Is New Brunswick Weird? 4 super oddball cool things to do in NB.

Is New Brunswick Weird?

As a native New Brunswicker, I don’t think so, but I have to admit that there are some freaky things going on here.

We have a hill that pulls your car uphill; we have a river that changes direction every 8 hours. And we have tides so low that you can walk on the ocean’s floor; if those things aren’t weird, than I don’t know what is?

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Here are a few wonderfully weird things to do and see in New Brunswick! Because let’s face it, normal is boring!!

#1 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in New Brunswick – Sleep in a castle!

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Growing up I’ve always wanted to live in a castle; to be honest I still do.
How many Canadian cities can brag about having a giant castle in the center of their city? And how many of those can you spend the night in?? Soooo…I don’t know the answer to either of those questions; these are rhetorical questions, obviously! My point is, that there probably aren’t that many?!

I do know of a castle that you can sleep in and it’s right here in New Brunswick! Castle Manor, in Moncton, rents out rooms via Airbnb. Sleeping in a castle is our first awesomely weird thing to do in NB.

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Fun fact; when I was a little girl I believed that the Friendly Giant and Rusty lived in Castle Manor. I suspect one of my older cousins told me that fun fake fact and I whole heartily believed them…for a long time.

If you don’t know who the Friendly Giant is? I feel bad for you; it was just the best children’s television program ever! It ran in Canada from 1958 to 1985; think Mr Rogers, but as a giant with a giraffe and a rooster as his side kicks; oh and he played the recorder…oh and every episode ended with a cow jumping over the moon; why? Why not! Look up, waaaay up and google it! Ok, I digress…back to sleeping in castles.

I am not going to lie, after decades of driving past Castle Manor, I was soooo excited to have the opportunity to go in and check it out.

It’s been completely renovated and it’s beautiful!! They have 13 units that you can rent; each comes with a full kitchen, washer, dryer; everything you will need while traveling and more! Each unit has it’s own unique layout and they have done their best to incorporate and keep historic structural pieces.

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I wish I had realized that these were available to rent when I was traveling back from Las Vegas on a regular basis last year. These are perfect for business travelers or families on vacation.

The penthouse suite is gorgeous!!! I could see myself living here; with my crown of course!

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Many of the units have exposed stone walls; they have kept the original staircases and stain glass; no expense was spared!

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Please note that the rooms don’t come with crowns, so you’ll need to bring your own.

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Now can you spend the night in a Castle without a crown? Yes, of course you can; don’t be silly. But should you? My answer is no; my mother always told me to go big or stay home. And if wearing a crown isn’t appropriate in a castle then where can one wear a crown?? And honestly if you’re going to do oddball fabulous things, then be a fabulous oddball while doing them, for goodness sake.

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Now did I go a bit too far with my crown pics? Yes, of course I did; that’s just how I roll! 👸

#2 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in New Brunswick – Chill out with a gang of alpacas

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Have you tried goat yoga? FYI don’t wear your best Lululemons, the goats will poop all over them! Goats are so 2019; Alpacas are way cooler!

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Seriously alpacas are having a moment at the moment, which is great timing because hanging with a gang of alpacas is our second awesomely fabulous thing to do in NB.

I recruited two of my cousins to help me with this visit. They are crazy…I mean they are crazy animal lovers; so I thought they would love being up close and personal with a gang of alpacas and I was right!

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We visited Petitmore Alpacas in Harcourt, NB and you really need to visit them too! I must say that the hour we spent with the owners, Janet, Bart and their family of alpacas filled our hearts with joy; and I am not even being dramatic!! We had smiles on our faces the whole time.

We fell in love with Charlie and Ruthy, two of their females with big personalities. We got to feed them lots of apples and it turns out alpacas love taking selfies! Who knew??

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Above, Charlie and I discovering that we go to the same hairdresser for our highlights, lol!!

As if spending the afternoon with a farm full of alpacas wasn’t fun enough; guess what else you can do there? Shop!!!
They have the softest and the most amazing, hand made, hats, socks and more! This is your opportunity to shop local!!! 

