Grand Sault, New Brunswick, a Photo Essay

Hi Bloggers, on Oh-Canada day, I was in Grand Sault (Grand Falls in English – Grand Sault is the French name). It’s quite the sight. I was up there in the spring and the falls were really flowing very heavily. Now that the spring melt off has subsided, there is a very modest amount of water over the falls. I hope you enjoy my photos.

IMG_0107

IMG_0098

IMG_0078

IMG_0085

IMG_0093

IMG_0101

IMG_0145.JPG

IMG_0146

Advertisements

High and Dry on PEI (Prince Edward Island)

Hi Bloggers,

I’m not dead yet, I’m living in the Maritimes (Eastern Provinces of Canada).

Life is good. People here are very nice. The place is beautiful. There is a kind of ‘east coast vibe’ thing going on. This weekend, I travelled the short distance to PEI. It’s across the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick.

It’s Canada’s smallest province, the birthplace of Confederation, the home of Anne of Green Gables, and absolutely gorgeous!

More coastline, rocky shores, red dirt, green fields, potatoes, and pints of beer than you can poke a stick at!

Muuuuahhh! 😉

IMG_1201

IMG_1208

IMG_1213
Arrrrggghhhh – Shiver Me Timbers. 

 

 

IMG_1230
Anne of Green Gables’ house! 

 

 

IMG_1235
Anne’s Back Yard
IMG_1218
Cheers big ears

 

 

Snowman Pickup Truck….. hmmm.

Hi Bloggers,

Some randomness for you today. I have internet at home now, so I will be able to get on line and blog a bit more again, but having said that, I find myself busy/preoccupied with life, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

So driving home from work yesterday afternoon, I stopped at the gas station in Harvey, New Brunswick. I saw a snow man, in a pick up truck. A couple of local lads got creative and mildly inappropriate, but it is only a snowman, so whatever. This snowman had a big hard woody! Yep, a snowman boner!

I’ve never seen anything like it and I had a good laugh. Of course, I had to get a picture. I reckon that’s pretty fucking funny!

IMG_0477

IMG_0478

Daily Prompt – Reservation

Via Daily Prompt – Reservation

Here I am, experiencing life, yet I have made no reservation. It’s like when I turned up in Fredericton this week, no reservation, no idea where I was going to stay. I’d come looking for a place to live. A few days in the city. It was cold. A cold snap. Jesus it was cold. But then, everywhere in Canada and the northern US is experiencing some sort of a polar blast right now.

I parked the rental car in a sort of snowbank-cum-parking lot at the front of the hotel. I didn’t have a reservation for the rental car either. I wasn’t sure if I had made one, so I asked at the first counter. ‘No, we are sold out, have been all week’. She said. Uh-oh I thought to self. Luckily, the second counter had cars to rent. Would have been a long walk into the city.

I slipped and sloshed on the snowy ground as my boots tried for purchase on the uneven surfaces. A gentle breeze more akin to a slap in the face with a bucket of ice whisked past me, maybe more so through me.

I was greeted by a very enthusiastic guy at the Crowne Plaza, actually the first hotel I came across – just about any hotel would have done. I had flown across Canada that day to be here. Luckily, there were rooms available.

The guy was very friendly, and soon he was joined by a work colleague and they both seemed unnaturally happy to be receiving a new guest. It was nice. They referred me to some pubs and I got a card to play an hour of free pool at Dooly’s.

No reservations. That’s how I like to travel sometimes. It can turn out great, and it can be a cluster of disappointments and turn-aways. I’ll take my chances!

 

Bonjour Montreal

Hi Bloggers,

Today I’m in Montreal. First time for me. My impressions? Its big. Its cosmopolitan. It’s French. Its all the things you would hope a modern Canadian city would be. It’s the first place I’ve seen with those winter coats with the coyote fur around the front – in blue. Not sure if I’m seeing a new trend and its everywhere, but I thought it looked great.

One of the biggest highlights was the cathedral on Rue Saint Catherine. It had the most beautiful stained glass windows. The real feature though, was the stone carvings – especially the ones right up the back. I did not think that this type of wonderful detail in stone carving was even possible. It looked like something computer generated and carved out of a machine. It’s truly a wonder (there are some photos below).

