Teen Across Canada Blog – A berry fun time

dtThe Dark Tickle, or as Mom calls it ‘The Tickle Place’, is a brand of assorted jams, teas, coffees and chocolates made from the island’s berries. We went to the store near l’Anse-aux-Meadows which was only a few minutes from our campground.

We got a tour of the gardens behind the store where we got to see all the different types of berries. There are so many berries here that I’ve never heard of until we came here.IMG_7703

Partridgeberry which is also known as lingonberries, are super tart!

Bakeapple which is not a baked apple like we thought when we first heard of it, is also known as a cloudberry … It’s called bakeapple because when the French came over they were trying to ask what the berry was called, “Baie qu’appel?”IMG_7696

Squashberry grows on the ground and on rocks and have so many seeds inside.

Crowberry which is super sour and not my personal favourite are black and small.

Crackerberry which are everywhere and which most people mistake for a bakeapple or squashberry – I know we did – are not very tasty but provide a good source of hydration if you are thirsty.


Partridgeberry and bakeapple are the most used… according to me at least. We’ve tried bakeapple and partridgeberry everything: Jam, ice cream, chocolate, tea, cakes, breads and puddings. Sometimes it tastes super sour, other times they sweeten it and it’s delicious!

The Dark Tickle store had a museum upstairs, the Économusé, the only one in Newfoundland, where we learned about the French and the impact of the Treaty of Utrecht. We stopped by the café after and tried a chocolate milkshake with Screech sauce. It was so good, definitely a favourite! We tried some homemade bread with jam and a partridgeberry square too. Everything was so good and even better because it was all homemade!  A berry nice place.

Comment below and let us know about your favourite berries!


Teen Across Canada Blog – Fish and Tips

IMG_5952We went to Bishop’s Falls and Grand Falls-Windsor and afterwards went to the Salmonid Interpretation Centre.

We got to see how a town came together to help with the spawning of Salmon fish. Their efforts have helped grow the annual salmon count from about 10,000 salmon each year to now 90,000.

20150819_140436We made a pit stop at Deer Lake but ended up staying there for three days! We stayed at Gateway to the North, which was an awesome campground. The owner, Gerard Beaulieu from New Brunswick, holds the world record for the most caribou points. He was telling Dad all about his experiences being an explorer. He grows all his own strawberries, plums, raspberries and apples. Last year he had 300 000 pounds of raspberries! He has 46 different types of plums too! I didn’t even know there were that many different types!

We walked to the Insectarium which was directly across the street from where we were staying. We saw thousands of bugs! They were preserved in these glass frames so we could see them all. There were so many moths, butterflies, praying mantises, beetles, cockroaches, tree sticks… There was a huge bee hive where we got to see the bees working and got an explanation on how the bees work, how the Queen bee gets selected and what happens when she dies. There was even a little bee highway! We watched a spider movie about how the spider gets its food and makes its web. The Insectarium even had a floor dedicated to spiders but Dad and I were too chicken to go upstairs!

As you walk out they have different cocoons where you can see the different types of butterflies transform. They sit on their cocoons for a few hours while their wings dry and then they can fly around.IMG_7379

We went out to the butterfly garden where hundreds of butterflies were flying, eating fruit and sitting down. We walked around the entire garden and they landed on us. It was definitely worth going! It’s one of two Insectariums in all of Canada and now I can say that I’ve been to both!IMG_7447

Comment below and let me know your thoughts on what to see in Stephenville.

Teen Across Canada Blog – The islands around THE Island

IMG_7163We went to different islands near the big island of Newfoundland.

First was Fogo Island which was so far we had to take an hour long ferry! Funny story actually, we were driving down before the ferry and made our way to the pier, taking our time. Then the man running the ticket booth stood outside, telling us to hurry. “The ferry’s waiting for you!” He told us. We were the last ones on the boat and it took off before we were even out of the car. Since the ride was shorter then the one to come to Newfoundland, we weren’t sure if we had to get out of the car or were supposed wait upstairs. We ended up asking a gentleman who worked on the boat. He told us that he couldn’t make us go upstairs.

When we got off the ferry, we went straight to Nicole’s Diner and Growler’s ice cream, apparently the best places on the island, which they were. We had awesome chowder, delicious fried squid and amazing fries at Nicole’s. We tasted multiple flavours at Growler’s which included my favourite, caramel, the traditional partridgeberry and yummy blueberry.IMG_7114

We went to the Fogo Island Experience where we saw how the fisherman dried their cod with the fish flakes. We had to catch our ferry back after that. There was already a line up of people waiting there, so just to make sure we could fit on the boat, Dad went out to count the cars. As he was walking back, he started talking to the couple in the car in front of us. Turns out that they were from Waterloo. Cynthia, the woman, was telling my mom about her experiences when she would home-school her daughters. Then the horn blew which meant that we had to move our cars out from the line because the trucks would overnight in line, waiting for the ferry the following morning. On the ferry ride back, we saw a beautiful sunset although it was super windy!

