Why we went to Newfoundland and Labrador (no photos. . .yet)

so not to bury the lead here but this is long so if you want the twitter version, ie under 140 char go to the bottom 🙂

6/25/2011
today was a travel day as was the 24th we drove up after dinner to the Rosemont area to park and fly at the same hotel we always stay in.  Our flight today isn't till 1 but we have to be at the airport late AM due to the international flight times.  Then 1 plane change after we get to Canada to switch from American airlines to west jet. we had to go through customs get our bags check them back in to be taken back to the planes but not the regular check-in. then back though security this time i got searched i walked through the metal detector and beeped it must have been the rivets in my jeans. we then bought a sandwich at Tim Horton’s for the plane ride and got to the hotel at 10 or so.

6/26/2011
Today we drove across Newfoundland and the weirdest thing happens here they have a 30 min time zone so we are 2.5 hrs. ahead of IL time.  one of the first things we saw today was a bald eagle in a tree very close to the road.  all the trees kind of have a top to them that looks like something is sitting on them so after seeing the first one i was looking very closely at the tops of trees ALL day LOL it was a bit grey out and everything is metric we drove 900 ish KM today even with the bit of rain it is very beautiful.  we got to the B&B at cows head in time to check in and the ppl hear are very nice.  we had dinner at the only restaurant in town that was quite good with a view of the water. it is cool here was 12 deg all day. after dinner we found out the owner has greyhounds and a whippet we talked to him for quite a while after the dog stuff learned a lot about the town and the ppl that live here and he gave us some advice on our boat tour tomorrow on the best way to deal with the company.

6/27
The weather today was not on our side but we made the best of it. We took a 2 hour hike after a delicious breakfast at our b & b over boardwalk and Marsh to a waterfall we walk about 12 min per km. We then had reservations for a boat tour on a lake with 2200 ft. Cliffs but the fog was to thick and they canceled. The walk the boar was nice though over Pete bogs there were cool pitcher plants and other stuff. We drove south to the table land where I looks like a giant stone slab has come out of the earth because it did. It sprinkled on us but never got very wet then south to Trout River had a very nice dinner. We got back to the b&b around 9 made hot coco and popcorn. btw happy birthday @melissa_attig

6/28
Had another great breakfast Melissa got her CRISPY Bacon and I got cooked oats probably the first time since my grandma used to make them. With cream milk and 2 kinds of sugar mmmmmmm.  We packed up and hit the road to do some hiking saw 2 moose on the way and. Then to a lighthouse I heard the minke whale before I saw it but it was so quiet you could hear him pretty far out from shore. We head north to the ferry to Labrador stopped at 3 arches saw a million lobster traps along the way. We then stopped at port eh choix the have a historical society along with an archeological dig. We got to the ferry in plenty of time. We did end up eating on the boat just the way time worked out. We don't want to end up in Labrador late with nothing to eat.  We went for a short drive to a lighthouse getting close to dusk and minke whales show up. There were at least 2 of them playing in the water. i looks like Melissa got some great photos but it will be easier to see once we get them on the SLR. up early in the AM so time for bed.

6/29
Went to a restored fishing village in battle harbor Labrador today. The drive was 50 miles paved 50 gravel so the second half was slow going or rather it is possible I was driving a bit to fast for gravel but we got there in time without incident. Took a 1 hour boat ride to the island and had lunch there the choice was French onion soup so I ate it. That isn't my first Choice for soup but it was still good. The homemade biscuits and desserts were great.  Our guide for the tour lived and worked there as a child and 12 years ago got hired on the restoration staff. He lives on the island now.  The tour was very informative only a little hard to understand with his accent and dialect. After the tour we had some time to kill but lucky for us a huge pod of whales was right of the coast we watched them for as long as we could. They put on a good show they were hunting and breaching the water it was a pleasure to Watch. Back on the ferry to our car there was an iceberg just though the fog we could see though form the boat, and back to the gravel road once we got Back to pavement we stopped at red bay for dinner the food was good and then we tried a piece of bake apple pie. It is a local Berry seen only here, Nova Scotia, and Norway. We picked up some jam as well.  On the drive back caught sight of more Wales and closer to our hotel we stopped for a short walk near the pinware river where there were a hand-full of fly fishermen I watched for a few min. Glad we have the laptop already filled the memory card on the slr at the whales today good thing I have a backup 2gb.  Will definitely not be posting all of these pics we are over 1100 and so far driven 1800 km.

6/30
Got up later today than we have been grabbed a box of muffins from the grocery next to the hotel an headed to the ferry got our tickets and sat in the car for a while. Some sort of mechanical problem with the boat. Farewell Labrador hello Newfoundland again. Looks like rain today. ferry didn't leave for 2.5 hrs that put us into the B&B at 8.30 pretty late for them. we stopped a few times along the way back. the views were MUCH better today without the fog we had the first few days in Newfoundland.  So today was mostly driving and stopping but the sun was out and i saw the temp hit 23c and the scenery is breathtaking.

