The Journey is the Destination

PEI: Canada’s Timeless Island Day 9 of 10

in Canadian Trips/Coastal Trips by

10585366_10203756498968556_1816127358_oWho would have thought our last day would be one of the fullest and most fun we had? Going to Saint John, New Brunswick after leaving Prince Edward Island was the best plan we had! We found some off the road stops, well visited tourist spots, and some great night life on Saturday. It was a perfect day of travel to end a perfect week long stay on the island!

 

Of course, it was sad to say goodbye to PEI. I love it there and this would be the last time I’d see the camp where it had been my entire life. Due to erosion of the island, my family is forced to relocate the A-frame. They will be moving it back in September… Thank God my grandfather thought ahead and purchased the land behind the camp as well!

I am so thankful I got the week there! It was so much fun with my love! And the fun just continues on…

The morning we were leaving Bill got this awesome picture of an Irish Mossing rig going up the shore. If you missed the story, check out the one about Irish Mossing on Prince Edward Island.

 

It’s about 2 hours to get to the Confederation Bridge and off the island. We had our destination set so we weren’t in a hurry and we had a few photos we wanted to take still. You can see them all on Facebook but some of the highlights are below (click to open a slideshow):

 

 

The ride off the island was a lot of fun. We threw our message in a bottle off the Tignish Run in hopes it would go further than the last attempt we made on Day 6 of our trip when it washed back up to shore within 5 minutes.  We finally got the picture of that lone barn on the hill and the picture Harmony since it’s always the state we are in together. We got the picture of the Marquis car that brought Bill back to younger days and we got to see inside the Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Miscouche, PEI. We already saw so much and still had many kilometers to go before our destination. Life is good.

 

Animal Land in Sussex, NBDriving across the bridge was a little sinking but onward we pressed. We drove until we needed gas. Maybe we should have got off the highway sooner to find gas but we wouldn’t have found our next adventure that way. So… the sign said gas… and those highway signs are never wrong. Never. Except for this time. It said go right and we followed, unknowingly and full of trust. We rode 15 minutes in to no where and still no gas. Practically on fumes, we decided we better ask someone where the station was and it’s a good thing we did! She said it was 15 minutes or so back the other way. Once we knew the gas station was in the other direction, it gave us a chance to explore. We were either going to run out of gas or not, but one thing was sure, we had to stop at Animal Land.

 

Animal Land had been closed for a couple decades because the main highway bypassed it and because the owner, Winston Atwood Bronnum, passed away in 1991 due to cancer. I’m so happy we stumbled on to it AND had pulled over to take a closer look. As we wandered around we were mixed with emotions…

 

Giant lobster slide at Animal Land in Sussex, NBCuriosity. WHY would this place close down? The animals were cleverly done. Before researching it, we thought it was because of the starving horse out front. I thought it might have scared little children away.

 

Amusement. The animals were a lot of fun to explore and climb on. One of my favorite things as a Wayward Wanderer is how we can make just about any moment fun and photo ready. This was just what we needed at this point in our travels to recharge and carry on!

 

 

10592868_10203778370755337_5900335319261120293_nSadness. I felt bad for the animals that had seen better days. I’m sure they had thousands of children climbing on them, laughing, loving, and sharing in this man’s vision at one point. In fact, I remember driving by this location as a child on our way to Prince Edward Island. I wish we had stopped then, when the vehicles filled the parking lot. Now, it all just sits, deteriorating, seen by very few that dare to venture beyond the no trespassing signs.

 

10570299_10203778369715311_2923526752506337005_nFortunate. If we hadn’t needed gas, we never would have found this spot!

 

We took pictures of all the animals at Animal Land and you can see them on Facebook. This would have been a great place to picnic but now we needed to find that gas station! We eventually did, but for a while, we weren’t too sure of it or that the town of Sussex even existed. Word of advice: GO LEFT.

 

Hunger started calling to us once we were back on the highway so we started looking at signs (missing my iPhone and all my apps while in Canada!) and found Bloomfield, NB. They had a covered bridge we thought would be nice and it was! Beautiful country side road, winding down to an old covered bridge and just on the other side was the nicest spot for a picnic. Others agreed because people beeped and gave us the thumbs up as we chowed on our wraps.

