Sunday, October 10, 2010

New England Cruise

For my 40th birthday my parents gave me a cruise to New England/Nova Scotia/New Brunswick. Mom and I got back last weekend and had a FABULOUS time. I toured everywhere I wanted yet still managed to sleep in/nap and read 4 books the week we were gone. It was the perfect getaway!

We started in New York City, where we spent the night across the tunnel in New Jersey before boarding the Carnival Glory. This was our third cruise on Glory so we knew the ship pretty well by now. Mom finally got to see the Statue of Liberty!

After a relaxing day at sea, our first port was Halifax, Nova Scotia. We spent a lovely day on a fantastic tour with Ambassatours Gray Lines--also known as the company with the kilts.

It was very pretty and included my favorite excursions of the trip. We toured the city, botanical gardens, Titanic burial ground, Peggy's Cove, Acadian Maple syrup factory, Citadel, wharf, downtown market, and many other things I can't think of right now.

While walking through the cemetery for the Titanic burials--the somber memorials, the sad tombstones, the reverence, the serious soliloquy of our tour guide.... all broken by my giggles when I saw this:

We have no idea where the rest of him was buried. {{snicker}} But it can't be a coincidence that this was the only grave in the place with lots of flowers!

And if you think I got excited about the tombstone, you should have seen me when I found the ketchup chips!
I know you are thinking--we have ketchup chips here in the States---BUT NOT THE LAY'S KETCHUP CHIPS! You can only get them in Canada.  My canuck friend, Patti, got me and Spencer hooked on these a couple of years ago. 

Of course I got a few bags to take home. How sad is it that the BEST souvenir is a $1 bag of chips???

Our next port was Saint John, New Brunswick. The fog was pretty intense the day we were there. Our tour sounded like this, "To the left you would normally see...." and " To the right blah blah blah is normally visible..." My favorite part of this tour was seeing the Reversing Rapids at the Bay of Fundy.

I included the picture of the McDonalds sign so I would remember to blog about the McLobster up in Saint John and Halifax during the summer.  Unfortunately, we missed it; but the folks there swear it is fabulous.  Almost a pound of fresh lobster salad on a buttery roll-- for $5.99!  These people are pretty much lobster snobs, so to hear them go on and on about the McLobster was kind of funny. 
Then again, back when Wendy's offered the Carolina Classic, Spencer and I ate there twice a week!

After Saint John, we went back towards the US and spent a day in Portland, Maine. We did a city tour that included several lighthouses.

It was absolutely beautiful! This is where we had our first "lobster roll" and even though it was $15.99 for a sandwich, it was big enough for us to share and it was delicious!

After leaving Portland, we spent a day in Boston. For the most part, Boston was the friendliest northern city I have EVER visited.  And the trolley tour we took was wonderful--our driver (Jay) was so much fun I was disappointed when she said the tour was over.

Boston is rich in history and the tour was very informative.  Did you know Samuel Adams did more than make beer? (yes, that's a joke!)
Fenway Park brings a tear to the eye of just about everyone there-- I guess that's what happens when you are that far away from ACC basketball, huh?
We had (yet another) lobster roll and tried the famous Boston Baked Beans.  I wanted to like them-- I really did.  But my baked beans are so much better :)  Their beans just taste like beans + molasses.  I am used to good southern style with sweet and tangy sauce filled with brown sugar, onion and bacon. We also tried "Thanksgiving on a roll" which seemed to pop up on every menu we saw.  It is basically a turkey sandwich with dressing and cranberry sauce.  Pretty good, but not as good as the lobster!

I am sure this is popular in most larger cities, but this is the first time I saw these:

The backs of many cars parked on the streets had "bump guards" because of how tight the parallel parking is in the city. The cars without these bumper thingies had scrapes and dings.  Man-- I could never live in a big city!  I am too spoiled to space and land and no panty liners on my car bumper!

After our day in Boston, we had another day at sea before heading back to the port in New York city.  A storm was hitting in and the seas got rough that last day. Mom got REALLY sick (vertigo from all the movement) and she stayed in bed the entire day.  I was fine--and enjoyed the last day with fruity drinks, casino play and a big prime rib dinner.

Speaking of dinners, the food was wonderful--as usual:

So what else fun happened on our cruise?
  • I won $25.00 on a raffle ticket.  But I had just blown $20.00 in a slot tournament and $5.00 on the raffle ticket itself, so I guess it was a wash.  But still fun to win a little something.
  • I booked the honeymoon!!!  Will and I had talked about doing a cruise to the Bahamas for our honeymoon and they were offering $50.00 on board credit if I booked then, so I did!
  • Speaking of falling in love, I fell in total amour with my Kindle.  From now on all future purse purchases must pass both the blackberry AND the kindle space requirements!
  • Mom and I tried lots of new sushi.  It was our usual afternoon snack because it wasn't too heavy, unless of course, you washed it down with too much sake...
  • I brought back lots of fun souvenirs--yes, I brought back more than ketchup chips. I realized I bought Spencer too much and even put a couple of things back for his birthday!
This blog post is longer than I intended but I have SO many photos to wrangle into a scrapbook album.  Hopefully, I will have it done before my next vacation because (shhhh!) I am *still* working on my Alaska album from last summer!!!


Leslie said...

now that's a tombstone LOL

Patti H said...

ha ha on the tombstone. Gotta love lays. great post Cassandra you are becoming a cruise whore!!

Patti H said...

ha ha on the tombstone. Gotta love lays. great post Cassandra you are becoming a cruise whore!!

Stacy said...

Oh awesome! I am lmao at Hiscock too! lol I am so glad you had fun...too bad New Brunswick was so foggy. The Bay of Fundy is really a very pretty place. Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia is awesome too.

Cheri Pryor said...

All these pictures...all these stories...and all I'm coming away with is Hiscock. lol!!