Teen Across Canada Blog – A wild ride to Lunenburg

20150913_132053We made our way down to Lunenburg making very cool stops along the way.  We drove to Guysborough, stopping at the information centre which was also a museum. The building was the court house until 1974 so we saw how it looked. There was a witness stand, a judge’s table, the spectators’ seats… it was all super cool. We saw a bunch of artifacts and also saw the tools they use to use for cutting wood. It was a pretty cool museum.

After Guysborough we drove up to Antigonish where we spent the night at Whidden Park Campground, next to St. FX University.  The next morning, we stopped in Sherbrooke where we went to the old Sherbrooke village. We got to see what a late 1800s town looked like. First stop was the blacksmith’s shop where we saw a man making a tool. We also got to see all of the tools that would’ve been made and used by a blacksmith. Then we went to the post office and saw how the mail is placed in people’s boxes. Next door was the printing shop where I learned that newspapers used to be made by someone putting one letter in at a time – what a long time! They would use a machine that would secure the letters in place and then put it on a paper. That was pretty cool! We went into every building in the town and saw how that company did its job. In the drug store, we were told that the bottles were colour coordinated because not everyone could read back then. For example blue meant poisonous. We also went into the richest man in the town’s house. It was huge! There were three bedrooms (not counting the gardener’s or the maids’) and only two people lived there! The town was so cool and all of the people were so helpful!

20150911_105401Our last stop was at Hope For Wildlife. (Yes the place where they film the TV Show).  Hope Swinimer is the founder of the organization. In the 90s she found a hurt pigeon. She called the SPCA but they said they couldn’t do anything so she decided to take care of it herself. Someone heard about that so they brought their animal to her. Then another, then another. She decided to open up the Eastern Shore Rehabilitation Centre for wild animals where she would tend to the hurt animals and then release them into the wild. Of course that name was too long to stick so she changed to it Hope For Wildlife – which is a cool play on word. We soon found out that HFW is a TV show! Maybe some of you know it… We were given a tour by Jamie, one of the people who run it.


While we were waiting, Crimson, a bunny came up to us. He was so soft and so cute! There was also a chinchilla but it didn’t like people. We went all around their property and saw every animal except for the deer because they didn’t want them getting use to seeing people. We met Ellie the porcupine, George the bird and Oliver the owl with one wing and one eye.

It was so cool to see how Hope helps all the animals and how so many people want to help Hope.


Teen Across Canada Blog – For whom the Bell tolls

IMG_5104We drove to Louisbourg where we made a quick stop at the lighthouse. Well it was supposed to be quick but it was so cool we ended up staying three hours! When we had to leave, we drove to a centre and took the shuttle to the fortress. Louisbourg is a recreation of what the fortress would have been like in the 1700s when it was used for battle. We walked all around and got to ask the villagers what they do. The women make clothes, rugs, food and take care of the children. The men were preparing for battle. Then we got to go watch them fire a real canon! It was so loud!


IMG_6368Afterwards we went to the Lobster Kettle Restaurant for dinner. It was so good! We had a lobster, a crab, chowder, garlic bread, ceaser salad and mussels… It was by far one of my favourite restaurants! It was so good! And of course dessert was amazing too.

Then we went to the Miners’ Museum where we learned all about a miner’s life and even met a real miner! We explored the museum for a half hour then we got a tour from, Eric, who used to be a miner. We put on the hard hats, that they used to have to wear to go under as well as the poncho. When we went down, the ceiling dropped from six feet high to five feet high then again down to four feet high! Poor Dad… our tour guide told us all about his experiences and other stories that his friends had experienced. We went all through the mines which was dark and cold. For the miners, it would have been so dark that they wouldn’t have been able to see one foot in front of them.

Afterwards we went to the Alexander Graham Bell museum. I learned that he didn’t just invent the telephone, he would teach deaf people to speak too, he even worked with Helen Keller. He was an inventor but didn’t just invent the telephone. He invented the metal detector and the hydroplane as well which is a motorboat that skims the surface of the water.


We went down to the harbour where we saw the biggest violin! It was huge and pretty cool because they played violins through the speakers.

