Official Liaison College Blog

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day Seven & Eight: Saint John NB & the USA road home

Leaving PEI behind was a bittersweet experience.  We enjoyed our time there thoroughly (not to mention the food!!) and wished we had a few more days..... 

However we know that we will be back within a year as next year's Chef Educators Conference will be held at Holland College and hosted by our friends.  June 2012 - it's PEI or bust!

We arrived on the island by ferry, but left via the Confederation Bridge.  Yes, for many years now (since 1997) travellers to PEI can get there by car without boats involved!  This concrete marvel is an amazing piece of architecture with its sturdy supports (right into the deep channel waters) and amazing views.  You pay a toll when you leave PEI - so I guess they are hoping that you come and enjoy it so much you never leave!  The cost to leave via the bridge was approx $45.  And worth every penny.  The 8 minute trip was an experience in itself.

As soon as you cross the bridge you can enter the New Brunswick tourist information centre.  This environmentally friendly facility is very "green" .... my partner did not warn me that the washroom facilities were similar to our friend's cottage - an open "pit" (no flushing) with a very distinct odour - and I was in and out in a hurry!  But I did think that the hand sink supplied with rain water was very neat.  The centre is a hive of activity and information and we were able to gather a number of pieces for our trip across the province.  They are very proud of their "Seven Wonders of the World" status as they have the world's highest tides (and they really are a marvel).  The entire coast of the Bay of Fundy is filled with interesting sites to experience the tides and the "flower pot" rocks.  We would have really liked to take the coastal trip up the Acadian trail.

Nonetheless, we arrived at our accommodations at the Inn on the Cove and settled in to the amazing views right on the mouth of the Saint John's Harbour and watched the tide.  We enjoyed a salmon dinner in the quaint dining room (also overlooking the water) along with a bottle of wine.  The Chef was kind enough to share his passion for food - homemade herb and cheese biscuits, tangy veloute, salmon entree followed by a flourless chocolate cake adorned with spun sugar. He has been cooking since he was 10 and has apprenticed with many of the areas top chefs.  We really enjoyed the meal and his company.

The next day, after massages (the inn is also a "spa") we got back on the road.  Destination:  Vermont.

The crossing from New Brunswick to Maine is really interesting.  A two lane city street turns into the border as it crosses the river.  Gas stations on the Maine side are advertising their prices in full view of the Canadians who take advantage of the 40% discount.  We continue on the "interstate" (a winding, hilly road through a remote area) until we cross from Maine to New Hampshire and then quickly into Vermont.

The next day we are greeted with sunny skies for our ferry trip across Lake Champlain.  On the ferry we met a couple who are travelling on their motorcycle with their grand daughter and her son (on their motorcycle).  They were heading from Maine to Niagara Falls; what an adventure!

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