Wednesday, 2 July 2014

My Family Vacation

July 1 and 2

 Happy Canada Day (yesterday)! I started this on the 1st, but misjudged how long it would take to get all the pictures sorted. So I'm extending Canada Day...

 I love this country, and I thought a great post would be about the trip I was just on. As I've been talking about it for a while, my family and I were headed to Newfoundland. We arrived back on June 29th. My mom made this trip possible, and it was a really great family adventure.

 Before leaving, and even after coming back, I've had more than one person ask if the reason we went was to visit family. That question baffles me because I didn't think we needed a reason. So - no family, we just wanted to spend some time in a province full of great history, interesting people, and beautiful scenery.

 The last time I was in Newfoundland was in 1998, and it's just as beautiful as I remember it. This time, the experience was with my family, and I loved sharing some of it, and experiencing other parts for the first time with them. It was also a different season, so I got to see things I hadn't on my first trip like icebergs and whales. 

 I think all places in this world have something great to see, and hope to visit many, but in the meantime, I also enjoy seeing my own country. I'm so proud of this gorgeous country, and I'm so glad to have spent a week with my family in my favourite province (other than Saskatchewan). So: two stones; I'll share my photos from my trip, and share yet another reason I love Canada. I'm going day by day, trying not to post many photos, but I take a lot of photos, so it's doubtful I'll follow through.

Day 1:

 This was the first thing we saw upon arriving. We got there at 8am, Newfoundland time, after travelling all night. We parked and went for breakfast, but luckily parked in front of the harbour, and this statue. On the morning of Canada Day, Newfoundland takes time to remember those lost. They celebrate Canada in the afternoon. It would have been interesting to be there for this day.
Our first meal at a recommended breakfast restaurant. Bagel Cafe. I ordered Halibut and eggs because it really seemed like the perfect first Newfoundland meal. (Although, I love bacon).

I had seen Erin's Pub 16 years ago on Water Street in St John's. I was pretty excited to find it this time (and have a drink in it). The morning we arrived, I just posed in front of it.

The first morning involved a lot of tourist shopping. Most of what I bought was for others, but these were my first buy for me, and one of my favourites. Seriously? Awesome flip flops. I also had my sister by my side, encouraging my buy. (Love her!)

After we checked in, my dad took a nap, and we tried to figure out what to do so we'd stay awake. We chose Botanical Gardens in St Johns. It was a great decision, and also involved feeding ducks! I'm a sucker for anything that involves feeding animals.

I took about five thousand pictures of the flowers at the Botanical Garden. These two were my favourites. Of MANY.

Day one was our first iceberg sighting. We all took many pictures of our first iceberg... without knowing how many great ones we'd see in the next days. This was VERY zoomed in.

Day Two:
I apologize in advance. I loved this day too much to just post a couple of pictures.

We started off the morning with a trip to Cape Spear. I was here with Katimavik in 1998. That year, the waves were HUGE. The rocks I'm sitting on, would have been covered in waves. They were a lot smaller this year. I've posted a smaller picture of my previous visit.

I LOVE foot pictures. It's like proof I was there, but gives the selfies a break.

I love my sister. Cape Spear photos.

Jo and the lighthouse.

This picture was a fluke. My sister was taking a picture of me sitting on the rocks, but I also saw a whale at the same time. This is the only picture I have of the quick and uncooperative whales. Icebergs are much easier to photograph. Still - awesome!

My mom and dad are about to celebrate 40 years of marriage. So my sister and I made them shirts for their anniversary. We also made some for us, so we could take dorky family photos. Team McCrea. 

 Next in the day, we went to a little place by St John's (and Cape Spear) called Mobile to go for a boat trip. This was the wait for the boat to arrive. I love the picture of the rocks. The second is pretty much my pose in most photos. I'm not very original. 

It was just the four of us, plus the driver and tour guide on the boat, so it was a great first boat experience for us in Newfoundland. We didn't see any whales, but lots and lots of birds. The actual Molly Bawn website seems like it's been hacked, so I'm adding a link from Trip Advisor. tripadvisor

This is my biggest nightmare. Bird scare me.

Puffins are cool though.

Sheep! On an island in the middle of the ocean. What's cooler than that?

For supper, we stopped at the YellowBelly pub. BEST food ever. And great beer.

 Stopped to sing with this guy on George Street. He loved it. Plus my sister looks gorgeous in her photo bombing face.

 Last, we stopped at Erin's pub. Was fabulous. Great band played called Generations. My parents loved the music, and we all had a fantastic time. Also bought C an Erin's Pub tuque! 

Day Three: (last day staying in St Johns)
 Signal Hill. Newfoundland and Labrador. 
Quick story, I tripped shortly after this picture (above). I missed a step, and twisted my ankle, and continued the day (and week) with a VERY sore ankle.
And ANOTHER beautiful iceberg.

Signal Hill. We climbed down many stairs to see the icebergs and ocean from a closer and different view. (With the sore ankle). The second picture shows where we hiked from (and had to hike back up to). I went down with my dress and birks... wasn't a problem.

 Had a tasting and tour at the Quidi Vidi brewery. My mom discovered she doesn't hate beer. The whole thing cost 10 dollars, which is a pretty great deal!

 Quidi Vidi area. And freezing water to help my ankle.
We had some time for Water Street shopping. Including Freak Lunchbox.

Lobster for supper. Delicious!

Day four:
Heading towards Twillingate. With a stop in Terra Nova National Park. My new foot protection.

Terra Nova. The Marine Centre was closed, but we still got to look around. It was a huge flashback for me. This is the place I worked while in Newfoundland in 1998.

Foot in the ocean.

