We woke up early to get on the road, as it was a long drive to Moncton. However, we ended up getting on the road around 8:30am, which was pretty good. Breakfast was at Tim Horton’s, and gave us the caffeine fix to get through the drive.
We drove to Bangor via I-95, and took Route 9 to Calais (border). Most of this route was simply trees, trees, and more trees. However, the occasional isolated village or roadside stop broke up the monotony and offered some interesting insight into the area.
We stopped for lunch near Alexander at a roadside restaurant called "Nooks and Crannies". Though we waited a long time for lunch (there was a large party who arrived just before us), the food was good. My in-laws each had Greek salads and souvlaki, I had a burger, and Jason had fried clams. They had some interesting decorations about the place, such as a half of a boat built into the corner of the house.
It took about an hour to get through the line at Calais to the border guard, and through Customs. Since we hadn’t been to Canada in a while, our car was searched, but everyone was nice and quick about it, no harm. Politeness goes a long way, on both sides. As we pulled away and out of the town, Jason and I started singing… "Our country reeks of trees…" with apologies to Ren and Stimpy.
We took Route 1 up to St. John, and stopped by Ossie’s for some ice cream on the way. They had good soft serve, and it really hit the spot. It wasn’t warm out, but the sun was strong in a cloudless blue sky, and it felt good to stretch the legs.
We discovered that our phones all changed times just before we crossed the border, as that part of Canada is on Atlantic Time, rather than Eastern Time. It changed back and forth a couple times, so there must have been dueling cell phone towers, battling it out. Our cell phones all now said ‘Rogers’, so that is evidently the local telecom giant.
We drove up to Moncton and found our hotel thanks to the GPS. It was a Best Western I found through Hotels.com (http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwestern/productInfo.do?propertyCode=64007), and Uncle Raymond and Aunt Nancy met us there. They had us follow us to the other side of town(s) for dinner at one of their favorite restaurants, Le Paysan. Wonderful seafood and steaks, much more food than I could finish! Uncle Raymond is a hoot; I liked him a lot – full of fun and life, even in his 80s.
We went back to the hotel after dinner, pooped after a long day of highway hypnosis and cramped leg muscles. My in-laws have a Ford F-250, and it is very roomy, but sitting for 8 hours in the day still cramps you up some. The hotel beds were dead hard, and none of us got great sleep.