Why you should take advantage of our Atlantic travel bubble.

These are weird and hard times for the tourism and service industries. It’s more important than ever to get out there and support our local businesses.
Go for a drive, shop and eat at little mom and pop shops; who would have thought that eating and shopping in 2020 would be considered an act of love and support? But that is currently the case.

Here are a few activities that will be a win/win, for you and local businesses…you’re welcome!

Cool places are less peoply

Here’s what’s in it for you, besides feeling good about helping to support local businesses, our region has amazing things to do and see!! And since our region is less populated than other regions of Canada and their are no outside tourists, this is a great opportunity, and hopefully the only time, that we’ll have our beautiful region all to ourselves.

This became crystal clear to me last weekend when I visited Peggy’s Cove, just outside of Halifax. We basically had it all to ourselves. Ok, there were other people there, but there were no buses with loads of tourists; full disclosure it’s after Labor Day, so not prime time, but it was still oddly eerily void of crowds.

We got to explore the tiny village peacefully and look, no people in our shots. Hopefully this will be the last season without outside tourists, so go! This may be a once in a lifetime chance?


Ok all you instagramers out there, look at how amazing these pics are!! And while you’re out there getting the perfect shot, have lunch at the restaurant beside the lighthouse and spend some money; we had the fish n chips and they were delish!

We also visited Lunenburg and Mahone Bay, what a beautiful region!!!! Get in your car and drive!! Drive to Saint Andrews, Saint John, Moncton, the Acadian Cost, Charlottetown, Cavendish, Souris, Cape Breton, Halifax…. and if you had a European trip planned that got canceled, go to Newfoundland and pretend you’re in Ireland or Scotland, they accent will be a little different, but just go with it.

Love, love, love all the colourful houses of Mahone Bay and Lunenburg!

Hotels need heads in beds

The fall is typically conference season, hotels are usually fully booked with business travelers attending trade shows and meetings. Sadly corporate travel has been halted, this means that a lot of hotels are empty.
The lack of business travelers means that some local hotels are offering great deals!

We stayed at a brand new hotel in Halifax, Sutton Place, and in addition to getting a great rate, we were upgraded to a room with a view. When checking in tell them where you are from and be nice and you may get upgraded?

I’ve come to terms that being in fancy hotels is my natural habitat. This hotel had the BEST pillows!


The Sutton Place is attached to the convention center in downtown Halifax, this is the typical kind of hotel that I would book for my company during trade show season (I plan events for a large company); the rate we got was certainly not the a regular fall rate. Once life gets back to normal, the rate for this hotel in September/October will be double. So look up that fancy hotel that you’ve always wanted to try, call the front desk directly and tell that you are booking a mini staycation.

Do fun weird stuff!

Go on Pinterest and search fun things to do in your region, then do them! People always ask me how I find things to do, my big secret is I look up fun things to do, lol, it’s just that simple. Lately though, people have started to send me suggestions, which I love!

Here’s a fun thing, go visit some llamas!! This past summer I walked llamas and alpacas at Llamazing Adventures in Shediac; it was cool, but my cousins and I have made friends with Janet from Petitmore Alpacas and her gang of alpacas. Look them up on Facebook, you’ll need to make an appointment to visit. They’ll be open for a bit until the weather gets too wintery.

We were greeted by these crazy teenagers!!

What we love about visiting Janet is that after we are done feeding apples to the alpacas, which is awesome, we get to shop!! She makes beautiful hats, mittens, scarves….

Two of my cousins, Brigitte & Tania, we’d like to visit with our other cousins; Jen, Sasha, Sonya, Maneau and Katelyn, but they would freak out the llamas and Janet may never let us come back!! (They’re kinda loud and by kinda, I mean they are freaking loud!)

I bought a few things, some will be Christmas gifts! Speaking of Christmas, because of Covid a lot of Christmas markets and craft shows will be canceled. So please get out there and find then buy products from local artisans.

Want to find llamas in your area? Google, llamas in my area!! Lol

Here’s another fun thing to do, find a local potter, get a few friends together and visit their studio, I’m certain that they would love to have you visit!

