Experience

Acadian Coastal Drive

I’ve always seen the signs for different scenic drives around New Brunswick, but hadn’t really been intentional about ever actually doing one. With Canada Day coming, I thought it would be a good opportunity to drive up the coast and see an area of NB that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. The most north-eastern point - Miscou Island. I didn’t really know what to expect, and the only thing I really wanted to see at the outset was a pretty church I’d heard about. I was really happy with the outcome. We pretty much just followed the signs!

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We didn’t get a very early start and left Moncton around 11:00am. Had to make one pit stop in Shediac to pick up a mug that I’d left at an Air BnB the week before. (Had the chance to practice my French and try to explain myself to a nice family from Montreal :) ). This is the beginning of the Coastal route and the beginning of my day of practicing my French.

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I’d driven this section lots before and loved driving by the coast between Shediac and Bouctouche, especially the sections that just have some huge rocks between you and the ocean, like this spot.

But this pic is actually further north.

But this pic is actually further north.

PS - GREAT beach at the Dunes in Bouctouche. Check it out!

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And so many other beautiful coastal views along the way:

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We hit Bouctouche, but didn’t have the time to stop at Le Pays de la Sagouin on our drive, but you could definitely make that a stop! I haven’t been there since my grade 5 field trip! 

After gassing up, we continued up toward Miscou and enjoyed more sights of beautiful “cottages”, little towns and Acadian flags. 

We made a quick pit stop at a beach at Camping de la Dune. It was pretty unpopulated and really pretty. This was really a driving trip and we didn’t stay long at all. 

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We searched on Trip Advisor for what would make the best supper stop and then asked a local in Tracadie what she would recommend. By this point we were getting pretty hungry as all we’d eaten were gas station taquitos and gatorade. lol. She suggested Au P’tit Mousse which was a great suggestion, but we will get to that later. 

From Tracadie, we started our hunt for the Church that was my first priority of seeing, but all we had was a map from Instagram. This started our mini “church tour” where we saw three beautiful churches . . .

Thankfully, Miscou is a pretty small place and the second church we looked at was actually the “right” one! 

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So cool! The story is pretty cool too and I think they could make a pretty great indie movie out of it. With age, the church started to deteriorate and instead of spending thousands and thousands of dollars to reapair it, the priest who worked there at the time (Reverend Gérard d’Astous) took it upon himself to transform the aging wood into a beautiful and eclectic work of art. 

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Each section speaks to a different part of the story between God and humanity. The priest’s work of redemption on the church mirrors the work of God’s redemption in humanity. 

From here, we quickly stopped at our third church to grab a pic, before heading out to grab some supper! 

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It was clear this was a favourite spot as the place was hopping! I loved the combo options and we got a couple combos to share. It was pretty delicious and the price was pretty great too. I’d definitely go back. Listen, can you get more east coast than this? Poutine, garlic fingers (did you know Pizza Delight “invented” them?), and fresh clams!

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 It looks like there are a few other cool places around too. I wish we could have checked out La Terrasse a Steve or the Guardian Cafe at the lighthouse. If you have a favourite spot, share it in the comments! 

After eating, we headed out to the lighthouse! 

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By the time we got here, it was around 6:30, so things were starting to shut down, but they have a cafe and a gift shop there and there’s a nice beach with frigid water that a couple people were brave enough to swim in. 

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The day was closing in on us at this point, but we wanted to make two more stops! We went for a quick walk on Miscou Island Beach and then headed out to try to catch Pokeshaw Rock before it got too dark. I was getting scared to travel back at dusk and sure enough, we saw two moose behind the highway fence!

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And we actually made it there for sunset!  

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There’s a nice lookout to get a good shot. We were a little jealous of the kayakers enjoying a sunset paddle. :) Maybe I’ll try that next time! 

By the time we headed back, it was around 9:30 so we knew we were going to miss the fireworks in Moncton. We were sad about that, but had an awesome day of adventuring! 

But we weren’t quite done yet, true to its reputation, we did have a close call with a mama moose and her calf on the way back on the 15.  Thankfully we saw them in time! I recommend ending your road trip before dusk! 

P.S. I know we missed a lot along the way, comment below and let me know where your favourite place is to stop!

Happy driving! 

