Friday, September 26, 2014

Golf (and other things) in St. Andrews;-)

What a wonderful, charming, scenic little town.  In short - we loved it at St. Andrews by-the-Sea!  It was a perfect place to spend the last few days in Canada - just as the colors are beginning to explode --

Fall colors are beginning to spread as our time in Canada draws to a close.

That Bay of Fundy tide thing was also very apparent here - which we watched in the morning and evening from Magic's parking spot.  Know it sounds like a broken record - but, our parking spots have been unbelievable and this was no exception.

A group walking on the beach at low tide.

I hope they got back to shore before this.  AND - that is Maine across the water!

For a little village there sure was a lot to do here.  Our 2 1/2 days were packed - no rest for the weary.

First up was the Kingsbrae Garden - 27 acres that are part of the original summer home of Lucinda Flemer's childhood.  Her family lived here for five generations and she and her husband still spend their summers here.  However, they realized they had far more land than they needed, but they wanted to keep it green.  Finally, after months of brainstorming what to do with the property, Lucinda began overseeing plans for the Public Gardens in 1995.  What makes this such an accomplishment is that she built her garden using unskilled local labor provided by teens and unemployable adults - young and old, troubled teens and abused women, people who had never held down a steady job.  The resulting gardens are wonderful and many of those who helped create it are still employed here!  Besides the Gardens, there is a wonderful little Cafe with excellent food (we enjoyed a delicious lunch) and a group of alpacas that come to graze on the lawn outside the Cafe everyday at noon --

A couple of young Alpaca jostle at the gardens.

Remember that tide thing?  Well - during low tide here a sandbar is exposed that one drives on to get to Ministers Island - named for Rev. Samuel Andrews who built his stone house here in 1790.  In the mid 1890's Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, the second President of the Canadian Pacific Railway, discovered the Island.  Flush with wealth from building the Canadian coast-to-coast railway, he built his summer "cottage" and model farm here.   The island is only open about 3 hours a day scheduled around that low tide time so that visitors can drive there on the exposed sandbar, get a house tour and get back across the Bay before the tide comes back in!   Unfortunately, the estate changed hands several times in more recent years with most of the original valuable furnishings sold and then falling into disrepair.  However,  a trust has now taken over the property and is progressing in restoring the property.  In any event, it is still something to see.  

The low tide road to Minister Island

The Van Horne summer 'cottage' on Minister Island
The Algonquin Hotel, one of those historic hotels built by the railroad (in this case the Canadian Pacific RR), also provided much pleasure for us.  It is a wonderful old hotel which has been restored by Marriott and provided a morning of spa activities for us, a delicious dinner one night AND a St. Andrews golf course so we can say - "we finally played golf at St. Andrews"!! 

Golfing at St. Andrews ;-}

St. Andrews also provided a little Main Street chocked full of shops and restaurants within walking distance from our 'parking spot', that kept us busy when we weren't involved in all the activities above.  And, if that wasn't enough, the cute little town of St. Stephen - Canada's Chocolate Town -  was just about 30 minutes away with a chocolate factory, museum and store;-)

Farewell Canada.

St. Andrews by-the-Sea!  What a wonderful way to conclude our adventures in Canada.  Tomorrow it is back to the US.

What fun - ey?!?!

Elizabeth & Gary saying a fond farewell to Canada;-)  

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