Miss Daisy Driving

she finally decided to take the wheel

Category: Uncategorized (page 2 of 4)

That time when…

I thought I was standing behind a fellow lone female traveler as I was waiting for the bus.

But when the bus started to board, she kept looking frantically behind her and texting someone.

Then, I thought I saw a really cute lone male traveler to connect with.

He was the person the “lone female traveler” was waiting for.

Overheard Conversations: Green Gables Edition

The Scene: A mom is visiting Green Gables with her daughter. They walk up the stairs to the second floor. 

Mom: “Let me take your photo with the wallpaper.”

Daughter: “Okay”

I don’t know which part is worse: the fact that the wallpaper the mom wanted to document was incredibly ugly or the fact that this must be a regular occurrence, since the daughter complied immediately.

Yoga and Driving and Dinner oh my

Waking up in Ottawa just felt right.

I set my alarm for 8am but woke up around 7:30 to a maintenance man trying to get into the apartment building (the entrance is right next to my unit’s door) unsuccessfully, using the wrong code.

I couldn’t even find it in me to be annoyed, and that’s really saying something.

I just chillaxed in bed for a while, put on a ~chill~ Spotify station on the TV (!!!), and showered. Then I made myself a cup of coffee, ate a banana, and sat down to write yesterday’s post.

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I left the airbnb around eleven: a little later than I had originally planned. I headed back to Parliament Hill, this time for a yoga class!!! I drove around looking for parking for a while first; there is so much construction that most of the street parking and even some garages are blocked off.

But when I finally got to the Hill and claimed a spot on the beautiful lawn, it was so worth the trouble parking and the late start.

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For those of you who know geography (definitely not one of my personal strengths…) may be wondering why I went all the way down to Ottawa before going back up to Quebec City. Well, here it is:

Every Wednesday during the summer months, weather permitting, LuluLemon hosts “Yoga on Parliament Hill.” So, although it didn’t make much sense to pass Quebec only to go back, I really wanted to experience this free, group yoga session, just to see what it’s really all about. All of the photos I saw looked really cool, with big turnouts each week, but I wasn’t sure if that’s the way it was every single week or just a few out of the summer, etc.

But sure enough, more and more people showed up and soon the hill was completely full.

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(Don’t worry, I only took my phone out once during the session and it was to take this one photo)

The session itself was pretty low-key, but it was super hot so it was definitely challenging.

My favorite thing was that it was not only really relaxing, everyone was so welcoming and nonjudgmental. Anyone and everyone was welcome, no matter their skill level. I saw a couple of older women, a ton of really in shape men and women, and even a five year old. There were families, couples, groups of friends… it was really amazing to be a part of something that large and all-inclusive.

The session lasted about forty-five minutes, and when I stood up I thought I was dead. I hadn’t had much to eat, so I went straight to Starbucks (I know, I know… it was the first thing I saw and was in between the hill and where I parked) and grabbed a water, some yogurt with blueberries, strawberries, and granola, and a warm chicken with pesto sandwich. I needed to recharge a bit before heading out on the long drive, so I sat down and rested for a bit, eating my yogurt (taking my sandwich to go).

Shamanda was in the TIGHTEST spot in the parking spot… it was quite the adventure trying to get out of it. I didn’t hit even tap any of the surrounding areas, though!!! It was quite the feat, to be honest. A couple of girls were watching the whole time… didn’t help much. Good thing I had gotten to the lot a little early or my allotted time would’ve run out as I was trying pull out of the dang space!

Then, on to Quebec City!

The drive was incredibly smooth. More cars than normal, since it wasn’t 5am, but it was really nice. I listened to an audiobook — Anderson Cooper’s autobiography (which he wrote along with his mom). It was cool; I had never listened to a book before — definitely going to make a habit of it for the last few long drives! My music has gotten a little old (please send me any suggestions you may have!!!), so it was a nice change.

Beautiful clouds

Beautiful clouds on the way to Quebec City

I got to my airbnb at around 6pm, which was exactly what I had planned. Such a nice place!

View from the balcony

View from the balcony

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More photos to come.

I loaded my stuff in, settled for a little, and then walked to the nearby grocery store to grab some ingredients for dinner! I’ve been going out a lot so I wanted to switch it up a little bit by making a homemade meal for myself.

