My Visit to Canada to see my Gram

Friday, November 11, 2022

The month of October was so full of activities that I had no time to post!  One big reason that October flew by for me, was that I literally flew away for a visit to Canada! I was gone for about a week, but we packed so much into the days we were there, that it felt like we were gone much longer!  Canada opened its borders for travel on October 1st with no restrictions.  I had wanted to see my grandmother who had been ill and the time to do it was now.  My brother was able to get away as well, and we decided to arrive together. We are so glad we did! 

On my way! I love watching the sunrise view from the airplane. 

My flight was long, and I was up for about 24 hours. Upon arriving at my grandmother's, my aunt left this surprise for me on the bed. A favorite bag of ketchup chips, a special Canadian treat we love! 


It was so late when we got in, that we didn't wake up Gram and Aunt Jenny. 
The next morning I went in to wake up Gram, and she was so happy to see me! 



The morning sunrise view from my grandmother's dining room window! 

My brother greeted Gram for the first time. 

My Gram is blind, but she can see lights and shadows. I gifted her with these
glass-blown flowers that we lit up with fairy lights so she can enjoy them! 


My brother and I went for a walk after breakfast around the homestead...
 oh it was beautiful in all its Fall glory! 

My grandfather had purchased over 300+ acres of land when he and my Gram got married.  They farmed, logged, and raised dairy cattle on it. It is a beautiful piece of property with so many great views!


The farm overlooks the St. John River valley. 


Here rests an old farm tractor used around the homestead.
It still runs, and is now used to plow the snow! 


Such magnificent fall scenery! 


A very typical Fall scene as you drive...
along with warnings for deer, moose, and other wildlife crossings! 

Of course, we had to make a stop at Tim Horton's for some coffee and doughnuts! 


A view of the St. John River from Perth-Andover, NB


My aunt owns Mary's Bake Shop, and it is always a treat to enjoy a meal there! Everything is home-baked there, and the meals are scrumptious! 

Another view of the St. John River.


A view of the bridge that connects Perth and Andover,
two towns on either side of the river. 

So many beautiful churches along the river!

I drove up to New Denmark, which is where my grandparents landed when they immigrated from Denmark. This is the oldest Danish community in Canada and is still in existence.  My grandfather was born in Denmark, and my Gram was born here in this community, but her parents were immigrants from Denmark. 


The magnificent railroad bridge in New Denmark. 


An old homestead with a view of the railroad bridge. 



One of many beautiful barns still standing there in New Denmark.


A beautiful Fall scene with a potato harvester in the distance,
this is potato harvesting country. 

Fall views in New Denmark

The graveyard at St. Peter's Lutheran Church
where all my Danish ancestors are buried. 

I stopped by the New Denmark Historical Museum. It was closed for the season but I enjoyed the visit. I had been here many times before to visit as a child and in years past. 

This is a replica of the home the immigrants were
expected to all live in when they arrived from Denmark. It was certainly not as big as they had been promised and was quite a disappointment for them.  


A peek inside the home. 

These pictures were taken through the window,
they offer a peek into a day and time that I can't fathom. 



Another beautiful Fall view... New Denmark has steep hills
lined with beautiful hardwood trees. 

The Salmon River bridge - a place where the family
often came to swim and camp during the summertime. 

Another view of the St. John River valley from the road my Gram lives on. 



An artist's depiction of the old homestead, which burnt 2 years ago. 
  You can read more about that story here.  


A view of the potato farm fields on the homestead.


My brother and I with Gram.


My brother and I, as well as a cousin, traveled over to
Prince Edward Island for a visit. 


We saw this fox just as we came off the Confederation Bridge.
They are quite common on the Island. 


The damage from Hurricane Fiona was immediately heartrending to see. 



An entire row of trees was upended from the winds.


Debris from the storm was piled neatly all along the roadways. Islanders were hard at work cleaning up the damages from the storm. 


We checked into our hotel and were thrilled with the beautiful accommodations.
We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Charlottetown. 



We saw this horse-drawn carriage riding the streets. 



Our neighbors from years ago on the Island treated us to a meal at The Merchantman in Charlottetown. We enjoyed a wonderful visit with them! 


We stopped by the church graveyard where our grandparents
and my dad's extended MacLauchlan family are buried. 

The next morning we saw more evidence of Islanders hard at work,
cleaning up the debris from the hurricane. 



This is the homestead my Dad grew up on and farmed the land around it.  That homestead has since been sold and turned into a nursing home facility. 



