Monday, July 30, 2012

Fredericton Trip and Tea Leaves

The Waterfront, downtown Fredericton, NB
The past few days have been very fun! Chris and I headed to Fredericton on Friday morning to go and visit Brad, one of his best friends. Brad and his girlfriend Bonnie were fantastic hosts and drove us around the city, showing us the sites, bringing us to wonderful restaurants and even introducing us to many delicious and local beers. I was shocked that Fredericton is not at all what I had expected. I was expecting a "big-city" kind of place but it was basically just a larger version of Charlottetown. There aren't any massive sky scrapers or anything of the sort. It's definitely more spread out than Charlottetown with more people, but it has the same feel to it meaning that you still get the "small-town" effect when you're walking around.

Our first night there, a group of us headed down to The Garrison which has a beer menu of over 100 kinds of beer. In other words, this was my kind of place. I had the Portabello Chevre Burger (portabello mushroom with goat cheese...drooool) and the Dooryard Organic Ale tasted oh-so-good as an accompaniment. Fredericton really pushes their Picaroon's Traditional Ales which is a local brewery and I must admit that the beers are really good. I easily tried 10 varieties of their beer over the trip and even though the were darker than I normally drink, I enjoyed each one very much.

The Mezza Sampler Plate
The next morning we hit the Farmer's Market which was awesome! It is a good sized market with lots of vendors featuring over 250 local suppliers. I was impressed that the place opens at 6am (even though we didn't wander there til about 10:30ish) and that there was so much of everything to choose from. Afterwards we all wandered around downtown for a few hours then went to lunch a the Cedar Tree Cafe which reminded me so much of Nelson. The food was mostly organic and all made from scratch from mostly local and natural ingredients. I had the Mezza Sampler plate which was an assortment of Lebanese foods including hummus, tabouleh, baba ganoush, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, pickled turnip and warm pita. YUM! The remaining 24 hours was mostly just visiting with Brad and Bonnie, doing some shopping, barbecuing, board-game playing and we even busted out the Super Nintendo. Oh yeah! 

The Kitchen Witch Tea Room, Kensington, PEI
Today is Monday and is Rachelle's birthday (Happy Birthday Boss-lady!) For her birthday, she decided to make me close early at work and go on a PEI adventure with her. And since she's the boss and I have to do what she tells me to, I agreed willingly! After a few wrong turns and some reassurance from Google Maps on her iPhone, we found ourselves at The Kitchen Witch which is a great little PEI gem. It is an old house remodeled into a restaurant/craft store where the food is all made from scratch with no preservatives and even offers a full gluten-free menu. They have a full second kitchen to prepare all gluten-free items so that cross-contamination is not an issue. Did I also mention that after your meal you can get your tea leaves read? After my lovely pot of Mountain Huckleberry tea, I was blown away by my tea leaf reading. Like, blown away! Me, the realist and skeptic, even teared up at one point because what she was telling was so incredibly relevant to my life in every way and some of the things she said truly shocked me. I won't go into detail but it definitely gave me a lot of hope and relief for the upcoming year of my life and even though most people would think that this stuff is silly, phony and a huge waste of money, there's something comforting about a stranger telling you this kind of information. I'm not going to make any life altering decisions based on what she said, but I enjoyed the experience and will keep her words in my head for sure. 

Cavendish Beach, PEI

After lunch and a little glimpse into the future, Rachelle and I drove around for about an hour and a half and she showed me so much of the island that I have never seen, or at least haven't seen in a long time. This is such a beautiful area of the country and I wish that I could share it's beauty with everyone. I wish that more people could make it out this way to experience it, even if just once, to see what this side of Canada has to offer. 

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