North America · 26 Days · 73 Moments · September 2017

Diane's journi to Eastern North America


25 October 2017

Thursday, 24 October, our last cruise day. Seas are much rougher today. Thank goodness for Dramamine! We were able to take the behind the scenes tour for Platinum members this morning, the 5th tour they’ve given on this 10-day cruise! Leysan is our guide. We toured backstage, the laundry and the main kitchen. The laundry operates 24/7. Amazing!

24 October 2017

Alexander Graham Bell had a summer home and did much work in Baddeck. Bell sponsored the first Montessori school in the Americas, bringing Marie Montessori over to teach his children and those of his workers. The Bell Museum is a highlight of the island. Photos in and around the port in Sydney.
Scots came over in the 1820s, settling in St. Anne’s with Rev. Norman. He eventually left for New Zealand. The island is primarily Catholic. Gaelic is the second language in highlands and Cape Breton has the only Gaelic school in the Americas. Post Office at Christmas Island is extremely popular for letters from Santa.
Cape Breton Island is the number 2 golf destination in the world. Snowfall of 5 ft in lowlands, up to 12 ft in highlands. Lobster season is May 15-July 15. Codfish has been banned for commercial fishing for 25 years.
Our guide in Sydney is Ann Marie. Dave is our driver. An hour to Iona. Another lovely day! Population 29,000 Sydney proper. Bras d’Or Lake is the only “inland sea” in Canada. Cape Breton Island washome of the largest steel plant in North America in early 1900s. The first theater opened in Sydney in that era. In the 1960s the province of Nova Scotia took over the steel plant. Sydney Steel closed December 31, 2001-100 years after it started. The former plant site has been cleaned up and developed into public space, concert venue, ball fields, park area.

23 October 2017

10 year old boy landed the largest blue fin tuna in 2015. Lobster season is May-June and August-September. Minimum wage is currently $11.50. Average annual salary is $40,000. First $17,000 is not taxed. Sales tax is 15%. All schools, roads, fire protection and health care is covered. Dental clinics in schools K-12. $5 top for prescriptions, chiropractic and massage is included under health care. And any health care in a foreign country.
House called AROUND THE SEA, rotates 359 degrees and controlled by the owners smart phone. Designed by Luke Everington. (Far upper right) Many foxes inhabit the island, a result of the previous fox fur industry.
LM Montgomery McDonald’s gravesite in Cavendish cemetery. She died in 1942. Her mother died before Maud was 2 years old and she was sent to live with her maternal grandparents, staunch Presbyterians.
#1 producer of potatoes in Canada, #3 in North America. 30 golf courses on PEI. Never more than 40 minutes away. PEI has the warmest waters north of Virginia. Two fresh water lakes on PEI. Longest bridge over ice in the world- 9 miles long.
2015 record snowfall of 18+ feet of snow. That amount of snow cannot be dumped in the water & must be blown and trucked off. 11-26F in winter with severe windchill. About 39 inches rain/year. Summer temps of 70-low 90s. Bioscience is a large industry. LM Montgomery was born in PEI. Japan had Anne of Green Gables in the public schools for 50 years.
CFA: come from away, Marie Butler our guide. (Bus driver is Cliff.) CBC has a broadcast facility in every province. College tuition $6000/year, $12,000/year for veterinary school. Samuel Holland Institute of Technology was changed to Holland College in the 1960s. PEI is a leader in wind energy. 9.8 feet of snow last year.
PEI 175 miles tip to tip, 4-40 miles wide. Only sandstone on island-gravel must be imported as road base. In 1864 the delegation to create Canada arrived by boat at PEI. Charlottetown 36,000 population, capital of the province. 32 churches on the island.