Teen Across Canada Blog – Whale of a great time on the Cabot Trail!

IMG_8307The Cabot Trail’s roads were rough; narrow and bumpy.  First we stopped at Wreck Cove for a break before heading to Cape Breton Highlands National Park. There, we went on a short hike which was really pretty. We drove up to Neil’s Harbour, where we decided to stop for the night.

We went on Oshan’s Boat Tour to look for more whales. The boat itself was a lot smaller than O’Brien’s in St. John’s but it was more fun! Within the first five minutes of the ride we had seen a few whales already! The whales were everywhere! We saw at least forty! There were a few babies who would swim on their backs and one even stuck his head up. It looked like one of them was waving at us when he was moving his flipper. One big one was slapping his tail on the water five times! The Captain told us that they were Pilot Whales – we had never seen those before.

IMG_6310Sometimes apparently people mistake them for dolphins or Bottlenose Whales. We went closer to shore afterwards where we saw arches in the rocks – which we knew from Newfoundland that that was the water eroding the rock. We saw a waterfall and another archway too! While we were heading back to shore, we saw three huge rocks in the water that had hundreds of birds on them. They weren’t birds that we had ever seen before. They were all black, tall and had orange beaks. As we were heading back to the wharf the Captain pulled out a line and threw it into the water. He was fishing! He caught a bunch of fish and let the four little kids on the boat try too. Then he took turns, letting all the kids sit on his Captain’s chair and steer the boat. One little boy pushed the accelerator and we sped through the water so fast! It was so funny! Then the other little boy went and couldn’t even see out the window, even when the Captain raised the chair to the max. He turned the boat around in a circle twice! It was by far one of my favourite boat tours we’d done!

IMG_6481The next morning we went to Cape North where we stopped at a museum and read about the Augustine shipwreck in the late 1800s. Then we kept going all the way to Pleasant Bay where we went to a whale museum. It was so awesome! They even had a life size version of a Pilot Whale, which they named Hook. After that we continued on to Cheticamp. We got a lobster and chowder from a little restaurant which we had for dinner and a soft ice cream from Mr. Chicken’s. The next morning we got up bright and early to go to Trois Pignons, an Acadian Museum. There we met Jacqueline and Yvette. Yvette told us all about her family. We read about what the Acadians did on a daily basis and saw how they made their rugs. It was really awesome! Then we went for a little snack at the Aucoin Bakery. Everything was so delicious! They had blueberry and apple turnovers, croissants, chocolatines and chocolatines made with hazelnut. There were muffins, brownies, breads – everything was absolutely delicious!

IMG_6544The next night we stayed at Wal-Mart in Port Hawkesbury. We went to the community centre where we went to a Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee). It’s an event with Scottish and Irish folk music. The MacDonald brothers were performing – Keith, Kyle and Colin, they called themselves All Fired Up. It was so cool! They each did a jig, sung, played music and told stories or jokes. They all work at the Gaelic College in Nova Scotia. Colin is the oldest and he played the piano, Keith and Kyle are twins who played the fiddle, the guitar and the bagpipes. It was a really good experience to see them perform and experience a Ceilidh.

Comment below – we’re continuing on to Halifax!


The garbage cans look like treasure chests. We were driving down the street when we first came in and saw these big boxes made out of wood on everyone’s house. We thought that they might be mail boxes at first but because of their size, we realized that wasn’t possible. We asked a local and they confirmed our garbage can guess.


There’s only two ways off the island. You either take the ferry or fly. There’s no bridge or train… but I mean you could swim if you want.


The roads are terrible. And I mean terrible! The roads themselves are extremely narrow and there are potholes everywhere. Sometimes, half of the road isn’t even there! Other times, they don’t paint the lines! On top of that, the roads are so complicated… It’s hard to explain – see for yourself!