Many of the harbors and beaches were closed.  We did find Grand Tracadie Harbor open and visited with a fisherman there who told us about the horrible events of the storm.  They were still working hard to clean up. 


This boat, the Corey Lee had been picked up by the hurricane and landed on top of the wharf.  It had just recently been removed and put back into the water.  


Another of the fishing boats moored at the Grand Tracadie Harbor. 



All of the north shore National Park beaches were closed, but we did manage to find one beach that was open, and we enjoyed walking its shoreline. 



The beach was largely deserted except for a man with two dogs who we enjoyed visiting with. The day was overcast and cool, but not cold. We got into the water and enjoyed wading as the waves splashed around us. 




We saw this large lobster claw that had washed up onto the shoreline. 




And of course, I had to write a little note in the sand! 


The island beaches are magnificent, and there is just nothing like the smell of the salt air and the loud cries of the seagulls to remind me of my childhood days enjoying the island beaches. How I miss them!


Leaving the beach, we headed back to downtown Charlottetown to find some lobster. It was off-season for lobster,
but we were told this was a good place to find it. 

We found lobster at The Chip Shack!


I got the Lobster Poutine and it was amazing! For those who may not know what poutine is, it is a classic French-Canadian dish consisting of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. I had never had Lobster poutine -  it was delicious! 


While we were eating down at the wharf, we were close to the cruise ships which were docked at the port. 


A visit to the Island is never complete without a Cow's ice cream treat! 



 I met a high school friend at Cow's and we enjoyed the ice cream treat together while we caught up on life since we saw each other last, which was over 15 years ago. 


We drove out to the south shore to see my brother's high school friend and stopped to see the Rocky Point Lighthouse. It was dark, but still a beautiful scene! 


The next morning we got up early to see the sun rise over Victoria Beach in Charlottetown. We were not disappointed in our efforts to be there early! 




Glorious morning views! 

Victoria Park has historical significance as it was where the canons were located to protect the Charlottetown Harbor in the 1800s. 

Such magnificent views! 






My cousin took this picture of me as I sat on the bench
overlooking the water, watching the sunrise unfold in all its glory. 



We enjoyed breakfast at Tim Horton's again...
sure do love their Maple Pecan doughnuts! 


We did a little sightseeing on the way to the Confederation Bridge, taking a drive down some of the beautiful red island roads that led to the sea. 



Victoria-By-The-Sea lighthouse


Soon we were at the bridge and about to leave our beloved island. 



We bought a couple bags of PEI potatoes for Gram to enjoy. Fruits and vegetables are not allowed across the border, so I couldn't bring any home for our family to enjoy. 

Back in New Brunswick with my Gram! 


Holding Gram's hands, she loves for someone to sit by her bed and hold her hand. 


On the last night at Gram's, the sunset was absolutely stunning! 


Its beauty rests in my heart!


So different from the view I knew as a child, with the stately white farmhouse and wood-planked barn standing at the top of this hill, but this new home has now become the star of the hill :) 


Saying goodbyes are always so hard. But we are so thankful for all the precious moments we got to have in the short week we were here. 


As we drove to the little airport in Maine that we flew into, we passed this Amish home along the way. Many Amish are moving into the northern New Brunswick area, and are doing a marvelous job farming the countryside there. 



At the airport in Maine, saying goodbye to our aunt who picked us up and dropped us off at the airport. So thankful for all the aunts and uncles, cousins, family, and friends who made our trip so special. We love each and every one of them! 


Our trip was wonderful in every way - we got to see so many family and friends and we will always cherish the special memories of the time we got to spend with Gram. 



I made this video with some of my favorite pictures from New Brunswick and also within the video I honor Gram and her miraculous escape from the fire. It was such a blessing to be able to see her again after the trauma of the past two years and to spend this time with her. I am so very grateful that we were able to make this trip, and the memories we made will live on forever in my heart :) 

18 comments

  1. It was almost like visiting NB and PEI myself. Such gorgeous photos of a beautiful place in a beautiful season. Your grandmother looks like a sweetheart and it is wonderful that you and your brother synchronized your visits. My NB ancestors were from Scotland. So interesting that yours are from Denmark.

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  2. What a wonderful tour you just took me on. I understand the love and need to see family who live so far away, while we have the opportunity. You look so happy and so did your Gram. The photos are so amazing in color. What an adventure for you. Lynn and Precious

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  3. I enjoyed seeing this island through your eyes, Marilyn. What a blessing to be able to spend time with your gran! A whirlwind visit but so worth it!