Grand Manan Island

Grand Manan. I’ve been trying to get here for three summers now and it finally happened! I was not disappointed and I think it even over-delivered. :)

My friend Ashley was back in town for school and had a short window of time to explore NB before school started. We wanted to go somewhere new, so we chose Grand Manan! We had a few things planned, but mostly figured we could explore the island and end up seeing most of what we wanted to see.

We were fortunate enough to get a campsite at Hole in the Wall on their final summer offering the cliffside sites. I didn’t know this before booking, but was so happy we got the opportunity!

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It actually may have been my favourite part of our whole trip! Happy and sad!

I still can’t get over that view.

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And there weren’t even any ropes on the cliff edge!

Once we got our place set up, we went for pizza at Post Office Pizza and it was just as good as we’d hoped!

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We also got a friendly greeting and local “lowdown” of the island free of charge from the owner - a former Bostonian turned Grand Manan’er. He said he and his family bought a house there on their second trip to the island. It certainly does take ahold of your heart.

We had a great sleep and I woke up for a bit to snap some pics of the sunrise. (I’ve heard there are some nights where a fog horn goes off all night. Thankfully our nights were clear nights!)

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And then it was time for one of my favourite parts of camping - breakfast and coffee!

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Does it get any better? I’m not sure that it does.

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We then accidentally started driving out of our campground and turned around to do the Hole in the Wall. lol. Gotta get that pic, right?

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It was really pretty, and I understand that you can actually take that trail all around the island. That’s pretty cool!

After our short hike, we went to Swallow Tail Lighthouse, which was right by our campground. It is kept up very nicely and you can go up to the top for a small fee. I hear this is a good place to watch for whales from, but we only saw seals :(

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One thing I’m a sucker for is cute cafes. So, I knew the Old Well House Cafe would be a stop for sure! Apparently they just opened this summer and had a great first season. That was on our list because NRTHWRD suggested it, and I’m so glad we went.

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It was so beautiful and unique and the food was delicious.

We decided to spend the rest of the day driving around the island and stopping where we wanted to stop or where we heard people say was cool.

We went south, stopped for coffee at Newton’s,

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Had a pit stop at Seal Cove Beach to touch the ocean,

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Saw the South Head cliffs (slightly mind-blowing),

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Briefly visited Dark Harbour,

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And picnicked at Stanley beach for supper!

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Ashley and I are both doers, so this was a great pace for us :)

Many people suggested seeing the sunset at “The Whistle” and it was pretty cute to enjoy the sunset with about 12 other people, locals and tourists alike.

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What a day. Topped off with a fire under the stars.

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DAY 2

Since we really “conquered” most of the island on day 1, our plan was to take it easy on day 2 and revisit some favourites. We started with coffee by the fire and ocean. I can’t.

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Then went to the beautiful, delicious, quaint bakery, North Head Bakery. Their baguettes are raved about and the donut and croissant I had were both delish.

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There was a farmer’s market in town that day so we wandered there for a minute and then had another meal at the Old Well House before getting back on the ferry.

We were really determined to see a whale so we spent all of the return journey on the deck watching and waiting. Our only rewards were one or two whales really far away and windburn. Less than satisfactory. Lol.

Well, it’s safe to say that Grand Manan worked its way into my heart. I really, really loved our time there. It was the perfect way to end the summer. I’ll be back soon.

Love,

Laura

Atlantic Balloon Fiesta

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One of the first signs of fall . . .

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As much as I hate to see summer go, the balloon fiesta in Sussex always helps say goodbye. 

We usually go up on Friday night and try to get there for the balloon launch at 5:30,

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Then grab some food, check out Bingo or the market, and head to see the moon glow.

Which is probably my favourite . . .

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How beautiful is that?

And there's still time to catch some rides and games:

(The Zipper, for the braves ones . . .)

(The Zipper, for the braves ones . . .)

(Because is it really a fair if you don't fear for your life on a ride that was set up on that very same day?)

(Because is it really a fair if you don't fear for your life on a ride that was set up on that very same day?)

(Some of those games are hard to resist!)

(Some of those games are hard to resist!)

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or check out the barn vibes . . . 

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I don't think I've gotten up early enough to see it person yet, but the morning launch is also beautiful! 

Check out the whole schedule here.

So much fun for the whole family! 

Or friends! 

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Would you go for a ride? . . .