The signs are so confusing. On top of the bad roads, the signs are bad too. As for advertisement (billboards, posters…) there’s barely any which is pretty refreshing after living in Toronto for so long. There are yield signs and stop signs on the highway and in some areas there are no speed limit signs. They tell you signs for something right as you pass it. For example if you’re looking for a visitor’s centre, there won’t be any signs until you’re supposed to turn but of course you don’t know you have to turn.  That can get tricky travelling in an RV, trailing a car and not being able to back-up or turn around.  We’ve missed a few things along the way because of that.


They lie about moose. Newfoundland claims to have 150,000 moose on the island but we didn’t see any! They show thousands of signs but still no moose. We have a theory: locals would tell everyone that there were moose so people would come see. It’s a tourist trap!


They have berries that I’ve never heard of. Bakeapple (Cloud Berry), Partridgeberry (Lincoln Berry), Crowberry, Squashberry, Cracker Berry… All ones I’ve never heard of, never tasted, never even seen before coming to Newfoundland.


There’s wifi everywhere. And they advertise it too. We were in Quirpon and kept seeing signs for free wifi at every turn.


There’s no service. Everywhere on the island, just like PEI, the service was pretty bad. We even lost a few calls.20150820_195613

There are so many whales! When we were at Cape Spear we saw at least twenty whales! Then when we were on the boat tour, we saw one. At Trinity Bay we saw another lot of them. We also saw some at Fishing Point in the Town of St-Anthony (where we also enjoyed some partridgeberry ice cream.)


There are so many black flies. We barely got any mosquito bites the whole time. We got black fly bites. They were everywhere at every time of the day, in every weather condition.


All their names are so weird. Tickle Cove, Dildo, Blow Me Down, Paradise, Nameless Cove, Cow Head, Red Head, Come By Chance, Joe Batt’s Arm, Tilting, Random Island, Hiscock, Heart’s Delight, Heart’s Content – all places around the island.


They quarantine your potatoes. While we were getting in line for the ferry, we had to pass security. A woman came in the RV and looked through our fridge. She claimed she had to take our carrots and potatoes because of a fungus in the soil. When we asked her if they were going to be thrown away she told us they were going to be quarantined.  That was disappointing considering that the carrots we bought were bagged from Ontario and never even touched Newfoundland soil!


Everyone’s so nice. Just like Prince Edward Island, the islanders were so nice! Very helpful, very kind. We had one man offer us his driveway so that we could park our RV!


Everyone has a pickup truck. Which would make sense considering that the roads are so bad.


There are Newfoundland directions and Toronto directions. In Toronto, if you ask someone to help you find a store or street and they don’t know, they will say I don’t know. Here on the island, if they aren’t sure, they’ll tell you where to go anyways! There directions are usually something along the lines of “it’s in a couple kilometres”, “just keep going straight for a bit” or “it’s right over there, down the road.” All of which end up being twenty minutes or thirty kilometres away.


They all have accents. The stereotype of the accents is true. Some accents are so hard to understand – you have to say “Can you repeat that?” at least three times. Most accents, I have no idea what they are – I guess you can call them Newfoundland accents.


Teen Across Canada Blog – Farewell Newfoundland

IMG_8074After Gros Morne we headed to Corner Brook, a city on the Western side of the island. We stayed at a campground near the city. We explored the City Hall where the library was – it was huge! Then we went to a plaza to get stuff at Dominion, Canadian Tire, Bulk Barn and Wal-Mart. We then went to the Sobey’s where we asked the lady at the register how to get to the book store. She told us that in order for us not to get lost, we were to go straight down the main road and that it would take us straight there. So we do thtat… Twenty minutes later we’re in a residential area, nowhere near the store. We searched it up on a GPS before finally getting there ten minutes later. When we left the store, we found out that it was only minutes from the Dominion!

IMG_8095We went to the visitor’s centre afterwards to learn about what to do. After the man told us a few places to go, we went to a James Cook Historic Site where we learned about his trip. We then walked around on Main Street and stopped in the Newfoundland  shop Emporium. The owner had a huge Newfoundlander (dog) who walked around the store, greeting customers. The store had a bunch of Newfoundland handmade crafts, books and cool knick-knacks.

The next day, we made our way to Stephenville where we stayed at Zenzville RV Campground.