 I used to work here! Was sad not to be able to show it to my family. Closed on Tuesday? Seriously?

I built a boardwalk in 1998 with the Katimavik crew. Is this it? I have no idea. 

Gorgeous place.

 I used to live in this town for three months. The house was located behind the Irving. That's the only reason I could still find it. We actually moved to a different house after a couple of weeks, but this one was easier to locate. Glovertown had no tourist things for us, we just so I could show them the town I lived in.

Almost to Twillingate. Another iceberg photo.

This is where we stayed in Twillingate.

Out for a show our first night. Newfoundland singers. And Touten with great jam.

This was also the day I missed Clint the most. I missed him all the time, but was having a hard time that day particularly. Maybe because of all the driving we did. Or just because my heart was homesick for it's other half. I gave him a call that night (we usually text), and felt better.

Day Five: The only day with bad weather.

We got up in the morning and headed for our second boat tour of the trip. This one included A LOT of rain. No whales again, but we saw A LOT OF ICEBERGS. Way more than in St Johns. Twillingate has a lot of bergs, and a lot of Bergy Bits. The pictures below are of our tour. It's hard to post just one. Take notice of the owl shaped iceberg. How great is that?

 He also showed us how he checks the Lobster traps. And caught a couple.

Next, we got out of the rain. We went to a winery. I was super excited about this, as I'd done some research about it before we left for Newfoundland. It wasn't nice enough for a glass of wine while watching the 'whales' and icebergs, but we did a tour and sampled wines. I had wine (Moose Joose) Ice cream. And then I bought a case of wine. 10 dollars for delivery. You can't go wrong. Can't wait for it to arrive!

I just can't resist sticking my head through a sign.

Went to explore after that. We found this. A beautiful place to lay your pets to rest.

Day Six: Today we left Twillingate after breakfast, and headed towards Gros Mourne National Park, along the Viking Highway. We decided to drive through Gros Mourne so we could get as far as we could, and then return to the Park on the return trip. We were headed for St. Anthony, or some place near there. After travelling all day, after we stopped for supper, we decided to spend the night. Mostly because we were exhausted. It made the trip in the morning a lot shorter.

The hotel in Twillingate had homemade jam with Nefoundland fruit and bread every morning for breakfast. It's a delicious way to start the day. 

We stopped for lunch just before Gros Morne, This is poutine. With dressing (stuffing) and meat. Unhealthy but OH SO delicious. 

 We stopped for some pictures in the park. Gros Morne is gorgeous. That's all I could remember of it. The beauty. My memory was correct.

 Outside of Gros Mourne, we needed to get out of the car, and walk, so Jodi and I went waterfall hunting. 3k walk for small falls at Torrent River. Still great. Mom and Dad drove which meant we only had to go one way.

This is at our new home for a couple of days. Tucker Cottages. We didn't last long out there. Black flies were attacking.

 Jodi and I decided to go on one more hike. We left Mom and Dad to relax, and went to find the ocean. It was 2k each day, so we got lots of walking in this day. As long as we kept walking, and didn't stop to take pictures, the insects didn't get to us.

And last picture of the day. I got my own pull out bed! First time the entire trip I got to sleep like a starfish!

Day Seven: We did a lot in this day.

Started off my day with a Newfoundland specialty. Bologna and eggs... When in Newfoundland...

Saw the Thrombolites. They only exist there and in Australia. 

Reminded me of the move with Kevin Bacon. The scary one with the rocks.

 My mom and I went 'offroading' to touch iceberg bits. So awesome!! (and cold).
Pretty darn gorgeous.

Showing my rock climbing expertise. In a dress.


After fighting the bear, I FINALLY found an iceberg to pose in front of with my iceberg beer. My family must have been SO sick of me.

Hello. Seafood Chowder? I love you!

 Jodi and I made friends with some vikings. 

 We went to a Government run viking village. It was cool.
Earning my keep.

These two, are the very best. Love them so much!

Mom's first steps into the ocean!!!

Then we went to a different viking village. Not government run, and WAY more fun.

 We got to feed sheep. Jo knew I'd be in the second I heard that. Loved them!

Also. I got to throw an Axe. I wasn't great at it. Jo (my sister) got hers in the first throw, and was too quick for me to get a picture. 

I think I'm going to be very good at being a viking.

 On the way home, we saw a MOOSE! We'd seen them before, but this was the closest. Also, easier to photograph than whales. 

These little tiny Newfoundland nature flowers were gorgeous.

And, to end our day, the girls enjoyed some Newfoundland wines.

Day Eight:

Drove all across the Viking Highway to find an open breakfast joint.

Lighthouses, waves, McCrea gals, ocean... love Newfoundland. Love waves. Love life. Port au Choix.

Loved all the side roads, and all the great things to see.


Drinking Quidi Vidi Beer while I can. And my great new shirt, "You can take the girl out of Newfoundland, but you can't take the Newfoundland out of the girl."
Gross Morne National Park

Little cute town next to the ocean. One of my favourite views.

Museum. Has Poo. Very important. 

Gosh I love this country.

Adventure at the Falls!

Our new home for our last night. No cell service or Internet. What's a city girl like me supposed to do? Watch the horses I guess!

Moose Supper

Day Nine

One last adventure. Long drive to Big Falls, and worth the drive!

Water Falls and fishermen. Best sight for the last day.


Last lunch before catching the plane in Deer Lake.

Going home!!!

It was hard to only choose my favourite pictures because I have a lot! That was my trip. It was wonderful, and I'm so grateful I had a chance to go. Don't just go if you have family there, it's a great experience for absolutely everybody.

And as always:
Most of my ideas are coming from It's leads to another blog where I found the ideas. My April onward details start with that post.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

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