Archive for Travel

The Great Canadian Road Trip II – Part 10: The Voyage Home

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 14, 2019 by itnerd

So we’ve come to the end of our second Great Canadian Road Trip. As we leave Charlottetown, I’d like to tie up some loose ends about the Hotel On Pownal. This is a good hotel that we’d recommend. They accommodated the secure storage of our bikes which aren’t exactly cheap and would not have fit in our room. And the staff were very nice and worked hard to make sure that we were comfortable.  But if I were them, They could look to improve on the breakfast front. They could offer a bit more variety in terms of what is on offer. For example, there were no pancakes or bacon on offer which is typical of most hotels that I’ve stayed at over the years. On top of that on some days seating space is at a premium with the hotel having to pull out TV trays to accommodate guests. That’s a bit lame. But other than that, this is a great place to stay.

Oh yeah, If you see this on top of your TV while staying at the Hotel On Pownal, don’t be alarmed:

IMG_1050

When I inquired about this, the staff said it was the IR receiver for the remote control for the TV. I investigated this by looking at the back of the TV and finding the cable box mounted on the back of the TV, and a cable running to this gizmo. Thus making their explanation highly plausible.

In terms of tech, the WiFi worked well and was generally fast enough. Thus enabling my wife and I to use our laptops and smartphones. Speaking of which, here’s how we set everything up. (Note: These pictures going forward are taken with the Nikon Coolpix P1000):

DSCN0684

My laptop lived on a desk with a backup drive attached to it so that I could back up the data on the laptop in case anything happened to it.

DSCN0685

My wife on the other hand put her laptop along with her Twelve South TimePorter on her bedside table. You’ll also see a Nomad Lightning Cable and a Orico 4 Port USB Charger which enabled her to keep her Apple Watch and iPhone 7 Plus charged. In my case, here’s what I did:

DSCN0686

This looks like a rats nest of cables, but let me explain. what’s going on here. I used my nightstand to charge all the lights for the bikes and both cyclocomputers. To facilitate that I used the Anker 60W 6-Port USB charger along with six Anker PowerLine Micro USB 3ft Cables. You’ll also note a clock radio that had two things going for it. First it was a bluetooth compatible and it had no sign of a Apple 30 pin dock connecter, which meant that the hotel bought this recently. Second, it had two USB ports where I plugged in my Twelve South TimePorter to charge my Apple Watch and a Native Union Lightning cable that I got as swag at a press event to charge my iPhone XS. One thing that I should note about the Apple Watch is that I only used the Urban Armor Gear Nato Strap during this trip as it could be used to ride bikes and hike which still looking good enough to go out to dinner. Though it will need a wash when we get back to Toronto. My wife on the other hand between her Nike Band and her Watch Stop Company Mesh Loop.

After packing up and checking out we made the two hour drive back up to the Confederation Bridge where we had to pay a $47.75 toll. To be clear, you don’t pay when you come into Prince Edward Island via the bridge. You only pay when you leave via the bridge.

Top Tip: There are self serve lanes where you can get in and out of the toll area quickly, and they also accept Apple Pay.

Once we were past that we were out of Prince Edward Island and back into New Brunswick. We weren’t going to stay the night in that province. Instead we were going to drive to just outside Quebec City and stay at the Holiday Inn Express Quebec Sainte-Foy which was recently renovated and highly recommended. That meant that our drive was going to be about 8 hours. But to be frank it took 10 hours because we made frequent stops along the way to refuel, take breaks and the like. But we did get to see this sort of scenery:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once we did arrive at the hotel, we were greeted with a hotel that was modern, clean, and well laid out. We were able to get our stuff along with our bikes inside in short order and relax for about an hour our so after our long drive to get there.

My wife had found a place nearby for dinner called Portofino. And though it was a challenge to get to because of major road construction, it was totally worth it as the food was outstanding. It was a great way to end this trip.

The next day after having breakfast we did the 10 hour drive back to Toronto. Some items to note about breakfast, while the Holiday Inn did serve breakfast on paper plates, they did go out of their way to recycle them. Plus they had a very good selection of food. Both of this made breakfast a very enjoyable experience.

