Not too long ago, you could pop into Canada when the mood struck, but these days you must have a passport and the encounter with the border authorities takes on a much more somber tone. As we entered New Brunswick, the agent got into a conversation with us about DUI's, not that we have any. She said that the US is much more lenient in this regard than Canadians. If you have one on your record, you may not enter the country for five years. We told her we had been to New Brunswick on a cruise in July and she said that the cruise lines get fined $50,000 if they bring someone with a DUI into the country. If you have two, you can kiss visiting Canada good by forever. If we lived in Canada we would be teetotalers anyway. Booze is so heavily taxed that it just isn't worth it.
There is a long string of saints along the Fundy coast - we visited St. George, St. Andrew and St. Stephen today. If we had been a bit more ambitious we could have added St. John and St. Martin. Northern Maine where we are staying feels empty and remote, but when we crossed the border we were in sunny southern Canada and this nearby area was much more populous and developed. Our first stop was at a chocolate museum, like none we have ever visited. It was maintained by the Ganong Chocolate Company, a family owned concern that has been in the biz for many generations. We had never heard of them, but they must be an institution here. While we didn't really learn anything about chocolate that we didn't already know, this museum will remain ever memorable because at every turn there were trays of gourmet chocolates free for the tasting. The company produces 150 varieties of gourmet chocolate and we did our best to try them all without coming anywhere close. A dangerous stop for someone allergic to chocolate.
St. Andrew is a touristy beach town with eco-friendly shops and ladies-who-lunch eating establishments housed in nicely restored historic buildings. It was a great spot to stroll and join the Canadian tourists who were celebrating Labor Day along with us. It had a huge campground right on the beach that is now on the list of places to stay in the future. There were many spots along the coastal drive that merited a photo stop. We just can't pass a light house without taking a picture.
We took a free ferry to Deer Island. Nearly all the New Brunswick ferries are free as the province wants to maintain all the coastal islands as viable places to live and keep them connected to the mainland. Deer Island is populated mainly by fishermen and we saw the same style salmon farms there that we toured in Eastport yesterday. Another short ferry ride brought us back to Eastport and another encounter with a border agent. Welcome home.