Thursday, June 30, 2011

An unexpected day at St John New Brunswick

We stayed at the Ellsworth Walmart for part of the day finishing up the solar. (Ian will do a post soon about it) and drove up to the border and crossed in Calais, Maine. I must say this was perhaps the nicest and easiest crossing ever. The Border guard was very friendly, asked us the basic questions and sent us on our way but before letting us go asked if we needed directions to our destination!!!  We said we were fine and continued on towards St John. It was getting late and we found an old weigh station along Hwy 1 in New Brunswick and pulled over for the night. It was a bit off of the highway and was pretty quiet. Traffic went by but it wasn't bad. No trucks pulled in to run their rigs all night to disturb us so that was nice.

This paved area is the old weigh station, the highway is way off to the right.
  We woke and headed straight to St John to take Aayla to the walk in clinic to have the tick head removed and get antibiotics. This was quite the experience!

I will never complain about our healthcare system in BC ever again. I am not sure how anything gets done in New Brunswick. We stopped at the first Medical center we saw and were told they couldn't help us, but we could go into town to this other clinic. So we left and drove into town to the walk in clinic...

However you can not go to a walk in clinic here without an appointment??? In BC we walk in, no appointment, wait sometimes an hour or more, but you see a doctor. Here, you have to call a number, get an appointment and then go to the walk in clinic??? Does that make sense to you? Apparently walk in clinics here are for people who don't have family doctors, you just need to see a doctor. This clinic said our only choice since we were passing through was to go to the emergency room at the hospital...the emergency room for a tick...

So we went to St Joseph's Hospital

and waited can you guess how long???

We waited seven yes that was 7 HOURS to see the doctor. We had decided not to go to a clinic in the States; we have travel insurance but thought it would be easier to go in Canada then to call and find out which clinic our insurance would accept, pay, get reimbursed etc...if we knew it was going to take us a trip to the emergency room and a 7 hour wait we would have just gone in the States! Never will I talk bad about out BC system again. The emergency room took 7 hours because we were in line with colds, flus, people needing perscription refills etc etc... not an emergency to be seen anywhere! to top it off...the tick head was gone! Her body rejected it and pushed it out...but we did get antibiotics so not a total waste of 7 hours!

We finally were able to leave the hospital and after stopping at Costco and Home Depot we decided to just call it a night and stay at the St John Walmart (our parking space closer to Future shop but we were parked at Walmart)

See the two rigs directly behind us? 2 nights ago they were at Ellsworth with us...
small world :)
We were going to continue on to Moncton but I saw a Value Village which might not excite most of you but I am not a big shopper. No closet full of purses and shoes and clothes and jewelry for me. In fact I generally hate shopping now and rarely buy anything but I am a treasure hunter and had to go get my treasure hunting fix. I haven't seen a Value Village in over 2 months. The girls got a couple little new toys, and a couple dresses, I got a sweater (starting to miss that Florida heat now) and we managed to walk around in there for almost 2 hours while Ian walked around Future Shop and he managed not to buy anything! An easy way to pass time for us all! Tomorrow we head to PEI.

Our internet stick is only for US coverage so my posts may be a little sporatic now as we wait for wifi spots to make posts but we turned on the iphone again while in Canada so we can access email and make necesssary phone calls without our internet and magic jack. Tonight we lucked out with the wifi...coming up in the Canada day post :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lighthouses and Lobster

Since my last post we didn't make it very far. We ended up staying 2 nights in the East Hartford Cabela's so Ian could work on the solar panels and then we had to head to Hudson Massachusetts to go to AltE Solar to pick up some other parts.
We entered Maine and went to visit  the Cape Neddick Lighthouse but there was no room to park our rig so I snapped a pic

and we headed out again and happened to see a

 It was the first we've had since leaving on April 17th so we HAD to stop and have a large double double :)

Then it was on towards LL Bean to have a look.

The store is so big that it is the size of a small mall, has it's own postal code and has been opened 24/7 since 1951! It was huge but I am not sure it warrents staying open 24/7. Surely they don't get that much business at 3:00 in the morning!

We heard about a boondocking spot here at LL Bean but that area has since been developed. When I asked the staff at LL Bean about parking for the night I was told you can "unofficially" stay at their RV parking lot down the road by the LL Bean Outlet.

