First an addition to Day 8's fun.
The weather did remain nice, so Colin and Sherri let Kaitlyn and Kyle ride their horses.
But first, they had to brush them and clean their hooves (the horses, of course!) :) The kids seemed to enjoy helping to care for the horses. Kaitlyn took to it like a pro, but I think Kyle was a little nervous being around and so close to such a large animal. I think he did pretty well though. Colin and Sherri showed them what to do, and how to do it, and they did it.
Once the horses were saddled up, Colin and Sherri rode them first to make sure they would behave, which didn't take very long. After some instruction on how to ride and how to dismount (especially in an emergency) they lead the horses for a short walk with the kids on them and then let them take over on their own. I was so proud of them. They listened well and did as they were instructed. The smiles on their faces said it all. I think this had to be the highlight of their the whole vacation, and I can't thank Colin and Sherri enough for taking the time and having the patience to teach them how to ride. Thanks guys! :)
On to today's fun.
We left Mount Uniacke this morning; I think it was around 8:00am and began our long journey to Edmundston, NB, but with a side trip to Hopewell Rocks.
We arrived at Hopewell Rocks shortly before noon, which was our plan because low tide was at 12:09pm. After paying the $20 Family admittance fee, we followed the path to the various lookout points, on our way to the many stairs leading down to the beach. The view was incredible! This is definitely something you have to see.
After what seemed like forever, following the trail, we arrived at the stairs leading down. And there were many of them. There was a warning sign at the top of the stairs advising of what NOT to do, and to make sure that you made it back to the stairs before the tide came in, which was still hours away. The funny part (or maybe not so funny if it happens to you!) of the warning said that if you don't make it back, not to panic, but to find a comfortable rock above seaweed level, sit down, and wait 2-3 hours for the tide to retract. WTF? That sure doesn't sound like fun, but if you're dumb enough to wait until the last minute to get your ass back to the stairs, you deserve to wait it out for a few hours. I would imagine that something like that rarely happens, because the have people walking and supervising the beach.
The walk along the beach was amazing. You can't really put it into words, it something that you have to see for yourself, at least once in your life. (Or before these massive structures erode and tumble... which I assume is bound to happen sometime in the future)
Many of the natural "bridges" are roped off for safety, in case anything falls. There is, however, one that you can walk under. That was pretty cool.
The ocean floor is pretty muddy in some places. Mud is very fine and smooth. It seems many people don't pay attention to the warnings and walked all the way down near the water where it was the muddiest, so they could walk around in it. Our kids stayed away, and chose to walk barefoot in some of the smaller muddy pools closer to shore. After about an hour walking around, we made our way back to the stairs and up, then rinsed off the kids' feet at the taps they had for that purposes, then walked back to the main entrance to grab a quick bite to eat at the restaurant. I think we were back on the road for Edmundston around 2:00-2:30ish.
The drive was long and tiring, but after a couple of short stops for coffee, snacks and gas, we arrived safe and sound in Edmundston at 7:45pm (again with my outdated GPS indicating we were off-road for 100kms of the trip after passing Fredericton. Piece of crap. ZERO engine troubles once again, thankfully.
After checking in to the hotel, we drove to Greco's Pizza, which the hotel clerk said was about 2 miles down the road. Downtown Edmundston is pretty nice. Small with an old-town styled, and diagonal parking spaces along the main road in town. Everyone here seems to be French too. All the signs are mostly French as well.
Our hotel is pretty cool. I guess it's more of a "motel". Our room has an outside access door, and our truck is parked right outside that door. Loading up the truck in the morning is going to be easy. Especially since we didn't need to take everything out of it.
After pizza, Sandra took the kids to the pool for a quick swim, while I sat here and posted pictures on Facebook. They weren't gone very long. She said the pool was busy, no lifeguard, and kids running around seemingly unsupervised and that stressed her out.
Everyone is in bed at the moment as I type this out. I think I'll step outside for a quick smoke and then hit the sack. We plan to leave early tomorrow, after a 7:00am breakfast, for the 8½ hour drive home.