6 foot drop. They couldn't go back and they couldn't go forward, so they had not choice but to walk to where they were supposed to meet the other missionaries. They walked and walked for hours. On the way they came to a fallen down bridge with a sign that said "bridge out". They finally came to civilization and a place where they could use a phone, but couldn't get hold of the other missionaries, so they called the mission office and told them what had happened. They continued to walk and walk and walk.........
Finally arrived at the meeting place, but the other missionaries were not there.
A policeman pulled up along side them and asked if they were OK. They used his phone to call the other missionaries.
With the help of a member of the church, they tried to get some tow-truck people to get their car pulled out, but they all refused to go down there. A local farmer commented that they hadn't seen a car down that road for 50 years of so! Finally, the church member paid a farmer a case of beer to pull the car out.


This photo is of the view in the other direction of the "road".

The road we were travelling on kept on going past farms and Joshua said we should just stay on it because according to the short-cut map, it would eventually join the main road again.

Mmmmmmhhhh? How hard do you think we thought about continuing down that road? Not long and not to hard!

This is the beginning of our journey across the Confederation Bridge. It was very, very long. I wish I could remember how long and more details, but I can't. If you want to know more, Google it!

This is Jim driving across the bridge.

This is Joshua and Jessica sitting in the back of the van, driving across the bridge.

This is Samuel sitting in the back of the van, in his car seat, driving across the bridge, on the lookout for buses, trucks and airplanes.

This is what it looks like when you drive across the bridge.

This is some scenery as we were getting close to the other side of the bridge.

Same thing a few seconds later.

Samuel and Dad taking a walk at a rest stop.

Sam's first photo of some flowers.

The long, long, long bridge. aka Confederation Bridge.

Blue blob, Joshua. Red blob, Jessica. Some creative soul had made animal sculptures out of driftwood.

It was very windy.

Say "cheese" Samuel!

Jim took the following 2 photos.
Not sure why.

I think the one below because of the flags.

This one.

Not so sure why.

We stopped for lunch at a town known as "The Blueberry Capitol".
Here we are with a very large blueberry.
It was covered with ladybugs.
Had the worst Subway sandwich of my life for lunch.
The big blueberry was fun however.

This was the view across the street from the Subway/Petrol station.

They also had clean gasoline and it was very expensive.
We arrived at Tranquil Times B & B in the late afternoon.
It is owned and run by Adele and Bob Thompson. Joshua got to know them while serving in this area. They are members of our church and fed the missionaries very frequently. In fact, Bob is the Branch President of the church in that area.
In the evening they have a hot dog and marshmallow roast. That is why the above picture is so dark and you can't see anyone or anything. Wanted you to get the feel of the hot dog roast!
This is a better photo. Jessica is enjoying some S'mores.
Adele and Bob are wonderful people and we enjoyed talking with them by the bonfire.
If you are ever in their neck of the woods and need a place to stay, we would thoroughly recommend their B&B. First rate hospitality, delicious breakfast and very comfortable rooms.
Good night!!!!



Hope that your day is spent with the ones that you love and that you do not get a tummy ache from eating to much!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Canada - Day 5

Well, at the rate I am completing these posts, you may never see the end of our trip to Canada! I have been sick this past week and a half however. Couldn't stop coughing long enough to type! Am doing much better now, and will attempt to complete the full account of our adventures as quickly as possible!

Prince Edward Island is very beautiful. I can see where the winters could be very long and I would end up going stir crazy. Joshua spent his first Canadian winter on PEI.

It seemed that around every bend in the road there was a beautiful country church. I was forever saying, "Look at that beautiful church." or, "Look, there is another beautiful church." "Look, look, look!!!" Sometimes I forgot that we had passed down a particular road before and repeated my observations about a church that I had already declared beautiful, cute or quaint. I even declared that someone should make a book featuring all the beautiful churches on PEI. Having said that, do you think I took a photo?? Of course not. But never fear!! I managed to find some photos of PEI churches and have them here for your viewing pleasure. Excited? Can't wait? On the edge of your seat? Let's move on with day 5 then shall we?

