One of the most significant adjustments we’ve made over the past year has been getting used to driving everywhere. In our old life, we lived in a large urban area right outside Washington, D.C. where everything we needed was within walking distance of our house. In fact, it was not uncommon for me to park the car after work on Friday evening (Kevin took the subway to and from his office) and not move it again until Monday morning. Transitioning to living in the RV has meant driving a lot more since most campgrounds are not particularly close to the things we want to see. None of it is that big a deal, but we did love living within walking distance of things and we absolutely miss that feature of our former life.
So when I learned that there was a campground located right over the Canadian border that was within walking distance of a historic town, I was immediately intrigued. Since we didn’t know what to expect during our border crossing (we heard some stories of people zipping right through with no problems and other stories of people waiting an hour or more before having their entire RV searched by border patrol agents), we wanted to find a campground close to the border so whatever happened, we would be done with our travel day soon after. As I looked into the town of Saint Andrews, located just 30 miles from the international border, it looked like a great choice. Turned out, it was.
Best of all, during our nine night stay, we didn’t drive the Xterra once. It sat parked next to Barney enjoying a well deserved rest after being run into the ground for the past year. We walked or biked to the little downtown area numerous times, sometimes to get provisions from the store, sometimes to enjoy meals, and sometimes just to gawk at the pretty houses, shops, and inns that line the main street. (Here’s a helpful map.)
The neighborhoods of Saint Andrews are full of idyllic homes and historic churches…
and there are several sites worth stopping to take a look at….
The Atlantic surrounds the town on three sides, offering endless opportunities to enjoy ocean views.
Speaking of views, Saint Andrews is located on the famous Bay of Fundy – home to the largest tidal changes in the world. Every day, the tide rises and falls some 24 feet (in other locations farther east, it changes 50 feet!), and the tides change every six hours, so we were treated to an ever changing landscape. I took some low tide/high tide photos from the same places to give an idea of just how different the landscape looked throughout a given day.
The town also has some beautiful bike trails and walking paths, giving visitors no shortage of places to meander. While out on our bikes one evening, we even got a friendly welcome from Canadian Bambi!!!
Speaking of friendly welcomes, while the campground we stayed at was the kind of place we generally don’t like (read: Where you’re ass-to-elbow with your neighbors), everyone we met was so incredibly friendly, it didn’t even matter. When we first arrived, not one but two neighbors came over to offer their assistance, (whaaaaat????). We also noticed that several seasonal residents had signs inviting folks to come by and hang out on their patios, and everyone we encountered on our walks was happy to say hello.
Random fun fact: The word “amazing” is kindof like nails on a chalkboard to me. If you go back and read this entire blog (which you really should, it’s amazing), you will not find that word anywhere before today. Perhaps it’s bizarre, but I think most people have some word or phrase or cliche that drives them nuts, and for me, it’s “amazing.” I think it’s because I spend a lot of time reading travel blogs and Instagram posts where it is used All. The. Time. And when it’s used to describe, say, the Grand Canyon, or a thousand year old Sequoia tree, or Crater Lake, I have no problem. But when it’s used to describe a chicken sandwich, a little part of me dies. And it’s been used to describe a LOT of chicken sandwiches.
So when I spent an afternoon visiting Kingsbrae Garden, and the word that kept coming to my mind was “Amazing,” I had a bit of a crisis of conscience.
But eventually I decided not to despair….
Because, unlike the chicken sandwiches often extolled on Instagram, these gardens are actually mind boggling.
The 27 acre property is divided into some 19 individual themed gardens and filled with unique pieces of art. The smaller gardens include flower gardens, a container garden, a touch garden for the visually impaired, a butterfly garden, a children’s garden, a meditation garden, a maze, and an orchard. There’s also a small animal enclosure with alpacas, goats, and, reportedly, other animals (they were being shy when I visited).
What was so – wait for it – amazing to me was the variation of plant life, the planning that obviously goes into what appears to be organized chaos within the gardens, and the fact that all of this grows so beautifully in Canada…a country known more for its snow shoeing opportunities than its greenery. I would expect horticultural perfection of this magnitude in San Diego, not Eastern Canada.
The property is absolutely astounding, nee…Amazing! and I strongly suggest you visit if you are anywhere within 100 miles of Saint Andrews.
And before my next photo collage, I thought you would appreciate a little poem I wrote…
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I know no one actually wants to look at 400 pictures of individual flowers
But too late
Wait… should I try to turn that into a Haiku??
We’ve made our way back to Canada after our brief return to the United States. We don’t have any concrete answers on Dixie’s situation (naturally), but the vet had some theories and we are making treatment decisions based on those theories. Hopefully, we’ll see some improvement soon. I’ll write more about all of that in my next post. In the meantime, the doctor gave us the go ahead to continue with our travel plans, so that’s what we’re doing.
And with that, I will now get ready for my brothers to start texting me about how everything in their life is “amazing” since they now know it annoys me.
Ah well…. Until next time….
Where we stayed: Kiwanis Oceanfront Camping