Again, we made a number of stops for gas, breaks and the like along the way which made it 10 hours. But at the end of it it was nice to be in our own beds after being on the road for almost two weeks. Having said that, my wife and I were already talking about our next trip. We’re talking about doing some cycling in Quebec as that province is known for that sort of thing. Or doing this cycling event in Prince Edward Island next year. Or taking a trip to the United Kingdom for some cycling as it will likely be a lot cheaper to do so because of Brexit. Whatever we decide to do, you can be sure that we’ll document it here for you.

The Great Canadian Road Trip II – Part 9: The East Point Ride

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 13, 2019 by itnerd

Today was our final day to ride in Prince Edward Island. This time we are driving out to the East Point of Prince Edward Island for a 60KM bike ride. The East Point is just over an hour away from Charlottetown. However there was a heat warning that pushed the temperatures to about 30 degrees celsius. As a result we decided to cut the ride to 50KM. The ride took us from the East Point Lighthouse, along some roads with seaside and farms, and back to the lighthouse. Here’s what that looked like.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And here’s the result of our ride:

fullsizeoutput_dd6

After a brief break to rehydrate, we then had a look at the East Point Lighthouse. (Note: All photos from this point are taken with the Nikon Coolpix P1000):

DSCN0668

You’ll notice that our bikes are parked out front of the lighthouse. And if you look closely, you’ll notice that I have switched from my 55mm deep section aero wheels for lightweight 30mm climbing wheels. The reason I did this was that on our last ride, the cross winds made the bike difficult to control at times. Thus seeing as we were going to be close to the seashore which means that the winds were likely to be high, it would be in my best interest to have wheels that made my bike easy to control.

 

The cost  to go up to the top of the lighthouse is $6.50 and it is well worth doing. Here’s what you’ll see:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With the lighthouse done and dusted, we made our way back to Charlottetown. After visiting happy hour, we went to Merchantman which my wife really wanted to go to after trying their oysters. This restaurant had the best food that we’ve had here in Prince Edward Island. We also got a lot of it. Both my wife and I would recommend this place without hesitation.

Tomorrow we leave for Quebec City which is our first stop of our trip back to Toronto. I’ll also be wrapping up our stay at the Hotel On Pownal with our thoughts on staying here. Stay turned for that.

 

The Great Canadian Road Trip II – Part 8: The Artisan Tour

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 12, 2019 by itnerd

This day’s post is being done by wife because she’s really into the artisans of PEI. Here’s her report of the day’s activities. (Note: All photos are taken with the Nikon Coolpix P1000):

We could not leave PEI a second time without visiting some of the local artists. Today we headed off to explore of some PEI artisans. We started our day visiting Suzanne Scott of Village Pottery in New London, PEI and while the Studio tours will resume in September we were treated to a chance meeting of Suzanne Scott herself. She provided us with a personalized tour of her studio downstairs where we learned that it takes anywhere from 6 – 8 months to develop a new glaze. Knowing that their Etsy store is currently on hold I took the opportunity to purchase some beautiful pieces from their Celtic shore line. The gallery on the 2nd floor is open to visitors. Visitors can also pop in to Pottery’s Parlour next door for an ice cream. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On our next stop was the Bottle Houses in Cap Egmont, PEI. Take your time to take in everything from the moment you enter the property. Edouard Arsenault, an artist who combined his construction skills with his design dream was ahead of his time before recycling of bottles was available. Starting in the 70’s Edouard started the painstaking process of collecting, cleaning and removing the labels of over 12,000 bottles. Then starting the spring of 1980 at the age of 66 he started construction of his first bottle house. As you walk through the beautiful whimsical bottle houses you notice the riot of colours all around you in the gardens. The gift shop offers some unique decorative garden items for you to purchase.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were inspired to taking a side trip to the Cape Ergmont Lighthouse after seeing a small replica of it in Bottle Houses and learning that Edouard was the last resident lighthouse keeper. Note that the Cape Ergmont is not listed as a tourist lighthouse but when we did learn that it was approximately 2 km from the Bottle Houses property we couldn’t resist. The beauty of the landscape takes your breath away and was well worth the trek. Note that you have to do some off-roading to get there.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As soon as we arrived at the PEI Preserve Company we knew that judging by the tour buses in the parking lot that it would be packed with visitors. This popular destination should be a must see on your list. Give yourself time to not only sample the amazingly tasty preserves but stroll through the beautiful Garden of Hope by the river. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During our visit to the PEI Preserve Company we once again got an alert from our  Belkin NetCam HD+ units and once again a maintenance person was in our unit doing some emergency plumbing work. Something that we had to again confirm with the management company while I watched them work. Good thing that my wife and I have great data plans with TELUS. And once again they failed to turn off the bathroom lights when they were done.

