We’ve been traveling pretty frequently across the border to Canada. It’s real close where we are up here in Presque Isle, Maine.
The first weekend we were here, we just went for a drive in a loop that crossed over into Canada and came back in up at the Northern tip of US Rt 1. Although I grew up with a couple trips to Quebec City being my exposure to Canada, I was surprised how French it is just a few miles from my current home and work. When we drove up to Alaska last spring via Western Canada, English was the only language I heard spoken. We drove through the large city of Calgary, rural areas with a couple Canadian national parks, skied in British Colombia, and camped multiple nights in the Yukon — I don’t think I heard a word of French during that long road trip. Turns out when you walk into a restaurant just across the border here, 30 minutes from where I’m living now, the hostess greets you in French, realizes you’re a little stunned, and then flips the switch over to English. French is the default! Back in high school, I took a lot of French, and Kate took French and grew up with some French speaking in her family. So, we’re not hopeless, but someone speaking Québécois Français at a normal pace totally loses us.
This past weekend, instead of heading northwest with all of the French speaking folk, we headed southwest into New Brunswick. That’s right, southwest. To Canada. SOUTH. We are so hopelessly far North. In the southwest direction, we are back to English speaking Canada. Definitely a lot of French being spoken by other tourists around us in New Brunswick, but all the store clerks went straight to English as the go-to language. It was a cool weekend. We camped with some co-workers on the Bay of Fundy, home to the highest tides in the world. Did a lot of grilling, smores making, and sampling of the local breweries. (Note: When in the New Brunswick Liquor Store, some things while in six packs are priced by the bottle…. if you think you’re getting a good deal on a six-pack, it’s priced by the bottle. YIKES!) On the way home, we stopped by a local winery for some tasting and took a good hike in Fundy National Park. A great weekend in a “foreign” country.
It’s been a pretty good assignment up here. We have quickly reached the ½ way point of the 13 weeks we will be here and time is flying. Time to start looking for the next job and make some licensure decisions. Yuck, hate that part. But, we hope to spend the 4th of July weekend off vacationing on Prince Edward Island. I think P.E.I. is the Cape Cod of Canada… we’ll see!
Enjoy some Canada-centric photography by entering the slideshow below through clicking on anyone of the thumbnails.