|NEW BRUNSWICK: FROM TEA TO SHINING SEA|
We headed up the coast to New Brunswick, ferried our cars between islands, visited tiny fishing villages, met men in kilts, walked on the ocean floor, and experienced the world’s highest tides.
We tasted sea vegetables, dined on the freshest seafood, and enjoyed elegant afternoon teas. We even visited the Sardine Museum & Herring Hall of Fame.
Campobello Island is just across the Roosevelt International Bridge. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt bought a 34-room cottage here that is now the centerpiece of the 2800 acre Roosevelt Campobello International Park.
Tea with Eleanor is free each
day to the first twenty who request a ticket. Tea and cookies are accompanied
by stories about Eleanor told by knowledgeable staff who are clearly avid fans
of the former First Lady. Eleanor
Roosevelt enjoyed tea time from the time she was a little girl. She
continued this practice at the Governor's Mansion, the White House, and
at Campobello Island. It's a most enjoyable way to savor the area's-- and the nation's-- history.
Tea with Eleanor is free each day to the first twenty who request a ticket. Tea and cookies are accompanied by stories about Eleanor told by knowledgeable staff who are clearly avid fans of the former First Lady.
Eleanor Roosevelt enjoyed tea time from the time she was a little girl. She continued this practice at the Governor's Mansion, the White House, and at Campobello Island.
It's a most enjoyable way to savor the area's-- and the nation's-- history.
There are walking trails, beaches, and forests in the International Park, and scenic picnic spots along the rocky shore.
We spotted whales from East Quoddy lighthouse on the north end of the island.
A stay at The Owen House, a large colonial inn overlooking Passamaquoddy Bay and the islands on both sides of the border, is an immersion in history.
Admiral William Fitzwilliam Owen, son of the Welsh Captain granted the island in 1769, built it in 1835 and ran it as a feudal estate. It still has many original furnishings, including quilts, and most of the original construction.
Guests relax on the oceanview porch where Eleanor Roosevelt sat when she visited.
One room serves as watercolor gallery for artist and owner Joyce Morrell, shown here in one of the sitting rooms.
Breakfast around a communal table included pancakes made with hand-picked local wild bluerries from a box labeled "bluets savage".
The pancakes were prepared with a side of history--- in a bowl from the 1880s.
There is a ferry to Deer Island. The scenic road to the right passes tiny fishing villages and stacks of lobster pots.
Allow time to browse the charming art galleries and follow signs for lobster rolls made from a crustacean fresh from the sea.
The next ferry goes to the mainland.
St. Andrews by-the-Sea, renowned for its golf course, has a new aquarium at Huntsman Marine Center.
We were greeted by men in kilts at the area’s signature hotel, the Algonquin, popular with guests of all ages for its resort facilities and dining, including afternoon tea.
We strolled past grand historic homes on the nearby tree-lined streets and visited the Kingsbrae Gardens before returning to the hotel for a seafood buffet and dinner that included shark.
Ministers Island is named for the Loyalist parson, Reverend Samuel Andrews, who built this stone home in 1791.
To get there, drive or cycle over the ocean floor during low tide. Kayak or shuttle boat in between.
This was the summer home of railway magnate Sir William Van Horn.
Van Horn used sandstone cut from the beach to build his fifty room mansion, Covenhaven, and the circular bathhouse from which he loved to draw and paint.
His animals were meticulously maintained in an enormous barn. Milk, fresh butter, and fruits and vegetables were produced here to supply this and his Montreal home.
We had the opportunity to bicycle, kilts optional, with Off Kilter Biking Tours, run by personal trainer Kurt Gumushel and artist Geoff Slater.
We booked a Bay of Fundy whale watch aboard the tall ship Jolly Breeze...
bald eagles, finback whales, and sea birds. When the season is right, there are also puffins, right whales, and humpbacks.
We learned about salmon cages and herring weirs.
The touch tank was filled with local aquatic creatures.
For dinner, there’s none finer than the Rossmont Inn on Route 127, a manor house on 87 acres that includes Chamcook Mountain, the highest point in the Passamaquoddy Bay area.