#EpicFail

Speaking of TELUS, I will note that there were a few areas where there was no cell service in some parts of Prince Edward Island. But we would be in and out of those areas in a few minutes which meant that coverage was generally good.

By the time we got back to Charlottetown, it was happy hour at the hotel. My wife ate a ton of oysters from a place called Merchantman while I had a beer. Based on what she felt about the oysters, I’m pretty sure that we’re going there before we leave. From there, we went to Peaks Quay which had average food at best. But it had a great view of the Charlottetown historic waterfront.

Tomorrow, we’re going on our last bike ride around the East Point which also has a lighthouse in the area. Stay tuned to see how that goes.

The Great Canadian Road Trip II – Part 7: The Three Hour Tour

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 11, 2019 by itnerd

Today my wife and I decided to take a boat tour in an attempt to see whales via a company called Wicked Sea Adventures. Now, I’ll say up front that any whale watching tour cannot possibly guarantee that you will see whales. So if you come across a tour that guarantees whales, run in the other direction.

Having said that, we did not see whales. However we did still have a good time. Here’s why.

First of all, finding Wicked Sea Adventures was a bit of a challenge. They’re located an hours and a bit outside of Charlottetown, and they give you the address of a local cafe with the intention that you’ll see the sign for Wicked Sea Adventures across the street. Once you park next to a roped off area, you walk down to the dock area which looks like something out of a tourism ad (Note: All pictures in this post were shot with the Nikon Coolpix P1000):

DSCN0501.JPG

You’re welcomed on the boat which holds no more than 12 passengers and 2 crew and you go through all the safety related items. Then you head out.

DSCN0511.JPG

On the way out of port, you’ll see the East Point Lighthouse. We’ll be heading there in the coming days not only to see the lighthouse, but we’ll be riding our bikes in the area.

So after our captain tried and failed to find any whales (though I will note that he did see some dolphins but they disappeared before we could snap any photos), he had us try some fishing:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now while most passengers who tried a hand at fishing got mackerel of some sort, I got two of these:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is apparently a Scuplin which is a bottom feeder. It wasn’t good for what was to come next so both of them were tossed back into the ocean.

So what was come next? Well the fish that were useful were chopped up and once we were in an area with Seagulls and Gannets, this happened (Note: This video was shot on the Nikon Coolpix P1000 in 4K):

It was amazing to see the Gannets dive from 20 or 30 feet above the boat into the water to get the chopped up fish. This was the highlight of the boat tour which lasted just over three hours.

After we returned to port we took a short drive to Souris where we saw the lighthouse not too long ago so that my wife could get some food. Specifically to this place:

DSCN0554

My wife grabbed a lobster roll and she said it was outstanding. But take that for what it is worth as she’s said all the seafood that she’s had was outstanding. From there, we made the drive back to Charlottetown to our hotel. And next up was dinner for yours truly. We went to John Brown’s on Victoria Row. After my wife had a Cesar Salad and I had fish and chips, we looked around the area:

DSCN0562.JPGThere was a band playing outside. In fact, in a number of areas in Charlottetown have live music near various places to eat. One thing to note that this was the latest place where I tried to have a local brew and it was out of stock. I’ve never seen a place where beer was out of stock.

Next up for us tomorrow is some sort of tour that my wife wants to do that looks at various artisans on the island. She’s going to be reporting on that tomorrow so stay tuned.