The walk to the store

The walk to the store

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View from the deck when I got back

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And let me just say… yum.

(Not to toot my own horn or anything — whatever that expression is supposed to mean.)

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Roasted chicken, orzo with basil (cooked in with the chicken for a couple of minutes with some chicken broth), and a salad with fresh iceberg lettuce and cherry tomatoes.

It started raining as I sat down to dinner so I ate in front of a ~Netflix original movie~ called ‘Fundamentals of Caring.’

It was sooooooo good. Really touching and beautiful.

It also had Selena Gomez in it.

I love Selena Gomez.

Then I tried to make cookies… but the oven is confusing and also I didn’t have any type of crisco or parchment paper anything to keep them from sticking to the baking sheet, so the result wasn’t very photogenic. But still, yummy!

Now I’m off to bed! More exploring to do tomorrow. Can’t wait to see what Quebec City has to offer!

500 Days of Fog

I wish Joseph Gordon Levitt were in that movie… Would’ve made the last couple of drives much more enjoyable.

Anyway, hi!

In the midst of my ~treat yo self~ night I accidentally set my alarm for 4:30PM instead of 4:30AM… I wanted to get an early start because I was headed to Ottawa (a seven+ hour drive) and I only had a day to explore there, so I wanted to get there as soon as possible. Luckily, I had gone to bed pretty early the night before so I woke up naturally at around 6:15. I was behind schedule, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I quickly got up, hopped in the shower, packed up Shamanda, and went on my way!

The fog had returned, but even when it lifted the weather was still super strange. There were a ton of clouds in the sky, some storm clouds and some not. I’d be driving in beautiful, sunny weather and then all of a sudden rain would start POURING down; then I’d go a little further and it would stop just as soon as it started (I was no longer under the storm cloud). As annoying as it was (I kept accidentally leaving my windshield wipers on after it had stopped raining and then turning them off right when it started to rain again), it was also pretty cool.

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The drive was pretty uneventful; I listened to a combination of podcasts and music and marveled at the beautiful surroundings. I only stopped once for coffee and gas, with about two hours left in the trip. There were the cutest girls working in the gas station. They could be models (when I say “girls,” they were probably about my age or a little older) they were so beautiful. Instead, they chose the gas station life. You do you, girls.

The best part of the drive by far was when “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” came on Spotify.

I would include a video, but none of you would ever talk to me again, probably.

Let’s just say I got super into it.

The worst part of the drive was the last hour; it’s always the hardest part. At that point I had been driving for 6.5 hours and was SO close yet SO far.

Finally, I got to my airbnb in Ottawa! I had a little trouble with the code that grants access to the building, but luckily my host was SO helpful and responded to my messages a few minutes later, explaining exactly how to get it. While I was waiting for her to respond, I explored the surrounding area a bit! Very cute area; very family oriented! There was a cute artisanal cheese (and other foods and kitchen appliances, etc.) shop, a coffee shop, and — Guess.

A Subway.

After I was able to get into the apartment (around three) I got settled in, made a game plan about what was in store for the rest of the afternoon/night, and then left! It was a beautiful day; pretty hot, but not too bad. I hopped in Shamanda and drove to the center of town (I could have walked but I was planning on getting back pretty late and didn’t want to have to walk all that way in the dark alone).

My oh my oh my oh my.

I LOVE OTTAWA.

I immediately fell in love with this city.

I found a cheap parking lot, grabbed some gelato, and walked to Parliament Hill. Pure bliss.

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U.S.A.!!!!

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You better believe I got me some “sexy chocolate”

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Byward Market

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Rideau Canal

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Château Laurier

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Way too many people saw me take this photo.

I mean, just look at this place.

After finishing up my gelato soup, I visited the Bytown Museum (Bytown is the old name for Ottawa) which tells about the history of Ottawa, its parliament, and the Rideau Canal. It was really interesting! I did one of those audio tours which helped me focus (museums are tough for me because there’s always so much to see that I tend to look at everything at once).

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After spending about forty minutes looking around, I headed to the National Gallery of Canada, another museum (this time, art).

Possibly the prettiest museum I have seen to this day.

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Creepy spider sculpture but BEAUTIFUL building .

