Sunday, August 29, 2010

Part 2 of The Muddiest Vacation Ever


We’re home. We’ve been home for just over a week now but we packed up and left again for a couple of days but now we’re home for good.

Now where was I in the saga of the Muddiest Vacation Ever? Oh yeah. Hopewell Rocks.

After our race, we headed up the road to Hopewell Cape, NB to see the Hopewell Rocks. These are the Flowerpot rocks that you see quite often in most advertisements for the Bay of Fundy. While we were there the tides reached 43 feet. The highest they go is 46 feet, so we were lucky. We visited them in the morning when the tide was low.

We went down the stairs and walked on the Bay of Fundy which was, like the race the day before, covered with the most delicious mud.

We went out to the water’s edge and frolicked about in mud up to our calves. It was awesome and oh so much fun. Luckily we were all wearing flip flops so we just kicked them off and padded about barefoot like a bunch of children.

We came back to the Rocks later in the day when the tide was in and were amazed and the quantity of water that covered the area where hours before we were splashing about and getting dirty. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where we were frolicking but it’s somewhere out there in the deep deep water.

To get a better idea of the magnitude of the tide here is a before photo at low tide. See how tiny those people are next to those rocks?

And here’s an after photo. You can see there’s a lot of the rock covered. And I’m not even sure if the tide was fully in at this point.

The Bay of Fundy truly is one of the most awe inspiring places I’ve been in my life. And the most naturally beautiful. I’m so glad we made the time to see it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Part 1 of The Muddiest Vacation Ever

Sit down and make sure you’ve got a drink of something handy. This is going to be a long one!! I’m writing this in Hopewell Cape NB and we are on Day 5 of what I’m sure will be forever known as the Muddiest Vacation Ever.

And we are having a great time!!!

We left Wednesday morning at around 7:30 and drove through the day all the way to Edmundston NB.

The drive was uneventful except for traffic through Toronto and Montreal. The highway through Montreal was narrow and filled with huge trucks. I was glad Dave was driving.

We arrived in Edmundston at 9pm Atlantic Time (8pm for you folks back in Ontario!!).

We took it easy the next morning and drove 6 hours to Truro NS where we were excited to find not only a pool at our hotel but a Waterslide too. What a great surprise for the girls. (That's Isobel shooting out the end!!)

We were in Truro for 2 nights and managed to catch the Tidal Bore. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and was blown away by the speed with which the tide comes through. It is one constant wave about 3 to 4 feet high. Within 20 minutes, areas of the river that were uncovered could no longer be seen. It was fascinating.
Before the Tidal Bore:
The Tidal Bore:
After the Tidal Bore:

On Saturday we were out of the hotel by 7am to head to Five Islands Provincial Park for the Not Since Moses run.


It was quite an event. It started with a 1K ‘Basket Run’ for the kids. Both Meredith and Isobel participated. There were children at the starting line crying because they didn’t want to get dirty and it was impossible to do and keep clean. Meredith’s shoes came off at some point. I saw children cross the finish line holding their shoes, like Meredith, or with just one shoe on and some without any shoes at all!! Isobel somehow managed to keep hers on her feet. All the kids got a medal and the girls proudly wore theirs for the rest of the day.

The 5K run that Dave and I did was spectacular.

It was like no other run I’ve ever done before. I must admit, running was difficult and I walked a lot of the course. Of course, it didn’t help that at the start of the race, the mud kept sucking my shoes right off my feet. I’d get one foot stuck and by the time I’d managed to pull it out of the mud, the other foot would be stuck. Eventually, I took both shoes off and ran in my socks until we were out of the muck!!

The next leg of the race was through water that came up just over my ankles, even to mid-shin in some places. It was a great way to wash the mud off my shoes. Do you know how heavy mud can make your shoes?

The views were spectacular. It was a very awesome to be out there, running on the ocean floor, where people can’t normally walk, surrounded by other runners. Everyone was muddy. Everyone was wet. And everyone was having a fabulous time. It was the only run I’ve done where people frequently stopped dead to take pictures of the scenery and each other.
Next we found ourselves running over muddy sand to the turn-around point, where we had to run back through it all again. The water was lower when we got there – more like a puddle by now - but the mud still managed to suck the shoes off my feet. This time I didn’t fight it. As soon as I realized it was happening, I got my shoes off.

I did manage to run the last leg of the race to the finish line. I was soaked – both with mud and with sweat. My muscles were aching. I was hot and tired and my feet were weighed down with mud but it was a great feeling to run across that finish line, even though my time was 55 minutes!! A good 20 minutes longer than 5K normally takes me!!!
We were all filthy and tired. Dave’s shoes, my shoes and Isobel’s all went into the garbage. Meredith’s were new so we washed hers off and they are now sitting in the motel room window stuffed with newspaper.

Did I mention that not only did we run 5K but we also had to hike about 2.5K along a hilly road in to the race site then another 2.5 K back to our car? We were exhausted!! But there was more sightseeing to do. We drove to Hopewell Cape NB with a brief stop in Joggins NS to see the fossil cliffs.

Once in Hopewell we got ourselves a nice seafood dinner and crashed into bed.

Which brings us to today.

Today we went to see Hopewell Rocks which was another spectacularly muddy experience; however, I’m out of time. There’s vacation-ing to be done and I need to get off this computer. I’ll do my best to get it up here shortly. We’re heading to St. Andrews by the Sea NB tomorrow and I’m pretty sure I’ll have a chance to post again.

Later . . .

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August Really?

This summer is just flying by. I cannot believe it is August already.

We’ve managed to keep ourselves busy but I have really tried to make sure we’ve been home, hanging out, reading books and watching movies too. We have certainly spent an adequate amount of time at the Oakville Club pool. Isobel’s goggle tan is a testament to that.

We saw a lot of movies at the start of the summer. Despicable Me, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Last Airbender. I’m sure there was another one in there but I’ve forgotten.

We’ve had play dates and gotten together with friends.

We’ve been to the beach in Toronto. And we’ve been to Splash Lagoon in Erie, PA. That was a great time.

And now, we’re all just getting over this crazy fever virus that has kept us home on and off for 2 weeks. It attacked Isobel first, then Meredith and now me. The only one who hasn’t had it yet is Dave. You get this terrible headache and a tiredness that you just can’t ignore accompanied by a fever that makes you alternate between freezing cold and boiling hot. It’s very bizarre. I’m just glad I got it before we head off on our trip to the Bay of Fundy.

The next few days are going to be spent packing and organizing and obsessing about the trip. But that’s okay. Obsess about stuff, is what I do best.