Eastern Canada Road Trip, 2017 – Recap

Since I don’t travel full-time, I figured that instead of doing a monthly recap, I would recap each of my trips following the full posts. These recaps will contain highs, lows, logistics, funny anecdotes, pictures, etc. that I likely didn’t include in the full posts.

Without further ado, my road trip through Eastern Canada!

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Countries: 1 – Canada
Year: 2017
Number of Days: 9 (including travel)
Number of Provinces: 4
Number of Different Beds: 5
Favorite City: Québec City
Favorite site: Hopewell Rocks
Type of Trip: Relaxation/Friends
Money Spent: This trip cost roughly $800 per person (including all travel and related expenses, all accommodation, most souvenirs, most food, and all taxes). Our biggest expenses were the car rental, gas, and our Airbnb in PEI. Unfortunately, hostels are not as cheap in Canada as they are elsewhere in the world, although we did save money by staying in Airbnbs instead of hotels and cooking most of our meals in PEI.

Recap

Highs:

  • Saint John. We couldn’t get over how adorable this little city was!
  • Our Moncton Airbnb. Our time in Moncton might have been a slight let down, but our Airbnb was fabulous. Our hosts were gracious and friendly, and served a complimentary breakfast spread the next morning. We were very grateful for the location, and should I ever spend another night in the area, I would definitely try to stay there again!
  • Hopewell Rocks. Being there was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. Walking somewhere you know spends more than half its time underwater is a surreal experience. I loved this site, and I look forward to returning someday.
  • Prince Edward Island. Oh, be still my heart. I fell completely head over heels in love with this province (hopefully from my pictures it’s not hard to see why)! I was obsessed with the red clay and sand dunes, and completely enamored of every beach we set foot on and every lighthouse we gazed at. While I feel we saw everything we wanted to see, I know I will eventually return to that small but gorgeous stretch of land.
  • Of all the sites we saw on our trip, none felt more like a hidden gem than a tiny stretch of sand at the end of Stompin Tom Road in Skinners Pond, PEI. The weather was perfect and we had the beach to ourselves. Had we not been in the midst of a road trip around the western coast, I could have happily stayed there for hours.
  • Our PEI Airbnb had it all and really felt like a proper home away from home. Our time in PEI was our most relaxed, as we were in the same location for three nights. It was a comfortable place where we could easily unwind after our adventures, and as an added bonus, it was a five minute drive to the ferry!
  • Going to Green Gables. This National Historic site was the inspiration for the house in the much-beloved Anne of Green Gables novel (and eventual series) by L.M. Montgomery. Walking around the property, it wasn’t hard to see why Montgomery was so enchanted by the surroundings, and why the home feels like a character in its own right in the books.
  • When we went to the Halifax Citadel, I was not expecting to see a life-sized trench. Walking along the duckboards really brings you into the reality of the situation the soldiers faced during battle. The knowledgeable guides provided key information and were more than happy to answer any questions.
  • One of the best parts of our Airbnb in Halifax – aside from our friendly and generous hosts! – had to be the pets. Brit and I are both animal lovers and gladly welcomed all the furry cuddles.
  • Peggys Cove. From the quaint seaside village to the iconic and picturesque lighthouse, Peggys Cove is a must-see. The weather for our visit created the perfect eerie atmosphere, and the poor visibility in the distance gave the feeling of standing on the edge of the world.
  • Québec City, and specifically Old Québec. I had an inkling of a feeling prior to my visit that I would enjoy Québec City. What I didn’t know was the extent of my feelings for it. Walking along the cobbled streets of Old Québec, I felt like I had teleported to the city streets of Paris. Our time there was brief, and I’m eagerly looking forward to eventually exploring the city more in depth.

Recap1

Lows:

  • Moncton. I hate to put Moncton in the lows section, but the city just didn’t charm me. It could have been the constant rain keeping us from exploring all outdoor activities, but aside from Magnetic Hill, the only other highlight was seeing Wonder Woman in theaters (which did feel appropriate for our girls’ trip, and was an awesome movie!).
  • I’m no stranger to food poisoning while traveling (in fact, I ended up with it both times I’ve been to Europe – lucky me), but on this trip it was a different type of unpleasant sickness. While I don’t want to get into details – and in fact, still don’t even know what happened for sure – it started four days before the end of our trip and finally ended over a week after our trip. I wouldn’t mention it at all, except that it feels strange to not make any note of something that affected me as much as this did. I did my best to not let it ruin our time exploring the East Coast, but I spent a good deal of our last days feeling guilty over it.
  • One of our (at times inadvertent) Titanic-related experiences was attempting to go to Cape Bear Lighthouse, located along the shores of eastern PEI. It was the first lighthouse to receive a distress signal from Titanic as it was sinking. Unfortunately, we arrived to a lighthouse under complete construction and were unable to approach.
  • Torrential downpour on the drive from Peggys Cove to Québec City resulted in a tense drive and an unpleasant length of time spent in the car. I love road trips, but the rain and wind were no fun at all that day.
  • Pricey parking in Québec City. We finally found a parking structure, and though the cost was fairly high, we decided to just suck it up. On our walk over to the Plains of Abraham, we passed other cheaper and closer parking. It was frustrating to say the least, but by that time there was nothing we could do.

Recap2

Funny Moments:

  • Brit and I had been planning this trip loosely for nearly 10 months by the time it happened (at least, it was roughly that time from the initial decision). Eventually, planning rolled around to booking time, and we made all our arrangements. With only a couple months to go before our trip, it suddenly dawned on us that we had miscounted the days, and had to find a place to stay for the second night of our trip – whoops! It was from this mistake that the idea of spending a night in Moncton blossomed.
  • Our GPS was very unhappy with divided highways and a good portion of Quebec. Despite being updated prior to our trip, our little GPS car icon spent a good portion of our trip insisting we were no longer on the road.
  • We had been at the West Point Lighthouse for only a handful of minutes before I realized I had accidentally matched the uncharacteristic black and white walls. We got a great laugh out of it.
  • The Cows Creamery store was the most adorable store I’d ever been in. Full of cow puns and adorable trinkets, its cuteness caught me by surprise. We also had the opportunity to watch a short video in the ‘Milky Whey’ theater and check out the behind the scenes area of t-shirt and ice cream making. It doesn’t hurt that their ice cream is tasty as well!

Recap3

Overall Experience:

This was a phenomenal trip. It was a perfect road trip meets girls’ week away. I only added one new province to my list (PEI), but as Brit had never been to any of them, it felt like seeing them all anew once more. This trip strengthened my desire to explore even more of this vast and beautiful country I call home.

Stay tuned for one final Eastern Canada road trip post!

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