The Great Canadian Road Trip II – Part 6: The Farm And Cottage Ride

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 10, 2019 by itnerd

Today was a ride day. But before we went out for a ride, we did laundry. The Hotel On Pownal has laundry facilities on site complete with washing detergent. We leveraged that to clean some of our clothes so that we wouldn’t risk running out. After that, we got ready for our ride. Today’s ride was one I called the “Farm and Cottage Ride” as it started from the hotel, rode through farmland, then into cottage country before returning to the hotel. Total distance: 53.5KM. Here’s some visuals of what I mean by “Farm and Cottage” starting with the farm:

IMG_1022

And here’s a couple of cottages:

IMG_1023

Two things made this ride challenging. One was the heat. According to what my cyclocomputer reported, it started out being 26 degrees celsius, but got as high as 34 degrees. That’s hot and we ran through two bottles of water and electrolytes each by the end of the ride. And later at dinner my wife and I were both drinking water like were were in a desert. The second thing that was challenging was the wind. Crosswinds and deep section carbon wheels like these ones don’t mix. And the crosswinds made it sometimes difficult to control the bike as the the wind will make the front end unstable and difficult to keep straight. You can be sure that on our next ride which is by the seashore that I will be breaking out my 30mm carbon wheels that are less likely to be affected by crosswinds.

Here’s the numbers that I recorded at the end of the ride on Strava:

fullsizeoutput_dc4

Strava isn’t joking when it says it was harder than my usual effort. My wife and I were both drained at the end of it. But not drained enough to walk out to dinner at the Casa Mia Cafe. It had a great mix of food which my wife took advantage of to order an Arugula Pear Salad and Grilled Scallops. I just went with fish and chips and as if to illustrate how hot it was, I only had one beer because I was drinking so much water.

Tomorrow, my wife made arrangements to go whale watching. I am hoping for some great pictures that I can share with you. Stay tuned to see how well we do.

The Great Canadian Road Trip II – Part 5: Lighthouses, Lighthouses, & More Lighthouses

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 9, 2019 by itnerd

Today was an interesting day as my wife and I decided to see something that Prince Edward Island is known for. Lighthouses. We managed to pick out three of them in the southern half of the island and see how things go from there.

The first stop on our lighthouse tour was the Point Prim lighthouse which was recommended to us by a friend as it had the best food. More on that later. It was an hour drive from Charlottetown and let me show you the lighthouse from bottom to top (Note: All pictures in the post are taken with the Nikon Coolpix P1000):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After a lobster roll and some chowder, we were off to our next stop which was the Cape Bear Lighthouse and Marconi Station which was about an hour away. Here’s a look at that lighthouse from bottom to top:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This lighthouse is best known for being the first Marconi Station to receive the first distress signal in Canada from the Titanic as it was sinking off the coast of Newfoundland. Keep in mind that when this was happening, Newfoundland was not part of Canada.

Our final stop was the Souris Lighthouse Souris Lighthouse which was hour beyond the Cape Bear Lighthouse. like the first two lighthouses, I will show you pictures from bottom to top:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Some notes about all the lighthouses. All of them either have a fee of $5 per person, or require a donation to go to the top of the lighthouse. I would recommend going to the top as they have quite the views. Just be warned that they have very steep climbs to the top in very tight spaces. Thus you need to watch your head.

On our way back to Charlottetown we spotted this:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is the Shanty Stay in Souris. The idea is that you get one of these small shacks which has a shower a bed and not much else for short term stays. Souris is a ferry port so you could stay here overnight and take the ferry the next day. Plus it’s close to restaurants in Souris and it has WiFi everywhere. My wife made a note of this place as I am assuming that she wants to stay here on a future vacation.

Once we were back in Charlottetown, we went out to have dinner as usual. We just missed happy hour. But we will have other opportunities for free booze. Before going to dinner, I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the downtown.

DSCN0486

There’s a fire station next to our hotel with a vintage fire truck.

DSCN0487

The Confederation Center For The Performing Arts is a five minute walk from our hotel.

DSCN0488

Across from that is Cows which is famous for its ice cream.

DSCN0489

Anne Of Green Gables is everywhere on Prince Edward Island. Case in point is this chocolate shop.

DSCN0490

Piatto Pizza was our destination for Dinner. It was insanely popular. But we got in within 15 minutes.