We drove to Port au Port where we drove around and went to Piccadilly and Cape Saint George.IMG_8143

We went to Hidden Falls and Boutte du Cap.





After forty-some days on the island, we finally made our way to Port-aux-Basques to take the ferry back to the mainland. Originally, we were going to take the ferry the next afternoon where we had a guaranteed cabin. But we decided to take the night one because there wasn’t much to do in Port-aux-Basques. We went on the ferry and were put on the wait-list for a room, like last time. We were so lucky! We got a room! We went into the cabin, which was a lot like the one on the cruise ship, and fell asleep watching Indiana Jones. It was a good sleep and we had nice, hot showers.


Cabot Trail is our first thing to do in Nova Scotia when we arrive.

Teen Across Canada Blog – Life underwater

Bonne Bay AquariumWe went to an aquarium in Bonne Bay which turned out to be another University campus of Memorial University.  We got a tour from a student, who we soon found out was from Wellington, Ontario and came to Newfoundland in May.

This tour was by far one of my favourite tours! We learned about the area in which the campus was built, the water around the campus and of course, about marine biology. We saw whale baleen and for the first time were explained what it looks like and how it works.

20150831_164222Then we saw samples of life stages of a cod fish, from an egg to a baby cod.  Justin, the guide, took us into the back room where there were all sorts of live species in water tanks. We learned about different sorts of fish that they had and all the different sorts of starfish, lobster and crabs. We learned that lobsters are made from three different colours; red, blue and yellow. Sometimes the lobster is missing two  pigments in which case you’d see a full blue or full yellow lobster. We saw both!

Blue lobsters  happen one in every million. Yellow lobsters are even more rare and happen once in every two  million!

Then I got to hold a starfish. It was pretty big too! Afterwards, some students fed the fish and we got to see it! Overall, the tour was so cool, definitely one of my favourite20150831_164151.

We are close to the end of our visit here in Newfoundland.

Teen Across Canada Blog – Puffin Hunting

When we went to the Hawthorne Cottage in Brigus, the guide told us about the Puffin Hunt. We were given a Puffin Passport and our job was to get it stamped at every Heritage Shop in the National Parks across Newfoundland and Labrador.

Buuut… when we looked through the passport we realized that we had already been to two of the seven places;

Cape Spear and Signal Hill. We got it stamped at Hawthorne Cottage. One down, four more to go. Then while we were at the Ryan Premises, Dad and I went to the Heritage Shop. I got the passport stamped, that’s two down, three more to go. Then we made our way to the northern part of the island and up to l’Anse-aux-Meadows. At the Heritage Shop there I got another stamp. That means I only had two left. Buuuut there was a small problem. The only Heritage Shop left that was on our way was in Port-aux-Choix. There was one more but it was in Labrador in Red-Bay and the roads up there were too rough to take the RV on. Now was time for a little negotiating. We went to the Port-aux-Choix Heritage Shop and got it stamped. We explained the situation and as proof for showing her that we had gone to Signal Hill and Cape Spear.

The boss came out and gave me a puffin!

She said he was called Percy the Puffin and he has his own Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HistoricSitesNL/) for his adventures across Newfoundland! He’s so cute!WIN_20150912_095242

First sign that we saw coming off of the ferry and onto the island was to watch out for moose. By the first half hour of the drive we had seen at least fifteen signs. In St. John’s we heard all about how many moose were around the island. By the first week, we were warned to be careful on the roads and had seen many, many signs for moose. Thirty days later and we’ve seen moose! Actually we’ve seen thousands… of signs that is.

Plus one in a museum :


And one at a gas station:


Teen Across Canada Blog – World Heritage at its best

20150820_200330Upon arriving in Gros Morne, we went to the visitor’s centre which they called the Discovery Centre. We learned about the geology found all over Gros Morne and the different wildlife. Then we went inside the theatre to watch a multimedia presentation about Gros Morne. Cedric, the presenter, made the show phenomenal! The audience took a ride through space and time to discover why the National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

The presentation was incredible! Cedric was hilarious and made everything so easy to understand and the videos were so well put together. Everyone in the audience (from babies to grandparents) had so much fun! If you’re in the area and the presentation is going on, I strongly recommend it!