Tania on the right, Brigitte on the left, I think the llamas could sense that B wanted to kidnap them so they were a bit afraid of her, lol.

Thank you for reading, take advantage of this lull in tourists to explore our bubble, book a hotel night, eat out, shop, just be a tourist in your own area; whether you’re lucky enough to be in the Atlantic bubble or not.

muah!
Liette

If you liked this post, you’ll probably like this one as well: https://oui-liette.org/2020/03/08/is-new-brunswick-weird-4-super-oddball-cool-things-to-do-in-nb/

Moncton, what’s there to love?

Moncton what’s there to love?

I’ve always been proud to be from Moncton and after living in the US, Las Vegas to be specific, for the past three years; I worked my magic to get transferred back to my hometown.

The most common questions asked about my big move news were: really??? And: are you happy about that?? My reply to both were yes and YESSS!!

So, why was I so keen to move back to this, who are we kidding, small city? What is there to love about Moncton?

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The little city that could.

If I had to describe the people of Moncton, known as Monctonians, in one word, it would be: resilient…and industrious. OK, that’s two words, but whatever.

Our little city has been sucker punched a few times in its history. Each hit should have knocked us out and made us throw in the towel and fade away quietly.

But what can I say? Monctonians are scrappy by nature. What do you do when you are a one industry town and that industry picks up and walks away? You pick yourself up and shake it off…oh, and you take a look at what you have to offer, then hustle to get new industries to move to your city and completely reinvent yourself.

The city with a certain, je ne sais quoi?

Oui, c’est vrai, Moncton’s French speaking population, helps make the city pretty unique. Think about it; without them Moncton may as well be Saint John; not that there’s anything wrong with being Saint John.

Moncton’s vast bilingual population is one of the resources that helped to reinvent the city. When other New Brunswick cities struggled to modernize their economies, Moncton thrived; surpassing Saint John to become the largest city in New Brunswick; oh wow, I am really picking on SJ aren’t I? Sorry!

Moncton’s mix of French and English, who BTW live together in peace and harmony, also give the city a live & let live/laisser faire, vibe, which I love.

Big thinkers?

I’ve visited many small towns and cities in both Canada and the US, that have very small town ideas/thinking, which is perfectly fine, but Moncton is a small city with a big city vibe and outlook. Maybe we don’t realize that we are small? Or maybe thinking big just comes naturally to us?

Whatever the reason, this big, little city, has a very cosmopolitan vibe and is open to new ideas and new people. Maybe it’s because Monctonians are so well traveled? People here travel…a lot. I thought that this was normal until I went to smaller and bigger places and met people who had never been anywhere.

My grandparents, who were two old school Acadians, became globetrotters once they retired. They had a lust for life and wanted to see and experience as much as they could, this is a very Moncton way of thinking. They even visited China! Fun fact, I didn’t realize how insecure my grandmother was about talking in English until my dad and I took her to Florida and she kept asking me to ask the waitresses stuff, yet she visited Europe and beyond; my dad was also a globetrotter; I discovered that he had traveled to Africa twice when he was in his twenties. I guess that’s where I get my globetrotting genes?

I think that because so many Monctonians travel the world it makes us, well more worldly, lol.

It tastes good.

It’s easy to take local things for granted until you have something to compare them to. Growing up in the Maritimes, going to the wharf with your dad and waiting for the fishing boats to come in to buy lobster wasn’t a big deal.

With a little perspective, you realize that there aren’t many places that offer the world’s best seafood, literally, fresh off the boat…like literally!

World class lobster, crab, mussels and oysters can be found here, all available in this little city.

Growing up here, in the 70’s & 80’s, there weren’t a lot of different « exotic » foods available; by exotic, I mean stuff like avocados, lol. We did have a few Chinese food places, but that was pretty much it.

Moncton now has a great diverse foodie scene, with authentic Indian, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Syrian…options. I was just told about a super cute Korean BBQ place in Dieppe, which technically isn’t Moncton, but tomato, tomato. Lol, it’s on my list to try.