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One of my favorite pieces

Me in a room of art

Me in a room of art

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Another favorite

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Elisabeth Louise Vigee de Brun exhibit

I had unfortunately gotten to the museum about forty minutes before closing, so I had to kind of rush through the exhibits. Forty minutes was not enough time to see everything, but it definitely was enough time to marvel at and absorb the beauty.

After buying a few not-too overpriced things at the gift shop, I explored a bit more.

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Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

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I decided to walk back to the parking lot at this point because I realized that it would be dark by the time I had to go get Shamanda and wasn’t sure that I’d know where the parking lot was… Luckily, I was able to retrace my steps very easily and found the lot in minutes. Then, to dinner!

As I was trying to find a good place to eat I encountered a street performer (a brilliant comedian and okay stuntman). My phone was dying, so unfortunately I only captured this short video and photo of him trying to escape from a straight jacket upside down with fire torches under him.

I don’t usually go much for these daredevil shows, but this guy was so hilarious and quick on his feet, it was really entertaining.

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He was roasting everybody (including himself), but luckily the crowd had a great sense of humor (including the slightly ominous-looking guy the street performer fist bumped and then said, “that’s my old roommate… from jail.” Bold move, dude).

I also happened upon a cute little street market.

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Such a cool vibe all around.

I ended up at a steakhouse for dinner, where I ordered the top sirloin with a side of roasted veggies (green beans and red peppers) and garlic mashed potatoes. YUM. My phone was charging behind the bar, though, so I unfortunately couldn’t document it. Just imagine the most beautiful, perfectly cooked steak and the tastiest garlic mashed I’ve ever had (sorry, mom). I want to eat it over and over again.

The only photographic evidence I have is this bathroom selfie I took post-delicious meal.

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After dinner I decided to walk back to Shamanda again, this time to move her closer to Parliament Hill, which was where I’d be later that night (for the Northern Lights show: a light and sound show about the history of Canada). I found a pretty good parking spot and then walked to the Hill, blanket in tow.

Nothing to see here.

Nothing to see here.

I set up camp on the lawn and started to read (I still had about two hours until the show was actually going to begin). It was beautiful! Tons of families and couples walking around, finding the perfect place to sit. There was the CUTEST little girl (probably about one year old) who kept running over to me and sitting on my lap. At one point she even ran over and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

Then she took my phone and dropped it on the grass a couple of feet away.

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Finally, the show began! It was magical. Animations were projected onto the Parliament, recounting the history of Canada with beautiful colors and moving language. The feeling of unity and patriotism was ABUNDANT.

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Such a beautiful night. I felt so lucky!

I also converted to Canadianism.

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After the show I gathered my things, walked back to Shamanda, and drove back to the apartment. Such a cute place to come home to.

Cute little bachelor(ette) pad

Cute little bachelor(ette) pad

Ottawa = my new favorite city.

If someone who will go unnamed somehow wins the 2016 election, I’m moving here.

Or maybe I’ll just move here anyway.

Who’s with me?

That time when…

I scared the living daylights out of a little old lady.

The story: 

I was riding my bike (from that awful citibike service UGH) around the streets of Montreal, exploring every cute little street and cute little park… The brakes on the bike were really loud so I tried not to use them that much, slowing down naturally or stopping by putting my feet down.

Unfortunately, a lady had stepped onto the street I was riding down, so I had to slow down kind of suddenly (she was still a ways away so I still tried to put on the brakes lightly). The brakes were SO loud that she literally jumped out of her skin.

Okay, well not literally out of her skin, but she certainly jumped. I felt SO bad; I apologized profusely as she walked slowly across the street clutching her chest, still trembling.

Now that I think back on it; it was probably just a little bit of an overreaction… but that poor lady.

I’m sorry!!!

~Treat Yo Self~

TREAT-YO-SELF

Hello from Rimouski, QC!!!

Today was an easy day (after the seven hour drive). Rimouski is a pit stop to break up the drive from PEI to Ottawa with no real sights to see.

Well, I’m sure there was something to see, but it started raining after I got settled in (another stroke of luck) so I decided to just stay in tonight.

My alarm went off at 5am but I decided that since I didn’t have to be to the destination at any particular time, I could sleep a little longer. I only ended up sleeping until about 5:30 and was out by 6am! So much for sleeping in.