DSCN0491

They hand make all their pizzas and bake them in a wood oven. And they are delicious! My wife and I highly recommend this place.

After dinner we walked back to the hotel. Here’s some random shots of the downtown at night:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finally, here’s a shot of our hotel:

DSCN0497

Tomorrow is a day for another bike ride. It’s also going to be a hot day so that may not be a good thing. But we will see as we came here to ride as well as sightsee. Tune in to see how things work out.

 

 

 

The Great Canadian Road Trip II – Part 4: An Ice Cream Ride

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 8, 2019 by itnerd

Today in Charlottetown, it was time to do a short ride of about 45K. The idea was to take a short ride of average difficulty just to loosen up the legs. Plus to add to the fun, we’re planning a stop at an ice cream shop before returning to the hotel.

Top Tip: Bike helmets are mandatory in Prince Edward Island as per this. But to be frank, every cyclist everywhere on planet Earth should be wearing a helmet regardless of whether the law requires it or not. I’ll get off my soapbox now.

To assist with our rides, we’ve employed a new piece of tech. Replacing our Garmin Edge 520 cyclocomputers that we’ve been using is the brand new Garmin Edge 830 cyclocomputer. I’ll be writing a detailed review in the next little bit, but they key features that we’re leveraging is the touchscreen interface and the better navigation capabilities. Plus there’s better fitness metrics that are available to help us measure our level of fitness.

Now before we left Toronto, we created our routes using the Garmin Connect website which you get access to when you buy a Garmin cyclocomputer. We leveraged the fact that Garmin offers the ability to pick a start point and a destination and the website will route you according to what routes are popular in the area. Once we had the route created, we downloaded them to the cyclocomputers. However we had two issues with the Garmin Connect website:

  1. We specified road riding. But as you will see, it routed us partially onto gravel.
  2. It was completely unable to get the amount of elevation gain correct. So while we were expecting not a l lot of elevation gain, AKA climbing, we ended up climbing almost 900 feet which isn’t a big deal if one was aware that they were going to do that before the ride started.

Clearly Garmin has some bugs to work out with this website.

Shortly after noon, we rolled out from the hotel which was the start and end point for most of the routes that we created. After riding on the streets of Charlottetown, we were routed on to the Charlottetown Cycleway which is part of the Confederation Trail. It’s a hard packed fine gravel trail that is ridable by gravel bikes, mountain bikes, and experienced road riders. We’re the latter and most of the first 10K covered routes that look like this as navigated by my wife:

IMG_1014

Now normally I would not recommend gravel to road cyclists, but this route is clearly ridable. At least in the sections that we rode. We then ended up on paved roads that were rolling hills for the next 10K or so. At the end, we ended up here:

IMG_1012

This is Deckers Dairy Bar which is on Brackey Point Road near the Prince Edward Island National Park. We used this as our turn around point and spent 30 minutes having ice cream before returning to the hotel. By the end of the ride back at or hotel, here’s what we did via Strava:

fullsizeoutput_dbc.jpeg

It was a good ride and it got our feet wet in terms of riding in Prince Edward Island.

After a quick shower, we took part in Happy Hour in the hotel. While my wife had a white wine, I had a Island Red from Gahan House Breweries. I seem to be going through their entire suite of offerings. When it is in stock as this was a beer that I wanted yesterday, but was out of stock at the restaurant that we were out. That means that I will have to buy some to take home with us.

We then went out to dinner to the aforementioned Gahan House pub/resturant which was a six minute walk from the hotel. While eating fish and chips, I had the opportunity to sample their alcoholic root beer and their Iron Bridge Brown Ale. Both of which were very good, For my wife’s part, she had oysters and a spinach salad. Which she said was outstanding.

Our plans are not all that clear at the moment. But once we figure it out, we’ll post what we do here. So stay tuned.

