Friday, September 11, 2009

Mon Voyage À L'Acadie: Part 11: Moncton & Homeward

Next, mom and I drove down to see our English Canadian relatives in Moncton. Mom took a photo of this floral arrangement in downtown because it is rare to see one that includes cattails. Nice, isn't it?

We went to another seafood restaurant for dinner and there was a view of the Bay of Fundy at sunset when we left. These are some photos I took of it. In the first one you can see two kids playing on a raft if you enlarge the photo.

One day, we drove to Magnetic Hill to buy to some maple sugar candy and fudge. I thougt that the display was rather artful and took this picture:

The fudge was delicious!And the maple cream my mom treated me to was awesomely tasty. I had never had it before. I think she's been holding out on the good stuff all these years.

For all the readers who are not familiar with maple sugar candy, here is a photo of it from the internet. It has a somewhat crystalline consistency outside, but the inside is maple creamy and delicious and melts in your mouth.
Here is a photo of maple cream. My mom waited until I was 53 to introduce me to this drug of choice! Is she mean or what? This great stuff is a hard block of sugary confection that breaks off into chunks of mapley delight that will melt in your mouth. This is what the locals savor, you know, the ones who know what they are doing. It is totally unlike fudge, that dilutes the joy of maple.

On our way out of Canada, we kept our eyes peeled for the small native blue berries and saw a stand. Mom bought a HUGE amount of berries [they freeze well]. But, the muffins I tastes a couple of weeks later were a delight! I hear she also made a pie, but I didn't get any!

We kept talking about getting photographs of moose signs as we were zipping by them in Canada. But we never did. So this one is off of the internet and is from Maine. The ones from Canada were larger and more impressive and asked motorists to report moose sightings in were in French.

We dropped Mom off in New London at the ferry and she took this shot of Vasco on the ferry as they steamed their way home to LI. We had a great time, but it is wonderful to get home after a long trip! Doesn't this puppy look happy to be going home?

- finis -

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mon Voyage À L'Acadie: Part 10: Bouctouche & the Birthplace of JC Irving

Well now. How does one come down from the excitement of le grand tintamarre? I asked my cousin if he had gotten it all out of his system and could spend the oncoming year being contained and sensible without any outbursts of the sort I had witnessed the day before. He gave a wry chuckle and disagreed.

"No, I am charged up for the oncoming year," he exclaimed. "It filled me with the energy to go on in my life as an Acadian! That is how I feel. That is until the next tintamarre."

And so I bid my cousins sweet farewell until I could return... who knows when?

My mother and I hit the road bound for Moncton and our English cousins.

On our way we stopped for lunch at Bouctouche, New Brunswick. This marsh was behind the visitor center. If you enlarge it, you will see the heron in the middle.

The real reason we stopped there, though, was to see the Irving Memorial Chapel and the koi pond. This Scottish Kirk is constructed of stone with an open timber post and beam roof that is exteriorly covered by slates.

Here is the interior view:

Here is a photo of the window over the altar:

But here is my real draw; the koi pond! Here are two fellows working on it when we drove up. Fortunately, the younger one is in charge of keeping it! How lucky to come upon him!

Aren't the plantings divine? Look at the size of it! The fish must be huge! It is many times the size of my koi pond.

Finally I got his attention and we got to talking about koi, and he told me that the fish are only 3 years old. So, not so big yet. But he fed them and they are gorgeous!

You can see his hand throwing the food. He said that the fish hide from herons under the netted grill and that in the winter, there is a deep area under there where it doesn't freeze. So, they winter over right here in the pond.

These last two images are from my mom's iPhone.

Here I am contemplating how great it would be to have a job as a koi keeper here!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blue Eyed Susan Passion Flower In Bloom!

My brother gifted me with this blue eyed Susan passion flower at some time that eludes me right now. But, this morning I noticed that the bud I had been watching had cracked and I knew it would open today. So here it is a bit later in the morning as it had just unfurled. Isn't it pretty?

And here it is this afternoon in full bloom. The petals have actually folded back towards the stem.

In this photo you can see the entire plant which is on our porch out of the second story bathroom.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mon Voyage À L'Acadie: Part 9: LE GRAND TINTAMARRE

Now, we come to the big goal of my trip, Le grand tintamarre in Caraquet, NB. We had arrived early and the official parade was supposed to begin at 6 PM Atlantic time. So, with time to kill, I walked around and snapped some photos.

Here is a man from the Savoie family. According to his genealogy, he is descended from royalty. He looks it too. I could see him in a crown. But right now, I think he needs another hand.

I am glad I took a photo of these costumed people, because I never did see them again in the parade! Click to enlarge.

Here is a papillion; it looks a bit hot out for a dog today.

Oh, mom and I did take time for some Caraquet oysters. This handsome young man shucked them for us and they were DIVINE! Raw and firm with briney goodness! Slurp!

There were Acadians from Louisiana at the food court behind the church who were deported there during the horrible times of 1755. They offered very unspicy versions of shrimp etouffe and jambalaya. But, they were inexpensive and filling, so we ate them.

Then it was time and the parade began! OMG! It was so goshdarn noisy! A din for sure! I approached the street and couldn't tell where the parade began and the audience was. It was just a huge, noisy milling crowd of humanity. A crazy, Acadian riot! Out of control! I raised my camera to get a photo of all the commotion.

It was like this one day of the year, August 15, all of these typically reserved Canadian people just let loose and go nuts making noise with airhorns, clackers, maracas, clappers, tambourines, whistles, drums, and what have you.

Also, there was a costume and float contest to liven up the parade. Below, these two fellows figured that drag is always a good bet in costuming.

Here a fiddler adds his music to the din.

These fellows' add their muscles to the costume contest.

Landry and Arsenault are the two Acadian names here. Google them if you want to know more about them!

These two gals are dressed in old timey frocks, but wouldn't stand away far enough for me to capture the pretty hems of their dresses.

The family name here was Mourant, which means to be dying. In their float they featured a dying man who is being administered an IV of tequila! LOL!

This was so much fun! A hug Acadian flag that spanned half the street was passed over the parade and observers and parade marchers had to lift it over with their hands. It was so inclusive and bonding for everybody!

This was an impressive float because the actors were painted white and stayed in character and the boat was so spooky.

This was fun - a ship decorated like those we saw in the fleets!

The Acadians are a very inclusive people as shown by this African man. He and others like him, plus some Acadians played some Rastafarian drum rhythms.

These two ladies were selling maple leaves with Acadian family names on them.

Now, here is a way to get attention - get on top of a cherry picker!

Here I am at the parade [my mom shot this photo with her iPhone and all the rest]! I even joined it for a bit when my cousin invited me to. How could I turn him down? I am not Acadian, my mom's family is Quebecois, but on August 15th, everybody is Acadaian!

Isn't this a colorful shot?

I hope you enjoyed the photos, here is a video of the parade!

Video source: Capcadie, more videos there