The drive was pretty smooth, besides a lot of fog. This time the fog was really in the way, so everyone was driving very slowly and carefully (thank goodness). Once it lifted, though, the fog was BEAUTIFUL over the trees and fields.

Caught another sunrise.

I even managed to catch another sunrise.

Watching the sunrise will never be not magical (double negatives mean I’m super serious).

A couple of things I saw/noticed/realized on the way up:

  • A truck carrying a house. Literally an entire house.
  • People walk on the side of the highway a lot (and not just the highways that pass by residential areas, but the full-blown highways)
  • Canadians really like golf
  • The answer to the question, “Will I never not audibly react to seeing cows?” is no.

Also, did you guys know that there is a $46 toll for PEI??? Ridiculous.

Since I wasn’t in a rush, I let myself stop whenever I wanted to. This really came in handy because I was SO tired; I had to stop for coffee a number of times.

One of my stops was in Bathurst, New Brunswick. Super cute!

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Finally, I rolled up to Rimouski, my next destination! When this is the view from the gas station, you know you’re in a beautiful place.

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I got there around 12:30pm, about 3.5 hours before check-in time. Luckily, though, they had a room all ready for me!!!

My room: One bed to nap in, another to sleep in

My room: One bed to nap in, another to sleep in

I settled in, wrote my last blog post, and then went to the pool (!!!) for some much needed relaxation 🙂

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Pool!

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Pool + Hot tub

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Cute little French-Canadian girl copying my every move

After I finished my book and got out of the hot tub (it was too cold to hang on the deck of the pool, even though it was inside), I went back up to my room to take a short nap before dinner. It was so nice!!!

And then, DINNER.

~vacation style~

~vacation style sponsored by JCrew~

I have no words for how yummy my meal was.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Seafood Scampi

Seafood Scampi

Since it was treat yoself night, I decided to treat myself to two more glasses of wine after this one. Then I had a dance party in my hotel room.

‘Twas a great night.

To Ottawa!

That time when…

I turned down the wrong road.

Yep, definitely not the right way.

Lesson of the day: Canadians love Subway

 It’s true. There’s a Subway on almost every street corner. And not the metro kind of subway, but the fast-food restaurant of the sandwich variety. That’s great and everything, but… why Subway?

The second lesson of the day is that when it rains in PEI, everyone freaks the freak out.

My alarm tried to go off at 4:30am but I said NO WAY and turned it off until 5am. Not much of a difference, but I needed that extra half an hour. I packed up all of my things, attempted to make coffee, cleaned up the coffee that had overflown, and went on my way! Headed to Prince Edward Island with a full tank of gas and five hours on the clock, I didn’t even need to stop once until I got over the Confederation Bridge and onto the island.

It was SO foggy in the morning. For a while it was just foggy over the water and on the mountains so it wasn’t an issue as far as sight while driving, but eventually it closer and while it still wasn’t awful, it wasn’t great. Good thing it was still before 6am and there were only about three other people on the road. It was beautiful, though, when it wasn’t in my way.

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I pretty much had to retrace my steps from when I went from Alma to Cape Breton, because you have to pass through New Brunswick to get to the island. It would go from being super foggy to super clear to super foggy in a span of one minute.

Things I saw/noticed/laughed at:

  • A yard full of Simpsons characters cutouts. I wish I had stopped to get a photo, because it was just so unbelievable (literally; I bet you don’t believe me).
  • Crows have such long legs…
  • A boat named “Just Another Bill;” no, Bill! You’re a special Bill! There’s no one else like you!
  • Everyone waves at you from their car as they’re passing you… Meanwhile I’m blasting “Fuck You.” Canada is way too nice for me.
  • The sign leading the way to “Marshy Hope”
  • The sign leading the way to “Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park”
  • The sign warning against “Church Traffic”
  • I’m hungry… Why do I always force myself to leave before the free breakfast???
  • “Tasty cinnamon buns are here” at this gas station
  • “Korean pulled pork is here” at this Subway
  • SO MANY COWS — I wonder if I’ll ever be able to see cows and NOT have some audible reaction (“AWWWWWW” “OH MY GOD, MOO YEAHS!!!!!”).
A REAL LIFE FARM WITH REAL LIFE COWS

A REAL LIFE FARM WITH REAL LIFE COWS

I made great time and arrived on the island around 10:30am; the moon was still in the sky. I checked out the visitor’s center first, grabbed a bunch of brochures, and headed to find a place to eat.

