I envy people who write every day. I myself, THINK about writing every day. I try to read every day, but writing is a bit more elusive. I think big thoughts and want to memorialize them. I Tweet, I Instagram, and I search out the writing of others - their thoughts, dreams, wishes, and more. But what of mine??
We recently returned from a relaxing trip onboard Holland America Line's Maasdam. The ship was the right size, the service was very good, but the ship was a bit sleepy. We saw the medical teams in action for two emergency evacuations, and we've never seen that on a cruise ship before. Holland America doesn't mess around with their service, but I just don't think we're old enough for Holland America at this point. (www.hollandamerica.com) We had a nice time visiting the various ports on this Canada New England itinerary and would go back to several of them in a hot second.
Montreal, Canada ~ lovely city with a very French European flair. We loved the area by the waterfront with its bars and eats and shops. Just wandering in Chinatown we spied a 'Noodle-Magician' who had quite a way with the raw dough. And we noshed on dumplings so flavorful we almost ordered another dozen. This is a smaller Chinatown, but packed with activity.
A little place down on the waterfront, Creperie Chez Suzette, had us bowled over with their Crepes Suzette. Delicately thin crepes with a lovely Cognac/Grand Marnier sauce. I'm ruined for all other crepes!! Check them out at www.chezsuzette.ca for hours and location.
Our stay at the Springhill Suites in Montreal was also very nice - so darn friendly at the front desk, we never left or returned without a warm friendly greeting. Well played and affordable at www.marriott.com.
The Montreal Botanical Garden was one of the highlights with its vast green spaces, towering (Christmas) trees, vine sculptures, and gardens galore. You won't want to miss a visit here if you love flora (http://m.espacepourlavie.ca/en/botanical-garden).
See what I mean about Christmas trees?
They were everywhere!
Lastly, we loved their Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal. A gorgeous back-lit altar with incredible statuary and architecture. For more info check out http://www.basiliquenotredame.ca/ before your visit.
Charlottetown, PEI was the most surprising little city with the (truly) friendliest people we have ever encountered on vacation. People stopped us on the street to see if we needed help or directions. We visited The Beaconsfield Historic House, noshed on mussels and potato-fish cakes, enjoyed the most delicious date confection, and shopped in darling little Irish & Scottish shops. Truly an enchanting little city, and I can't wait to go back!
Sydney, Nova Scotia was also charming but a bit more economically depressed. We visited the Jost House, shopped at a craft market, and sampled hot cocoa at Doctor Luke's, a local coffee shop with homey service and excellent shortbread cookies. Grabbed a pic of one of my very favorite signs of all time right there at Doctor Luke's...
We also visited Halifax but it was pouring rain so we sprinted into the dockside brewery, Garrison Brewing Company, and visited with another traveling couple. We shared stories of teaching, retirement, and breast cancer - just a note that I'm praying she's going to be well and healthy soon.
Bar Harbor, Maine was our last stop and I loved it. Quaint and kitschy in the little shopping area, but the real beauty is Acadia National Park. Our driver was particularly knowledgeable and shared some great info with us. I can't wait to re-visit this area of Maine and continue along the coastline.
And more Christmas trees!
What's Next ??
We Shall Certainly See...