20150812_130554Then there was Random Island, an island which had a bridge to cross. It was nice… We spent about thirty minutes there before circling around and heading back to our campground. We saw the local school – the only one on the island, the gas station and a few homes.

Twilingate was another island which had a bridge. We went to Long Point where we were at one of the four corners of the world and saw the light house. For dinner, we went to Sonome Restaurant from a recommendation of the owner of our campground. It was delicious! We had garlic bread with homemade bread, seafood chowder, crab spring rolls, scallops and a lobster sandwich with fries and for dessert a rhubarb cake.


Everything was so awesome! And the wait staff was just as good!

Comment below and let us know where to stop on our way to Port-aux-Basques.

Teen Across Canada Blog – Terra Nova and Gander

IMG_7050We went to the Terra Nova National Park and learned all about wildlife and marine life. We learned about a Marten, a fox type animal that can only be found in Newfoundland. We went into an exhibit where there was a tank and you could reach inside and touch the small sea creatures like the starfish, mussels, sea urchins, crabs and a gooey blob that stuck to a rock. Then we went upstairs where you could see fish and lobster in a huge tank – you can’t touch them though.

Afterwards, we tried different desserts in their café – my favourite was a chocolate cheesecake cupcake and the wolf paw ice cream of course. Then we went on a hike afterwards and found some stairs that led to a rocky beach. We walked all the way along the shore for a few hours right until the end where you couldn’t walk anymore. We skimmed stones and found assorted pieces of crab’s bodies and mussel shells.IMG_7085

That evening we drove to Gander and stayed at the Wal-Mart for one night before moving to the Cottage Inn the next few nights. In Gander, we went to the Aviation Museum which had the real model of certain airplanes. We learned all about how Gander airport before World War II was the only working airport in the whole Maritime area!

Did you know Elvis Presley, Yuri Gagarin (the first man in outer space), Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean all went to visit Gander airport? A fun fact was Gander had the only bar open 24/7… called the Big Dipper.  We also learned how the people of Gander were such saviors for many stranded travellers during 9/11.

Comment below and let me know places to see in another national park – Gros Morne!

Teen Across Canada Blog – “O Buon Vista”

IMG_6812We travelled the Discovery Trail in the Bonavista Peninsula. We took the trail to the town of Bonavista and saw the Ryan Premises where Mr. James Ryan lived and built his fishery. This is now a National Site with a museum of buildings and artifacts.

Next we visited Cape Bonavista and went to the lighthouse, where we got to go inside! It was so cool because we got to see how the lighthouse keeper lived and what he did to make the lights shine. He was to maintain the rotation of the special light every two hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

IMG_6864We also went to the wharf where the ‘Matthew’ was (John Cabot’s ship). We read about his adventure and then went on his boat – well, a replica of his boat! It was huge; the crow’s nest was 74 feet up and the ship itself was 24 meters long. John Cabot named his boat after his wife, Madea but since it was bad luck to name a boat after a woman, they changed it to ‘Matthew’.  He also is the one who said, “O Buon Vista” upon seeing the land – “Oh what a beautiful view!”


For dinner we went to the Social Club, a cute little restaurant near the ocean. They grow all of their vegetables and herbs in a garden and greenhouse that’s right in front of the building! We had cod, a salad and their specialty, a brick oven cooked pizza. Everything was fresh and so delicious! We had some éclairs, a brownie sundae and a partridgeberry pudding with homemade ice cream.


Everything was so good!

Comment below and let me know things to do in Corner Brook!

Small towns… but not small on history

IMG_5642We drove around the Avalon Peninsula on the Baccalieu Trail. I’ll bet you can’t guess where our first stop was… It was Dildo. Yes, that’s right, Dildo. It was actually kind of funny because the founder of the town was named Joe Smallwood and in that town, they see sperm whales.

The town next to it, ironically enough, is called Heart’s Content.

IMG_5636We stopped in the interpretation centre first, getting a tour of the Dildo museum. Ashley George, our awesome tour guide, gave us an amazing, detailed and extremely informative tour. We learned that there are multiple theories for how the town got its name. One theory was: row boats that the fishermen used had little pegs that hold the oars and they use to call them dildos.

We learned all about the natives that were on Dildo Island and the people that came before them… dating back to 70AD. There was so much to learn about in that museum alone that we spent two hours there! Ashley told us all about her grandfather because he was the only whaler to ever bring back a blue whale (70+ feet long). We also saw the giant of Dildo – John Woodwork’s shoes, which were a size twenty!  They were huge!  Ashley told us that he was almost seven feet tall! The three people working at this museum all attended Memorial University, the school that we toured!

