Fun in New Brunswick

(note: this blog was updated in December 2018)

This blog is the second post of a trip my daughter, Kelly, and I took through eastern Canada when she was ten. The first post covered kayaking in the Bay of Fundy and slopping through mud at Hopewell Rocks. This day, my daugther and I hiked in a couple of places in New Brunswick as we made our way to Saint John’s.

In our ongoing trip through Canada’s Eastern coast through New Brunswick, we made it back to Kelly’s Bake Shop this morning. But this morning, we each ordered a Sticky Bun. Not to be confused with Cinnamon Rolls! Light and sticky, the cinnamon grazed the sticky concoction that held together pull-apart biscuits of the lightest, air-pocketed buns I’ve ever eaten. I couldn’t believe how light the dough was, yet strong enough to hold the gooey syrup. But not too syrupy, not too sweet. Sticky enough to stick to your teeth, but not too sticky that a gush of milk wouldn’t wash down. I’ve never had any Sticky Buns this wonderful. So make your way to Kelly’s Bake Shop in Alma, New Brunswick, Canada.

Hiking the Caribou Basin

After eating a bun, I felt the need to hike to keep it from sticking to my buns. Kelly and I headed inside Fundy National Park and hiked the Caribou Basin. A lovely bog encircled by Arcadian forest, Kelly discovered that she’s a frog whisperer! We overlooked the bog and the bull frogs, and Kelly managed to convince several frogs that she was their perfect mates. We had one actually hop up to us to check her out. Next time you see Kelly, ask her to ribbit.
I promised Kelly that today’s drive wouldn’t be too long, so I made reservations at the Colonial Inn in Saint John, New Brunswick, and we made our way. I’m not going to put a link to the hotel, because god love ya if you make the mistake of staying at this place. I fell for the fact that it was the only hotel in town that has a pool–a promise to Kelly–and overlooked all the reviews about it being old, dank, and nasty. I’m mentally holding my nose and trying hard not to wonder when the last time the bed spread was washed. But the pool, heated and salted, was quite fun. Kelly made a friend, and the two of them swam for over an hour. I got the chance to read my book!

Saint John Reversing Falls

Before we checked in though, we stopped by Reversing Falls in Saint John, New Brunswick. Overlooking the falls is a nice place to eat called Split Rock, where I enjoyed a lobster omelet. While eating, we got to see the local tourist trap–riding a speed boat up the rapids and getting drenched. Save yourself the $30 and watch it while eating a $10 salmon burger. I find it quaint how towns can maximize their uniquities. If we hadn’t stopped here because of the distance, we probably would have kept going. But, I have to say, even tho the hotel and Falls were a bit lack luster, we had the most fun tonight at Rockwood Park.

The Visitor’s Center pointed us to Rockwood Park for a 7:15 hike. A bit skeptical that Kelly would enjoy a guided walk, we arrived at the Interpretive Center. There, a local historian who has made himself known through local walks, talks, and chalks, embraced us as one of his own. David Gross  entertained Kelly, me and 20 others on a 3 km walk through old and new trails. We sang, made leaf masks, picked wild strawberries, climbed hills, shivered in the 55 degrees, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Afterward, we sat with several locals, enjoyed apple juice and cookies, and bonded over international borders. What a true delight! New Brunswickians are kind, hospitable and humble. Thanks Saint John, New Brunswick!

What have you enjoyed in New Brunswick? From Fundy National Park to Rockwood Park and the Reversing Falls, there’s plenty to do in New Brunswick with your kids.