IMG_7811Our first stop in Gros Morne was Western Brook Pond where one of the fjords is. We took a boat tour to see them up close. To get to the boat, we had to take a 45 minute hike. Then while we were waiting, a lake single propeller plane flew in to harbour so we went to talk to the pilot and his wife. They were from Trois Rivieres, Quebec and they flew to Newfoundland for a weekend trip! How cool is that! After talking to them, we boarded the boat. Our guide, Emily explained how the water we were on use to be salt water but now it was all fresh water.


IMG_7886The fjords were so impressive! We passed some cool water falls, too. The tallest one was 300 feet taller then the CN tower! We went all the way to the end where we then dropped off four hikers who were going to hike all the way back through the mountains. Western Brook Pond is definitely a boat ride worth going on. Seeing the fjords up close and having the guides explain the history made it all the better!

The next day we went to Green Point where we saw the split between the Ordovician and Cambrian time periods, over 485 million years ago! The rocks were a mix of limestone and shale and had fossils in them. If you decide to go, it’s key to go at low tide so it’s possible to walk around and see the different time periods through the rocks.


Then we drove to the Tablelands and took a guided hike in the rain. It was pouring – good thing Dad brought an umbrella! The Tablelands are considered the top of the bottom of the earth because they are part of the Earth’s mantle. On our hike, we saw Serpentine which is a rock that looks like snake skin – that’s how it got its name. We got to see the pitcher plants and look at their stored food which was mosquito larvae. It was an awesome walk!


The next day we stayed overnight in Rocky Harbour. We went to the lighthouse where we met the tour guide, Bonnie Lou. She told us all about the history of it and the area around it. Super nice, super funny, she was super awesome!

IMG_8001Afterwards we went into town and got some seafood chowder. Then we went to Earle’s and ate a moose burger, moose pizza and a mousse milkshake (HAHA). Then we went to the bakery portion of the restaurant and tried some ice cream and had a bunch of goodies to go; brownies, some baked beans, muffins and bread. It was so good!

We overnighted in the Discovery Centre in the parking lot at the Tablelands. While we were inside, we ran into Yves and Mado, the couple from Quebec that we met in Port-aux-Choix. We talked and ate the chowder (that Mom made) from the previous night and Mado brought some mussels which were delicious!

Teen Across Canada Blog – On our Moosetrek

No mooseRoddrickton, the moose capital of Canada… but did we see moose? Nope, still no moose. We’ve been in Newfoundland way over a month and still haven’t seen one moose.

We parked at a Western Petroleum gas station overnight to be ready for an early start. We met the owner of the gas station, Randy, who helped us fix our trailer and our ramps. Early the next morning we walked over to the Green Moose Interpretation Centre. There was a life-sized stuffed moose and polar bear. We learned all about the different sounds of the moose and some fun moose statistics!No moose 2

  •            125,000-150,000 is the number of moose in Newfoundland
  •            7,000-8,000 is the number of moose around Roddickton, moose capital of Canada
  •            1,000,000 is the number of animals harvested provincial-wide
  •            4 is the number of moose per square kilometre
  •            700-800 is the number of vehicle accidents caused by moose per year

We drove to Port-aux-Choix making a few stops along the way.


We stopped at a small museum in Bird Cove (Plum’s Point.) First we got a tour of the museum where we learned all about the geology. Then we saw artifacts of the Beothuks and an old classroom with desks, blackboards, books and typewriters. There was a section about James Cook, RN (Royal Navy) that showed the map he made and explained how he used the plane table. There were lobster cages, crab cages and fishing nets that our guide, Karen, explained how they’re used. In the middle of the room, there was a huge whale skeleton!


