We stopped in Edmunston and acknowledged our cross over into the province. Come to think of it, we never did see a Québec provincial sign when we crossed from Ottawa to Gatineau. Maybe we missed it.
Québec had been disappointing. I knew that the province had plenty to offer but next time, I should probably plan for it. We did drive a coastal highway along the Saint Lawrence, which was beautiful. The many “Saint” towns we drove through were quaint, with some of the most beautiful churches I’d ever seen, but I had also hoped to get a better look at their parks and mountains and that was a fail.
After our night in the van, we put down some more kilometers and made it to Fredericton. We tried to get a site at a few of the surrounding provincial parks, but they too were booked. No sites available. I cringed a little. I was hoping we weren’t going to have a repeat of Québec. After driving to two more parks and being turned away, I decided to pull over and phone Parks Canada to see if there was anything in Fundy National Park. It was a little further than I’d hoped to drive after our two longer days in Québec, but I figured we could push to get there and we’d baton down the hatches for a few days. But the person on the other end of the line told me what I didn’t want to hear, “Sorry, no availability for tonight.”
Wow. I guess my luck ran dry in Ontario.
They had a site available for the next night, and I had plans to be in Saint John the day after, so I booked the one night. Now, I had to figure out tonight’s stomping grounds. We drove a little more until I saw a motel appear on the outskirts of Fredericton. I swerved into the driveway and they had a room. Yippee!
The Silverwood reminded me so much of the motels that we used to stop at when we were kids. Our suite had an exterior door with a couple of plastic chairs on the stoop. The kids spotted a pool and they were quick to change into their swimming trunks and hit the water. Meanwhile, I cooked dinner outside the back of Black Betty. After dinner we hit a neighboring park so that they could burn off more energy.
I settled the kids in for the night and before taking a seat on the stoop, I dug into the van’s cargo space and pulled out a bottle of port. After the last couple of days, I upped the ante, skipped the wine and savored a sweeter nightcap. I noticed that there were a lot less mosquitoes than what we’d encountered in Ontario, and I was actually missing the tent tonight. I pondered my day tomorrow. We only had one night in Fundy but I wanted to maximize our time there. We’d get up early and hit the road.
The next day, after some delicious baked goods and much needed coffee, we hit the road. We rolled into Fundy and I was so happy to have a reservation because we came up to some campers turning their vehicles around because the park was full for the night. We found our site and set up as quickly as possible. It was late in the afternoon, but we decided to drive through the park and see what kinds of things we could do the next day. We drove to a look-off and spotted Parks Canada’s red share-the-chairs (#sharethechair). The kids were excited. We took photos and enjoyed the majestic Bay of Fundy. We headed out of the park to the Hopewell Rocks. We figured we’d go see the popular rocks and then tomorrow we’d choose a hike in the park.
As for most of our trip, I hadn’t planned for it but arrived to the site of the iconic rocks at low tide. When the tide is high, you can’t walk around them, but in this case, without knowing, we timed it perfectly! It was a beautiful night to walk along the rocks, cliffs, and caves. We found a family of Inuksuk and Ellie had to build her very own. We enjoyed a lovely evening.
But our dillydallying on the shores of the Bay of Fundy made us late for dinner. I scrambled to get something together and we ate dinner at ten o’clock. It was extremely late for the kids but they seemed accustomed to this way of traveling now:
The finding solutions.
The keeping themselves busy.
The flying by the seat of their pants.
The rolling with it!
After dinner we climbed into the tent and I was so happy to snuggle with the kiddos in our little cabin. The day had been a success!