14 September 2015

Holiday Adventures: Canada

Welcome to the third and final part of my awesome holiday blog series, you can find parts 2: New England Road Trip here, and Part 1: New York here... Wow, looking at these photos it feels like sooo long ago, in reality we got back only a few weeks ago.  I do wish we were still adventuring and exploring though.... (sad face!)

So, I mentioned in part 2 that it was a bit of an adventure to get over the border from USA to Canada. Having to drop one hire car off in Bangor Maine, then a taxi a few hours up the road to the border and then another hire car from St. John in New Brunswick.

The taxi journey was a bit surreal, once we got out of Bangor there was literally nothing for miles and miles! The roads were empty and just lined with trees as far as the eye could see, it was amazing scenery though, but felt soooo big!

We got the taxi to St John airport and picked up our next hire car relatively easily.  Mark was disappointed as it was a much smaller, less powerful car.  Our destination was Rothesay, New Brunswick as this was the location for Mark's brother's wedding. We decided to arrive at the hotel the night before and just relax before the big day, I'm so glad we did as the hotel was stunning. By far the nicest place we stayed over the whole trip, it felt so fancy after our road trip motels.

The hotel is called the Shadow Lawn Inn and it is a really lovely old building with very traditional decor.  I was so in love with our room, it was huge, with a massive four poster bed, but the best bit were the little stairs down to a sunken bathroom, it was so lovely!
So that evening we met with Mark's parents, sister and nephew Alex at a restaurant down the road, a BBQ restaurant, I don't think there are many vegetarians in Canada! haha.  But I did find something to eat so was all good.

On the way back from the restaurant as a special treat we found a frozen yogurt shop, I was SO happy! I've never been in one of these before, and I was literally a kid in a candy store.  Picking lots of crazy flavour combinations and ALL the sprinkles....
 Look how happy I am.... easily pleased.... haha!

So the next day was the wedding, the reason for the whole trip.  And typically after blue skies and stupidly hot weather the whole week before it decided to rain today! boo!  But as the ceremony was inside anyway it didn't matter too much.

We hung out in the morning, playing with Alex, Mark's nephew, who was a bit over excited about being in the fancy hotel.  Then we got ready for the ceremony which was later afternoon.  The wedding was a very small family ceremony but it was lovely. I always get so emotional at weddings and have to fight back a little tear.  The bride looked stunning!
The food at the wedding was amazing! By far the nicest food of our whole trip! Well we had mostly been living off junk fast food in America! Oh god, I could eat that smores dessert everyday for the rest of my life, drooool!

Mark and I were keen to explore Rothesay a bit, so we asked Will (Mark's brother) what there was to see and how far it was to walk into 'town', we were a bit surprised to find that like most Canadian towns there was no 'town' there was not really a central, focal point.  There was simply a big busy street with fast food restaurants and larger shops down each side.  It seems it isn't quite the done thing to walk, and most people just drive from shop to shop.

We walked anyway and wandered up to Tim Horton's! Every town has a Tim Horton's - FACT! Also it is practically illegal to not go to one when visiting Canada! They are basically just a Starbucks/Costa type place with coffee, some hot food, paninnis etc and doughnuts! We liked it anyway, good cheese toasties and of course I might have sampled a doughnut or two (we went to Tim Horton's a LOT during our trip! hehe).

The other place we got over excited about was Sobey's supermarket, isn't that just THE most Canadian sounding name? Lol! The header image above is my happy excited Sobey's face! So in the places we visited in Canada we always checked out the Tim Horton's and the Sobey's! They were both the same layout everywhere you went!

The night following the wedding we all went back to Will and Steph's house, which is about 20 minutes drive from where the wedding hotel was and in the middle of what seems like nowhere.
Their house was huge with loads of land.  It was nice to hang out with Mark's family and we had a BBQ on their terrace.

The following day Mark and I were off again to continue our road trip through Canada, Mark's parents, Sister and Alex stayed on another few days with Mark's brother and Steph.

We decided to go a few hours down the road to a place called Shediac, we had heard good things about this place and it didn't disappoint.  Again it was pretty much a big busy long street with big shops either side but there were more shops, and a lot more to explore here.  Plus the place is known for the beach, so we couldn't wait to check that out...
We were so happy with our little cottage (it was randomly called Stephen!) we rented for a couple of nights, so deceptively large.  A huge kitchen, sitting room and two big bedrooms.  So we popped to Sobey's to stock up....!
We enjoyed a lovely day on the beach with Mark's family joining us on their drive over to Halifax. They had decided to get to Halifax (our last stop) the day before us to explore some more of the town.  So they stopped off for an afternoon at the beach as we told them how nice it was.
Final day in Canada! We left Shediac and made our way to Halifax, Nova Scotia the day before our flight.  We stayed in a hotel at the airport with Mark's family too.  On the day of our flight we had some time to kill as we were not flying until midnight.

We were very disappointed (well I was!) not to see a wild moose on our many travels... so we went for a visit to a local wildlife park as I read they had one. So exciting!

We met a Groundhog, I didn't even know they were real!!!

Alex and Mark fed a cute deer.

And YES, we finally saw a moose! He was asleep! He was huge though, so impressive!

Later in the afternoon, we were keen to cool off a bit before our flights so we popped to a lovely lake, Mark had a dip, I paddled.... Then onto the airport to catch our flight home... boo, sob!

Have you visited Canada? Which parts? What would you recommend doing there should we visit again?


  1. We have a groundhog in our neighbourhood here in Michigan, reeks havoc in my veg patch lol

    1. Hi Rachael, thanks for your comment. I seriously thought Groundhogs were just something from that movie! This one was apparently a famous one too. It was kind of cute though. Wish we had more interesting animals in UK.


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