"You aren't supposed to but people do it and we don't tow you"

is what I was told. There were others parked there but we decided to backtrack a bit and head to the Cabela's at Scarborough. We knew we could stay there with no troubles and the thought of being asked to move in the middle of the night, packing the girls into their car seats, and searching for somewhere else to go didn't sound like fun. Before leaving though we had a look around LL Bean. The girls had fun playing in the kids section and we managed to leave without a single thing :)

The next morning we headed out on the Coastal Highway (1) and made a stop at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is apparently the most visited lighthouse in Maine. There is no admission to pay to go into the light house (or the fishermans museum) but there is a $2 fee per adult to park and yes there was room to park our rig. (we googled it this time before driving over to it)

We enjoyed touring the lighthouse and some time playing on the rocks before and after the tour.

I loved the layers of these rocks

If there is a puddle to be found...Aayla will find it!

In the fishermens museum their was a room filled with
scrapbooks about fishing and some
 books for the girls to read too.
And Sierra was so excited to be able to go into the lighthouse but Aayla was too little so I sat out with her while Sierra and daddy went up. It was very steep and very tight at the top.

We left here in search of lobster :) and a place to stay for the night, passing through some little fishing villages.

We stopped and bought some lobster

and then headed to the Walmart in Ellsworth for the night. We had a lot of company here

and not just all the RV's...the mosquitos here were the worst I have ever encountered. As it started to get dark they swarmed you the instant you opened the door.

We now know it takes an hour to boil water so only buy the lobster if you are ready to cook it right away! We were told to get our guys in the water within an hour. They were out for 1 1/2 hours but were both still moving so we cooked them up as soon as the water would let us.

Sierra also learned a hard lesson tonight. Meat comes from animals. She was devistated that we cooked her little friends.
 She cried and cried. We had to have a little talk about pigs are bacon, hamburgers are cows, chicken is real chickens etc. I think we might have created a vegetarian this night! Sierra says, "No I like meat! I like meat sandwiches, I just don't eat cows and pigs and chickens and lobsters. The animals should live and be with their families".
 Our cooked lobsters
 Which were not nearly as enjoyable as they should have been. It's really hard to enjoy a lobster when someone (Sierra) is holding onto their claws, petting them and saying, "I'm sorry my mom cooked you. I am sorry you can't be with your family. I'm sorry you are dead. I am sorry my mom just ripped off your leg, I am sorry my mom is going to eat you...Mom he wants to go back to his can't eat him"!!! and then bursts out in more tears...poor girl I felt so bad.
 Lesson to be learned... do not let your child see a live lobster, even for only 2 minutes, if you plan on cooking them and eating them because 2 minutes is apparently all it takes to become a pet!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A long day of travel with a little time to celebrate :)

This morning we headed out on the road towards Hamburg Pennsylvania as there is a Cabela's there that we were trying to make it to last night but we stopped early yesterday. After the tick fiasco last night I searched the net for something to do on the way to Hamburg and found the Nolde Forest Environmental Educational Centre. It looked like a nice place to spend a few hours. On our way we passed through Amish Country near Honeybrook Pennsylvania...but I didn't get any good shots...too slow with the camera today!

When we arrived at the Education centre the the gate was closed??? Perhaps there is another entrance we missed??? We continued onto Hamburg but we expected to arrive within an hour which meant lunch time and it was way to early to stop for the day. We plugged in the next Cabela's into the GPS in East Hartford Connecticut and it said we'd arrive at 4:30 so we carried on to stay there for the night.

We however did not take into consideration that the GPS was taking us on the shortest route and avoiding tolls when possible. By the time we realized it was taking us right into New York, it was too late to turn anywhere else and we were stuck in traffic trying to cross the George Washington Bridge for 2 hours. Ontop of that they charged us $18 to pass! So much for avoiding big cities and we didn't even get to see the Staue of Liberty!

Absolutely no stopping! Ha we were at a standstill for
most of the time on this "expressway" to the bridge. Note the normal
highway to the right, they zoomed by us but we couldn't get
off the "expressway".
After leaving Delaware and passing through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York States, we finally arrived in Connecticut after travelling 600 km's (not our longest driving day), and taking over 10 hours to do it with traffic (but it was the longest day stuck in the truck), we ended up arriving at Cabela's at about 8:15 pm instead of 4:30...a slight bit later then planned.