Oh, how beautiful!! Even though I didn't take this photo, we actually did see sights like this, not just on PEI. I love country churches.

PEI is known for its potatoes - oops, sorry podado. When travelling, it is important to try a few words spoken in the native language. In Nova Scotia it is podado. If you are feeling very brave you can try the Scotia suck. While breathing in say "Yeah, yeah, yeah". This can be quite tricky. Be careful not to swallow copious amounts of saliva or choke by drawing back on the word yeah to much.

Jessica, being the typical teenager, does not show her enthusiasm for things all that much. Jessica loves potatoes.

While driving to Summerside, we passed the potato processing plant. Jessica was terribly excited by this and we took some photos to mark the event! The above clipart is to mark the occasion and to pay respect to the humble podado. There is a podado museum, but it was to far away to put on our schedule.
Podado storage

Podado trucks

Oh my, what a beautiful church!

As we drove around PEI I noticed many houses had front doors up quite high and no steps. I found this very curious. Was this how they got rid of guest who had wore out their welcome? Was this how they discouraged door to door solicitation? According to our travel guide Joshua, if there isn't a front porch or steps leading down from the door, the house is considered "unfinished" and they don't have to pay as high a tax.

Oh, look!!! Another cute church.

PEI has some wonderful utility lines as well. Carrying on the Nova Scotian tradition of hanging them low.

We actually did pass by these churches several times.

While on PEI we discovered a wonderful ice-cream parlour called "Cows" It was a fun store and the ice-cream was delicious! We sampled "Gooey Mooey". It received a two-thumbs up from Sam. He ate his own cone, some of mine and a good hunk of Dad's.

On our first day in Nova Scotia, we saw a McDonald's sign advertising "The McLobster." Today we went to McDonalds in search of a McLobster sandwich. There were none to be found. I did save the french fry packets however. One side is written in French and the other English. The M has a little maple leaf on it. I found all this very fascinating.
We went back to the cottage after picking up some rations - home cooked food tonight. We spent a quiet evening watching the Canadian election results - well, some in the family did, I bet you know who! That night the wind was blowing so hard, Samuel kept insisting that a airplane was going by.

Canada - Day 4

We awoke to a rather drizzly morning. But, we had all slept well - Samuel slept the entire night in his own bed - Yaaay!! We had a delicious breakfast in the main house of the B&B with beautiful views of the harbour despite of, or maybe because of, the drizzle.

When I looked up Pictou on the internet, one of the main attractions listed was the Grohmann Knives manufacturer. I thought that would have been a fun thing to check out, for me anyway!! I have been longing for a nice knife set for a while. My choppers aren't all that crash hot chopping anymore! But, I knew time wasn't on my side, so scratched it off the list.
As we headed off to the ferry however, I spied, to my dismay, a Grohmann Knives's outlet just a block from our B&B. Uuugghhhh!
So, if anyone is interested, here is the link. I may have had some trouble getting them through airport security, so maybe it was for the best!!
The following photos were taken from our deck at The Consulate Inn

The ferry for Prince Edward Island (PEI) left from Caribou, just a short distance from Pictou. The following photos are from the docks as we were waiting for the ferry or from the ferry as we sailed along. The ferries are considered ice-breakers and are supposed to be able to break through the ice during the winter months. Our tour guide, Joshua, told us that sometimes they do need to be broken out of the ice because they become stuck.
It costs $61 round trip to go across of the ferry. The interesting thing is that you don't pay when you leave to go to PEI, they collect the fare when you come back. They figure you have to leave sometime I guess! It doesn't cost as much to leave by the bridge, which is our intended departure spot, so we will come out of the whole thing with a few extra dollars -yeah right!!
They had a play area for the children - thank goodness - Samuel particularly enjoyed this wagon. He was most perturbed however, because he couldn't get it to budge from its spot in the corner. It was bolted to the wall and floor.