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Miramichi Treehouse Resort

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*This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own! :) 

 

What a great way to kick off the summer! 

I was so excited to check out these unique accommodations and they did not disappoint. My sister and I headed up to the 'chi on Friday and were so happy to see a bear run across the road on the way! It was so cute! Jenn kindly greeted us when we arrived, gave us a rundown and we were on our way! 

We unpacked our car (which is always so full - I always overpack), claimed our bunks and planned to relax on the deck.

I was pleasantly surprised to have a mini suspension bridge that joined our little treehouse and the deck. 

And a tree coming up in the middle of it - so neat! 

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This trip ended being quite entertaining. This best ones always are, right? :) We were warmly greeted by New Brunswick's provincial bird, the mosquito! (FYI: our provincial bird is actually the black-capped chickadee :) ). Our desire to stay on the deck would have to wait! We hopped in the car and headed to town for mosquito repellant! Once we got our citronella candle, we enjoyed some time on the deck before it got dark. This was that night that the temperature dropped about 20 degrees from night to morning. We were sweating to death when we got there and then it was cold in the morning! That's Canada for you. 

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We headed inside for device time, uh, I mean, movie time! 

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It was so nice to wake up to this view! I loved sleeping with the birds in the trees! 

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And one of my favourite parts about camping/glamping is coffee and breakfast!! Yum. 

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I can't wait to go back again! 

 

The details? Book your treehouse here

There are different options for amenities, so pay close attention when booking yours to get what you want/need. We stayed in the "Carriage" treehouse, which had an outlet, mini fridge, and 2 piece bathroom. It was a nice balance of camping and glamour. :) 

The campground also has a fun park for the kiddos and a really nice pool: 

Here are a couple more "bare bones" shots of our place and a couple other treehouses that look super cool! 

Hope you can make it here this summer! They book up quickly, so make your plans! 

Chance Harbour Nature Spa

I had my eye on this place for quite a while before finally experiencing it myself a few weekends ago now. We know New Brunswick has a lot to offer, but a lot of our hidden gems are "summer only" spots, so I was excited to check out a place that's sweet no matter what season it is! Besides, is it really a polar bear dip if it's not in the winter? :) 

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Two of my "couple friends" had been there about a year ago and spoke highly of it so they let me tag along this time! We now have two new members of the polar dip club!

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So, the whole spa operates to provide thermal therapy. As they say on their website, this therapy is not very well-known in western society, but it boasts many health benefits and is just fun! 

They recommend a certain pattern for your therapy going from hot to cold to hot, and so on. You can do the recommended pattern or just build your own adventure. We really like the sauna and the hot pool and the bucket of ice cold water! But more on that later. You can find out more about the health benefits and pattern here

We went on a brisk -7 winter day, but there wasn't much snow as we've had such a weird winter (for the third winter in a row)! We brought our own bath robes, but you can also rent some there if you don't have your own. It is recommended to wear shoes that can get wet as you're in and out of water all day. I wore flip flops and I didn't get too cold going from place to place. Rubber boots were a little more cumbersome, so I'd recommend the sandals.

We started off admiring the Bay of Fundy in the beautiful sauna.

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And then once we started sweating, we cooled off with the bucket of freezing fresh water! 

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We then rushed to the hot pool to get warm again, which was also nice and relaxing. I liked that it was nestled up in the trees. :) 

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The "cold option" closest to the hot pool was the waterfall. We did meander over, but access is a little more difficult in the winter. I sat in the waterfall for a second before rushing back to the hot pool. 

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It was nice to be able to see another New Brunswick waterfall while I was there! 

From there, we finished off our first "round" in the steam room. This area is quite small and only fits about 5 or so people. It was a little too steamy for me, but it was my friend's favourite spot! 

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We spent most of the day trying to decide if we were going to brave the Bay of Fundy for the Polar Dip! Mark and I worked up the courage, and Lindsay was our photographer. :) 

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This is clearly BEFORE I froze my butt off! 

It was SOOO cold!! We RAN to the sauna to warm up again. 

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Like a beacon in the night. 

Humans do weird things.

They also have their Polar Bear Cafe where they offer drinks and healthy snacks.

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Or, you can bring your own lunch and enjoy it by the fire. 

We had a really fun day at the spa and it was a really nice winter adventure! I'll definitely be back. 

I'll leave you with my favourite capture of the day!