Friday, August 2, 2013

Miller Time Friday - Let's take a day trip, shall we - I want to go home


 You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right

 Maya Angelou

You all know me to be an overly sentimental sort.  I don't mind being filed under "S" for sentimental - better that than "I" for indifferent.

And I am never more sentimental than when I go back to my old stomping grounds - St. Andrews-By-the-Sea and St. Stephen, New Brunswick, where I grew up.

I swear that I pass myself on the street, my voice still echoing as I chase my brother and sister in the backyard, sneak through the neighbours yard to spy on them, stop into a shop and buy a little wooden table and chairs for my dolls.  I am everywhere and nowhere when I am back there. 

I recognize no one when I am on the street today, but I can tell you everyone who lived in every house in the 1960s and 1970s.  I wonder that they don't notice the tattoo that is burned into my forehead as I walk about: I AM FROM HERE.  THIS IS WHO I AM.

One of my happiest things to do in the summer is this:
  • Go to St. Andrews.  Walk streets.  Shop.  Have lunch at Kingsbrae Gardens overlooking the gardens and the bay.
  • Drive to hometown (10 minutes away) St. Stephen.  Buy chocolates from Ganongs.
  • Have tea with my mother's best friend.
Honestly, I could rinse and repeat this once a week all summer.  It isn't a long drive from here, but the roads are not the best from our neck of the woods and frankly, even my mother's best friend would tire of me.  There is something pathetic about those of us who are motherless sometimes; my mother's friend is the closest thing I have in this world to an older woman who truly loves and likes me - I lap it up like candy!

But I digress.  When we arrived in St. Andrews a farmer's market was going on.

 

 Lots of crafts and food and music.  It is fun when the town is vibrant.



Cockburn's drugstore has been there forever.  You can get your prescription filled and pick up a sand bucket and nail polish..

Nearby I spotted two Irish Wolfhounds, which struck me as very Harry Potter-ish:


If you want a porch to people watch and have a drink, well this is it:

 

Between each house and shop on Water Street is this view:

sorry about the blur!
Then we drove out to Indian Point to watch the tide go out for a few minutes:




 No time for searching tide pools today - we are off to Kingsbrae Gardens and lunch!  Considered ones of the ten best garden attractions in Canada, this is definitely worth a visit.  We have been many, many times.  This time, we walked straight to the little café.

But of course en route, there are a few small gardens...



who is that delightful creature in the mirror?

Ah there's the café (located in an old "cottage" (St. Andrews was and is still, albeit to a lesser extent, the playground of the rich..)

 
 


 


 Inside the café:




 
But it's a gorgeous day, we'll eat outside, under the apple trees:


 
 And of course Barry is already sitting there:





I always want to sit outside to get this view:


I think I am looking very Virginia Woolf in these photos - I even know where the Lighthouse is!






Beside Kingsbrae Gardens you can stay at the Ultra-luxurious Kingsbrae Arms:


the back of the house...


The front door is guarded by a matching pair of whippets, who are quite stately sentinels, in my opinion:


The jewel of St. Andrews is the Algonquin Resort, which is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar refresh and will reopen later this year.  I cannot wait to go back there soon!  This would make a lovely spot for a club meeting...





Let's leave St. Andrews, as I have a tea time scheduled with an old friend and en route I need to pick up chocolates and peppermints at the The Ganong Chocolate Factory's Gift Store.

 





Chocolate Truffles all around!

Then off to see my Mum's Best Friend, who is 88 years old and a going concern.  Isn't she beautiful?


Today would have been her 68th wedding anniversary.  She is originally from England and married a dashing young New Brunswick lad who was talented enough to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross.  We had tea and looked out over this view:


 The end to a perfect day. 

I think this day could use a little Tennyson (In Memoriam Section CXXIII  - my favourite section):

But in my spirit will I dwell
and dream my dream and hold it true
for tho' my lips may breath adieu
I cannot think the thing farewell

I do like to go home.  And while I sat on that deck, drinking tea and sharing stories with someone who has known me for almost my entire life - since a time I can barely remember - I felt nothing but joy and gladness.  We are witnesses to each other's lives.  And on a beautiful August day, I am grateful for that.  And now it is here forever, with you all.

And since we were by the salty sea, let's make a couple of Salty Dog cocktails, shall we?

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Pour the ingredients into a collins glass rimmed with salt and filled with ice cubes.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Garnish with a lemon or lime wedge.

Salty Dog Cocktail
 There - isn't that refreshing?  Thanks for taking the day trip with us!  Have a wonderful Friday and stay safe out there!

40 comments:

  1. It looks so gorgeous there. Thanks for taking me on such a lovely trip. And you look at peace, relaxed and happy in your photos. It is funny to walk the streets of your home town and want to tell everyone, "I'm from here, this is my town"!

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    1. Jennifer - it really is gorgeous! I was feeling really relaxed, which is good, as tomorrow morning (if it is not raining!) we will be hosting a yard sale. We keep hauling things out of this house - hope we don't have to haul it back in!

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  2. So many picturesque places! I wish I were there, it looks perfect to me. I relate so much to what you said about your mom's friend. I live pretty much exactly where I grew up and I haunt all my old stomping grounds on a daily basis. I run into people I've known all my life fairly frequently. It is not nearly so quaint as where you grew up, however! Thanks for sharing the journey!