The Great Canadian Road Trip II – Part 3: Prince Edward Island National Park

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 7, 2019 by itnerd

After getting a good night’s sleep, my wife and I decided to pay a visit to Prince Edward Island National Park as it had a lot to see, and it was only 30 minutes away from our hotel. So after a quick drive, we drove into the park. It cost us $16 CDN for a day pass which allowed us to go anywhere in the park. Once there we went to a couple of beaches. Starting with this one which had a lighthouse (Note: All pictures in the post are taken with the Nikon Coolpix P1000):

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then we went on the beaches themselves which had a bit of red to them. Red sand beaches are what Prince Edward Island is known for:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We then went to the second beach that we wanted to see. But during that walk, I got an alert on our smartphones that someone was in our Condo. Seeing as we had been robbed before, that was an immediate concern. So while my wife dialed the building management, I leveraged the fact that the we owned Belkin NetCam HD+ units which had not only a speaker but a microphone to speak to whomever in our unit. Something that clearly startled him. It turned out to be a maintenance person who was there to do some emergency plumbing work. Something that my wife confirmed with the building management. But I did spend some time watching him on my phone from the air conditioned comfort of our SUV to make sure that he was on the up and up. When the guy was done he left the light on in the bathroom. Which means that it will be on for the next week and a half.

#fail

With that out of the way we went to back to walking on the beach:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And then we took another short drive to do some hiking on a trail that is meant for both hikers and mountain bikers as the latter get some obstacles to have fun on while they do this 3.5 KM trail.

Top Tip: Bring bug spray as we didn’t and got several bites along the way. And we sprinted the last kilometer and a half because they were so aggressive.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Don’t get me wrong. The hike was scenic and if you have bug spray you will really enjoy it as the pictures above don’t do it justice.

After getting chomped on by bugs, we returned to our hotel room to shower and great ready for dinner. But before we went to dinner, we stopped off at the hotel’s happy hour. My wife had some chowder which she thought was fantastic along with a Blueberry Ale, and I just had a Bench Chair Lager. Both made by the Gahan House which we think we’ll be visiting while we are here as they are a 10 minute walk from the hotel. Then we went to dinner at Row House Steak And Lobster. I did fish and chips with a Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale by Gahan House. While my wife had a lobster dinner. The Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale was my second choice as their Red was out of stock. That’s the second day in a row a beer that I wanted was out of stock.

Tomorrow we’ll be going out for a 45KM ride just to stretch the legs and see what cycling is like on the roads of Prince Edward Island. Stay tuned to see how that goes.

The Great Canadian Road Trip II – Part 2: Edmundston NB To Charlottetown Prince Edward Island

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 6, 2019 by itnerd

Today was supposed to be an easy drive to Prince Edward Island and our final destination which was Charlottetown. But it didn’t start out that way because of my laser focus to get to Prince Edward Island. In short, I was so focused on getting out of Edmundston that I forgot to stop at the coffee shop down the street from the hotel that we stayed at the previous night. Instead, I simply used Apple Maps which is part of Apple CarPlay to route us to Prince Edward Island.

Top Tip: If you have Apple CarPlay and an iPhone, you can enter your destinations as appointments with a specific check in time as long as you enter an address with a postal code. That will allow your iPhone to tell you when you should leave based on the current traffic conditions, and it allows you too easily select the destination in Apple Maps within Apple CarPlay.

I’ll let my wife tell you what happened next:

At the start of Tuesday morning as we were starting our drive to Charlottetown my husband was a bit grumpy and jittery for a good cup of java beyond the one that we had just past the one in Edmonston. My husband hit the coffee icon on Apply CarPlay and started to head out to the first listing that popped up called Uptown Bakery in Andover.  I did a quick look up on my phone and called the business phone number and made a determination that the listing was outdated and it looks like it was out of business.  Then before my husband could go on another wild goose chase I searched and found a place called the Daily Dose Coffee and Tea House.  Two minutes later we were en-route to the Daily Dose. (Note: All pictures in the post are taken with the Nikon Coolpix P1000): 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is a lovely gem of a place.  It’s a cozy place that features artwork from local artists that you can purchase. This is best latte to be found between Edmonston and Charlottetown. Just for the record there are a few good coffee options in Edmonston but we had already left. And according to my Starbucks app and there are Starbucks in Dieppe, St John and Fredericton. 

