East Coastal Drive, Day 9 – Fredericton

With the high speed Internet connection at the hotel, I’ve been able to catch up on the daily posts.

You have no idea how much I was looking forward to taking a nice, long hot bath. Fundy Park did have showers but after 5 days of camping I was ready to soak these weary muscles.

But first, I woke up around 2 am to the sounds of rain patter on the tent. I knew the aftermath of Hurricane Elsa was headed to New Brunswick but not until the next night. The rain became intense for about 15 minutes and then tapered off. I checked the weather forecast and the rain was scheduled to begin sometime again that morning.

I considered packing up now while is was not raining. I have a headband flashlight which allows me to see and use both hands. So I packed the pugs in the car with the sleeping bag and got ready to go. The starry sky was intense but could only see a bit because of the trees.

To get to Fredericton, I had to drive through the National Park. It was a little exciting to be driving at 3 am through the woods. I kept a close watch for possible moose even though there were no signs posted.

Stopped at a Tim Horton’s for breakfast then headed to the Budget rental office. Slept for 1/2 hour until they opened. There was no fuss – she was ready with the paperwork. I got the same car – Mazda CX5 only white instead of silver. Pulled everything out of the silver one and repacked the white.

We headed over to the Botanic Garden. It was at the entrance to Odell park. Odell is a 300 acre park of old growth forest right in the city of Fredericton.

I decided we would take a little walk in the gardens then return to the car and take the stroller to Odell. Best of all, there were no tree roots to deal with. The map gave me an idea of where we would go – to the Rhododendrons.

The first bed we encountered were the perennials. We stayed by the trail and some of the flowers were sniffed.

We got to the spot indicated on the map and found the Rhodo sculpture.

There was another flower bed but no Rhododendrons. We explored the circle of flowers. Lavender is always a good smell in the morning.

Raisin wanted to pose by the Larkspur.

Meanwhile Greta was quite relishing the botanical grass.

Eve was over by the pond investigating the frog sounds. Up the hill I saw a kind of sculpture or building. We headed up the hill and behind a grove of bushes were the Rhododdendrons

The Rhododdendrons in this location were developed by Captain Dick Steele – a noted New Brunswick authority on the flower. He has used the NB climate to develop hardier breeds.

We headed back and I put Raisin and Greta in the stroller. We headed into Odell – which was a completely different atmosphere from the gardens. There was another person with a dog leaving the park. She stopped and chatted and marvelled at the stroller. Her little shi-poo wagged a tail at Eve but Eve wanted to go explore. This was my first encounter with dog-friendly Fredericton.

The path started going down hill. I contemplated going a little further but knowing I would have to push them back up. And I was still a little sore from the previous day’s hike. But we went down to enjoy the stillness of the trees.

I then went to the hotel hoping to get an early check in. It was 10 am so not really expecting it. He said he had no rooms ready and to come back in the afternoon. I drove downtown to the main parking lot so we could walk around.

We stopped first at the City Hall. It was built in 1875 and is the oldest municipal hall in Atlantic Canada that is still used for the administration of the city. The basement was used as a market up until 1950 – which you usually don’t see in a city hall.

There was supposed to be a musician playing country music at 12:30. The rain was holding off so we planned to come back.

We passed a woman coming out of a Family Counselling Centre. She called her co-worker who adored the pugs. She has her own dog and she told me where all the pet-friendly cafes were. I went to this one. They let us sit and rest but no one came out to take an order.

I stopped at this Guardian Ross Drug store. I was going to leave the stroller with pugs outside while I went and got water. The woman saw Eve staring at her and immediately came out with a bag of liver treats (no wonder Eve was staring). She invited me to bring the stroller in and started giving the pugs treats. She called her co-workers who were all thrilled. The liver treat bag was emptied and she opened a new one. Eve was ready to stay the day.

We passed by Service New Brunswick where there was a long line of people waiting to get in. We made so many smiles that day. I guess people were not happy to be waiting in line but brightened up when they saw the pugs. Every so often people would stop me and ask about the dogs. As I mentioned, Fredericton is a dog-friendly city with many businesses enjoying their company.

The one place the woman had mentioned was Picaroons – a brewery with a restaurant and patio. We headed there. We drove over the bridge, through a detour and found the place. The patio furniture was not out because of the rain but the picnic tables were. It was sprinkling a bit but nothing to bother about considering the forecast had been rain all day.

We got back to the hotel around 2 and asked to check in. At first the clerk said he had nothing yet. I mentioned I had been in the morning and he had told me something would be ready for the afternoon. He countered with he meant 3 or 3:30. I wasn’t about to quibble but was surprised because usually the hotel clerks are more accommodating. Then he said, yes, he did have a room. We checked in, pugs fed and I took a long, hot bath.

The view from the room wasn’t the river side but it was spacious. Greta had her king size bed back. Took Raisin and Greta out for a little walk around the hotel. I gave Eve a longer walk along the Riverfront Trail. We came across the Old Government House

The mansion was built between 1826-28 as the “official” vice-regal residence.

It played an historical moment in 1866 when the anti-confederation premier worked with the incoming premier to pave the way for New Brunswick to join the confederation. It is now the residence of the lieutenant-governor.

Everyone dreamed happily in the big bed. I could feel little Greta’s legs kicking as she dreamed of climbing over roots. Tomorrow we head to Campobello Island in the south. I don’t know what the cell reception will be like so wanted to get this last blog post done.