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Before I left for this trip I had ordered this book off of Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a8VTeM

It has come in handy on multiple occasions these past few days, since I have so little time yet SO much to see — it has helped focus me, showing me the best of the best so as not to waste any time. I only had one day on Prince Edward Island, so I wanted to be sure to get the most out of it.

One of the suggested scenic routes on PEI was one that takes you from the end of the Confederation Bridge (beginning of PEI) to Rocky Point, making a few stops along the way.

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My first true stop, for breakfast/lunch, was Victoria by the Sea. It was so cute! I walked around a little when I first got there, but it was still super foggy. It’s also Sunday, so unfortunately a lot of the little shops (including a Theatre Bookstore that I was VERY interested in) were closed.

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Rolling hills, distant mountains, a dock, a beach, and the cutest little houses and shops, this little town has it all. I had brunch at a cute little seafood restaurant on the bay:

The view from my table

The view from my table

So like… I’m just going to leave this here.

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Brunch.

Oh, and this.

The aftermath.

The aftermath.

Is there any other way to live life?

After that life-changing meal I stopped by the Lighthouse Museum down the street (the oldest lighthouse still standing in PEI) and then made my way to Island Chocolates… did you expect anything less?

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I tried to leave without getting anything; I really did.

By the time I had eaten and gotten my chocolates the fog had lifted, so I took another quick walk around Victoria, marveling at the view.

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The tide was so high (“the tide is hiiighh but i’m hoooldin’ on”) that it was came halfway up the stairs that led down to the beach!

After soaking it in a bit more, I went on my way. My next stop was Port-la-Joye//Fort Amherst and the Blockhouse Point Lighthouse. Fort Amherst is a National History Site in PEI; a park that commemorates the first permanent European settlement on the island.

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This selfie stick is the best thing that has ever happened to me

This selfie stick is the best thing that has ever happened to me

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But about two minutes into the hike it started to thunder in the distance so I got the heck out of there — and just in time.

It soon started to POUR

It soon started to POUR

And, as I mentioned above, these islanders have NO IDEA WHAT TO DO IN THE RAIN. The road conditions were awful; why an island is allowed to have such poor storm drains is beyond me. The streets were flooded with puddle after puddle. Luckily for me it didn’t rain for that long, because Shamanda is pretty low to the ground; I would have been sunk.

I decided to turn off the GPS (my phone) and just follow signs/sights that looked interesting. I had a general idea of what I wanted to see, but never stopped myself from accidentally discovering something and pulling over to investigate more. I ended up in Charlottetown, the capital of PEI; IT WAS SO CUTE. I couldn’t get enough of it; I never wanted to leave.

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St. Dunstan’s Basilica

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Province House

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City Hall

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Victoria Row

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THIS IS A REAL PLACE WITH NO FILTER

I even happened upon a little concert:

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Hopping back in Shamanda, I decided to turn on the island radio for a little bit — some classic 80s throwbacks put me in a great mood.

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Next up was Green Gables, the inspiration for L. M. Montgomery’s novel “Anne of Green Gables!” The house itself was so cute, with each room laid out as it would have been in the novel. The grounds were in full bloom and the farm was equipped with saddles, hay, and even a fake cow that scared me to DEATH when I walked by. It was so fun!

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Anne’s room

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Sewing room!

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Scared me to death

This was especially fun for me because I was in the play a while back! I don’t remember it much (it was kind of boring, if we’re being honest) but one thing I do remember (I played Diana, Anne’s best friend) was having to play drunk after drinking raspberry cordial. If you look closely at the picnic table pictured above, you can see Diana’s cordial still sitting there.

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That killed me.

Next I headed towards Cavendish Beach but ended up stopping in New Glasgow instead. I found some beautiful gardens and then made my way to this INCREDIBLE cafe/art gallery/shop.

Gardens of Hope

Gardens of Hope

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A random lady who could only speak French took this for me

Thank you, random lady who could only speak French

The drive to the Cafe/Gallery

Landscape on the drive to the Cafe/Gallery

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This place was so cool. I didn’t take any photos of the inside because it felt odd and I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to, but here’s the link to their website so you can get an idea of what kinds of things were in there: http://www.dunesgallery.com

One thing I did have to document were these art pieces made from rolled magazines (there were also frames and mirrors made from the same material):

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There was also a beautiful rooftop garden and lookout, which was so calming, especially because I was the only one up there at the time.

