Experiencing our nation through its environments, animals, people and history.

Galatians 5:1

Monday, August 31, 2009

Green Gables

Lucy Maud Montgomery has brought a lot of visitors to this island, due to her series Anne of Green Gables. She has been honored as a "person of national significance" and the land of Green Gables and surrounding areas have been preserved as part of the Canadian National Parks.

This is a recreation of the Green Gables home. And just to check- you do know that the character of Anne (with an E) is fictional, right? But the scenery and farms that inspired the writing and the back drop of most of Montgomery's writings are real. Montgomery herself was an orphan and went to live with her Maternal grandparents the MacNeils... it is across the "haunted woods" from the home of her cousins, at Green Gables.

The home is rebuilt on Green Gables to model the farm houses of the day, and it was very easy to use or imagination seeing Anne saying her first prayer, or hiding in her upstairs room with her green hair.

Down the hill from the house is the path that lead to Lucy Maud Montgomery's home, through the "haunted forest. "

Here we are listening to the "ghosts" drinking our very tasty rasberry cordial.

Of course, we found friends on the trail.

This is a "cumuerant"(sp?), a common bird/duck up here, and we met one very personally on another trail but I will let the kids blog about "Plumber".

This is the view from Lucy Maud's house at her grandparents. Nice trees on the land and if you look closely you might find Little James.

We never did get too scared in the woods, until Shayna snuck ahead and jumped out at us from behind the bushes. She got us good, Tina you would have been proud!! I hope you have enjoyed our little tour of Green Gables... I have one more blog to bless all you Anne fans, hang on!!! Hugs...


These are the shores PEI national park in Cavendish. It was a windy day, and the beach was closed for swimming due to dangerous rip currents. After our experience in Bar Harbor we know exactly what that means, so we were totally happy to sit and play on the shore.
The beach is made up of red sandstone rocks. The sand is created by erosion from the waves, then mixes with salt and sun to get the lighter color. The kids spent all morning smashing the sandstone into different layers, making their own sand, and being generally enthralled with a new and different beach!!

On a random note, we found out that the Canada Games were being held on PEI this weekend, and decided to go check out the rowing/kayaking. They were up the West river, not too far from Cavendish.

(random picture of a farm along the way. )

We found the rowing competition and enjoyed a brief time observing the extravaganza. This is like the Canadian Olympics, the Summer games are on PEI right now and the winter games will be in Halifax, Nova Scotia in two years. This was a great opportunity for us to learn the provinces of Canada, as they were all competing against each other. Plus, there was a couple at our campground from Ottowa who kind of drilled us on our Canadian knowledge and we were.... quite humbled.
We learned that Canada has ten provinces and three territories. We are in the Maritime provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI. There is also Newfoundland and Labrador: Newfoundland was the newest province to join Canada in 1949, and became Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001. The big land masses going to the west include Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. The territories are further north, they are Yukon (next to Alaska), the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Also!! The current Queen is Queen Elizabeth and she is on all the coins. She represents all the commonwealth dominions. And did you know that Cheryl has Canadian roots? Mom's paternal side immigrated from Norway to Manitoba, Canada and her maternal side came from Ireland to Ontario.
The next day we saw our Ottowa (Ontario) friends and they gave us an A+ on our research. Later that weekend, Cheryl met the Saskatchewan baseball coach touring the island after the games... they were equally freaked out by the hurricane (another story). We also met up with a little fiddling and felt right at home!! It has been wonderful meeting so many friendly Canadians... but alas... I must be trying the patience of my good friend Lissa who wants to see more stuff on Anne. Next!!!

Prince Edward Island

There is both a bridge and ferry service that can take you on to PEI. Both are free going on to the island, you pay only "if you decide to leave".

Josiah is showing you his new friend "Little James", and you can see here Shayna has had her second injury of our trip (she is quite proud, actually....) she fell while she was rollerblading and sprained her fingers.
The island is full of rolling hills, farmland, and little inlets of water everywhere. There is a distinct Scottish/Irish feel to the place. Lots of potatos growing!

We got a little sidetracked on the way to our campsite, but Greg was gracious to let me photo-opp. All right, we were lost.

But look! We accidentally passed by the birth home of Lucy Maud Montgomery... we must be getting close! Later we learned the author was orphaned at 21 months and went to live with her maternal grandparents, the MacNeils. They lived over in Cavendish which is where we are headed, so more on that soon!!

(We thought we found the lake of shining waters.... )

Allright, it was dark when we got there but we did make it. "Hopelessy lost, but making good time...." (It's our license plate frame we put on Winnie from Uncle Aaron's car). Green Gables here we come!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Good Morning Canada!!!

We camped the night along the Saint Johns River: a very long river that leads into the Bay of Fundy to the South, and to the largest city in New Brunswick, Saint John. It is generally spelled out as Saint John so it is not confused with St.John's in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The water was a deep and mesmerizing blue. It was a windy day (those pesky hurricanes in the Atlantic) and we loved the feeling of actually being cold!!

It was 53 degrees. Cheryl was so energized she took her saucony's out for a brisk jog along the river!!

The rocks on the bank of the river were interesting shades of orange and red, and it made the water look a sunset in the morning (it looks a little more like mud in this picture but I didn't have the camera when it looked cool)It is a little more fallish this far north!!

The kids spent the morning mini-golfing, bunkershoot basketballing, hitting balls at the driving range, and then biking into town. We decided we must stop again here on the way back.

The town of Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick. This is the governors house, right on the river.

This is city hall. Each Province of Canada has a capital, though all of the work is really done by the Parliment in Ottowa. By the way, do you know how many provinces there are in Canada? We're gonna find out for ya. We are now headed to our second one: it is the smallest province and just north of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Any guesses? Here's some hints: red rocks, and a nine kilometer bridge is gonna get us there.

See you soon!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Off the Map"

Last week when we were driving to Bar Harbor we had this funny feeling like we were getting far, far away from the world as we know it. We kinda had the feeling that we were going to the end of the world! Of course this is silly and it made us realize how ethno-centric, western and citified we are.

Well, imagine how we felt driving off the edge of Maine!! I mean, that is the end of the map as we know it, right? Maybe there's some gray mass of Canada?? You never realize how ingrained some ethnocenticity is, I mean we crossed the border and were surprised to have so much road under our wheels. So we are now happy to say, the Kalers now know what lies beyond that American line. It's called New Brunswick!!

New Brunswick is a bilingual province, all the signs are in both French and English. Gladys was no help to us, as she had no road information for Canada. That plus everything up here is in kilometers, we were discombooberated for the whole first day!!

It definately felt like we were leaving our comfort zone.... but it was also a relief to be expanding our horizons. We drove away from the sunset and are heading to our first night's camp just outside Frederickson. Nite Nite!!