Gaspe 2021


Early October saw Monica and I steal away for 5 glorious days around the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec. The same way that comfort food satisfies the anxious heart, this was a comfort trip for us… sort of a pandemic pilgrimage. We sought our favorite things: the rugged beauty of Eastern Canada, the fall colors, waterfalls, lighthouses, covered bridges and great food. Mission accomplished and gratitudes applied. Nice, eh?

Here are the highlights.

 

 

Sea-Side Sizzle

A summer of seafood to satisfy the senses… with Monnie’s home grown veggies, herbs and pickles.

Saint John Saturday

On this beautiful late-August Saturday, Monica and I drove “out East” for a hike to Cape Spencer Lighthouse and then a picnic lunch and beach stroll at Mispec Beach. Lots of folks were out enjoying the sun and sand. We even found some sea glass 😀

Southeastern New Brunswick 2021

It’s the end of June, the most anticipated time of the year for me. We get to celebrate Monica’s birthday (this year 63🎂) and our anniversary (37❤🥂)… AND, we often like to get away somewhere for a change of scenery (triple bonus).

This year, we chose 3 nights at the Fundy Highlands Motel and Chalets in Fundy National Park at Alma for some quiet unwinding and togetherness. We planned for plenty of trail hiking, beach combing, antique hunting and good food. The weather was a crap shoot. There were moments of sun and rain, heat and cool, fog and black flies and mirror calm bay waters reflecting pastel skies. Good for body, mind and soul, we truly enjoyed nature washing in this spectacular national park and adjoining UNESCO biosphere shoreline listed in the world’s “amazing places”.

Our three-night getaway is captured in photos for our future recall. I look forward to looking back and smiling at the wonderful memories we made in Fundy National Park.

Day 1 – Arriving: highlights – snack at Wolfe Lake (birthday gift from Sarah), hike at Kinnie Brook (very hot), hike at Wolfe Point (foggy and cooler), beach walk at Herring Cove (sea glass), check in to Fundy Highlands chalet, drive into Alma for seafood platter take-out, stuff faces back at the chalet, pass out.

Day 2 – Monica’s Birthday: Highlights – breakfast (leftover seafood platter, eggs and toast), road trip along the coast, first stop Dennis Beach (too foggy), Mary’s Point (UNESCO protected area), Lars Larsen marsh, Anderson Hollow Lighthouse, Angel Mist Antique shop (like a museum), The Bird Garden craft shop (found Monica’s birthday gift), lunch at Tipsy Tails in Alma, afternoon relax at the chalet, sausages and sauerkraut for supper.

Day 3 – Happy Anniversary: Highlights – power breakfast (left over sausages, eggs & toast), hike to Dickson Falls (exchanged Anniversary cards there), hike to Matthew’s Head (4.5 km and rooty, awesome views), afternoon thunderstorm (ethereal and beautiful), drive into Alma to purchase lobsters, enjoy the after-storm sunshine on the deck, candle light dinner at the chalet (lobster, steak, corn and potatoes paired with great Chardonnay).

 

A Fall Day

On this beautiful Sunday morning (in June), Monica and I went for a hike just twenty minutes from home to discover Tracy Falls. Nestled in a deep ravine in the Willow Grove area of East Saint John just past the airport, Tracy Falls is elusive. You can’t see it until you turn a final corner and, there it is! A fourty foot cascade that fills the shady chasm with cool mist. It was a hot day and Mon and I had already gotten lost once by taking a wrong path. Being here was heaven. The water was low and the falls were diminished, but we would really like to come back during the freshet. It must be spectacular!

Moss Glen 3-hour tour

On this beautiful cloudless Victoria Day, Monica and I got out of the house and went for a morning drive to the Kingston Peninsula. With the Hiking Trails of New Brunswick book in hand, we sought out the Moss Glen trail. At just 2.3 kms, it is rated “easy” on the difficulty scale. A lovely time of year with very few mosquitoes yet, we especially enjoyed the trilliums blooming on the forest floor. Just down the brook a short distance, we found the two Moss Glenn waterfalls (upper and lower). They are both impressive and inviting as summer swimming spots for locals. We ended our tour with a picnic lunch beside the river waiting for the Summerville ferry back to Saint John. Start to finish was 3 hours. The rest of the day was enjoyed on the back deck.

Oh, to be 33

On May 2nd, Monica and I had the supreme fortune of having our daughter, Sarah and her man Matt, to our house to celebrate her 33rd birthday. We all had the supreme fortune of enjoying Monica’s amazing Dan Dan noodles for dinner, followed by quadruple chocolate cheesecake. We love life, but not as much as we love our Sarah (nod to Joni Mitchell).

 

Oh, Deer Island

April 24th was the nicest day of the year so far. Temperatures soared to 20 C in Saint John. Monica and I wanted to get out of the house and go for a walk on one of the 145 official NB Hiking Trails. We headed west to Deer Island to do the only registered trail on the island; the Clark Gregory Nature Preserve trail at Chocolate Cove. It is listed as ‘moderate’ difficulty with a couple of wet spots and lots of tip-toeing around roots and rocks. However, it is short at only 1.5 kms and only took us 30-40 minutes. The views across the water of satellite islands and fishing weirs are gorgeous. It is well worth the trip for something different plus the ferry ride to and from the island is always interesting.

Working up an appetite on our hike called for lunch on a beach somewhere. So, we headed to Deer Island Point at the southern tip of the island. The tide was ebbing fast giving us a dramatic show of “Old Sow” (world’s second largest whirlpool) as we enjoyed chicken salad sandwiches in the sunshine. Then a bit of peaceful beach-combing for sea glass and digestion of lunch.

We continued our tour around the island poking into random side roads to discover hidden gems like buoy covered shacks and small herds of deer! We could not drive past the 45th Parallel Restaurant at Fairhaven without stopping in for a hot fudge brownie sundae… these are home-made brownies…hot and scrumptious!

We ended our day on the drive back to Saint John with a stop into the Canada Green garden nursery and landscape center in St. George. Besides having any plant or garden tool you could want, a tour of the property is like strolling through a zen garden abounding with fountains and sculptures. Monnie picked up an herb planter (pre-Mother’s Day gift). I will look forward to whatever she plants and subsequently feeds to me. 😁

Thanks for reading. Here is a short photo album covering our drive and walk on Deer Island April 2021.

International Food Critic

I’m not really a food critic, just a food lover! If there’s anything to be critical of, it’s perhaps that I’m loving the food too much! But…. Monica is really rocking her recipe books lately. And…. since we can’t travel physically at this time, we will do so gastronomically 😀. Here’s where we went in winter ’21. We ended our trip on March 25th on the 44th anniversary of our first date at Mount Allison Univ. in Sackville. This time, to celebrate we went to France with Julia Child (and a Grand finale).

 
Julia Child – Mousseline au Chocolat

Irish, Italian, Asian B-Day

On March 17th, we celebrate Matt’s birthday. This year, #32! The four of us (Matt, Sarah, Monica and me) enjoyed a fantastic fusion of Italian/Asian at Delizioso restaurant in Saint John’s east end.