Afterwards, we got to meet the manager, Anne Marie Cunard. She gave us an insider’s tour of the building and told us some personal history about her and her family. We saw the kitchen where she told us about how she makes breads, cookies and toutons every other day, fresh.IMG_6067

IMG_6068On the walls, she had posters made from a book created by Pam Hall who researched the lives of the people living in the Western part of Newfoundland. The pages were blown up and stuck all over. The pages were about everything; from lobsters and meats to agriculture to bread and touton recipes. There were other posters in the hallway where someone took the temperature and weather every day for one whole year! It’s an amazing book.  Check it out online here:  http://www.curra.ca/local_knowledge.htm – The project is called Towards an Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge. 

Anne told us about how her house was moved across the water, on her 10th birthday when she was younger! Then she showed us her huge sewing room – triple the size of our old living room! She was in the middle of hand making a quilt for a draw later this month. It was so cool!

20150826_102546When we got to Port-aux-Choix, we stayed at the Oceanview RV Park, which was awesome! Once we were all set up, we walked around and met a group from Quebec and a couple from Ottawa. We also met Yves and Mado who told us fun stories about their travels.  The next morning, we biked three kilometers to the National Park where we learned so much about the Beothuks, Dorsets and Paleoeskimos.


When we got back to the campground, Pierre, the man from Embrun, ON, gave us six mackerel fish! He caught them fresh this morning and said he had too many so he gave us a bunch! Before we ate though, we went up to the lighthouse. We walked down to the rocks and around the lighthouse. We went to the Anchor Café and had chowder, fries and a chocolate milkshake which was so good! Then we went to a museum where we read about the families that had their homes moved! The government would pay families to relocate. They would bring their house from one location to another by dragging it across the water and the streets.

Then we ate the fish from Pierre. We cooked it like the cod – in eggs and flour. After dinner, Mom made some cherry almond brownies which we so good! We gave some to our New Found Friends which they loved!

Gros Morne will be our next stop!

Teen Across Canada Blog – Tales of a Viking

20150821_185029We got to see a real Viking experience! We went to two Viking village replicas and had a feast.

First we went to L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site which is a world protected site. We also went to  walked to Norstead, a Viking village replica. We saw their replica homes and how they lived. It was so big! Definitely not what I would have expected. There was three rooms in the home; a women’s room, the main room and the other bedroom. The women’s room is where they used to make rugs and clothes and fish nets. The guide in there showed us how they use to make wool into yarn and make the rugs. Then the main room had one bed for the chief and his wife where they could have privacy with a curtain. There was the chief and his wife’s chairs, a table, a fire and beds for the rest of the people. They told us about the food they used to eat and we even got to taste oven baked bread with partridgeberry jam.DSC00106

We went to the other bedroom and saw the three beds that were in there and their daily clothes that they would wear. Next to their home there was a servants’ room where the servants would sleep around a fire. There was a blacksmith’s building where we got to see all of the different tools used. Then there was a smaller building where there was only three walls and a roof because the smoke was so strong and so hot in that room that they couldn’t keep it closed in. There was a church too. At one end, you could go inside and see a replica of the boat that they used.


We had a Viking Feast where we got to eat like it was 1000 years ago. We sat with a bunch of people like at the ‘cabane a sucre’ in Quebec. We met a couple from Niagara Falls and a family from Newfoundland.IMG_7669

As an appetizer, we were served fried cod tongue and capelin (a small fish). But it was served whole; eyes, head, tail, skin… everything! Yuck! They said that the bones were very fine and small that you can just eat it whole. We ate dinner buffet style. There was Jigg’s dinner, a Newfoundland specialty which consists of potatoes, carrots and salt beef. There was a moose stew, shrimp rice, salad and salmon. Only thing is… no forks! We ate with spoons and butter knives and of course… our hands! It was a lot of fun!IMG_6030

Then came the entertainment. We experienced what it was like to be in the court as judges. – our server went up as a man who killed his father as an act of bravery. In the end, the court voted him guilty. Then a man from the audience accused his friend of stealing his dinner roll while he wasn’t looking. The person he accused went up and explained his side of the story. In the end, the accuser was the guilty one. It was hilarious!

Everyone had a good laugh. For dessert, we had a sort of pancake with whipped cream and bakeapple jam, which was delicious. We met some amazing people and had an awesome experience – definitely recommended if you’re in the area.IMG_7678