In late summer 1992, we had another trip to Canada. This time to Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was a welcomed shorter flight for us. Kathy and I had a look around the old historic seaport of Halifax for a day or so before joining up with our son Chris and his family, who had driven from their home in Ontario. After a two day drive, they were happy to meet up with us. Kathy and I rented a car, and together we toured around the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia. It started out as a beautiful day, but as night time came so did the fog. It was so thick I recall following Chris’s taillights the best I could, as we drove for our accommodation. Long since forgetting any sightseeing!
We also visited Baddeck, which is located in the lower part of Cape Bretton Island, in Nova Scotia. Like much of Nova Scotia, it is very picturesque and it is also where Sir Alexander Graham Bell, first settled in Canada, after leaving Scotland.
After our time in Nova Scotia, we drove to New Brunswick where we could take the ferry to Prince Edward Island. PEI, as it is known in Canada, is the smallest province and is very lush and green It's small and quaint, and is also the home of the world-famous Anne of Green Gables. We toured the area and fondly remember the lobster dinner which is very popular with many tourists. The island also has red soil, almost unbelievable until you see it. It’s a deep reedy brown, which also grows the great tasting PEI potatoes. Another wonderful place on the island is Cavendish with its beautiful long sandy beach. It was very peaceful, as we walked along to the sound of the surf. We returned to New Brunswick, and a quick trip to see the local phenomenon of Magnetic hill. You park on the hill and sitting in your car, you get the illusion of reversing backwoods up the hill. It’s a strange experience. As we now wrapped up another great Canadian trip, we parted with Chris and his family as they drove back to Ontario and we returned our rental car. Flying back to England we had more created more memories.
Four years later we came to Canada again, Kathy and I decided we would like to visit for a longer period. After some research, regarding our travel planning, and organizing our UK affairs, we finally made our way to Ontario for 3 months, in the early summer of 1996. We found house rental accommodation that worked perfectly for us. The owners were often away driving a long-distance transport truck to Mexico, so they were more than happy for us to stay in their house. They became friends, and a year or two later come over to stay with us in England for a holiday. Chris found us a 1978 Pontiac Le Mans car, which was old but serviceable and became affectionally known as the “Jolly Green Giant Car”. Resplendent in its Sage Green Livery”. Spending this length of time in Canada, gave us a much better feel, of local living, than just the normal two weeks holiday. We used the car for local trips to Stratford, Goderich, and as far as Peele island three hours away. We also took a coach day trip to Muskoka to visit the Cranberry fields which was an eye opener, we imagined cranberries grew on bushes not just under the water in lakes. One of the things we got used to was watching the local 6 pm Kitchener news on the television and still recall looking for the weather report from Dave McDonald. Funny how a name can stick with you. Our friend Joy flew over from England for two weeks holiday during this time and stayed with us. We visited Niagara Falls and never fail to be awestruck when seeing this wonderful site. Not wanting to drive any further, we booked a few coach trips. The biggest one being when we went across the border to Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York State. Once we went across by ferry to a place called Sandusky which is in Ohio. The wonderful panoramic views we saw on these particular trips reminded us very much of Austria. We also visited the biggest shopping mall, named Carousel, in Syracuse, New York state. This gigantic carousel housed within the complex gives hours of pleasure to the children visiting. We also took Joy to view a newly built housing estate for seniors somewhere not far from Shakespeare if I remember correctly. I think it had a Scottish name. Anyway, the whole layout was fantastic, houses, bungalows all beautifully appointed with luxury fittings throughout. The whole complex was surrounded by luxurious gardens and a very inviting golf course. We wished we had a place like that near us in England. One of the best places we enjoyed was Algonquin Park. I have some lovely footage shot on my camcorder of the beautiful colours with added appropriate music to fit the scenes.
It was great to be near our eldest son Chris and his family, as we had a real taste of Canadian living. As we boarded the plane to return to England, it was with mixed emotions. We were sad to leave Canada, but looking forward to seeing our youngest son Martin and his family again. For the next month or so the feelings of mixed emotions continued as we, on one hand, welcomed back the very familiar to us in England, but missed what had become our 2nd home some 3000 miles west.
End of Part 55