Where We’re Vacationing in September (You’ll See it Too)

Annapolis Royal Lighthouse

First, thank you so much for the huge response to my White eBook survey, I love my readers!! I’ll announce the winner of my SW Colour Boards in my next post.

Okay, so here’s what’s happening. . . . we’re going to explore Atlantic Canada, September 6 – 17th!

Terreeia was born in Nova Scotia but I’ve never been to the Atlantic Provinces so we’re going there in September to see historic sights and visit some of Terreeia’s family.

Given this is the oldest place in Canada and I’m from the west coast I admit I know very little about it so I’ve been brushing up on my history and geography. NOT.

Shopping in Montreal

Montreal, Quebec

My face turned beet red Friday night while I was having dinner with my friend Virginia. I told her we were going to fly to Montreal and spend a day for a little shopping first and then take the overnight train up to Halifax.

She said, “So you’re going to Nova Scotia first.”

Halifax. I said.

“Uh, that’s Nova Scotia.”


Anyway, don’t tell anyone I said that ; )

Because to make matters worse, I was just telling Terreeia this story and she tried to make me feel better by saying, “It’s not like someone from Halifax would know where Sooke is!”

“Yes, but Nova Scotia is the capital of Halifax, so technically I should know that”, I replied.

She said “Reallly? Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia!”.

We burst out laughing, OMG I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time!

I seriously need to stop while I’m ahead.

Okay, back to the itinerary, which Terreeia wrote by the way, let’s just be clear, haha.

Orient Express

Hopefully it’s this glamorous!

The train ride is 24 hours and we have a sleeper with shower and meals included. I haven’t slept on a train and I’m looking forward to the adventure of seeing the oldest part of my country by train. And there is wifi in the dome car, hooray!

We don’t want to zig-zag so after we arrive in Halifax we will fly to St. John’s Newfoundland. Founded in 1583, St. John’s is the oldest city in Canada and most easterly city in North America and I’m looking forward to seeing Jelly Bean Row. I would post a photo but I want to take my own to share with you.

Anne Shirley

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” –Anne Shirley

Then we head back to Nova Scotia and rent a car. Our list includes touring Peggy’s Cove, Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Annapolis Royal, then we head to Prince Edward Island for coastal drives with a mandatory visit to Avonlea Village, Green Gables and maybe even fit in the Anne of Green Gables musical.

Peggy's Cove

Peggy’s Cove

That’s our list so far. It’s a 12-day whirlwind trip and we’ve decided to keep our options open once we get there to book B&B’s or hotels. If we like a place we will stay longer but figure 2-days in St. John’s, 2 days in PEI and the rest of the time in Nova Scotia.

Map of Atlantic Canada

Here’s the map just in case you need it as much as I do!

Do you think that’s a good or bad idea? To not be heavily planned and booked?

I would love any suggestions on ‘must-see’ or do. You’re the best with filling me in on everything I need to know!! I’ll be blogging so you’ll see it too, my lovelies! xo Maria

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  1. Your trip sounds wonderful! I read Anne of Green Gables as a child, and have always thought PEI sounded like paradise. As for traveling, I’m the type who does mega research, and books all the places to stay ahead of time. I find security in knowing where I’ll be staying each night. Not spontaneous, but feels safe to me.

  2. We cruised on Holland America from Montreal up the Seaway to the Ocean and ending in Boston. Each day you can go ashore and take the various tours to the same points you plan to see. I highly recommend it!

  3. From the looks of these comments, you are going to an incredible place. Please feel free to share several posts of what you see. I’ll probably never make it there, so I live vicariously!

  4. My daughter and I have wonderful memories from a train trip we took together when she was 10 years old. We had a sleeper with its own bath and free meals, room service and first call for the dining car. The views were fabulous – what a great way to travel!

  5. Maria! Please consider a *slight* change in your itinerary. You must see Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick. http://www.thehopewellrocks.ca/
    It is so beautiful especially witnessing the tides coming in and going out. We went out East 10 years ago and Hopewell Rocks is what I remember most fondly! xo

  6. Oh oh oh! I’ve always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island and Avonlea village. Have a wonderful time. I can’t wait to hear the stories you’ll tell.