If you’re around Dildo that’s definitely a good place to go see.
LDessert at Browns - OMGater that night, we went to dinner at Brown’s Restaurant in Cavendish. A few people told us that it was great so we had to go check it out ourselves. We ordered two seafood things and some chowder. It was incredible! I also got a milkshake which was delicious!  And for dessert we had fried cheesecake and partridgeberry –  a popular berry here – pie. Everything was phenomenal and the service was incredible!

We found out, while we were paying, that the waitress’s cousin, is Ashley, our tour guide from earlier that day. What a small town!

We couldn’t finish the entire trail so we picked up where we left off the following day.

20150805_141627We went to Captain Robert Bartlett’s home in the town of Brigus. He was an Arctic explorer who did twenty expeditions to the Arctic. A tunnel was built for his grandfather’s wharf, so he could have easier access to his schooner.

We then went to the Public Library that had an awesome teen section!  The librarian, Raelene shared with us some cool things about Brigus and told us about their Blueberry Festival. She told us about her son and how he was hand picked at a Johnny Reid concert to go onstage! He is also the youngest captain of Terry Fox fundraising teams across Canada.

We also met a woman whose daughter was married to Joe Smallwood’s descendant and their son was a forth generation Smallwood (instrumental in Newfoundland’s joining Canada).

Raelene recommended a café, a few doors down that we went to check out. Turns out that her aunt is the owner!  We had homemade mac & cheese and toutons with beans and carrot cake. Toutons, in case you were wondering, are pan fried bread dough balls. Sounds funny right? Well it was delicious! Everything was!20150805_172152

The journey continued and we went to Harbour Grace, where we saw the Spirit of Harbour Grace, a DC-3 airplane, a statue of Amelia Earhart and a boat in the harbour, the SS Kyle. I learned that the DC-3 isn’t like other planes for take-off. The DC-3 takes off with the back wheel lifting first instead of the nose wheel first.


We went for a picnic by the ocean for dinner which was so beautiful because we got to see the sunset!

Comment below and let me know any good places to check out in the Bonavista Peninsula, our next adventure!

I’m walking. Yes indeed. I’m walking.

We drove all the way to Cape Spear at night. We were to get up at five in the morning to see the sunrise so I decided not to go to sleep.20150801_112322Eventually I did doze off but when Mom woke me up at 5:00AM, there was no sunrise because of the rain! I went back to bed and a few hours later, we all went out for a walk.

20150801_110320For those of you who don’t know, Cape Spear is the most easterly point in all of North America!

It was so cool to stand there!  Then… we saw a whale. And another. And another. It was awesome! They were so close that we didn’t even need the binoculars!  We saw more then we did on the whale watching tour.

It started raining harder, so we went back to the RV. We stayed at the window and saw about two dozen whales! It was awesome! Afterwards, it was back to driving.


The next morning, we woke up bright and early and took a hike up to Mistaken Point. A 3 kilometre hike! What a workout that was!


IMG_5566Along the way, we stopped and saw bakeapples. Don’t be fooled; it’s not actually an apple. Or baked. It’s a little berry, no bigger than the size of a raspberry, that’s an orangey-reddish colour. We tasted one and oh boy was it sour!

We walked and walked and final arrived at our destination – wow, I sound like Mom’s GPS. We stopped right before the fossils and had to put on booties to not damage the fossils. IMG_5588We got a sheet, telling us the different fossils and we even spotted a few! Then we hiked all the way back, another 3 kilometres.

After that, we made our way to Cape Race where there was a huge lighthouse and a little Titanic/Marconi museum. We walked around the exhibit and saw real news footage from the Titanic!

We also listened to an interview with the man who worked the lighthouse, who was witnessing the Titanic sinking!


It was really interesting and also really sad.  The day was definitely not us sitting around! I can’t wait for tomorrow!

Comment below and let me know other awesome museums around here!

Let the truth be known

IMG_6603We decided to see the much raved about, Signal Hill.

We drove up the hill and saw the Cabot Tower – it was breathtaking, you could see all of St. John’s from the top!

IMG_6512We drove down a bit and came across another Newfoundland chocolate and Caboto’s Gelato place. We had another hot chocolate which was even better than the first time!

We went to the Geo Centre, a fourteen exhibit geological centre. Our first stop was in the Titanic exhibit where we got a tour and learned all about the Titanic and how there was more to it then what Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet showed in the movie.

Turns out that other ships were sending messages to the Titanic about the iceberg ahead but the man in charge of handling messages at the wireless station was too busy making a profit i.e. the passengers would pay the messenger and if he stopped, he wouldn’t make money, so he ignored the warning about the icebergs and they continued on the journey.


