Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Tourist Day in Western New Brunswick

Sometimes there is no need to shop (or no shopping available), so what better to do with your almost 10 month old little dude?! Have a Tourist Day!

Last week we found ourselves in western New Brunswick. The Mr. was there for work and we were his chauffeur to/from leaving us with the full day (8am to 5pm) to be tourists. For those of you who follow me on Instagram you had the chance to follow us that day on Instagram Stories - here are all the details and some of the videos from that day as well as pictures to capture our western New Brunswick Tourist Day. Watch the videos to get my 10 second "real time" narratives!

Naturally, I started to think of what we should do and the first thing that came to mind was to go buy some Covered Bridge Potato Chips from their hometown of Hartland. So off we went...but before going to the Chip Factory it seemed fitting that we stop by the covered bridge itself and walk through it. That didn't go so well however...
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This bridge is the longest covered bridge in the world at 1282 feet (891 meters) and was designated a National Historic Site in 1980. It is situated in the heart of Hartland, a town I have visited twice before (once to play volleyball in middle school and the second time for business meetings) but have never taken the time to learn anything about the bridge and its significance. 
Although not one of my favourite selfies in the world, we have one... so at least we could move on to the next stop with proof we were there in hand (aka in my phone). My little dude had some time to stretch, get a bum change, play with a water bottle (the cause of a meltdown later on... wait for it) and we were off to the next stop.
Side Note: I had never thought of using my trunk earlier in my little dude's life (probably because it was winter) but ever since I have discovered that I can easily change him in the trunk of my SUV it has made our lives a lot easier! To those of you still looking for pubic bathrooms with change tables - give it a try! Your little one doesn't care where they are changed so long as they have a clean bum for the rest of the day!
 Oh yeah, if you're wondering what its like to drive through the bridge... have a look!
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Like I said, the real reason we were in Hartland was to visit the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Factory. Side Note #2: I LOVE the show Food Factory on the Food Network. Any of the How it's made type shows get me every time and this visit felt like a chance to host the show via Instagram Stories. Side Note #3: It is getting increasingly more difficult to take pictures of my little dude since he wants to be on the move ALL THE TIME! As you can see, one of his new favourite things is sticking out his tongue.
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The tour is self guided and cost $5. So two things: 1) I would have preferred a tour guide just because I find it fun to hear from someone that works at the place and get the "real" story, but 2) with a soon to be 10 month old baby a self guided tour was the way to go! We went at our own pace, learned about the parts that interested "us" the most and spent as much time as we wanted watching the potatoes being cooked and moving through the process.
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Watching these videos again I now realize my voice sounds WAY less enthusiastic than what I really was at the time... I am 100% sure this is because there were other people watching as I filmed and narrated these clips... not only did they think I watched for a VERY long time, but they also had expressions which indicated they thought I was losing my mind for videoing/narrating this experience. So, don't be fooled - I was having a blast but trying to be subtle, haha.
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I am trying not to hype up this tour too much, because I realize this kind of thing is not for everyone. BUT, then we were told we were going to get a bag of kettle chips fresh off the factory line. My always hyper little dude somehow seemed to know that this would be his first taste of a chip! Since they were fresh off the line, and not salted, I figured he could give his new teeth a try and enjoy a bite with me.
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The chips didn't disappoint - They were delicious!

To top things off, at the end of the tour there was a line of spices to add to the chips we were given. Luckily I had quite a few left and was able to sample a few of the flavours. My favourite spice was the brown sugar cinnamon. It made me feel like I was eating a beaver tail... delicious!
   
We bought a few bags of chips and then we were off to our next stop.

Since this was a Tourist Day, I decided to take the "old road" and not the double lane highway to drive from Hartland to Woodstock. It was a great choice! The road was in great condition with very little traffic and had some spectacular views. Since my passenger fell asleep along the drive I stopped in the middle of the road to take this picture. I have to admit, being in places like these where it is possible to do things like stop in the middle the road to take a picture doesn't happen to many people very often. So when you find yourself on a back road or not so busy main road as this happened to be - take advantage and enjoy being in a place where this is possible!


We arrived in Woodstock in time for lunch. I chose Walter's Table Family Restaurant - all in all it was good. I think my expectations were a little high... when I saw "family restaurant" I was expecting something like what my grandmother would cook for me. Although it was very good, it was nothing like my grandmother's cooking... but really, I'm not sure they serve that kind of food anywhere but her house!

We spent the next hour or so walking around main street and trying see all the historic buildings as suggested by the Town of Woodstock's website as well as learning a bit about New Brunswick's first town. I am still not 100% sure, but there were several law firms and buildings named after lawyers so I am assuming this has some significance... what I am not sure, but likely something.
         
Just as our picture perfect day was winding down it happened... not 1, not 2, but 3 little dude meltdowns. I should have known that things were going WAY to well considering he woke up earlier than normal that morning, and had about a 30 minute nap in total throughout the day (he usually naps at least an hour just in the morning...) So with an hour left to go before picking up the Mr. I decided to feed my little dude his dinner. Since he is super mobile these days I thought leaving him in his car seat would be a good idea... it wasn't! On the second bite he hit my hand launching baby food all over the place including in his eye. He freaked out (I assume it was stinging...) as I tried to wash out his eye and clean up the food all around him. It's amazing how far 1 spoonful of baby food can go, haha. THEN, he was not cooperating to eat and was still upset about his eye so I decide to give him a bottle. After all he loves his bottle...well, usually. Remember him playing with the water bottle earlier and loving it?! Well he spotted it while I was trying to feed him his bottle in the front seat and kept turning to get it. When I moved it so he couldn't reach it he freaked out yet again. This time louder than the first time. In fact, I am chalking this one up as his first temper tantrum! I was proud of myself for not giving in, but was thankful we were not in a public place during this whole episode. And the last meltdown I cannot even remember what the cause was... 


The lesson for a crazy mama like me: He is a baby and quite possibly doesn't think an 8 hour Tourist Day with little time for napping allowed is a great idea! I have to admit that although I realize he is a baby I often have to step back and remind myself that he doesn't keep the same busy on-the-go pace I am used to... he likes to be on the go, but not for 8 hours.
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Thankfully, he slept the whole drive back to Fredericton and we ended the Tourist Day on a peaceful note. I have to say, even though I am supposed to learn from the meltdowns and "get" that he is a baby, it was a great day and we will definitely be having another Tourist Day in the future!

Don't forget, even as a tourist, take time to enjoy the little things!

My shoes for that: The shoes I wore that day and have worn for many touring days - Madrid Birkenstock sandals in patent navy with red soles (purchased on a trip to Antwerp, Belgium)


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