anticipation & preparation: canada’s maritimes

Our final road trip for 2022 will be to The Maritimes, also called the Maritime provinces, of Eastern Canada. This region consists of three provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. The biggest draw for me is to see my dear friend, Lisa, who I met in Egypt in 2007.  She moved to Prince Edward Island soon after Trump was elected and then invited me to visit her in 2018; at that time, I’d already made plans to walk the Camino de Santiago. I couldn’t make it north in 2019, and then of course COVID hit in 2020 and 2021 (and is still here!). Finally, I determined this year to visit Lisa in PEI, to visit the Halifax area and Cape Breton Highlands in Nova Scotia, and to visit St. John and the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.

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One of my happiest times: Left to Right: Lisa, me, & Shannon at the Grand Cafe in Cairo in July 2007

Somehow an article online came to my attention that further cemented my desire to visit The Maritimes: “12 Top-Rated Hiking Trails in Nova Scotia.” The photos and trail descriptions in this article lured me with promises of wide open views of the sea. I have made a hike-heavy itinerary, with visits to the towns of Halifax, Charlottetown, and Saint John, as well as to Kejimkujik National Park, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and Fundy National Park. We’ll also spend time exploring smaller villages such as Lunenburg, Cape d’Or, Ingonish (all Nova Scotia); Summerside and Victoria by the Sea (PEI); and finally Alma and St. Andrews by the Sea (New Brunswick).

Mostly, I look forward to spending some time with my hilarious friend, Lisa; walking outdoors near the sea; and eating a lot of seafood.

To prepare, I read Fodor’s Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada.  I have also purchased a book to bring along: Trails of Prince Edward Island by Michael Haynes. I wrote to Prince Edward Island Tourism to get more information, and from these sources and the article I found (mentioned above), I fashioned a road trip which will take, including driving time there and back, nineteen days (including four+ days of driving there and back).

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Travel preparation for The Maritimes

Music

Lisa sent me some YouTube videos of Canadian music that she loves, including the following:

  1. Meaghan Blanchard Sings Waltzing with You
  2. The East Pointers Live at Celtic Colours International Festival 2015
  3. Richard Wood – Kitchen Party
  4. Spirit of the West “Home for a Rest” – Official Music Video
  5. Vishtèn TERRE ROUGE
  6. The Islander – Shanneyganock (Newfoundland)

Besides these songs, I discovered a Canadian-Mexican musician I love: Lhasa De Sela.  She sings in English, French and Spanish.  Here is one of her songs: J’arrive à la ville.

And I made up my own playlist on Spotify: Canadian tunes.

Books

Of course, I always love to read books set in my destination, so I read some of the books below (indicated with stars and ratings). I own the books in green and will read them sometime during the year.

  1. New Brunswick
    1. The Birthday Lunch by Joan Clark ***
  2. Nova Scotia
    1. When the Saints by Sarah Mian ****
    2. In the Field by Claire Tacon (currently reading)
    3. Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
    4. The Museum Guard by Howard Norman
    5. My Famous Evening by Howard Norman
    6. The Birth House by Ami McKay
    7. Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada Fodor’s Travel ****
  3. Prince Edward Island
    1. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud (L.M.) Montgomery (Kindle) (currently reading)
    2. Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables #2) by L.M. Montgomery
    3. Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables #3) by L.M. Montgomery

For more international books, see my page: books | international a-z |.

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Books I’ve read or am reading

Movies

I found movies and T.V. shows set in Canada, but not all of them are set in The Maritimes. Hopefully, I can find some of these in the coming months.

  1. Johnny Belinda (1948) (Cape Breton Island)
  2. Anne of Green Gables (1985) (TV Mini-series) (Prince Edward Island)
  3. Anne of Avonlea (1987)
  4. Titanic (1997)
  5. The Shipping News (2001) (Newfoundland)
  6. Trailer Park Boys (2001-2018)
  7. Monsieur Lazhar (2011) ****
  8. Schitt’s Creek (TV series 2015-2020) *****
  9. Anne of Green Gables (2016) ****
  10. The Sinner (2017-2021)
  11. The Lighthouse (2019)
  12. Firefly Lane (TV series 2021- ) ***
  13. Workin’ Moms (TV series 2017-2023) **** (early seasons are best)

I prepared a journal, but it’s nothing fancy.

The biggest obstacle we face at this point is my father’s health. He has been bedridden for the last eight months or so, and at any point things could change with him, causing us to have to cancel our plans. We are prepared to do whatever is necessary.