5 things on my Fredericton to-do list this summer

Barracks Fine Craft shops, Fredericton TourismI recently wrote a piece for Fredericton Tourism’s new website, and the research process reminded me just how many things our family has still to explore in this beautiful city.

Here are the top five things on my to-do list for Summer 2016: Continue reading

8 beautiful beaches in the Maritimes

Beach combing at PEI National Park's Cavendish BeachThe Maritime provinces – New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia – are blessed with hundreds of beaches. Whether you’re looking for white sandy beaches or something more suited to beachcombing, we’ve got it!

While our family has many years of discovering new and wonderful beaches still ahead of us, read on for a few of our favourites so far: Continue reading

oTENTiks at Prince Edward Island National Park’s Cavendish campground

oTentik 6 at Prince Edward Island National ParkI have never seen better proof of the power of paternal affection than watching my husband pack the car up for our camping trip last week. Gary hates camping. Actually, hate might be too soft. He abhors the idea with every fiber of his being. Years of Army training combined with the reality that bugs of all varieties find him delicious exhausted all his patience for being out in the woods many years before I met him.

But we have a four-year-old, and she really wanted to go camping. (Admittedly, there may have been some coaching by Momma, who believes that camping is an essential childhood experience.) I found Parks Canada’s version of glamping – the oTENTik – online and reserved one at the Cavendish campground, assuring Gary that I didn’t mind taking Amelia myself (which was true).

Having been promised that there were actual beds in the oTENTik, and faced with his daughter’s excitement over the impending camping trip, Gary gamely signed on.

And bought 5 cans of bug spray.

birdwatching4 days of beachcombing, COWS ice cream, coffee on the peaceful dock overlooking the salt marsh, campfires, and many s’mores later, we were headed home and my husband informed us that he actually enjoyed the trip and would go back! I can’t imagine a more ringing endorsement than that.

If you’re thinking of checking out the oTENTiks in the Prince Edward Island National Park for yourself, read on for answers to the questions we had before we went.  Continue reading

New Brunswick Highland Games Festival

New Brunswick Highland Games at Old Government House, in FrederictonIt’s difficult to imagine a better setting for the provincial New Brunswick Highland Games Festival.  Government House in Fredericton, with its imposing building, sweeping lawns, and centuries-old trees soaring overhead, is at once awe-inspiring and relaxing.

Highland games are a celebration of Scottish culture, and they’re held throughout the world. The New Brunswick Highland Games is a comprehensive affair with competitions in bagpiping, drumming, heavy events (more on this later), and highland dancing alongside a Scottish festival featuring entertainment, clan booths, and a variety of workshops (Gaelic for beginners, a beer-tasting workshop, and a heavy events workshop where you could try your hand at turning a caber were among this year’s highlights). Throw in some food vendors and a kid’s corner, and you’ve got something for everyone. Continue reading