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Here we are showing off our new tuques! We also placed an order for matching ones; you can buy off the rack or place a custom order. To be honest, it was an excuse to go back in the spring! Crazy cousins, from left to right; Brigitte, Liette and Tantan, aka Tania.

Please follow Petitmore Alpacas on Facebook @Petitmorealpacas and check out their hours of operation. During the winter months they are only open by appointment; but will be opening with all the bells and whistles in late spring ish. And if the rumors are true, there maybe as many of 6 new baby alpacas come this spring!
#3 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in New Brunswick – Ice Caves

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Do you struggle to find fun activities to do with your kids or your posse during the winter? You could go for a regular walk in the woods; or you could explore Midland’s ice caves.

The caves are actual waterfalls that have completely frozen up. Someone breaks two holes in the ice to make an entrance and and exit and voilà, ice caves! You can walk behind the frozen falls, making it feel like a cave.

This outing includes:

– A bit of cardio: That first 30 min or so are uphill; I liked that the uphill part was right at the beginning. It’s mostly a slow incline so it’s not so bad. I was feeling the burn by the time I made it to the top though.

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– A relaxing, breathtaking and beautiful walk in the woods: The walk through the woods was so relaxing and the smell of fresh air was so invigorating! Man I love NB!!
Here’s a tip; dress in layers. The uphill portion was a bit windy and cold, but once you get in the woods you’re sheltered from the wind so it gets hot!!

– An adrenaline rush for all the adrenaline junkies out there: Depending on the weather, the hill leading down to the caves can be slick and icy?
Remember that once you get down, you need to eventually get back up! There are ropes that you can use to pull yourself back up.

As soon as I got down, I started contemplating how the hell I was going to get back up; and by contemplating, I mean worrying. I ended up going with the bear technique; which is climbing on your hands and knees. I followed a family; the mother kept saying; stay low and crawl like a bear. I figured if those directives were good enough for her kids, they were good enough for me!! I just feel in line with them; ok, I butted in the line between her kids and the dad. Making it back up the hill was enough adrenaline for me.

Metal spikes on your boots wouldn’t be a horrible ideas… just saying.

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In order to get into the caves, you need to crawl up to the entrance; most ended up sliding in on their bellies or getting pulled in; neither were graceful in case you were wondering.
And to get out you needed to slide down a solid ice slide. A fresh layer of snow would have made the conditions less icy and less dangerous.

The odd look on my face in the pic below is me making the decision that I wasn’t crawling in there!! This is my; “yeah, no!” face.

The line to get into the cave was a bit long; it was very entertaining to watch people figure out what their cave entrance strategy was going to be? Everyone waiting in line were very supportive and encouraging of each other. What I love about Canadians is that we can respectfully make fun of perfect strangers in such a way that no one gets offended; so waiting in line was my favorite part…well it was fun once I decided I wouldn’t be going in. I just pictured myself falling on my face in front of everyone; but it turns out my brother didn’t get the scardy cat gene, so he was ready and psyched to check it out.

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While I was people watching the only two people who made it in and out with a bit of dignity and grace were some 5 or 6 year old boy, who was obviously high on sugar or hyper active? And my brother, who turns out is very graceful and gazelle like.

– The perfect backdrop for next year’s family Christmas cards: It didn’t matter where you stood, the backdrop was beautiful! And the lighting in the woods in the afternoon is magical, no filters in the pic below.

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– It’s also a dog lover’s paradise; which is similar to a Gangsters Paradise. Not sure how many of my readers will get that reference? Lol.
Our journey back was a bit longer than it needed to be due to the fact that we needed to stop and pet every dog we encountered on our way down the hill.

#4 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in NB – Learn a new language!

As if being the only officially bilingual province in Canada wasn’t cool enough; we’ve invented a third; it’s called Chiac.

It’s a combo of English words mixed in with a French base. It’s pretty easy to master once you get the hang of it; example: chu right fatigué. Translation; I am so tired. You can pretty much replace the French word, tellement, which means very, with the English word, right and you’re half way there. You can also replace “I”, which is “je” in French with “ej” or “chu”; and congratulations! You’re speaking Chiac!