 

Bloomfield, New Brunswick Bloomfield, New Brunswick

 

Our next stop was one of the highlights of our trip. Saint John was a lot of fun and with it came exploration! I can’t believe how many neat things we found to do there! Thank you Trip Advisor!

 

Carleton Martello Tower Our first stop was Carleton Martello Tower. I’ve never been inside a tower like this before. It went up two levels and down one. It offered a great view of Saint John and the bay. It was built in 1813 during the War of 1812. It is the oldest building in the city and was used to guard the harbor. It is a round structure, 30 feet high and 50 feet in diameter. It was neat to see the cots lined on the outside walls, the table where they ate, the barrels of gun powder down below and the lookout on the top level. Carleton Martello Tower was opened to the public in 1963. We were so glad they did! The people who work there are so friendly and informative and the tower is well maintained! If you are in Saint John, it should be a must see spot on your itinerary. The kids will get a kick out of it being so high up and you will be amazed at the history.

 

10552388_10203778383315651_6815851147125229147_nAs we were leaving, we spotted an old Irish Cemetery across the road. I think it freaked Robbie out because he would not set foot in it. I later found out that in 1785, Saint John created their first quarantine at Partridge Island. It was heavily used in the 1840’s when Ireland experienced the famous potato blight which caused many Irish to leave Ireland. Anyway, I suspect this cemetery was filled largely from this era.

 

Wolastoq Park in Saint John New BrunswickWe were headed to see the Reversing Falls when I noticed a park with giant wooden statues, created by Albert Deveau of Edmunston. There were easily 50 statues scattered throughout. Come to find out, Bill had seen this on Trip Advisor, but wasn’t sure we would make it there. I’m glad we saw it and stopped! It was such an interesting place.

 

Check out the image we got on the right! It’s two statues, one is an Indian, Koluskap, and the other is the Great Beaver. I found out later this is a legendary story where Koluskap reduces the beaver to the normal size he is today because he was a nuisance to other animals. I found it interesting and you can read the story here. For our purposes and humor, a bird landed on the beaver and we were able to take it at the right angle to get this… haha! They all look out for each other in the Wolastoq Park. FYI, wolastoq means “the beautiful river” in the Maliseet people’s language. And, big surprise, the Maliseet were referred to as Wolastoqiyik, meaning “people of the beautiful river”. It completely explains why when we walked through the park, we landed at the river, overlooking the Reversing Falls.

 

Reversing Waters in Saint John New BrunswickIt truly was a beautiful sight to see! The bridge goes over the river just there and we were able to walk up top of one building and right to the edge to view the water. We saw where the waters come from two different directions and I bet in the spring it makes for a magnificent spectacle. We weren’t wowed by the meeting of the waters, but it was a beautiful view and we were both glad we saw it.

 

The night is where we were wowed! Saint John has a cool little pier with lots going on! Our hotel, Howard Johnson, front desk gave us a map and luckily we were in walking distance of the night life. He told us there are 3 squares: Brunswick Square, King’s Square, and Market Square. I’m not sure which one we actually made it to but it was all we needed!

 

We walked the boardwalk, along the pier to the downtown waterfront. The walk took us past a row of condos and landed us in a mall. We walked in the mall and instantly there were photo opps of a life sized girl with balloons floating above us and other images you can see in our Saint John, NB photos on Facebook.

 

By the time we got down there, we were hungry and thirsty so we found a great place with outside seating to have an appetizer and a drink. It wasn’t long before a band started playing on a stage on the pier and people started to dance. It was such a fun atmosphere! And it really set the mood for exploring. In the summer, they have music and festivities every weekend there!

 

Saint John has sculptures everywhere and our favorite one is below. Can you spot Bill?

10469223_10203778393075895_8258909961349783930_n

 

We were out in public very early. As we wandered the streets, we noticed there weren’t many people out for a Saturday night. We thought maybe because they all gravitated to the outdoor concert we had just come from. We later found out the bars are open until 2:00am in Saint John so things don’t really get going until 10:00pm or so. Well, forget it! Our drive and exploration of the city had caught up to us by 9:00pm. Next time we are in Saint John, we will plan better and live it up more!

Of this entire day, I think the statues above made us happiest. What’s your favorite fun statue and where is it located?

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