Rooftop garden

Rooftop garden // “Muse Garden”

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Spiral staircase leading down from the lookout to the rooftop garden

Spiral staircase leading down from the lookout to the rooftop garden

I somehow walked out without buying anything (a little too out of my price range but probably SO worth it; ah well) and then finally headed towards Summerside, where my B&B for the night was waiting! The woman who runs the B&B came out to greet me as I walked in; Man, did she like to talk. She was an absolutely LOVELY woman, but it had just been such a long day, I just wanted to flop down on the bed and never get up. Instead, talk talk talk talk talk.

My favorite part of our exchange, though, is that when I asked for dinner recommendations, she told me to go to Wendy’s.

Wendy’s. 

I didn’t go to Wendy’s. Instead, I ended up at a little seafood restaurant on the cute little Summerside boardwalk. There was about a 25 minute wait so after putting my name in (which the hostess spelled “Dasiy” — really? My name is NOT that hard to get right), I explored a little bit before sitting down.

Summerside boardwalk

Summerside boardwalk

My restaurant!

My restaurant!

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Reminds me of the ship paintings in my house, except ours are better.

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It was finally time for dinner and I ended up sitting upstairs right across from Bill and Hillary Clinton in thirty years:

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O, Canada

O, Canada

It took the waiter a while to come over to me… when he finally did he asked, “Waiting for a few more are you?”

HA.

“Oh, it’s just you?”

I ordered some yummy crab cakes and a caesar salad. I’m sure gonna miss this fresh seafood!!!

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After dinner I made my way down to the beginning of the boardwalk (that happened to be right next to the Wendy’s I was told to go to) to watch the beginning of the sunrise, but there was a huge family there so I decided to head to a nearby beach to watch it from there, instead, where I could wade into the water (wasn’t much of a swimming beach — very shallow).

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Ah, much happy (until I got my first mosquito bite of the trip MOMENTS from a clean getaway).

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The last stop before heading back to the B&B was for some much needed soft serve.

I apologize for my crazy eyes -- I was overcome with joy and excitement

I apologize for my crazy eyes — I was overcome with joy and excitement

My B&B was cute! Very rustic… not my design taste/aesthetic, but it was very cosy! The doll on the bed (even Poohie didn’t get along with her) and the Jesus stuff on the bedside table (not to mention the older couple sitting on the common room couch singing hymns together) were just a little much…

B&B entrance

B&B entrance

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(Not to offend anybody; Jesus is just not really my style.)

I tried to write this post last night, but… boy was I sleepy and I had another long drive the next morning, so I decided to give up and just SLEEP. Still only got about five hours of sleep, but that’s okay because up next is Rimouski, QC! Time to ~relax~ before heading back to civilization!

Overheard Conversations: Cabot Trail Edition

The Scene: A cute little Canadian family are sitting together at a table. The two daughters want to go outside and play on the monkey bars. Less than two minutes later, the girls have returned to the table, inside. 

Mom: “Let me guess, too many bugs?”

Daughter #1: “There was a spider ON MY LEG”

Golf Balls and Block Ice

The title above really sums up my experience here on Cape Breton.

It was also a real sign that I saw on the side of the road.

But seriously, this place is so interesting. So much history left not to be necessarily preserved, but just left because there has been nothing to replace it yet. Does that make any sense? For example, there are a ton of abandoned gift shops and restaurants along the main part of the trail. What I find so interesting about that is that if it had been anywhere else, these restaurants would’ve gotten replaced with new restaurants or new gift shops or new cabins or a new resort, etc. Instead, they’re still sitting there. Things are very slow to advance there, as the hike guide told us last night. Her mom grew up without running water in the house. You can tell that’s the case by just looking at it; the most successful people on the island are all the best fishermen. There isn’t much you can make a living off of in this place, besides the resort and B&B owners. I find it all very cool to see and experience, because it’s definitely a change of pace from city life in the US.

Alright, so day 2 of the Cabot Trail. Fantastic! So many more amazing views.