I tried one of their Instagram worthy cherry hand pies and they taste as good as it looks.  Even though we were needed to start our drive we took time to enjoy the waterfront view. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For those who enjoy a great cup of tea the Daily Dose offers a good selection of Pluck Teas. We definitely stumbled upon a good thing. It is a shame that they do not have a website and hopefully will show up on searches on the next iteration of Apple Maps. In the meantime, here’s their Instagram. And their address is 1275 W Riverside Dr, Perth-Andover, NB E7H 5G9. 

With the coffee crisis over, we drove towards Charlottetown. Now while this was a 5.5 hour drive and we took about 6.5 hours because we took a few detours and breaks. For example, we took a detour to this place:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is the Hartland Covered Bridge which is world’s longest covered wooden bridge. We didn’t cross it as we were not sure that we could not guarantee that the bikes on our roof rack would fit into the bridge. So we settled for taking pictures.

We then got back on the Trans Canada Highway which eventually led to the Confederation Bridge.

fullsizeoutput_db9

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just on the other side of the Confederation Bridge we found a bay with a railway caboose, a lighthouse, and a small gift shop.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One thing that we tripped over was a fox who apparently lived on the property and wasn’t really shy towards humans.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Also, we also tripped over a dock that seemed to be not frequently used.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

From here, it was another 50 minutes to our final destination which was the Hotel On Pownal in Charlottetown. I chose this hotel because it offered secure storage for our bikes which was in a room next to the front desk. We’re in a smallish room that didn’t exactly have a view. But we were fine with that. The only thing that was a downer was that we missed “happy hour” where the hotel serves up beer and wine.

After getting into the room, we went to a place that my wife chose called Fishbones which had decent fish and chips and fried clams with chowder which is what I and my wife had respectively. My wife did note that their white sangria was outstanding. One thing that I will note is that the first couple of local beers that I wanted to have were out of stock. That was weird.

Tomorrow we’ll figure out what we will do on our first full day in Charlottetown. Stay tuned for what we come up with.

 

The Great Canadian Road Trip II – Part 1: Toronto To Edmundston NB

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 5, 2019 by itnerd

For the second time in three years, my wife and I have decided to take a road trip to the east coast of Canada. This time we’re going to the province of Prince Edward Island which is the birthplace of confederation and Canada’s smallest province. The goal is to cycle, hike and sightsee for 8 days. That doesn’t include the two days each way to drive to Prince Edward Island which may be a bit of a chore because of today’s drive to Edmundston New Brunswick which is a 10 hour drive from Toronto.

Once we left the traffic of Toronto, it was smooth sailing until we hit Montreal where we encountered this (Note: All pictures in this post were taken with the Nikon Coolpix P1000):

DSCN0197

While Apple Maps did warn us about this traffic jam, it was frustrating to be in it. It took us almost an hour to go about 10K. The cause being a pothole that local authorities had blocked off, which in turn forced traffic around said pothole. Once we were past that, we went through this tunnel and back on our way.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once we were out of Montreal and on the roads headed to New Brunswick, this is the sort of scenery that we saw.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When we had to stop for a bio break, or just to stretch our legs, these rest stops in Quebec came in handy:

DSCN0207.JPG

In total, it took us twelve hours to get to Edmundston New Brunswick. We were staying at the Best Western Plus in Edmundston. This hotel was mostly great. By that we mean that the room was accessible for those who needed it. It was close to some restaurants and the highway. Plus they had a list of restaurants that was pre-printed and had the opening and closing hours on it. That allowed us to have dinner at a local Boston Pizza where my wife had a Mediterranean pizza and I had some pasta. There were plenty of places to plug in our tech to recharge, and it had good WiFi (though a lame password which was “bwe1234”). To top it off they had a good breakfast and they were trying to be eco friendly. That was all good, but here’s where it came off the rails. When they served breakfast the next day, they served it on paper plates and using plastic utensils. And they didn’t even try to recycle anything as everything went into the trash. Besides being a cheap and cheesy move which given that this hotel is $200 a night, it shreds any eco friendly crew that they had. If someone from Best Western is reading this, you might want do something about that.

Having said all of that, it was a comfortable place to stay which allowed us to get a good nights sleep to allow us to make the final five hour push to Prince Edward Island. Tune in tomorrow to see us take a couple of interesting detours on our way to Prince Edward Island.