21 October 2017

1604 first Anglican Church outside of UK. Hotel Frontenac was built as a hotel. FDR and Churchill met to plan D Day at Hotel Frontenac.
1930 the quiet revolution begins. There were not enough schools and families didn’t have enough money to see a doctor. Free schools were instituted. $5/ day day care. Women keep their name, children choose name. Income tax 35%, minimum wage $12/hour.
Plains of Abraham park. 1759 French & British fought. British won that battle. 1760 Regiment of the Brave fought on the plains of Abraham and France won. In 1763 the French king gave New France to the British to settle his debt. 1774 American Revolution began with the Boston Tea Party. At that time 1780-1930 revenge of the crib (priests encouraged married women to have a child every 14 months to populate French Canada).
First battle between French and English was at the falls. The French at the top of the falls won that battle. The British then fired cannon and fire bombs on Quebec City. Quebec City was walled. Quebec parliament is 250 years old-established by the British 100 years before the country was established.
Hydroelectricity is a major export. Quebec City and Montreal produce a large amount of computer generated graphics for movies and video games.
The island of Orleans has one bridge to it, seven villages on the island which is the size of Manhattan Island. Orleans now produces strawberries and raspberries 3 seasons of the year. Ice wine and ice apple cider are made with fruit which has frozen on the branch-very sweet.
Basilica of Ste. Anne, protector of sailors and of families and native people. Rebuilt in 1902 after a fire destroyed the previous building. It really is as beautiful as any we saw in Europe.
Quebec receives up to 5 feet of snow in the winter. Snow tires are required November to April. Most farms in Quebec have a sugar shack and produce “sticky gold”, dairy, root vegetables, tomatoes, peppers. Dairy is produced by quota for specific purposes (ie butter and cheese). School runs 8 am to 4:30 pm.
Duke of Kent (father of Queen Victoria) owned the mansion at the top of the falls- his summer house. This was after 1869? when the French governor was expelled.
Canadian Shield, horseshoe shaped range around Quebec. Island of Orleans is dedicated to agriculture. All sea life is protected in the St. Lawrence gulf. Currently hunting season here.
Daughters of the King came to New France from convents, provided money, land, all the necessary items to start a household. They married soldiers in New France and populated the new country. First preschool built in 1628 by Jesuits in Quebec. Ursulines built first girls school in 1632? First nursing school, 1902-super nurses Augustinian creation.
Mural in memory of the Irish.
Funicular built in 1869.
During the Irish famine, ships came with ballast of Irish yellow brick or Irish families or orphans. 9000 orphans were brought and adopted by French Canadians, keeping their Irish names.
1638 bastion must be maintained in a historic manner, hand mixed cement.
Our tour guide is 14th generation French from Brittany. 1634 building codes required 4 floors, stone construction, Canadian tin roofs. Notre Dame des Victoires, built 1688 after British defeat.

18 October 2017

Halifax is the oldest naval yard on the east coast, second in size only to Norfolk, VA.
12/6/1917 the Halifax Explosion occurred, a collision between two ships. The French Mount Blanc full of explosive materials hit the empty Swiss hospital ship, Imo. The French ship caught fire, the crew abandoned the ship and rowed to Dartmouth to warn the people. Later the ship exploded when it hit the Halifax shore at Bedford Basin at 9:05 am.
1776-1783 Acadians were expelled from Nova Scotia for not swearing allegiance to England. The Peggy’s Cove house.
Swiss Air 111 crashed near Peggy’s Cove in 1998. Some of the locals still suffer from PTSD as a result.
Glacial irrationals,boulders left by glaciers receding. The granite here is 200 million years old and so hard that water must be brought in and sewage taken out!
Scots arrived in 1600, and named St. Margaret’s Bay. In the late 1700s, 6 German families were given a land grant. A young girl was rescued from a shipwreck in the early 1800s, she was called Peggy and the area became known as Peggy’s Cove. Biggest export in Nova Scotia is lobster, then tires, other seafood. Tourism is also a big industry here.
We visited the cemetery where the largest number of Titanic victims are buried.
53 children from steerage died, one from 1st class.
Cemetery where 121 Titanic victims were buried by the White Star Company. The White Star Line paid for 3 ships to retrieve the bodies of the deceased. Ten bodies are buried in Halifax Jewish cemetery, 19 in the Catholic cemetery.
Fountain from 1897, Queen Victoria’s 60th year. The gardeners received free housing in the 19th century, the Power House. Halifax Commons (. Across the street is a public garden for public use.
1887 band stand, in honor of Queen Victoria’s 50th year on the throne.
Halifax is the second largest ice-free port in the world. The new high school recycles rain water for the toilets.
Next photo opportunity is Citadel Hill, to the 4th fort, a typical British star shaped fort, c. 1835-40. Canada became a nation in 1866. 1803 town clock.
Our guide in Halifax, Mike said Halifax was settled in 1749 by the British and is the largest city on Canada’s east coast. Our first stop is Market Mall at Historical Properties Privateers Wharf.

16 October 2017

After the safety drill, the Jade set sail at 4 pm from New York harbor.
We boarded the Norwegian Jade, docked next to the Peace Boat.
Monday we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the platinum lounge and left the Renaissance via Lyft for the cruise ship terminal.