    Also, I have never seen a stone whippet, interesting!

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    1. Cate - you are so lucky! I think I would love to have stayed there, though I probably wouldn't have gotten a job!

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    2. Cate, I too am envious of your roots.

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    3. But I didn't grow up in an amazing place like that. It's okay, but I'm kind of tired of it.

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    4. I really meant the sense of familiarity, ritual and "belonging" more than the actual geography and setting. I was often the new kid on the block, so I always think it must be pretty wonderful to have those long-term habits and day-to-day connections to people.

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  3. Thank you WMM for sharing your pictures. I have such a desire to see more of Canada. It is gorgeous. Your Mum's friend is beautiful, and in that photo, you both look so happy and relaxed.Thank you for the pictures.

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    1. Thanks Knityarns! It is gorgeous - you would love it here!

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  4. What a lovely place, really beautiful. I love those whippets, have two wrapped and flown over to stand sentinel at the door.

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    1. Tabs - I think you do need them! I am sure your robbers would have thought twice about breaking in if these fellows were there for you!

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  5. The hat continues to make appearances. Sounds and looks like a lovely place. Bottoms up!

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    1. Oh that hat is out a lot these days!! I went into one shop and the lady said - you are wearing a Madagascar hat! I had not idea what she was talking about, but when I looked inside, the hat was indeed made in Madagascar!

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  6. SEA ME Hat off to ya WMM, best trip to St. Andrews evah. Ta for taking me back with you. All the best with the yard sale prep (Barry will bear it). While I don't appreciate most Ganong choc (bit too sweet for me) I do crave that ceiling and chocolate box perfect town

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    1. The truffles and peppermints are divine - hear you on the others. We did have a grand day. St. Stephen is quite atrocious now for shopping - it is very sad, actually, but St. Andrews actually had some new shops open, so I was heartened to see that.

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  7. What an utterly charming and beautiful place to be from! Love the tide pools. You look spiffy in the navy and pink arrangement with hat! And how special you have a mum-figure there still. Really fun to see.

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    1. Lane - the coast down there is very reminiscent of where you are - that's why I always feel so comfortable in Maine!

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  8. Your hometown is darling! As are your mother's friend, Barry, and (of course) you. I love a good Salty Dog, it just screams summer to me.

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    1. Thanks Danielle! They are pretty darling, aren't they?

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  9. Love the hat! These photos are lovely and remind me that i've seen very little of NB (and even less now with the new highway...) we always just speed through on the way to my old haunts in PEI. Maybe one day we should take a more leisurely route....

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    1. You definitely should! even getting off at Shediac en route to PEI is lovely! That coast is so different than the Bay of Fundy Coast, which is much more like the coast of Maine. It is really quite lovely down there and worth tacking a couple of days on!

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  10. WMM you look adorable sitting there in your hat. Thanks for the lovely tour!

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  11. Hi Wendy, what a lovely day out, and so special to spend time with your mum's best friend. I've never been to that area, as thatdamngreendress said, we usually just speed through NB, and haven't even done that in a long time. There are so many lovely places to visit in Canada!

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    1. Patricia - you said a mouthful - when we were recently in Ontario, we drove around a lot of back road areas. It was so much fun! It is such a treat when you aren't in a hurry and can really discover a place...

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  12. I grew up in a small town in Northern Ontario. Your childhood home reminds me of mine. What a picture perfect day. I thinks it's great that Barry doesn't mind having his picture posted on your blog....such a loving husband he is!

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    1. Anon - I think he thinks it is funny!

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  13. Wendy, you are the best ambasador for your part of the world, it was never on my radar but now I definitely want to visit. You look wonderful, happy and peaceful, Barry is a darling and so is your mum's friend, how great that you stayed in touch. Good luck with the yard sale, I never had patience for them.

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    1. Oh I hate having yard sales - it is depressing me no end - but it is a good way to de-junk and maybe buy some back to school supplies!

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  15. You lucky duck to be from such a divine town...thanks so much for sharing! I can see that the visit did your soul good! Thanks for the Salty Dog tip...as gin lover, I can't believe I've been missing it all my life! Sante!

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    1. thanks Rebecca! I agree - I come from a beautiful part of the world - very small town, but big hearts in those two towns!

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  16. Oh wow - what lovely spots by the sea! Love all your photos and this looks just so nice and relaxing!

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    1. Laura - you will have to come to the maritimes!

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  17. Thanks for the excellent tour Wendy. That's it I want to move back East! The pace around here is getting to me!
    Have an excellent Friday evening Miller Time!

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    1. Okay - how will we break it to mr. Bp?

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  18. LOVE that you get such a kick out of life. That day you talked about sounds just perfection to me. I'm a total cynic but have become very sentimental for old school friends as i age and really appreciate meeting up with them when I go home. Your mother's friend is so pretty, what a lovely photo of the two of you. truth is I don't feel any different (or any more mature) from when I was 16. Still a goober, still the same.

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    1. Jody - I think that is a thing that happens as we age - I am getting more and more like that myself. SHe is indeed beautiful and almost 90!

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  19. Thanks for the lovely tour! What a beautiful area! I have never been to the Maritimes - one day I shall go. Hope you have a great weekend!

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    1. Louise - you must come - you would love it here!

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Kindness is a virtue...