You already know about our amazing Saturday, and since this weekend was a long weekend, we decided to fill it with small trips around our new province. Get to know one another, introduce ourselves as it were. If you google fun things to do in New Brunswick, you get about a hundred and sixty listings or so. There is literally stuff to do everywhere!
Now, we had caught word of a certain CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL being held in St. Stephen, but we decided Sunday was for the zoo, so off we went again in the car, only this time, instead of south east along the bay, we headed north east, towards the ocean and a stone’s throw from the PEI bridge in Moncton. Magnetic Hill there has an ol’ time-y type of town, a water park and of course, the zoo.
As a family, we’re zoo lovers. This one was much, much smaller than the Toronto Zoo we’re used to but it was lovely and we were able to see a lot more of the animals closer than usual. Much closer, the kids pet deer and pygmy goats in the petting area and we were happy to see that the black bears were not only awake but were padding around their enclosure, much to the delight of the visitors.
The zoo was a great visit but the hour and a half drive (which is WAY shorter than the two and a half it used to take in Ontario for that zoo) felt like waaayyy longer. This of course is because there are no such thing as straight roads in this province. Everything twists and turns and dips and rolls through mountains and then along lakes. There is also no such thing as a boring drive either. Suffice it to say, by yesterday, and coupled with a really bad night’s sleep, I was exhausted.
But, chocolate beckoned so we all huddled into the car once again and this time drove west along the coast. All the way to Maine. No, I’m not kidding. When you pull into St. Stephen, right in the middle of their downtown is the border bridge, shorter than the bridge over the grand as you enter Elora, right there. And within a stone’s throw, is Maine.
We went on the tour through the Ganong chocolate museum, where there is all you can eat chocolate throughout the tour, and walked down to see some of the local events that were going on. Turns out, the chocolate fest is really better if your kids are younger than ours are now, but we still had a lot of fun. We left early and decided that instead of just hopping on the expressway once again, we would follow the signs and take the Fundy Coast road (reminding me of Ireland) and the scenic tour.
Okay, you guys. This was insane.
So we’re driving along and it’s all nice and good. More twisty roads, less mountains, and every so often through the trees we’d get a short lived glimpse of the bay.
We were getting tired. St. Stephen is only an hour and a half from home and with the detour we were on, we’d already been driving for about two hours. Sure, we had found a nice turn off and had walked along one of New Brunswick’s stone beaches, enjoying the view, taking pictures, but, just when we were all ready to pack it in and head back to the expressway and home, I suggested we follow the trail just a little bit longer.
But, after stopping for pictures, we kept on going. This time we were going to head back to the highway. Only one thing…
We came around a curve to yet another stunning view, but this time, we slowed down. Way down. Because we noticed something unusual in the water. Definitely not a breakwater.
And then we saw the tail.
And then we pulled over for a better look.
Of course I was an idiot and had forgotten my camera, but I had my phone. See that black thing out in the water??
We didn’t have to get seats on a boat tour, we just had to get in our car and there it was, a whale! There were actually two of them and we sat, mesmerized on a rocky out cropping watching them for a good twenty minutes. We were stunned. Of all the wildlife we had been on the watch for during our drive, whales were last on our list of expectations of ‘things to see’ that day.
We came home, exhausted once again but elated. Although we miss our Aislinn terribly, (three weeks till you’re back home, sweetie!) we are loving the new place and it really feels like it’s loving us back.