SAM_4822

It was a about -20C in Montreal today. With a breeze that freezes your skin after a short while. I had to grab a neck warmer from the dollar store to keep something over my lower face. I had the rest of me covered up pretty well.

SAM_4827

I took a walk down Rue Saint Catherine. A long walk, all the way to the village. There are a lot of shops and food places. As you get into ‘the village’ at the far end from where I started, it gets very gay. It was a novelty to browse in the ‘speciality shops’ that cater to all kinds of kink and fetish.

SAM_4843

On the way back, I found my way into the subway system. I was able to negotiate – I think that’s the right word – in a mixture of English and French that I didn’t understand – my way to the right platform and onto a train that took me back the way I came. At some point I realised I lost a glove when I was juggling the ticket, my phone, a toque, neck warmer and other stuff. I realised that getting a new pair of gloves was a very high priority based on the frigid conditions. I walked, with one hand in my jacket pocket past store after store that had closed for the evening.

SAM_4846

I jumped off the subway at a stop that i knew was well before my stop. I surfaced through a miriad of art gallery type shops. I wandered, lost for a while, but laughing along the way, and found myself in china town. I found a pair of cheap gloves, but of course, the store didn’t take plastic, so my search continued. Eventually I found one of those souvenir shops and now I’m the proud new owner of some woolen CAN-ADA gloves (letters on the front and back of the gloves).

SAM_4835

SAM_4836

SAM_4832

 

 

Fredericton, New Brunswick … a photo essay.

Hi Bloggers, this morning I went to a café. Actually it was the second time that I went to the same café – I had breakfast there yesterday also.

This morning I was served by a nice young man. I ordered the sausage and eggs. He came by shortly after to apologise for not having any sausages. I went with the bacon and eggs.

So this afternoon, I’m sitting in another café. Guess who walks in? The young guy from the café. He was dropping in to by a coffee for himself and his girlfriend who is working up the street. He stopped to say hi – he recognised me from this morning. We chatted for a few minutes about rentals and selling cars and other stuff. That’s the kind of place Fredericton is. People are friendly.

I looked at some places to rent. I’m tempted by a large living space that is a ‘Victorian’ era ground floor property that was a quilt shop. It’s got bags of character. The heating costs could be a bit scary though. If I get that place I might be keeping the skivvies on in the winter. It’s got an awesome verandah out the front and its very close to the city centre.

Anyway, here are some photos from around town yesterday and today… hope you enjoy. 😉 SAM_4776

SAM_4783

SAM_4779

SAM_4781

SAM_4784

SAM_4789

SAM_4796

SAM_4804

SAM_4809

SAM_4811

SAM_4814

SAM_4816

Hello New Brunswick – a photo essay…

Hi Bloggers, I’m writing this post from Fredricton, New Brunswick, which is on the Eastern side (Atlantic) Canada. The only provinces further east are Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, which is an island at sea.

SAM_4644
Fixer upper. This house is very close to the border of the United Grapes. Going for a song. 

New Brunswick should conjure images of moose, lumberjacks, fishermen and hunters. For our American friends, its like Maine, but in Canada. It’s actually bordering on Maine. There is a smallish river (more of a brook, really) between the two great nations. The border post I saw today was a smallish affair. It seemed like a formality, and hardly a well guarded border at that. I could have walked across a train crossing only a few hundred metres from the border post, and probably not got shot at, but I erred on the side of caution.

 

 

SAM_4651
Proof – I was in NB!

 

Last thing I need is to get on the naughty list of Donny Trump. Especially after the last little mix up with the ESTA visa waiver system, in which I accidentally clicked one of the radio buttons where you have to answer whether you’ve ever done anything bad, or maybe said something silly about the administration. I got locked out of the visa system, and when I tried to cross the border later that day, I was told to ‘park up’ while I got a stern talking to. Thankfully, they realised my error, done in haste, and I was allowed to enter the great land of the free once again. But that was on a previous trip.