So let’s be proud of our city and if you live in Saint John, be proud of Saint John!!! No matter what city you live in, big or small, get out there and find new things to try, do, see and taste!!

Thanks for reading!

muah!

Liette

If you liked this post, you just may like this one as well? https://oui-liette.org/2020/06/10/colours-of-the-maritimes/

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Beach It In NB – Canada’s Best Beaches!

Beaching it in NB – Canada’s Best Beaches

If you‘re wondering where the best beaches in Canada are, let me, let you in on a little secret, they’re in New Brunswick!! Yes NB, that little, sometimes forgotten province that you need to drive through to get to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Yup that’s the one!

And although we have beautiful beaches up the entire Acadian Coast, the best of the best are in the south eastern part of the province. Why? Because this area has the warmest waters north of the Carolinas.

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Why is the water in this area warmer than Main which is just to the south of us? The area, between NB and PEI, is shallower because it’s in between two land masses, so it warms up quicker.

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I bet you didn’t think this was going to be geography lesson? Keep reading, the pretty beach pics are coming up, lol.

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This is my last map, I promise; now you may have noticed that PEI’s south side also faces the Northumberland Straight and you may be wondering if the beaches along that coast are just as sandy and warm as the ones on the NB side? Well probably, but those beaches are most likely full of potatoes and really who wants to lay on a beach full of potatoes?? I know that I don’t. (Please note that the amount of potatoes on the PEI beaches may be slightly exaggerated for comedic effect? But honestly, who really knows?)

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What isn’t in question are the beautiful, sandy and warm beaches from Murray Corner, Cap Pelé, Shediac to just past Bouctouche.

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How warm does the water get? In August the average temperature in Shediac can reach 24 degrees Celsius. That’s pretty much bath water for most Canadians, lol.

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Now the beaches in Nova Scotia aren’t littered with potatoes, but they are very rocky, unlike NB’s sandy beaches, so don’t bother going to those.

The dark colour of the sand gives the water the most beautiful shades of blue.

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We are also blessed with the highest and lowest tides…in the world!!! You’re probably a bit skeptical about my accuracy after my potato beach statement? But this is a fact, you can look it up if you don’t believe me. This freakish phenomenon means that at low tide you can walk on the sandbars looking for sand dollars or starfish.

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The three most popular beaches are Parlee Beach in Shediac, l’Aboiteau in Cap Pelé and les Dunes in Bouctouche. But there are many more that are just as lovely, like Grande Digue, Caissie Cape and Cape Bimet. Soooo many amazing warm beaches!!!

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Living away from the Maritimes for the last few years, I now have a new appreciation for fishing boats, lighthouses and colourful buoys. They are post card perfect and very Instagramable.

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For my Ontario and Prairie readers, these are buoys, see below. They get attached to lobster traps and fishing nets. Each fisherman will have his or her own colour or their specific number on them. You don’t touch another’s buoys! Unless you want to sleep with the fishes.

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The blue water and sky are made even more beautiful with pops of the bright green shades of beach grass. If you can’t see the beauty in this, then we can’t be friends, you can stop reading at anytime now, I am breaking up with you.

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Our pristine NB beaches are littered with oyster, mussel and clam shells with the prettiest shades of blues and purples.

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Having grown up swimming in the ocean this is my happy place, I love floating about.

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The smell of the salty air is intoxicating, I think anyone who has grown up near the ocean feels the same way, even those from the PEI potato beaches.

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Another bonus is that there really aren’t things in the water here that can kill you, even our jellyfish are pretty tame and they are all but gone by July.

Sooooo, this just in! Apparently there are great white sharks a little too close to the Northumberland Straight for my comfort. They’ve been spotted and tracked to the north and south of us, but there have been no sightings or attacks in our area. I am hoping the tides will keep them at bay? I’ve also been told that they have always been this far north, but we didn’t know until they started tagging and tracking them. I am choosing to not dwell on this so that I am able to enjoy my swims without hearing the Jaws theme song in my head, over and over again.