We went over to the Oil and Gas exhibit where we saw how oil is extracted and exported after drilling. We saw a movie by James Cameron (the director of the Titanic movie). This was his deep sea challenge to get to the deepest part of the ocean in the whole world!  He explained to us his preparations and then took us along the entire voyage.

Then we read all about our Earth, our future and our people. The museum itself was built underground, surrounded by rocks, which was pretty cool. Personally, that’s been one of my favourite museums!  We even got to see experiments.IMG_6530

20150728_174138We took a walk on the Botanical Trail, where we got to see so many things that were used hundreds of years ago. We saw a Killick,which is an anchor made from rock and wood, a rock cairns which is a huge rock pyramid, an Inukshuk and so much more!

Comment below and let me know things to do anywhere in Newfoundland!

Seaward bound…

Mem UnivAfter finally having a good night’s sleep, we woke up refreshed and ready to start the day. We went for a tour at Memorial University, the only university on the island. It was so cool and super big! There were three skywalks!

volunteer at lanternI had a volunteering gig at the Lantern Festival later that night, a local festival that runs in Victoria Park. I worked at the bean bag toss booth until nine and then walked up to see the lantern show. It was pretty cool to see how the people made a play with lights. After the crowd left, it was cleanup time, where I spent two hours cleaning up before Mom and Dad picked me up at one thirty in the morning!

IMG_5436The next day, after a well deserved night sleep, we went down to Bay Bulls for our O’Briens puffin and whale expedition.

We got on the boat and made our way down the harbour. Our first stop was Gull Island, in Whitless Bay where we saw thousands of puffins! And their poop. It was everywhere – yuck!

IMG_5437We learned some fun facts about puffins!

  1. Their colour fades in the winter time.
  2. They don’t sit on their eggs, they wrap the egg in their wings and carry them.
  3. They swim better than they can fly.
  4. They can’t take off on a flat surface, unless it’s water.
  5. They always return to the same house and same mate every year.

We went to the “whale spot” and only spotted one whale! They informed us that it was a minkie whale. Overall the tour was cool and the boat ride was lots of fun!

Afterwards, we took a walk along a dock and met three fishermen. When we asked if it was possible to buy a cod, they told us that fishermen aren’t allowed to sell their cod. They can only catch five cod, per person on the boat but can only have a maximum of fifteen cod. He went to the back of his truck and gave us a huge filet! He wouldn’t accept any money for it but he told us how to cook it.


When we got home, Mom did what he said. It was so flaky and soft, it was definitely not store bought!

Comment below and let me know any other delicacies that are here in Newfoundland!

Off to St. John’s and the new found land

We left Prince Edward Island and crossed the Confederation Bridge, arriving in Nova Scotia later that night.  We took the night ferry to Newfoundland, which left at 6:30 p.m. and arrived at 9:30 a.m. Before we got on, while we were waiting in the car line, Dad and I ran to Tim Horton’s to get some dinner. When we came back, we were starting to move. We drove in the boat and parked. It was pretty cool how many cars, commercial trucks and RVs were on board.

20150723_015005Dad and I played cards for a bit then went to explore. The deck we stayed on had a TV and outlets – it was dark and so good for sleeping, just ask my dad.

The deck above us was pretty cool too. It was so colourful and you could see out the windows. There was live music and a restaurant and a buffet.

IMG_5287We went back downstairs and watched three movies; Kung Fu Panda, Night at the museum 3 and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s –. At around midnight a lot of guests were in their cabin or sleeping on chairs. Mom and Dad moved upstairs while I stayed down. I was reading and doing stuff on my laptop until about 3 a.m. I slept for about three hours before waking up and heading back upstairs. We went to the buffet for breakfast which was really good. And as we were eating breakfast, we saw two dolphins swimming away!  We went outside and watched the boat dock.

We found a campground, Pippy Park which is in St. John’s, a perfect location. Mom had to work so Dad and I went out to explore.

IMG_5347We drove around and wound up at the Marine Biology Institute of Memorial University. It was so pretty; right next to the ocean, waves crashing, blue sky… We walked around and found a student who was showing sea creatures. There were sea cucumbers and a scallop in the shell and oysters… Then she told us to check out the upstairs so up the stairs we went and found another student showing seals. There was the mom and the dad and their baby. They were so cute!

IMG_5370Then we went downtown and walked around for a bit. We came across this little chocolate place, Giovanni Caboto’s Gelato Newfoundland Chocolate Company. It was so cold outside so we ordered a hot chocolate. We got to somewhat make it ourselves. We poured the hot chocolate in a cup, and then gave them the cup and they poured 74% dark chocolate in there and stirred it all up. It was delicious! Definitely the best I’ve had.

We walked around a little while longer before heading back. Overall the day was tiring because of the lack of sleep, but also a lot of fun!

Comment below and let me know awesome restaurants in St. John’s.