|Today is our travel day to St. John, New Brunswick (which we had visited on our own a little over a week ago) via ferry. We had to have our bags out for pickup by 7:30. We had breakfast this morning with Skip and Joan from Colorado Springs, Colorado, but were originally from Williamsport, PA, home of the Little League World Series.
On the bus today, because we had our backpacks, our day packs and other items, Jean went to the back of the bus to one of the empty seats so we could both spread out.
We were on the bus at 8:30 to head out in the rain for our first stop at Grand-Pre, NS at the Grand-Pre National Historic Site, an UNESCO site. I was excited that we were stopping here because I had been as a child with my parents back in the old days ('63 or '64) and I talked about it before with Jean. Now I get to show her what I remember.
About 15 minutes out of Halifax, the sun burst forth for the day. On the way, Kim discussed the history of the Acadians, famous first attributed to famous Nova Scotians, and their wine industry. If you want to know if it a Nova Scotian wine, look for a lobster on the label. The lobster signifies that the wine uses a minimum of 90% grapes from Nova Scotia.
We arrived in Grand-Pre about 9:40 and needed to be back on the bus at 11:30. First, as a group, we attended a movie about the Acadian resettlement of over 10,000 Acadians who were neutral the war between Britain and France (a dark side of the British), which was done and handled very well. We had to wear headphones to chose your language of choice (English or French), plus they had subtitles in both languages.
Jean and I then walked out to see the Memorial Church, the statue of Evangeline (reference Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem of the same name), the bust of Longfellow, the Herbin Cross, and then we walked the gardens located throughout the site. We looked at the exhibits in the visitor center and browsed the gift shop where I purchased a Canada flag pin, an Evangeline pin, and an Acadian flag pin which I placed on my hat with all of the other pins I have purchased or received this trip.
Our next stop was nearby in Wolfville, NS where we had our "lunch on your own" stop. Since we would arrive in St. John until 8:00, and we did not know what would be available on the ferry for food, we decided to eat lunch as our main meal of the day. Before we arrived, Kim pulled three sheets of the 2 truths/1 lie and we played.
As we drove through the village of Wolfville, Kim pointed out restaurants (one was a crepe place which I thought Jean would want to go) and stores. I spied a place for lunch at the end of the village near Acadia University - The Library Pub, plus a book/comic store that I thought would be nice for me to peruse.
Now, when we make a stop, I was seated in the middle of the bus, and Jean was in the very back. So, I was out quickly, and then had to wait for Jean, because all the others were slow to disembark. When she finally got off, she was excited because she had two places to suggest for lunch - The Library Pub or the crepe restaurant. So, we headed to The Library Pub.
It was upstairs, and the sign next to the door said it was operated by Acadia alumni. The pub was not floor to ceiling with books, but it did have shelves of books and magazines throughout, and the typical brewery signage. We were practically the only ones in the place. I had a breaded chicken sandwich and Jean got a beet salad. The bartender was constantly checking on us, he was so bored.
Then we walked back towards where we needed to meet bus. I went across the street to the book/comic store where I purchased two used books and a graphic novel for the middle school library. While Jean went to the grocery store to look for some items to eat on the ferry. No luck, so she went to the Tim Horton's for a couple of pasteries. We met up back at the bus.
We then drove for a while (reading/nap time) to our next "Learning and Discovery" stop at Annapolis Royal. Kim mentioned that Annapolis had been the former capital of Nova Scotia. We took a tour about the Annapolis Tidal Generating Station at the interpretive center. This is an experiment to use a turbine to generate electric using the Bay of Fundy tides, where the tides range up to a 50 feet difference between low/high tide. There have been many failures for various reasons such as salt water corrodes most blades quickly, and the huge amount of silt that comes in/out with these huge tides. The gentleman at the interpretive center explained everything in terms we could grasp.
We then continued on our way to Digby, NS to meet the 5:15 ferry to St. John, NB. We had to arrive one hour before departure to line up. We stayed on the bus until the bus was on the ferry, the Fundy Rose. While we were driving onto the ferry, Kim said quotes from movies and we had to guess the title. We got through 50 before she stopped. Her list has 200, so I know we will playing that game again.
Once the bus was parked, we disembarked and climbed the stairs from the bottom deck where we parked (level 3), up to the deck with all the lounges and restaurant (level 1). Nice ferry, much larger than the Cape May Ferry we used last month. We found a small table in a corner and wrote, read, played cards, ate a poutine, etc. on our 2 hour, 15 minute crossing. As we were playing cards, Skip came over and wants to play pinochle with us. We said Ok, he was so excited he had to go tell Joni. On the crossing, the fog rolled in, even though it was still sunny. They had to blow the fog horn during most of the voyage every two minutes.
About 7:15, the announcement for all bus passengers to line up and return to their vechicle. We went back to the bus, and since we had been the first on, we were the first off as the gate lowered in front of us. It was a quick 5 minute trip from the ferry dock to our hotel downtown. Turns out the hotel was one Jean and I had passed when we were walking the indoor mall when we were in St. John a week and a half ago.
We were at the Delta Hotel which is a Marriott hotel. It was really a nice room - very modern, roomy and clean. We had already ate on the ferry, so we just waited for our luggage and watched TV for the evening.