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In August one of my favorite things to do is to meet a friend or two at the beach for an early evening swim. Watching the sunset from the water is truly magical.

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And there is nothing better after a hard day of beaching than a fresh seafood feast!! Like, fresh, fresh!!

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I do have to warn you that all day beaching, sun-ing and swimming is exhausting!!! Oh and I have one other cautionary advice for you, when snorkeling, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your butt, speaking from experience…ouch.

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I think this picture above tells the tail of how exhausting all that sun and sand is; I could barely keep my eyes open while we waited for our fried claims and scallops at Pirate de la mer.

My plan is to get in as much beach time in the next few weeks until the air turns and gets cooler, announcing the arrival of fall.

Thank you so much for reading! Please check out my Instagram and Facebook accounts at: oui-liette. And feel free to comment, like and share.

muah!

Liette

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Sorry to PEI and NS for the shade in this post, I still love you! But NB beaches are just better 😬

Llama-zing Day!

Llama-zing Day!

I’m always on the lookout for fun and different things to do, so when my friend Sue told me about Llama-zing Adventures, I knew that I needed to book a llama-zing walking tour!!

Llama-zing Adventures are located on Aboujagan Rd in Haute Aboujagane, NB and have been in business for a whole three weeks! The owner, Josée, posted a few pics on social media and her little business exploded…well, not literally, but she did get so many hits that it blew up her website, a few times.

Her original goal was to book a few tours that would help pay for some of her animal expenses; but what is happening is that her llama/alpaca gang are raising money that will give them a few more acres to roam free!

Llama-zing Adventures currently offer beach and river walks, with plans to do some fun things during the fall and winter too. I booked the river walk as a thank you to my blog helpers, Monique and Jack; my cousin Nicole rounded up our foursome, yup another cousin, I wasn’t lying, I have lots!!

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We got to choose our walking partners; Jack got Linda, Nicole got Luna, I got Brenda and Monique got Pearl.

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Once we were paired with our walking partners we were off! They were easy to walk and loved getting their long necks rubbed. They each have their own unique personality.

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Nicole’s alpaca, Luna, was very vocal and talked to us almost the entire time, man did she have lots of stories to share! She also had the cutest, little, dainty face.

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Monique’s Pearl had crazy bangs and a rad gator Mohawk. Josée told us that both the llamas and alpacas act a lot like cats; they want attention, but can also be aloof. Luna and Pearl are house trained and spend time in Josee’s house. Luna acts more like a dog than a cat…or an alpaca, she loves cuddles and watching TV. We laughed and asked Josée what her favorite TV show was, turns out she loves Blacklist, which is hilarious!!

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And then there was Linda, she’s the boss and always needs to be the lead llama on the trail. Jack said that she was a sweetheart.

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I waked with Brenda, who’s smart as a whip, we were told not to let them snack during the walk as it would slow us down and take us hours to make it back. I swear she knew that, due to Corona, we needed to stay a llama’s distance apart. She would walk fast to catch up to Luna, knowing that we would then have to wait for Luna to walk a bit in order to keep our distance, which meant that she could snack while we waited. Please note the animals are very well fed and get special treats after each tour. I think Brenda just loves to eat, which is fine, she’s blessed with a great metabolism. Josée did share with us that there was a bit of a wild party a few nights ago and, long story short, Brenda may actually be eating for two?

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Our walk lasted about an hour with a few stops  to take pics and to enjoy the scenery.

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It was a really fun way to spend the afternoon! I am not a llama or alpaca experts, but they were so well behaved, you can tell that they are well taken care of and enjoy their walks; the max that they walk during one day is 4 km.

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If you do the river walk, I suggest you wear your sneakers, Nicole had walking sandals and it was a bit muddy as it had rained earlier that morning. You should also come prepared to smile and forget your worries for at least an hour.

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To book a walking tour go to the Llama-zing Adventures website: llamazingadventures.ca and follow them on Facebook & Instagram!! We all need more cute llama faces on our feeds!

Thank you for reading!!!

muah!

