So far this summer the twins (and the rest of us) have now run around quite a bit of New Brunswick, as well as many other provinces and states.
We did a bit of legwork and set up a series of four (four!) home exchanges in Eastern Canada and Massachusetts. The first of these was outside of the small town of Sussex, New Brunswick. Because residing in the small town of Sussex, New Brunswick would have been a bit too much of both hustle and bustle.
The to-do list including lounging around, successfully avoiding tick bites whilst exploring the neighborhood, and eating local ice cream. We've eaten quite a bit of ice cream.
In the local metropolis of St. John we checked out the City Market and discovered that the local seaweed makes Marmite seem both subtle and tasty. Luckily the lobster roll and scallops were excellent.
Sarah's folks soon joined us (with a huge minivan for us all) and we set out to check another two provinces off the list.
We put on plenty of kilometers (that's "not-quite-a-mile" in Canadian) on the minivan getting to Prince Edward Island, but the reward of getting a picture in the fictional town of Avonlea was well worth it.
After a night in Charlottetown we hopped the ferry over to Nova Scotia and drove up to Sydney, Cape Breton Island, where Sarah's grandpa grew up. The weather welcomed us by storming and turning frigid, just like Old Scotia.
After awakening unnecessarily early the next morning I decided to go running. I made it twenty feet into the sideways rain before turning back and checking my phone. Google told me it "feels like 28 degrees Fahrenheit." The family thought it felt like a lazy morning in the hotel. Finally the weather let up a bit and allowed us to glipse the largest violin in the world.
We had lunch with Emma, a friend/coworker from Panama who happens to live in town, and she recommended that we check out a local beach. The waitress then told Emma alternate directions to get there because, and I quote, "the bridge is out." Once we got to the beach we better understood why Carol's dad immigrated to California.
Granted, the twins had no problem building their sand castle to withstand the bitter, bitter wind.
From the comfort of the car's interior, Pat pointed out a family of foxes playing on the rocks across the river. Later we heard that it had snowed a bit further north on the island. Did I mention this was late June?
That night was the highlight of the trip: Carol meeting up with two of her cousins, and their extended families, to eat and oogle at old pictures. They hadn't seen each other since they were young teenagers.
We then added the more "tropical" Halifax as a last-minute addition to our tour of the Maritimes so we could see Tiffany and Kurtis, two friends of ours from our days in Ho Chi Minh City, and meet their two kiddos. As well as tackle more handmade ice cream and more seafood.
The proud of ourselves pics:
Then the understanding sets in of what it takes to actually get any meat:
On the way back to Sussex we hit Fort Beauséjour and learned about the Acadians, and at lunch we learned that random Canadian families in the background of family pictures know how to have a good time.
Our last day in the Maritimes was hitting the local biggies: Fundy National Park and Hopewell Rocks, with a stop at a rock-strewn beach in between.
I was setting up a beautiful picture of the cliffs and the water when The Eldest read my mind. He's faster than he looks.
A huge swath of land litter with perfect-sized building material? How could they not build something?
As I'm sure you're well aware, the Bay of Fundy boasts the highest tides in the world, and at Hopewell Rocks it can be as high as 52 feet from low to high tide. We stopped by just before low tide so we could "walk on the bottom of the ocean" among the rocks.
And then it was time to bid the Gannons and the Maritimes adieu. Thank you for meeting us in exotic corners of the world!
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It's the Schnacks!
Just a Californian family lost in Panama. Carry on.