15 October 2017

We enjoyed the musical very much-Steve googled Carole King afterward to see how accurate the story was.
We had some time to kill, so we walked some more and visited Bryant Park where we had visited with Cathy and Vernice c. 2005.
Sunday morning we had breakfast in the hotel restaurant (next to the sports radio station). And then we back to Times Square to get in line for discounted tickets to see “Beautiful”.

14 October 2017

Saturday evening we walked to Times Square and by Madison Square Garden before catching a bite at Andrew’s Coffee Shop around the corner from the hotel.
We arrived at Penn Station in NYC, about two blocks from our hotel (Renaissance) in the garment district. Our room was lovely, comfortable and efficiently appointed.

13 October 2017

Saturday we left Massanutten and drove to Richmond where we left the van and boarded the train for NEW YORK CITY!

12 October 2017

We visited White Oak lavender Farnell and winery and enjoyed the scenery. Two story frame houses are ubiquitous in Virginia.

10 October 2017

Monday we went to Shenandoah National Park. We stopped at the Byrd Visitors Center, watched a video there and found a nearby picnic table for lunch (#1-3). Then we stopped at Skyline (#6-9).
Then we went to Staunton where we ate a picnic lunch and checked out the train station, the Blackfriar Theatre (a replica of William Shakespeare’s first theatre). Downtown Staunton is nicely preserved, with an old theatre, a camera museum, yoga studio among other interesting businesses. SunTrust Bank is housed in the National Valley Bank building.
Tuesday we checked out the farmers market in Harrisonburg, then the Green Valley Book Fair—3 levels of books, stationery and other neat stuff.

9 October 2017

Shenandoah National Park views.

8 October 2017

After lunch we returned to Asbury UMC for the Sacred Arts Series program, Ladies of Song with lutist Brandon Jack Acker and countertenor Nathan Medley. Brandon played both the lute and the theorbo in the program.
The stained glass windows are currently being restored (#1-2). The most recent renovation allows the sanctuary to open to the adjacent Gathering Place, the nursery is next to the Gathering Place. #3-4: folding screen partially closed and open. #6-7: The Thomas Harrison House is across the street from the church. Francis Asbury held the first Methodist conference west of the Blue Ridge Mountains here June 2, 1794.
Sunday morning we attended the 11 am service at Asbury UMC in Hendersonville. Constructed c. 1913.

7 October 2017

#1-2: The James River. #3-10: We checked in at Massanutten late Saturday afternoon. Check in was a zoo-seemed like hundreds of people! Our unit is about a 9 minute drive from the check in center.
We drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway after we reached the Visitors Center at Vinton (#2). We stopped again at the James River Visitors Center (#4-10).

6 October 2017

We stopped at the welcome center when we entered Virginia. We really liked the spacious shower and the well equipped gym at the one month old Fairfield Inn where we stayed in Abingdon, VA.
Friday Steve took me to the Leaf Fest in Cashiers after we checked out of Fairway Forest. The sculpted concrete and reclaimed teak furniture were especially interesting. We ate lunch at Applebee’s in Asheville.

5 October 2017

Thursday we walked around the park in Cashiers, the Village Ramble where preparations were being made for the Leaf Fest tomorrow through the weekend.

4 October 2017

Wednesday we visited Pisgah National Forest and Looking Glass waterfall. The National forest was originally part of the Vanderbilt estate.

3 October 2017

Tuesday we just enjoyed the timeshare. I saw a chipmunk on the step of a nearby unit. We’re due for a harvest moon in a couple of days!

2 October 2017

We drove to Franklin, NC where they even decorate the ladies room in Walmart! Downtown Franklin is nice-with several local museums and even more shops.
Monday we drove out past Highlands to check out some of the local waterfalls. We had a picnic lunch at Dry Falls. Then we stopped by the Whistle Stop Antiques Mall. No fried green tomatoes.

1 October 2017

Sunday, October 1, we attended the early service at FUMC in Hendersonville. The fall decorations are lovely here-maybe because it also feels like fall instead of summer! After the service we shopped at bit and had lunch at Applebees’s before driving to Asheville.

30 September 2017

Saturday I walked around the timeshare, Steve watched football.

29 September 2017

We left Friday morning, 9/29/17 in time to meet John and Erin for lunch at Kakao Cafe. Stopped at Jaemor Farms for apples on the way to Sapphire Valley.