Sunday, 31 August 2014

Travel Broadens the Mind

Yesterday I arrived back from a week-long vacation in New Brunswick where I took my daughter to visit my brother Ern and sister-in-law Gail.  New Brunswick is a largely rural province with only three communities whose population exceeds 50,000: Saint John, Moncton, and the capital of Fredericton.  Its primary industries are forestry, mining, and fishing.  My brother once joked that the best jobs were in forestry, military, or education (the province boasts four top-notch universities) but that's now shifting toward more high-tech and resource-based companies.

One of the main reasons that I've always loved New Brunswick is its beauty.  The province is bounded on two sides by ocean, and experiences some of the highest tides in the world on the Bay of Fundy coast.  The main watershed, the Saint John River, meanders through the rugged Appalachian mountains; it and its tributaries nurture salmon runs and large forests.  In 2011 the river was designated as the Wolastoq National Historic Site of Canada in recognition of the Native American communities that it once sustained.

 Downtown Fredericton from across the river. 

Ern and Gail have a lovely home in the community of Douglas just west of Fredericton, up on a ridge overlooking the river valley.  Their home and my parents' house are a study in contrasts.  While my parents' house was always meticulously decorated, my brother's house has a somewhat haphazard theme with a fair amount of mismatched furniture and country-style accents.  Part of it was due to combining two households, since both were already well established before they purchased the house and moved in together.  The other part was Gail's decorating style; she bought many pieces from local artisans and antique shops.

This caught my eye.  Both the vase and apple ornaments were made locally.

One place known for its ambiance is Casey's Diner on Route 105 (or Route 2 depending on who you ask) in Sheffield, east of Fredericton.  Not only is the food good, but there's a large selection of local crafts for sale. The back of the establishment houses a tiny antique museum that includes a pristine 1950's Chevrolet convertible and a 1940's farm tractor.  And who can forget Harvey's Big Potato Market on the same road in Maugerville with its 15-foot high potato statue?  There are so many unique places to explore in New Brunswick.

1 comment:

  1. We have family in Moncton. I haven't been since I was a teenager. Thank you for reigniting my interest. :-) Happy Monday!