We have done a number of trips to Quebec before and given our tighter timeline, we zipped right through the Belle Provance and straight into New Brunswick. NB is the only truly bilingual province in Canada but, for me, it always seemed to have the personality of someone's far-too-serious Aunt. To be sure, the province does have a number of odd ball items that require investigation like a Noah's Ark shaped seniors home or a magic hill where you can coast uphill in your vehicle (even Billy Thunder is putting on roadtrip weight so we didn’t quite make it all the way up the hill). But when a small town in the Province claims to be the supplier of a third of the world’s French Fries you know that the local Potato Museum is going to be a highlight (French Fries are a big reason for the excess roadtrip weight). The Museum is essentially a profile of the McCain Foods business which has grown from 30 employees and global sales of CDN$150,000, to more than 19,000 people with global sales of CDN$8 billion- that’s a lot of potatoes. Did you know that humans can apparently survive on a diet of just potatoes, and milk or butter, which contain Vitamin A and D, the only vitamins missing from the humble spud.
Once we had come down off of the high we experienced while exploring the Potato Museum it was time to take in a couple of sporting highlights. The first near the Village of Plaster Rock is the home of the annual World Pond Hockey Championships but requires a fair bit of imagination when you visit in the summer time. At this time of year, it's cleverly disguised as an ordinary looking lake but in the winter this frozen body of water hosts 40 teams on 20 outdoor rinks. The pinnacle of the Canadian sporting mountain might be a great game of pond hockey (with a round of hot rum toddies afterward), but DH couldn't understand why I was getting misty eyed as we stood there looking at a nondescript lake (and she really couldn't understand why we had driven out of our way to do this).
Our next sporting highlight was a bit unexpected- surfing in New Brunswick?? You might be aware of the tidal phenomenon that will see a river flow slow, almost stop, and then head in the other direction led by a single white wave (commonly called a tidal bore). What you might not know is that there's a group of maple syrup dudes who schedule their day around the Bay of Fundy tide schedule. The Petitcodiac River’s claim to fame is this tidal bore, forming twice a day as the tides from the Bay of Fundy push up river towards Moncton.
We're off to Nova Scotia.