  7. You will absolutely love the area! Having family that came from PEI and Halifax we wanted to explore the area. One place we stayed & enjoyed was the Red Rose Tea Mansion B & B. Don’t know if the owners are the same but we had a lovely stay there in St. John. We visited Avonlea as well as I too was an avid reader and watcher if Anne of Green Gables. I wish I could remember the lovely B & B we stayed at nearby. We also took the ferry to Visit President Roosevelt’s summer home, Campobello. We also went whale watching off the coast and camped at the Bay of Fundy. A beautiful part of the country!
    You will have a beautiful trip. I am sure the train trip will be amazing as well. Curious to hear reports of that as my husband wants to take the train across Canada as well , so keep us posted!

  8. Have a great time! My dad’s ancesters came from Scottland and settled in Prince Edward Island. My maiden name is MacFarlane and the name is so old on the island that it is on the map! We visited about 30 years ago and it is one of the prettiest places I have ever been. Take lot’s of pictures!

  9. Hi Maria, great that you are coming out East, but if you want to relax and get a feel for a place and its people, I would suggest slowing down and enjoying one province – PEI, NL, or NS.
    Of course, if Tereeia’s roots are in NS, it’s a no brainer! Sept. is a a perfect time to visit! I would be happy to elaborate on a possible itinerary. Feel free to email me with questions. Btw, I live in Mahone Bay, on the South Shore, one of the most picturesque little towns in the province. Come spend some time here!

  10. I have been to Canada four times now and being an Aussie totally relate to the beautiful open spaces and warm friendly people. I think if I wasn’t Australian I would want to be Canadian. Both coasts are spectacular each with its own attractions so I plan to get back there in the next couple of years. Everyone will tell you to see ‘this’ and see ‘that’ but really you won’t go wrong with whatever you put on your itinerary plus it gives you a reason to go back and see more next time.

    • Actually “Last Tango in Halifax” is based in Halifax, England in the U.K. You are right though, the scenery in Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada is breath taking.

  11. I spent my first 20 years in PEI, moved away for 20 years and moved back in 2008. I marvel each day, even in winter, how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place. I hope you enjoy visiting our little piece of heaven.

  12. Maria, when in St. John’s take in a night on George Street enjoying traditional food and music, and get “screeched in”. Stroll the harbour and visit the shops on Duckworth and Water Streets. A trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting Signal Hill and Cape Spear Lighthouse. Newfoundland is full of culture and friendly people. Enjoy my new home!

  13. “I have travelled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty Cape Breton outrivals them all”.

    -Alexander Graham Bell

    As we say in Cape Breton Ciad Mile Failte- “a hundred thousand welcomes” ( the traditional Gaelic greeting extended to all who come to this island. The Gaelic language, while all but lost to many parts of the Celtic world, has remained vital in certain Cape Breton communities to this day).

    Maria have a wonderful time, September is a lovely month to visit here and there will be lots of choice in accommodations- many are on beachfronts. Great place to unwind..

  14. Maria, have a fantastic time and enjoy every minute. But if you wouldn’t mind my saying, take a word of advise about travelling by night train. If possible take a look at the cabins on the internet and book the most comfortable you can afford. On a sleeper from Paris to Rome, my daughter and I shared a three person compartment (bunks stacked 3 high)with a female traveller and I felt like a sardine and was unable to sit up during waking hours. Bring something comfortable to rest your head on, (the pillow became flat in 10 minutes) and plenty of wipes because access to running water is limited. If you have an option of fold down seating that allows bunks to swing over them, grab that compartment and reserve early to select the best bunk. Bon Chance!

  15. I wanted to share this link to customized tours for things like local fibre and folk arts and (and great food and scenery).
    I really hope you enjoy your trip. PEI really is a lot more than a tacky tourist joint as was suggested by another poster… Enjoy, relax and be inspired! Safe journeys!!

  16. Absolutely love the east coast! Definitely recommend Lunenburg and Mahone Bay. For dining in Halifax, I highly recommend “The Bicycle Thief”, great food and ambience! Hope you are having lots of fun 🙂