 

SAM_4657
Found a spooky abandoned church. 

 

I digress, this post is about the Maritimes, damn it! I only have a couple of words to describe this place: Obscenely beautiful! and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

SAM_4645

Check the photos out. Of course, you can’t really capture the true beauty on camera, but it still turned out pretty good!

 

SAM_4658
Inside the spooky abandoned church. 

 

 

SAM_4667
Coming in a clear first in the spookiest house competition……

 

 

SAM_4668
I found out the house is used as student accommodation. This was in the town of St Stephen. 

 

 

SAM_4685
I know, I know, just gorgeous. 

 

SAM_4671

SAM_4694

 

SAM_4706
Pointed right at you, Maine… USA. 

 

SAM_4696

SAM_4700

 

SAM_4709
Canada’s modern artillery battery will keep those pesky ‘merican’s at bay. They have never been fired in anger, though. 

 

SAM_4715

 

SAM_4734
The HMCS Still Haulin’ pulled into port when I was there. It was greeted by well wishers and neglected girlfriends. 

 

 

SAM_4739
All Done – that would be my boat! 

 

 

SAM_4741
Genuine NB rope and tie thingy, this is not a prop. 

 

 

SAM_4747
Sailors unload the precious bounty amid cries of ‘arrrgghhh and arrgghhh’ (said like pirates). The east coast accents are very apparent. and it just works with all the fishermen types. 

 

 

SAM_4749
Genuine. Canadian. Lobster. Y’all. 

 

 

SAM_4728
I know, I know. 

 

SAM_4757

SAM_4765 (2)

From the departure lounge…

Hi Bloggers,

It’s Sunday morning. I’m at Saskatoon airport waiting for a flight to Toronto. The incoming flight is delayed.

I just turned to look at the jet bridge. There is a barn owl on the top of the structure. It is perched on a beacon. It is so still it looks like it could be a decoy or a small statue, but I think it’s real. I look across to the other jet bridges just to see if maybe XYE have initiated some sort of owl-statue bird deterrent thing, but I see no others….

Is that like some sort of um, what’s the word – the thing with hidden meaning, like an albatross seen at sea. (It will come to me momentarily *** it came to me – omen, that’s the word!). I wonder if pilots have a superstition about owls and things.

So I said goodbye to Jack Black, our black lab. He’s such a sweet dog. We got him about 2 years ago. He’s more the ex’s dog that he is mine. I’ve inherited Sally D, our chocolate lab. She’s a lot higher energy and more inclined to steal food from benchtops etc. Jack is going on his own flight Tuesday, and I will not see him on my return. Safe travels you gorgeous handsome dog. He’s leaving Canada for Australia. IMG_6865

I don’t know if I will be able to keep Sally D. She’s a real sweetheart and I don’t want to let her go. The reality is that I don’t know where I will be living in one month, or six months or whatever from now. Finding accommodation that will suit my budget, location to work and pet friendly is very challenging.

 

IMG_6860
Bye Jack, you adorable little man-dog. 

 

Meanwhile, I’m going to somewhere that I have never been – eastern Canada – the Atlantic provinces. That’s exciting, right? It’s a quick trip but still, there is a lot of value in seeing new places…..

 

IMG_6858.JPG
Sally on left, Jack Black on the right. 

 

Horse Whispering

Hi Bloggers,

I was recently back in Iowa. I went to help my friend trim her horses hooves. There were four other horses in the same paddock. I really like horses. In a previous life I was a horse owner (had 3 at one point). I would really enjoy riding and caring for them. I had some great times out riding trails, etc.

SAM_4630

I won’t pretend to be a horse whisperer or any sort of expert. I know enough about how to care for them and enjoy their company, and that’s enough I guess.

SAM_4619

When you have a calm temperament, you can really get in the zone with horses. It’s what I would call a human-animal energy exchange. It’s very real. I think somehow we can find ourselves in the same brain wave patterns (or something). Horses can be so calm that they are literally nodding off in your presence. I had a little four-way hug with three horses. It was a simple, special moment!

SAM_4631