North America · 14 Days · 42 Moments · August 2017


25 August 2017

Finally some familiar faces, a final hike and a swim at Mont Tremblant to round out our trip! Good to see family again!

24 August 2017

Is there no end to the nostalgia and uplifting roadside attractions along the road back to Ontario?!
How Even?! Somehow, Magnetic Hill brings us UP a hill with the car in neutral! Mind is blown...

23 August 2017

Ferry ride! This wind tunnel beats the science north wind tunnel by like a million!

22 August 2017

Back where we began - JT Cheeseman Prov. Park, just in time for dinner at sunset on the beach. Bittersweet
Spelunking (barely) in Cornerbrook Caves. We had two functional lights and were 150 meters in the pitch black. It didn't help that it was foggy in the cave, so our lights hardly showed us anything anyway. But it was still enjoyably cool, a nice break from the 20 degrees of humidity we're experiencing!

21 August 2017

So somehow we ended up at kings point on the evening of their summer festival, postponed from Saturday due to weather, but complete with boat parade and easily the best fireworks 💥 we've ever seen... really enjoyed watching the 2 firefighters have to scamper away when a couple of fireworks misfired all around them! We were so close to the action I swear I got hit with something at one point!
Humpback whale pavilion at kings point! Very cool story of how it ended up there - caught in fishing net, mother & calf, calf survived, mom didn't, towed her body to a side bay where it lay for 2 years, before harvesting it and sending it to drumheller (hey! We've been there!) to prepare it to put on display!
Gander Aviation Museum, Zach's bucket list thing! I learned an awful lot about Gander aviation history, which is actually way more interesting than I thought it would be - so glad my son has very different interests from me! It wasn't all about 9-11 either, there was stuff on Yuri G (first guy in space) and first transatlantic flights and Fidel Castro riding a toboggan! My favourite part was the picture of a hangar on fire June 4, 1944 and there's still snow on the ground!!! Skiing baby! And there were a few planes... note Zach and Jacob almost being blown off the wing of a fighter jet!
Morning stroll at Salvage Point, near Terra Nova Park. Almost left my keys behind on a rock by the ocean. Otherwise, beautiful, sunny, just long enough :)

20 August 2017

O'Brien's whale watching and puffin tour. Saw more whales for sure at the puffin place yesterday! But enjoyed the roller coaster of the North Atlantic (note Jacob trying to go "no hands")! Zach's having a laugh at a screech tasting / honorary Newfoundlander rite of passage that some passengers undertook (jen was much too queasy to even think about that after 2hrs of crazy waves!) We did get to glimpse of a humpback whale tho, so all worth it in the end 👍🏻 Also, turned west at the end of the tour, back to our campsite at terra nova, and on the road home... thanks to Johnny V for reminding us today "we're halfway done driving!" (UGH 🚙🚙🚙🚙🛳🚙🚙🚙🚙🚙🚙 to get home!)
Signal Hill, St. John's... apparently there's some historical significance to this place. The boys liked the cannons and Jen and John loved the blueberries... yum!
Zachary's diner (for real!) for brunch! And a little downtown St. John's!
Cape Spear! The true tip of the land we all know and love! Beyond the rock on which we so precariously stood, lay only ocean across which is the rest of the world. Zach may have slipped into the water (barely), but other than that, it went very smoothly. Our trip east is accomplished, and all we have to do is go back!

19 August 2017

Elliston puffin point!!! Amazing!!! Gorgeous!!!! Scenic! Waves crashing! Puffins!! Sun setting! And did we mention the whales?!? It stared with a blow spout across the bay, then another one, then a whale super close to us!! Best moment for jen so far, Zach LOVED the "paffins" (as he liked to say), John loved the first moment of seeing the blow spout (thinking "was that what I think it was?!") and Jacob thought the whole thing was pretty sweet! Not to be missed for sure! But then, the long drive back to our campsite, driving in NFLD in the dark again! (2nd night in a row, thinking the whole time of how everyone everywhere always says, "don't drive in Newfoundland at night!" Luckily, no moose sightings yet!) Now to bed, kind of loud campground, guitars still going at 11:50PM, not bad singers, just kind of loud. What a busy, supposedly rest day. Good times tho!
Cool rocks on the way to Bonavista where we stopped at PKs for dinner. Apparently Bonavista's pretty historical and stuff (John Cabot stopped there or something), but no time to dawdle as we had puffins to see....
A quick stop down the highway at hodderville was a very cool surf crashing rocky spot! John was too close to waves, jen freaking out at everyone ("get away from the water!! Don't turn your back on the ocean!!"), and the boys loving the surf! Must stop! (If you're in hodderville!)
Next stop (after a 17km gravel road that was way more suited to the 2 arcs we passed than our SUV) to knights cove! Thanks to some quick texting from mom, and stopping and talking to some locals and their dads, tracked down Winnie Quinn's childhood home!! No one was home but beautiful to see! Gorgeous and very very isolated!
Went on to Trinity, where "Trinity days" were in full swing - horseshoes, bouncy castle, beach volleyball tourni & face painting. Ran away from there quickly, briefly explored what I'm sure are lovely and very old historical buildings. Headed out of town for a walk along the shore and up into the hills, where we found blueberries! And a great view! Munched our way through those for quite awhile! Zach touched a real live squirrel!
Today was supposed to be a rest day! Started off restful enough (& cold! 7C!). Stopped off at terra nova visitor centre, very cool "touch tank" and minke whale skeletons!