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  4. Wow Marilyn that is awesomely arranged. I loved the video brought back so many memories. Glad you and Malcom got home. You’ll never regret it

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  5. your whole post captures that circle of life. so much beauty and loveliness and joy all captured by your lens, friend. welcome home ...

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  6. So glad you got to see your Gram, Marilyn. That was sweet that your brother went along with you. I'm sorry she has been ill. What beautiful views and skies you saw in Canada. I like the picture your cousin took of you sitting by the water. And that little fox fellow greeted you. The house your dad grew up in is so charming. Love the yellow. The pastries from Tim Horton's look scrumptious, and I wish I could have one with my coffee this morning. ; ) You will always have dear memories of this trip, and it's good when the young and the old connect. It's the very special circle of life.

    I hope you have wonderful November days, Marilyn.

    ~Sheri

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  7. What a blessing that you and your brother were able to make this memorable trip together, Marilyn! Your Gram is so very precious, and I know how much you all have missed her. And so many memories, old and new! No, I don't think you will forget this trip any time soon. Thanks for sharing all your joys with us!
    Blessings!

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  8. oh wow beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing...yes, Lobster Poutine is wonderful. smiles--- but since we now live in Florida, those trips to Canada are no more, smiles.

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  9. I remember that terrible fire, and how thankful we all were that your Gram escaped. This was a wonderful trip and I so enjoyed your photography of this gorgeous area!

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  10. Aw, Marilyn! This post brought me to tears! Your dear Gram is so precious. For some reason, she reminded me of my dear, sweet Mom. The part about her liking someone to sit by her bed and hold her hand just tore me up. My, Canada sure is beautiful! You got to do so many amazing things and experience so many wonderful adventures. Precious memories that will stay with you forever. I am still wiping tears as I type this. I'm glad you are doing well. I have been thinking of you. May God continue to bless you and keep you in His care.

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  11. This is such a beautiful post. The love in the faces of the people is wonderful to see. Your Gram was obviously delighted that you and your brother were there. And how blessed you are to still have her in your lives. I enjoyed each and every photo you shared with us, especially the beautiful scenery, but my absolute favorite was the sunset photos of the last night there. Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing this beautiful trip that God blessed you with. Seeing friends and family and sharing the love you all have for each other is a wonderful thing.
    Blessings and hugs,
    Betsy

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  12. How wonderful that you and your brother could make this trip to visit your grandmother. Along the way you had so many beautiful sights to see and share with all of us. Thanks for posting the pictures. We've never been to the east coast of our country and I doubt we ever will but I can enjoy it through pictures. No doubt now you'll be looking forward to Thanksgiving. Have a blessed one.

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  13. Amazing photos Marilyn,. I am so glad you got to see your Gram, just priceless memories. I know it did your Gram's heart and yours a wonderful feeling. xo

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  14. Hello,
    What a lovely post. A very treasured trip for you all. Thank you for sharing all the lovely photos.
    Carla

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  15. Oh wow such a blessing that you were able to visit your Gram again, and a lovely time of the year to take the trip too. You were able to visit some many great places too, and see other family, that is great your brother could make the trip with you. It is always sad to see the destruction that the hurricanes make but hoping they can recover quickly.

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  16. Oh my goodness, Marilyn, I felt like a was right there with you through your photos and descriptions. How wonderful to be able to visit your Gram with your brother. How old is she? Who cares for the land? The property and the scenery are so beautiful. Visiting PEI and seeing friends and the lovely beach must’ve been such a treat, but I’m sure seeing the devastation must’ve saddened you. The sunset on your last night was truly an amazing gift. Thank you for sharing the love and beauty from your trip. God bless you!

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  17. What a nice visit with your family! And what a beautiful place we live in. I often forget how beautiful our neighbor to the north is! I remember reading about the fire. I was so sad for your gram. I'm glad she's doing well! Have a blessed Thanksgiving,

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  18. What a breath of fresh air, filled with love and colours, you're always able to share with us!
    You're so fortunate to still have your Granny, cherish her and go and see her whenever you can, our grandparents are the most precious part of our personal history!
    Sending blessings of love and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beloved ones
    Dany at ~ My little old world ~

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Your comments are blessings to me, and I appreciate each and every one, they are precious to me! I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog... this is what makes blogging worthwhile! Have a blessed day!

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