Liette & Brenda

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If you liked this post check this one of Jack and I riding camels in the Mojave Desert!

https://oui-liette.org/2018/07/29/sober-in-vegas-or-not/

 

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche…again

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche…again.

After posting my Bouctouche edition of Day Tripping in NB, my friend Lisa, who now lives in Montreal, told me about a lavender farm in Bouctouche that I needed to visit.

It just so happens that the following day I had a beach day planned at the Dunes in Bouctouche with my friend Alie. I asked her if we could make a stop before heading to the beach and she was onboard.

She had never heard of Lavender at Ocean Breeze Farm and she’s originally from Bouctouche, so we looked them up and we were off!

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As we approached the parking area, we could see rows and rows of beautiful purple lavender fields. As we got out of the car, I could feel myself getting more and more excited; if you don’t feel happy walking in fields of lavender, there is something seriously wrong with you..like seriously, you need to get that checked, lol.

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These fields are an Instagramers dream and we did see a few photo shoots while we were there; the owners, Carly and her husband Paul, welcome anyone who want to visit and walk their fields, sniff their lavender and take a few pics.

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I asked Carly what inspired her and her husband to start a lavender farm here in Bouctouche of all places? Carly has a British accent so it was very apparent that she isn’t from the region, she’s from Whales, but Paul is from the region.

They met 26 years ago when they were both working on a cruise ship, Carly still works on ships as a Cruise Director. She explained that they had all of this land and decided to plant an acre of lavender and see how it would grow? Well it grew so they planted another acre and then another; they now have 4 acres in total; and having traveled the world they wanted to bring a bit of the French countryside to New Brunswick.

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Meet Carly

They are in the process of restoring their barn, it’s already beautiful, I can’t wait to see it when it’s fully completed. They’ve already booked two weddings!!

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Look at all of this natural wood!! It’s so impressive when you walk in and look up.

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They also have a shop in the barn where you can buy their lavender products. I bought their facial scrub and body lotion and I need to go back for some lavender oil.

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They sell these beautiful lavender soaps, they are perfect for wedding favors.

I also bought a bunch of fresh lavender and should have bought more, it’s the prettiest darkest shade of purple that I’ve ever seen, it’s my new fav colour.

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Lavender at Ocean Breeze Farm is the first agrotourism lavender farm in the province; Carly explained that because of our winter’s their fields will never be perfect or look exactly like the ones in Europe, but being able to visit a lavender farm, then cross the street to a beautiful beach, Les Dunes, followed by a fresh lobster roll, at Pirate des mers, on your way home seems pretty close to perfect to me!

I asked Carly about their future plans for their lavender farm, their venue lends itself perfectly to weddings and events, so they will be hosting more events in the future, as the word gets out. Their lavender product lines will grow, as will the size of their fields, but her ultimate goal is for people to come visit the farm and to just breathe, she wants us to relax and to “take a breathe”.

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I love that sentiment and you really feel that vibe when you’re on the farm. Some will never get the opportunity to walk the lavender fields in the countryside of France or England, but you can walk the lavender fields of Bouctouche!! Ok technically they are in Saint Edouard, but tomato, tomato…did you just read that with two different pronunciations?? Ah!! Of course you did! Lol

Thank you so much for reading!! I am going to share a few more amazingly pretty pics and here is a link for my two last Day Tripping in NB posts. And finally, I have a cool give away coming up so go like my Instagram page: oui-liette for details on how to enter to win my Sassy Summer Basket!! Launching my contest this Friday.

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche (the orginal): https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/19/day-tripping-in-nb-bouctouche/

Day Tripping in NB – https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/11/day-tripling-in-nb-cornhill-nursery/

muah!!

Liette

Oh and be sure to like and follow Lavender at Ocean Breeze Farm on Facebook and Instagram, they are currently only open for visits on weekends, see their sites for details and updates.

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They grow two different kinds of lavender.

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Harvest, drying time

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Fun fact, Carly told Paul she wanted a pony and he bought her this, technically it is a pony, check the name on the tractor, lol.

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Here are Carly and Paul, clearly not in the French countryside.

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