18 August 2017

We are now in Sara's Diner, in Grand Falls-Windsor (um, where did that name come from?!) waiting for Indian food reward for an epic hike! And then long drive across this crazy island!
Today we hiked to Green Gardens. It was an up and down journey... but worth it in the end! We were worried going in (read "Jen was worried) hat it was going to take us 2x as long to hike out, but we "rocked it" (get it, cause we were partly on the rocky Tablelands?!) and were out in record time! 1hr 45 mins going in, 1hr exactly coming out!!

17 August 2017

Then Trout River, the quaint cutesy fishing village for sunset (Into the clouds again... you've got to be kidding us! This whole "sun setting into ocean" leaves something to be desired!)
Trout River campground tonight, a little after pizza wrap dinner walk down to the "river" with Jacob... this place just doesn't stop! Tablelands on the left mountains... earths mantle or something very cool and entirely unable to grow stuff on!
Western Brook Pond for lunch.. another epic lunch spot! No boat tour for us, but absolutely gorgeous and totally worth the walk in all the same!

16 August 2017

Don't miss the earth odyssey at the visitor centre! Just saying, totally worth it!
So then jen ditched the boys (they went downtown rocky harbour for the best fish & chips ever!!) and did the coastal trail hike from Green Point to Brooks creek. Possibly the best hike ever! Very Newfoundland-esque with cute little fishing village on one side and classic cliffs meet water on the other. I allowed myself 5 rocks and came back with 15. Jacob helped me sort them out to keepers in the end!
In the afternoon, we drove up to Western Brook Pond - it was pretty busy up there at the iconic fjord-like lake, at least in the parking lot, which is as far as we got, cause it started raining. So back south we drove to Green Point to do a little beach combing before the rain followed us. That was pretty neat, big pebble beach and stuff, until Jacob wimped out b/c he said the black flies were biting him (see picture!)
So, we hiked in to this place called bakers brook falls. The guide book said it was spectacular. After a 4.1 km hike in, nice and level on mostly boardwalks, we decided that yes, it was pretty spectacular. At least, a pretty epic lunch spot! Then we hiked out again. Saw some insect eating plants, that was pretty cool too!

15 August 2017

Sunset at lobster cove, rocky harbour, gross morne... beauty! Favourite moments today - seeing gros morne and the beautiful mountains, rope course and boys conquering fears, zip lines and big drop jump.
Marble Mountain rope course! A spectacular show of endurance and concentration! And height, it was pretty high. Balance being key, (along with not looking down) our boys definitely qualified as climbers!

14 August 2017

JT Cheeseman provincial park for (just after) sunrise and sunset, as well as port-aux-basques trailway hike for lunch. Nice, relaxing first day in Newfoundland! Favourite moments - John- running chariot of fire style on beach, Zach - playing in the dunes at the beach, Jacob - running and jumping from rocks to rocks along the beach, trying. It to get his feet wet (his feet were wet most of the day), jen - seeing Newfoundland for the first time, approaching it by water and wondering about those first explorers coming to this land! So far, illusions have been shattered, with long sandy beaches where we spent most of the day, waves crashing, Jacob trying to turn down the volume :)
Sunrise!! Just as we approached Newfoundland!! Super super exciting!!

13 August 2017

Cape Breton Island
Best shawarma in Nova Scotia, they say.... Zach agrees (tho it's his only shawarma in NS)
Wood island ferry... had to do a quick family picture before we left the island #fastestvisittoPEIever? (About 8.5 hrs!)
Brackley Beach PEI - red sand beautiful!
Confederation bridge! Super exciting!! Oh, and the ocean!
1:36 in the morning and still alive! Finally hit Nova Scotia, and that's a sign I thought we wouldn't see till the daylight!

12 August 2017

Back home in Canada! Yay! We love our home!
First new province to the East! Quebec-land! Stop for pic and lunch!