Now I’ll get you to the intermediated level; ready? OMG y’était right tannant au party hier soir! Le party était right lame, anyways, on la ditché. Translation; he was such a pain in the ass at the party last night that we ditched him.

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I love these Chiac t-shirts, they are from @dowdstreetstudio, check them out on Insta.

Two words that Acadians love to use are; tannant, which means pain in the ass and picasse, which means cranky. So if you are in the region and someone calls you tannant or face picasse, it’s not a compliment.

Your last lesson will get you through the most important part of your day; ordering your coffee at Tim’s. Here we go; ej prendra un large double double svp.

So is New Brunswick weird?? Maybe so? But only in the most amazingly fabulous way!! Find yourself a few like minded weirdos and get out there and explore!!

Hey, do you know of any fun, weird things to do in NB?? If so, please let me know.

Thank you for reading and please share!!!

muah!

Liette (your favorite NB weirdo)

Bonus funny facts and outtakes

The picture below looked like a lovely shot of the frozen falls and the people waiting for their turns. Until I noticed something a bit disturbing; check out the arrow; it looks like the legs of a dead woman. She was actually not dead, but being pulled into the cave, lol. See I wasn’t lying when I said that there was no graceful way in!!

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Brigitte and I considered getting these at Petitmore Alpaca Farm, but decided on something a little less….extra.

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Another, behind the scenes secret; turns out alpacas can be a bit skittish, so it’s good to use your inside, quiet, voice. I kept having to remind Brigitte of this, but the alpacas were just too cute and she had a hard time controlling her excitement. She also wanted to take one home with her; and by one, I mean like 5!

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A Winter Wonderland Dinner Party

A Winter Wonderland Dinner Party

This Christmas Eve in honor of my big move back to The Great White North, I decided to throw a Winter Wonderland themed soirée. I’ve done a Plaid Christmas for the last two years in a row, so it was time to move on. This theme would also be perfect for New Year’s Eve, birthdays, anytime really. It’s also very inexpensive all you really need is paper and scissors.

In this post we’ll plow through helpful tips on how to turn your dining party into a freaking blizzard. ❄️

A Frosty Table Setting

I always focus most of my energy on my dining table; it would be great to have the budget to transform your whole house, but my budget is frozen this year. (Sorry, if you keep reading you’ll have to put up with my wintery puns…not sorry!!)

Before we talk about what will be on the table, let’s discuss the actual table. When I had my little house, I used to have a large sheet of plywood that I would place on my table to turn my small table for 6 into a big table for 12.

If you’re going to try this idea make sure to place something in between your table and the plywood so you don’t scratch your table top. I had a piece of carpet padding, which worked perfectly.

Also! Did you know that you can rent tables and chairs?? I will be hosting in my new fancy downtown apartment, but my furniture is still making its way here from Las Vegas.

No table? No problem! I am renting one from Clowns Around/Bob Lee Productions, they are located in Dieppe. It’s perfect, they will drop off the table, chairs and white tablecloth and pick them back up afterwards. It’s really not that expensive, you can save a few bucks if you pick it up yourself, but for an extra $35 ish, it’s easier to have them drop off and pick up.

I rented a white table clothe and silver napkins and then then layered white and silver things. In the center is the table I had a big white bowl filled with silver tree balls that I bought at the dollar store, snowballs and a set of mini lights that turned out to have a blue tint which was perfect. I scattered plastic snowflakes on the table that I also got at the dollar store.

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Snow Globes

I like having assigned seating for my dinner parties. Something fun is instead of having regular name place cards are personalized snow globes. I bought snow globes online, there is a slot to put in a picture and to add water. Your guests can take them home with them.

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Social media is a great place to download pictures of your guests if you don’t have any good ones in your phone.

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Here is how my table looked with everything put together.

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Let It Snow!

And you can’t have a Winter Wonderland theme without snow. If Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, you can make your own.

I invited my friend over to help me make it snow. I have no idea how many snowflakes we cut? We cranked the Christmas music and chatted away. This is a super inexpensive way to create a bit of drama.

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I tapped these on my light fixture and omg!!! It came out beautifully!! It was the focal point of the room; I named it my blizzard chandelier.