7/1
today the plan was to drive to Twillingate to go on a boat tour to look for icebergs and whales but apparently the sea was angry that day like an old man trying to return soup to a deli so there was no boat tour for us and a 1 hour each way detour.  we went to our next planned stop instead and while on the way were able to juggle our hotel stops lucky tonight we were not staying at a b&b.   so on to Terra Nova park oh and by the way it is 'Canada Day' their independence day. There were a TON of ppl at the park there was cake and flags it was a bit strange to be on the outside of that. we got some directions for some hiking nothing to hard there but was some nice vistas.  we stopped a bit down the road after that and went for a nice walk around a lake there were almost no ppl there.  got to our hotel and had a nice dinner (our 11th anniversary BTW)  then after dinner had time to relax and rest.

7/2
Today we should get history credit. We drove to the village of Trinity where a lot of the buildings are part of the historical society. One of the buildings was falling down in the 70s and the family tore most of it down to avoid anyone getting hurt. The society took pictures and rebuilt from what was left. They had ppl in the building to talk about it and even a traditional blacksmith shop that was used up to 1955. We bought a handmade coat hook after talking to the Smith. We walked to the other marked buildings and then had lunch in the town.  A short way up the road to cape bonavista lighthouse the fog rolled in just as we got there but it rolled out almost as fast as it came in. We hiked around and saw a monument to john Cabot where they think he landed. On the way out we stopped at Dungeon Park where a sea cave collapsed and will eventually become sea stacks. Then to a puffin habitat that was cool to sit and watch the birds they are not graceful flyers or landers but very fun to watch. Also there were of course whales.  We checked in at the b&b and walked a few blocks to dinner where the owner had cockatoo in a cage by the register that everyone in the restaurant was talking to except us but we hadn't seen the bird when we came in so it took us a few minutes to figure out why everyone was clicking and whistling. Got back to the b&b for tea and snacks with the owners and other guests it was fun to hear where everyone had been and where they were going.

7/3
Up early had a great breakfast hit the road to drive a few hundred km to get to bay bulls for a trip "witless bay" to the largest puffin sanctuary in north America and whale watching. The sea was calm today the birds were cool and we got to see a mother humpback and calf so close to them it was awesome. Back on the road to St John's cape spear the eastern most point in North America they had an old lighthouse and a new lighthouse with the old light and a few whales off the coast. Then to signal hill. Where there was a Marconi station. Really nice walk and some whales offshore. Then to the b&b walked around St Johns found a nice outside restaurant the food was good but the service was not. She was super nice but got sidetracked and forgot part of our order but then tried to charge us for it whoops! So after a a late dinner we walked around a bit more to find something sweet to take with us only to find all the stores closed but it is a Sunday but this was a great day. To bad only one more day of fun then the day of travel back home but I will do my best to not dwell on that 😉

7/4
we left St Johns in the am to drive the Irish loop a scenic drive. Our first stop was Ferry Land there is an archaeological dig where they are uncovering the first planned colony in Newfoundland 'Avalon" we did the self-guided tour and it is very cool you can watch them sifting through the dirt they are finding lots of artifacts.  you can even walk along the cobblestone streets on part of it. we then took a 2.5 KM walk to a lighthouse they offer picnics there but not on Mondays but the walk was nice even with the bit of fog. back in the car and we stopped at a bay where it is so deep the wales that feed there will come up out of the water next to shore alas not for us. we did see at least one whale but he wasn't doing very much but he was fun to watch. it got a bit foggy as we drove and we went on to cape St Mary’s to another bird sanctuary.  This time it was Gannets it was foggy that we couldn't see the water but we were close enough to see the birds and we were VERY close to the cliff and with the wind it was a bit scary.  drove back to St Johns had lunch and dinner on the road but the drive was lovely and peaceful.    we did manage to listen to 2.5 books while driving around this vacation the only hard part was trying to find something we could agree on. we listened to the Tina Fay book 'bossy pants', the 2nd book in the Dexter series "dearly devoted Dexter" and got half way through "Dexter in the dark".   i also was very happy on the tech side with windows live sync when our memory card got full i was able to DL to the laptop but being paranoid i had live sync set to sync the photos folder on the laptop back to one of the PC's at home so just in case of HDD failure we won't lose our pics.  it also allowed me to pull shows of the TiVo at home to the PC and sync them to the laptop so we had something to watch before bed. Even though i tested the sling-box before we left every time i tried to log into it there was a 'bandwidth' problem and was unable to show any video. FAIL even without MS sync running so i don't know what the issue was.  And both Netflix and media center wouldn't let me stream video they apparently don't like Canada.

7/5
Travel day again up at the B&B for breakfast had enough time this AM to walk around St Johns went in a few shops picked up a few last things and then to the airport. was a bit hard to find the car return but a small airport about the size of Bloomington only 8 gates so getting though security was no issue. I think since there were so few ppl they went though both of our carry on's but that only took a few min. They said it was because i have so many cables in my laptop bag but i think they were just bored.  Soon back in the USA.

so the SHORT review is "drove 3822 KM (2374 miles) beautiful scenery even with the fog, fishing villages, boats, whales, icebergs, birds, hiking very friendly people and whales"
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