One of the attractions of traveling backroads and byways is happening upon unadvertised gems you’d never have discovered from the glossy brochures. We stopped at Perth-Andover NB looking for sustenance. Lucky for us, Perth-Andover is home to Mary’s Bake Shop and Luncheonette. Across the street is the beautiful Saint John River. We were lucky to find an open table – the place was crowded with local diners locked in conversation with friends and neighbours.
I like to study regional accents as we wend our way. Had I been plunked at Mary’s without knowing where I was I would have quickly deduced my whereabouts from the New Brunswick accents on display. Excellent food excellent, terrific river vistas, folks as friendly as you could ever want. Once she learned we we’d come all the way from Victoria, our server asked that we sign their special guest book, so that’s exactly what we wrote.
New Brunswick’s main highways are first-rate. Mile after mile you see attractive Acadian forest vistas uncontaminated by billboards, hotdog stands or tourist tack. In a short span we enjoyed a little invasion of ‘northern’ birds: northern goshawk [#169 for our trip list], northern logcock, northern harrier.
We crossed the Nova Scotia border about five o’clock Wednesday and made a bee-line for the Nelson hacienda at the mouth of the Shubenacadie River on Cobequid Bay, home to the world’s highest tides. The Nelsons – sister Nancy and brother-in-law Don – have renovated and expanded their place and made it a show home. A first-rate place to savour our first Nova Scotia evening in nine months. And what better bird to make #170 for our trip list: Nelson’s sharp-tailed sparrow, singing his head off from the marsh just beyond the front yard.
Thursday brought us back to my Halifax birthplace and a happy reunion with my beloved 85-year Mom. The Raisin’s fans will be pleased to hear we found her looking hale, hearty, happy, and hell-bent for a cribbage tournament.