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I may keep these up all winter?? Lol

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I couldn’t host without a Christmas Tree, I bought this tall skinny one. Since I only have a couch and a chair in my living rooms, I added a bunch of white balloons to fill the space. It was another inexpensive way to add a bit of drama to my theme.

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I shot a quick video before my guests arrive, I will be trying to add more videos to my posts in 2020.

Even though I plan events for a living and I am always fairly calm, cool and collected; I had a moment a few hours before my party that I started to feel a bit frazzled. The lead up to the holidays is a lot! We tend to be overtired and can get overwhelmed.

I had to check myself and remind myself that this was meant to be fun and that my guests, in this case 9 of my family and friends, wouldn’t care if things weren’t perfect.

So an hour and a half before they arrived I took a hot bath in my super big bathtub! I love my new place and it was exactly what I needed to chill out!

If you feel yourself getting stressed instead of rushing to get everything perfect, walk away! It sounds counterproductive, but we don’t need added stress. It’s perfectly fine to have your guests help you finish off a few last minute things when they arrive.

I ended up hosting my fancy dinner party in my pink slippers and nobody judged me!!

One last party tip, find an activity or game to play after dinner, we played Jenga and it was hilariously funny!

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Happy New Year!!

muah!

Liette

For additional pictures and videos, follow me on Facebook @ oui-liette

 

 

Canadian AF

Reflections from a Canadian Living in the US

Canadian AF

A strange thing happened to me when I moved to the US; I have never felt more Canadian. Having traveled throughout the United States for the past 15 years, I didn’t think moving to the U.S. would be all that different; and in many ways it wasn’t, but there are a few key things that make Canadians…well Canadian. Here are just a few.

But first, I want to kick off by saying that this is, in no way, an anti-American post. You don’t have to put something down in order to lift something else up. And that may be the most Canadian thing in this post?

After much reflection, here are my four categories that, I believe, all Canadians have in common and make us Canadian AF.

Sorry, but we really are that polite!

It’s a stereotype that all Canadians are polite; I am sure there are a few Canadian assholes out there roaming around, but most of us are uber polite. And yes, we do say sorry a lot…sorry about that.

If we bump into someone, we say sorry, but if someone bumps into us we still say sorry. It’s just automatic, we really can’t help it, it’s in our DNA. I once tried to stop saying sorry so much, to be a bit more “hard core” or “cool”; just something I thought I would try on for size. But it didn’t work, it kept slipping out…sorry!

Why do we do this? Here is my theory; if we are in the wrong, we say sorry because it’s the right thing to do. Now when someone bumps into us, we still say sorry; are we really sorry? No, we aren’t, but by saying sorry first it gives the other person the opportunity to say sorry back. It gives them the opportunity to redeem themselves as a decent human being, lol. Saying sorry is Canadian AF.

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Nothing more Canadian than a large double, double!

The Good Ol’ Hockey Game!

It’s true Canadians are crazy for hockey, it unifies and defines us. How much as it creeped into our national identity? Well I suspect that at this very moment every Canadian reading this, now has Stompin’ Tom Connors Hockey Song in their head…you’re welcome!

Stomping Tom is a great example of a true Canadian Icon; did he have movie star looks? Nope! Did he rule the pop charts? No, not even close. He was a scrawny cowboy born in Saint John New Brunswick and raised in Skinner Pond P.E.I, who sang songs about Canada in a nasally voice. Songs like Sudbury Saturday Night and Bud the Spud, trust me, teen girls didn’t have posters of Tom hung up on their bedroom walls.

But his song about our national sport is played in rinks across Canada. You are Canadian AF if you can’t help but sing the chorus when it comes on: “Oh! The good ol’ Hockey game, is the best game you can name. And the best game you can name, is the good ol’ Hoceky game.”

When we hear that song we know what night it is? Americans have Friday Night Lights. Canadians prefer Saturday nights, why? Because it’s Hockey Night in Canada! That’s why!