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A little taste of the trail itself

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White Point

I started my day pretty late, leaving the B&B around 10am. I was starving, but I wanted to move on from Pleasant Bay since it was so late already (I know it’s not technically late, but I wanted to take my time and explore every nook and cranny of the other side of the trail), so I made my way up to Cape North. I found a little breakfast place with a… with a cast of characters inside. I wish I could describe this place to you, but it’s just beyond words. When I got there, there were three fishermen (?) with the best, most gruff voices. Their voices were probably all worn out from yelling over loud waves their whole lives… Ugh, I wish I could find the words to describe how they sounded. I apologize for even bringing it up because I’m sure you’re super interested now (lol).

The restaurant was run by a mother and daughter (I presume) who were sweet but not very personable… Interesting how they’re running a restaurant in which they have to greet people all day.

I ordered two eggs over easy, bacon, toast, and coffee. That came with home fries (but I don’t like home fries so bye home fries), and was only $10 altogether!!! I celebrated by buying a candy bar.

I repeat: I was starving.

After demolishing everything but the home fries, I realized I may not have enough gas to make it all the way up to the top of the island and back, so I played it safe and drove a little bit in the opposite direction to handle that, and then headed up to Cape North, and eventually Meat Cove (the northernmost community of the island)!

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So bright

So bright

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I made the horrible mistake to not bring my bathing suit to the falls

I eventually made my way to Dingwall, a cute little fishing village just off of the trail.

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This trail is so beautiful. My favorite part is how it’ll be just tree after tree after tree after tree and then, all of a sudden, a clearing revealing the most beautiful coastline.

My least favorite part of the trail is all of the people driving unnecessarily quickly. You have to be super careful so no one is going CRAZY fast, but those who ride right on my tail because I’m going MAYBE five miles under the speed limit so as not to drive off of a cliff, I just don’t understand. Not only should you take every precaution just in case something unexpected happens, don’t you want to ENJOY THE VIEWS??? Why are you all driving so quickly?! I see no point in it. I usually just pull over enough for the annoying driver to pass me and then go on my merry way.

My favorite signs (besides “Golf Balls and Block Ice”):

  • The “Public Shooting Range” sign that had been shot right through.
  • The sign that for the longest time I thought had said “Cabot Shoes” but in fact said “Cabot Shores”
  • “Rear North Gut”

Another thing I’ve noticed about Canada is how many flags I see everywhere! Talk about patriotism.

After exploring a bit more, I planned on going straight to Baddeck, checking into my B&B, getting dinner, and then settling in for the night. Instead, I ended up taking an impromptu swim when I turned onto the Ingonish Beach road and saw and felt how beautiful it was.

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(This was when I thought, ‘Gee, I hope this case really IS waterproof.’)

If you look closely, you can see how FREEZING I am

If you look closely, you can see how FREEZING I am

Then I came to terms with it because LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL

Then I came to terms with it because LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL IT WAS

After my swim, I stopped in at a restaurant that had a ton of people parked outside so I figured was good. The service was TERRIBLE, though — there weren’t that many people there! It took about ten minutes to get me seated, and, like, I’m only one person… Then it took a while for anyone to come over to take my order, give me my water… It was a drag. I ordered the scallop plate, which came with deep fried scallops, rice, and tartar sauce.

Turns out I don’t like deep fried scallops. I ended up just taking off the fried breading and just eating the scallops plain. The rice was good, though!

The drive to my next place was so beautiful (even when a fox ran in front of my car). Storm clouds and fog started rolling in (but luckily it didn’t start raining until I was about five minutes from the lodge) over the mountains, which made for such a pretty sight. And, hey! At least rain means a nice bath for Shamanda! She’s gotten quite a beating from the past few days on rough, gravely roads.

Before the storm

Before the storm

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Finally, I got to the lodge! I walked in the door, and BAM! King-sized bed. I even whipped out the selfie stick for this special occasion.

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My first reaction

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My second reaction.

(I took the photo of my second reaction about ten times… Then I realized that those rooming below me probably don’t appreciate my excitement as much as I do…)

View from my room

View from my room

And there ends my time here in Nova Scotia! Next time I’ll have to do the lighthouse tour near Halifax (south of Cape Breton, where I was).

Prince Edward Island, here I come!

Poohie has already staked out his side of the bed

Poohie has already staked out his side of the bed

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