Prince Edward Island has been sighted!!
The ferry docked at a place called Wood Islands. From there we drove to Charlottetown. This was Joshua's very first area when he arrived on his mission. We drove around the town for a bit, Joshua showed where his flat (apartment) had been, and then we decided to look for somewhere to eat.
This was the place that Jim chose. Very interesting place.
The waitress acted like we were really putting her out by wanting to eat lunch at their establishment.
Not sure if it was because Jim was American, if it was because I was Australian, or that Joshua was a Mormon missionary.
Maybe it was Jessica's and Sam's fault???
I don't know.
I do know that we waited a very long time for food that wasn't all that good.
One thing I do know is, I like Canadian ketchup. Yum, Yum.
As we left and went to our car. Jim kept saying, rather loudly I might add, "Heeeellllloooooo!" All Purdys in the immediate family of Rick & Carolyn may understand this bizarre behaviour. I'm not going to touch it with a ten foot pole...........
I was really looking forward to coming to PEI. I have been a fan of "Anne of Green Gables" for a very long time and never thought I would visit where the novels are set or where the author lived. No-one else in the family shares my enthusiasm, but graciously joined me on one of my childhood dreams. I used to think that it would be so wonderful to be Anne Shirley!

The following web sites tell more about the Green Gables site, and other sites nearby, such as the author's childhood home. There is nothing left there now except the foundations of the home, but at the bookstore close-by, you can get a very interesting tour by one of her descendants. I think many people forget that the Green Gables series was written by Lucy Maud Montgomery and not actually be Anne Shirley!
Samuel loved the barn. It is amazing what holds the rapt attention of one child and not another. Sam would have stayed and tossed hay all day if we had let him. Joshua and Jessica?? Walked right past, no interest whatsoever in a bit of hay throwing. That's all right, Sam through some extra bunches up in the air just for them.....OK, I'm being silly.
Moments before I took this shot, Sam had been sitting on a stool trying to milk this pretend cow. But, instead we have a shot of Sam and Dad. Sam is thinking, "Where did all my hay go and why doesn't this cow say 'MOOOO'?"


The kitchen at Green Gables

"Anne's" bedroom

Rhubarb. Why you may ask? My Mum always had a rhubarb patch in our garden when I was growing up. I love rhubarb & apple pie. I think I need to try and grow a rhubarb patch in Florida.

This shot was taken after tramping back through the "haunted woods". We had taken a path to the author's childhood home - what was left of it anyway. I know I took photos of it and the pretty gardens, the apple tree, etc., but they are not on my camera - sigh....
We finished our trip to the Green Gables site with a trip to the gift store. I had visions of browsing through all the delights that would be found there. No, not this time. Sam is probably our most dramatic child. He chose then and there to throw a temper tantrum that hit fairly highly on the rector scale. What caused such a outburst you may ask? Probably a mixture of sitting in a car seat for to long and being napless. But the true reason in my opinion is doors. Yep, doors. This kids wants to open and shut doors ALL the time. Dad dared tell him that he couldn't stand in the entrance of the gift shop, blocking the entrance for everyone from the tour buses and rental cars. The true reason for such a blood curdling series of screams and cries, was in deed doors - with a healthy helping of that vulgar word - NO!

After making a speedy get-a-way from the Green Gables gift shop, we headed back to our cottage. We stayed two nights in Cavendish. We stayed at Cavendish Bosom Buddies Cottages We realized when we were planning our trip, that it would be right at the beginning of the "off" season. Most places we were pretty lucky and everything was still up and running. Not at Cavendish. To make it worse, it was also Thanksgiving Day for Canada. If we had realized, we would have picked up supplies and gassed up the car while we were in Charlottetown, but we didn't........
Jim and I drove around for quite a while with the car running on petrol fumes. We found 2 little supermarkets, but they were both closed until the next day. There was a restaurant that was just packed, and I mean people lined up out the door - with reservations. We finally drove back towards the cottages and found one place, one very nice place......
Fabulous Food and
Great Gatherings
They were also only seating people with reservations, but, they had the "take-out" option. HALLELUJAH The only thing on the menu was traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but that sounded pretty good to us! We ordered the take-out, sold a child to pay for it, sooooooo........

It may not look very appetizing in a styrofoam box, but it was wonderful. We went to bed full and happy after a rousing game of spades and delicious pie! Unfortunately, the car's gas tank was still pretty empty.