I was not pleased especially since if we went the route we planned instead of the way the GPS told us we would have arrived a lot sooner, still had $18 in our pockets, wouldn't have sat in traffic, even though we would have traveled a little bit out of the way.

When we arrived at Cabela's we headed straight to their FREE dump station as we hadn't dumped since Disney (you learn to conserve water very quickly when living in an RV). Ian had the lovely task of dumping while the girls and I stretched our legs on their grassy area.

While doing so I noticed some not very friendly signs.

I went into Cabela's and told them we drove here under the assumption that we could park here overnight but the signs state we can't. The guy working said not to worry, we are allowed to overnight. He didn't say why they have those signs posted. I just left very thankful that we didn't have to pack up in search of some place else to go at 8:30pm after such a long day already, especially since today is our anniversary. Yes, in 2005 Ian and I were married after living together for 7 years.

Not quite how most people spend their anniversary but we were together none the less :) Ian cooked a wonderful Shrimp pasta for our dinner tonight. Hopefully we can celebrate with some Lobster in Maine on Monday or Tuesday. Tomorrow is Sunday and we have to hang around the Boston area to pick up some solar parts in Hudson, Mass on Monday am, then we are up the coast and almost to Canada.

All of our photographers photos are at home on our main computer but I did have a few from friends on our laptop so I will take you down memory lane with me :)

June 5th, 2005:

Mother of the Bride :)

Ian and his best man Jay (all the way from Toronto)

Julie holding Athene who was our ring bearer. Yes we were able to
have our dog walk our rings down the isle.
RIP Athene we miss you!
My mom walking me down the isle to give me away.

Our first kiss as husband and wife

The lovely bride and groom ;)

My beautiful daughter Meadow

At the reception
I so wish we video recorded the reception. It was the funniest wedding I have ever been to. There were so many wonderful jokes and heartfelt speeches throughout the night. Pictured below is part of a speech from wonderful friends Irene and Wayne. They are the parents of Damen, a very dear friend of ours who actually introduced us to eachother. Damen passed away before we got married so his parents came and brought this photo of Damen and Ian dressed up in drag for a Halloween party for their speech. Ian's in purple and is hard to see here but he actually looked quite good like a girl!
Later on in the night my Maid of Honour during another speech came up and had to give Ian a kiss and return our house key since she wouldn't be needing it anymore now that we were married. She was followed by every other single girl at the wedding dropping keys and last but not least...our friend Tom brought his by too. Perhaps not so funny to read about but it was halarious at the time!

After meadow's speech. Both hers and mom's speech were very heartfelt.
Sorry mom through the tears I guess no one managed to get a picture ;)

My neice Mila singing for us at our wedding...she sang "Oh Canada"

I like this was taken by Damens daughter Alexis with my camera
 (yes I took my own camera to our wedding) of me with a good friend Debbie.
 Alexis is following in her daddy's footsteps of loving to take pictures.

Our first dance...or should I say stumble trip..we both have 2 left feet :)

Ian's mom in front, directly behind her is Jay's (Ian's best man) parents Ron and June all the way from Toronto, and to the left is Ian's uncle Allen from California (Liz sorry I don't have one picture of you on this laptop). We were so happy they could make the long journey to BC to be with us for our wedding. We had a lot of family that could not make the trip for one reason or the other :(

Our mom's dancing
One of the main reasons our wedding was so funny is because of Ed our Master of ceremonies was halarious! The jokes between Ed, Jay and Ian especially throughout the night were continuous and halarious.
Ed and his lovely wife Heather from Toronto as well

Cutting our cake
I don't have a picture to show you of Ian performing Mission Impossible while he tries to remove my garter but it was funny too...and Jay..we got ya....RRRREEEEEEEEeeeeeeeee! (inside joke sorry)
For always and forever I Love you babe!

Our wedding was simple and elegant and perfect. A day shared with family and friends, filled with laughter, tears, and enough love to last a lifetime. Happy Anniversary babe. I love you!