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My dad’s team playing in Holland in the 70′, that’s him on the right. 🙂

It doesn’t matter what part of the country you are from; millions of us share the same childhood memory of getting dressed in our skidoo suits, putting our skates on and going outside to play. There was always that one dad who would flood his backyard and make a skating rink for the neighborhood kids. I was lucky enough to have “that dad”.

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We start em young in Canada.

We played for the cup every day; we pretended we were Gretzky, Lemieux or Maurice the Rocket Richard. We would stay outside till our toes and cheeks were numb or till we got hurt, whichever came first.

Proud of the Maple Leaf

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My friend Robin and I being Canadian AF in Europe.

Canadians are a bit more reserved when it comes to showing our nationalism. Unlike the U.S., we are a bit more chill and reserved. Maybe that’s why we love hockey so much? It gives us the opportunity to wave our flags without feeling like we are showing off.

Our pride comes out in funny and unique ways. When with Americans, we often feel the need to point out fellow Canadians.  Example: A Shawn Medes song comes on the radio:” hey he’s Canadian”. A rerun of Star Trek comes on: “did you now William Shatner is from Canada?” We see a picture of Michael J. Fox: “he’s Canadian too, did you know that?” Howey Mandel, Pamela Anderson, Alex Trebek, Lorne Michael, Canadian, Canadian, Canadian, Canadian!

Feeling the need to point out each and every Canadian that we see or hear while with non-Canadians is Canadian AF.

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If you have ever graffitied a snow bank, you are Canadian AF!

Although we aren’t known as an “army nation”, we are very proud of those who have served. Canadians, although very polite, are scrappy as hell! We have served alongside the U.S. in every major war since World War I, except for the War on Iraq.

We have a reputation around the world as Peace Keepers, of that we are very proud.

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If you have ever skated on the Rideau Canal on a -37 degree day, you are Canadian AF!

Not to brag, because that can be seen as un-Canadian, but I think we have more heart than anyone else out there. Yup, I said it!

When the Tragically Hip announced their farewell tour and the CBC aired their final concert, the whole country watched…I am serious, the whole country watched. And those who were away, watched online. And when Gord passed away, the entire nation mourned. That makes me very proud to be Canadian!

The Great White North

No we don’t live in igloos, no we don’t have polar bears in our backyards; we have moose and deer…geeze!  And yes we do have summers here too.

We get a bit defensive when we are asked those questions. But truth be told, winter is a big part of being Canadian. It’s the one thing that we all have in common; it gets cold and it snows.

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If this looks like a normal Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday, you are Canadian AF!

I believe that Canadians talk about the weather more than anyone else in the world. We do so, so much, that it has turned into a greeting. Instead of saying hello, we will say: “nice day eh?” or “some cold out there eh?” And yes we do really say “eh”, but Americans say “huh”…a lot!

I read somewhere that the highest rated Canadian channel on television is the weather channel. It’s because we have weather, lots and lots of weather. I now live in the desert and I must say, I miss real weather, lol. Full disclosure, I don’t miss it in February when I am in flip flops! lol

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If you have ever left the house dressed like this, you are Canadian AF!

If you think 0 degrees Celsius in February is a warm day; you are Canadian AF!

If as a child, you fought with your mom, because she made you wear your Halloween costume under your skidoo suit; you are Canadian AF!

If you have sworn at a plow driver at some point in your life; you are Canadian AF!

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If you have ever rung in the New Year at a skating party, you are Canadian AF!

If you are from Saskatoon, Yarmouth, Red Deer, Fort McMurray, Rivière-du-loup or any other Canadian AF city and have secretly made fun of Toronto for over reacting after a snow fall; then you are Canadian AF!

And finally, if you have ever heard of Saskatoon, Yarmouth, Red Deer, Fort McMurray or Rivière-du-loup; you are definitely Canadian AF. 🙂

Thanks again for reading all the way to the end! To my Canadian AF country men and woman and to my American friends. Let’s not forget or let anyone try to convince us that we aren’t friends and partners!!

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Canadians and Americans different, but the same in many ways.

Please feel free to share this post with your friends, that would be mighty Canadian of you, lol. Like and comment below; what is your most Canadian AF thing?

Muah!!! Eh!

Liette

(I am also on Instagram and Facebook: oui-liette)