Canadian Maritimes Part Three: Icebergs and Kitchen Parties

2 Aug

The third part of our trip was so lovely that I’m going to use lots of photos and few words.  There is nothing I can say that can truly express how awesome the nature was there.

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My favorite photo of the whole trip.

And the people. The Newfies. What spectacularly nice, inviting, delightful people. I’m not kidding. I’m talking apple pie innocent, preacher’s wife nice, and happy hour at a retirement home fun. Fabulous people! The people of St Anthony don’t care about keeping up with the Jones’ or buying designer things. Anything not bought online is bought in the one store there. Yes, ONE store.

And they are so happy. Everyone we came across was truly happy. It was remarkable how wonderful the people were.

The whole reason we decided on St Anthony was because it was during the Iceberg Festival. Grandma wanted to see icebergs and I will do anything I can to make sure she’s happy.

So the first thing we did was check in to the Grenfell Heritage Hotel and Suites. Named after a doctor from England that crossed the pond in a ship that he used as a hospital. He treated anyone and everything. He is considered a hero in St Anthony (and most of Newfoundland) and rightfully so.

The Husband and I had the honeymoon room by default (only king sized bed in the place) and it was really nice.

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The honeymoon suite. Really nice little room.

The only, and I mean ONLY, problem with St Anthony is that the water is yellow. Everywhere. The toilet is yellow, the sink is yellow, the tub is yellow.

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The water is clean, and yet….. They said it was because of the minerals or something….

The room had a journal, started in 2010, where you could write a little something about where you came from and why you were there.

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We checked in to the hotel and headed for Tim Horton’s. Now, if you have never been to Tim Horton’s that you have no idea what you are missing. It’s like Dunkin Donuts but really, really good. They even made a special doughnut for the Iceberg Festival.

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I know you’re jealous that you didn’t get one.

While we were at Tim Horton’s a nice Newfie invited us to a the local kitchen party. He was the guitar player in the band at the party. A kitchen party is where people from Newfoundland get together and play traditional music and dance. With an ugly stick.

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Me and the ugly stick. Part instrument, part entertainment. Made by the local Jungle Jim’s waitress’ grandma.

We had iceberg in iceberg vodka. Have you ever drank an iceberg????

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Iceberg chunk in iceberg vodka.

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Grandma enjoying her iceberg.

And then the mummers showed up. Oh, the mummers. They are usually out at Christmas and they go house to house, like Christmas carols. But beware if you go with the mummers; apparently you will get drunk. And based on the way they look, I can understand why.

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Mummer.

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The two Patricia’s clearly enthralled by the mummers and the ugly stick.

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Family shot after too much iceberg. I have no idea why grandma is pulling my hair.

There are also Vikings in St Anthony. You can go to dinner in a stone Viking hut. We passed, since none of are too keen on cod tongue and moose stew. Instead we ate at the Lightkeeper’s Seafood Restaurant.  I had fried scallops, since I have never had them before. They were super fab and not at all greasy.

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Viking hut.

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The lighthouse at the restaurant. Such a gorgeous view!

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The view from the other side of the restaurant.

The next day we went on an iceberg/whale watch tour with Northland Discovery Boat Tours. They were absolutely fantastic and I would definitely recommend taking this tour.  The dock was just a few blocks from the hotel, so it was super convenient. The weather wasn’t too terrible, but there was an area to sit inside the boat, which made us Floridians very happy.

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Mother, grandma, and me inside the boat. 

We almost immediately saw an iceberg. It was right in front of the lighthouse where we had dinner the night before!

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Icebergs are so amazing. One the way back, we actually saw this iceberg flip over!

As we headed out farther in the water we saw pieces of icebergs. The tour guide fished out a piece and we all got to eat a a piece! Straight out of the water! And it was so pure and delicious.

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And then the whales came out!!!!

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Whales!

And then more icebergs!

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And one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen!

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Looks like a work of art!

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I think I may hang this photo on my wall.

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Three generations in front of a 10,000 year old piece of ice.

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The Husband and I.

We even saw some white caribou!

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White caribou mom and baby.

Unfortunately the tour had to come to an end and we headed back to land.

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Beautiful fishing boat on the way back in.

That night I tried really, really hard to get screeched in. Apparently that involves kissing a fish, doing a jig, and having a shot of Screech rum.

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All I could get was the rum. And it wasn’t bad. The locals made it sound like it was just terrible, but I’ve had worse.

The next day we left St Anthony (sniff sniff) and headed to Labrador. Our only agenda was to go there. Grandma wanted to hit all the provinces with summer, so off to Labrador we went. We boarded the ferry (I was becoming a pro at this) and headed north.

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Labrador ferry.

We arrived in Labrador with really no plan. I had booked our hotel, strictly based on proximity back to the ferry in the morning. We arrived in Labrador a little too early to check in, so we decided to see the rock statues in Red Bay, recommended  by the AAA Maritimes Guidebook. It was a beautiful drive by the water, which was full of icebergs.

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Labrador icebergs.

On the way, we saw a beautiful lighthouse perched up on a cliff.

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So pretty but so freaking windy!

We finally made to Red Bay. Thank goodness, because it was the end of the paved road. Map over. Road done. And we couldn’t find the rock statues. We asked everywhere and no one had any idea. I finally showed the AAA guidebook photo to a waitress and she said, “Oh, yes, that’s out back. My foster brother and sister made them when they had too much energy and my mom sent them outside.” WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?! AND IT’S IN THE AAA GUIDEBOOK??????? We drove an hour to see this….

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Stupid AAA book.

But behind it was a pretty cool old shipwreck, so it wasn’t a total waste.

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One of the many whaling ships that have been shipwrecked in Red Bay.

Since that was the end of the road on the map, we turned around and headed back to our hotel. We were staying at the Northern Lights Inn in L’anse au Clair. The Husband and I had a room on the second floor and mother and grandma were on the first. Apparently the second floor had never been updated.

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A switch above the bed for the TV….

And the room smelled terrible. So we went to the front desk and got an upgraded room on the first floor. It had a nice soaking tub and a normal TV. And it smelled great.

We got up early the next morning for the 8 AM ferry back to Newfoundland. Then we started our drive back to Port aux Basque, Newfoundland.

We stayed at a nice little hotel attached to a “mall” and had a nice little bar. There was school teacher singing acoustic and she was great. We spent some time at the hotel then went to bed. Where we discovered the creepiest thing I have ever seen on TV.

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Creepy singing late night TV show.

The next morning we drove back on to the six hour ferry back to the mainland. Hopewell Rocks and the the Bay of Fundy, here we come!

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One Response to “Canadian Maritimes Part Three: Icebergs and Kitchen Parties”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Liebster Award Nomination | Will Work for Travel - May 29, 2014

    […] that the locals do that make the area so special to them. For example, in Newfoundland, I went to a kitchen party and danced with mummers and an ugly stick to Newfie folk […]

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