Graziella Aerni runs the 18 room inn, and her husband, Chef Chris Aerni creates his menu daily from the freshest available products of the land and sea--regional catches, his own organic vegetables, herbs, and handpicked wild foods like fiddleheads, and chanterelles he forages on site.
Ask for the tasting menu and savor the best of the day's finds.
The next morning, we continued along the bay to Fundy National Park and stopped for lunch in Alma. Lobster boats were idle on the ocean floor awaiting the incoming tides.
Our meal at Tides Restaurant was a scrumptious salad with freshly harvested wild blueberries and scallops with a sweetness directly from the sea.
The extreme tides of the Bay of Fundy churn the nutrient-rich waters, stimulating the ecosystem and producing incomparable seafood.
Then we were off for low tide at Hopewell Rocks for a walk on the ocean floor past formations originating 300 million years ago.
The sandstone bases have been eroded by the ocean's waves and angled by the earth's movement, creating Flowerpot Rocks, named for their distinctive appearance.
Once the world’s highest tides roll in, kayakers head out to paddle past the rocks’ treed tops.
Hungry for more seafood, we headed for the lighthouse and Cape House Restaurant on Cape Enrage. Chef Jeremy Wilbur, who grew up in the area, attended the Culinary Institute of Canada and worked internationally before returning here.
We enjoyed Bay of Fundy Scallops, local fiddleheads, a “raging chowder” of Fundy seafood, and a wonderful dessert selection, all with a bay view.
The secluded mountain chalet at Broadleaf Guest Ranch, was an ideal choice for the six of us.
It’s part of an 1100 acre family owned and operated adventure business.
There are also cabins, an apartment, and summer camping hookups in the apple orchard.
Hearty ranch cuisine includes homemade jams--made from their cucumbers, blueberries, rhubarb, apples, and zucchini (!)--even zucchini pickles.
Adventures include horseback riding along the Bay of Fundy marshes.
Our final destination was Grand Manan Island, a fishing community with natural beauty and activities--whale watches, kayaking, hiking, beachcombing, art galleries and museums--that lure vacationers.
Unique to the island are its dulse and the Sardine Museum and Herring Hall of Fame.
Dulse, an intertidal zone seaweed, is harvested at low tide and dried on rocks.
It is eaten as is or added as flakes or powder to many recipes.
Dulse from Dark Harbor is protected from bright morning sun, making it darker and more flavorful. It is said to be the highest quality in the world.
It is dried on the rocks and processed at Roland’s Sea Vegetables, 174 Hill Road, where it is also sold.
Try some samples and find your favorite--soft or crispy. It's a nutritious snack for the road and a way to take a taste of New Brunswick home.
Share some flakes with family and friends. We took Roland's daughter-in-law, Mary Flagg's advice and used them to add flavor and nutrients to chowders, sandwiches, breads, and seafood dishes.
Megan Ingalls, volunteer at the
Sardine Museum and Herring Hall of Fame
New Yorker Michael Zimmer recognized the significance of the island’s lost smoked herring industry.
Twenty years ago he bought three neglected buildings and used them to artistically display the old tools and equipment he collected from around the island, founding The Sardine Museum and Herring Hall of Fame.
His boat, fashioned in the shape of a sardine can, is also on display.
The Compass Rose B&B on Route 776.
Breakfast is superbly prepared to order and served with classical music in a dining room which, like our room, overlooked the working harbor.
We enjoyed a sweeping seaside view at the Inn at Whale Cove & Cottages, built in 1816.
The dining room specials were, of course, based on the catch of the day.
One cottage was owned by Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Willa Cather, who spent her summers here in the 1920s and 1930s.
A small desk she used while writing some of her books is in the Grand Manan Museum.
We ferried from Grand Manan to Black Harbour.
Before crossing the border in Calais, we stopped at Ganong Chocolatier in St. Stephen for a tour that included as many samples as we liked.
It was a sweet ending to a delectable vacation.
Ready to go?
New Brunswick story by Linda Fasteson
material including photography appearing on these pages is copyrighted
and may be used only with written permission from Roger and Linda
photography by Roger Fasteson
story by Linda Fasteson