Friday, August 26, 2011

Our Anniversary Trip...

Last Saturday was our 32nd wedding anniversary and we decided that we would do something different this year, so we packed up Big Red and headed off to the big city for the weekend. We figured that we would get in some shopping, renew our Costco membership, maybe visit a pub (or two) and have dinner at our favourite restaurant without having to rush home right afterwards. We ended up doing a LOT more than we bargained for and we had a great time.

On the Wednesday before, Hubby did some checking online and found a place to stay at the Delta Beausejour at $188 per night. The next day when we called to book the room the rate had increased to $203 but we did get a “No Tax” package that covered the room taxes for the stay plus added a $25 food credit for each day. We booked for Friday and Saturday nights.

Check-in time was not until 4pm which was perfect because I had to work on Friday. I managed to get out a little early by using up some accumulated overtime so I was home by 2pm and we were on our way a half hour later. The day was hot and sunny (as was the whole weekend!) and we had a nice cruise to the hotel. Much to our dismay, as we got close to the hotel we found that the entire road way was blocked off and traffic was being re-routed away from the front entrance. As we turned into the detour we could see that the reason the road was closed was that there was a giant sound stage erected and it was right in front of our hotel! We thought “Oh No! This is not going to be good!”. We had no idea that there was a motorcycle rally on. Maybe we should have checked for upcoming events!

The rally turned out to be the best thing about the whole weekend! We had a great time wandering up and down the street checking out the amazing bikes, stopping here and there for a beer and a glass of wine. Later on each evening there was live music from some local bands and we stayed to the end of the concert on both nights. Friday night, the last group was a KISS cover band called the Love Guns and they did a great job both with the music and the stage show. I shot a bunch of pictures but they aren’t the best quality, sorry, but you get the idea. It was a lot of fun!

 The lineup of bikes started right in front of our hotel.
The lineup of bikes started right in front of our hotel.

This was my favourite new bike. It could have been mine for $17,000 or so.
This was my favourite new bike. It could have been mine for $17,000 or so.

 The artwork on some of these machines was fantastic. It’s hard to believe that someone would actually ride this. I would always be worrying about stone chips!
The artwork on some of these machines was fantastic. It’s hard to believe that someone would actually ride this. I would always be worrying about stone chips!

Another Victory bike. It was just beautiful.
Another Victory bike. It was just beautiful.

 It wasn’t just guys with their bikes on display. We called this one the Girlie Bike because, well, it just looks like a girlie bike!
It wasn’t just guys with their bikes on display. We called this one the Girlie Bike because, well, it just looks like a girlie bike!

 The Girlie Bike even had its own mascot. She was dressed appropriately with boots, leathers and shades.
The Girlie Bike even had its own mascot. She was dressed appropriately with boots, leathers and shades.

 The concert on Friday night featured a group called the Love Guns.
The concert on Friday night featured a group called the Love Guns.

 The Love Guns were performing as KISS and they had the music and the look down great.
The Love Guns were performing as KISS and they had the music and the look down great.

 The concert lasted until midnight and was just great.
The concert lasted until midnight and was just great.

Saturday morning we were up early because we wanted to get to the farmer’s market before it got crowded. The first thing we did was have breakfast. The room we stayed in came with access to the “Signature Club Lounge” room. It was one of the best features of any hotel we have ever stayed in. The Delta describes it like this:
Signature Club Lounge
Enjoy the private, exclusive and comfortable Signature Club lounge featuring a complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, canap├ęs and honor bar from 5pm to 7pm, work stations, private check-out and concierge service. The Club Lounge is equipped with a 32" TV, magazines and newspapers.


 The Signature Club Lounge was a great feature. We had breakfast and evening snacks there both days. The fridge in the lower right was constantly full of juice, pop and water.
The Signature Club Lounge was a great feature. We had breakfast and evening snacks there both days. The fridge in the lower right was constantly full of juice, pop and water.

Everything in the room was included with the exception of the liquor available in the evening. In the morning there was fresh orange juice, fresh fruit, cold cuts, pastries, croissants, and cereal, a selection of breads and jams and hard boiled eggs. The room attendant was there to greet us and she brewed individual cups of Starbucks coffee made to order while we selected what we wanted to eat. In the evening there was a tasty selection of finger-food including cheeses, fruit, breaded shrimp and phyllo dough pastries with cheese filling. All day there was access to a fridge stocked with milk, juice, pop and water. We took full advantage of this!


After breakfast we headed off to the Market. It was a two minute walk from the hotel which was nice. There was lots of fresh produce, baked goods and crafts for sale but the apple guy didn’t have any Honey Crisp apples yet and we were too full to eat anything else so we just wandered through. If we lived there we would be at the Market every weekend!

 The Moncton Market sign.
The Moncton Market sign.

 The Market was just a hundred yards or so from our hotel.
The Market was just a hundred yards or so from our hotel.

 The Market building itself is a pretty thing.
The Market building itself is a pretty thing.

We spent the rest of the day going from Costco to the Sally Anne to Value Village and the malls. I found some neat stuff at the used goods places but we didn’t buy a thing at the mall except the fixings for a little picnic lunch from the Superstore. There we bought some bagels and some pastrami and cheese from the deli and made ourselves some sandwiches. It was tasty and inexpensive, less than $6 for the two of us. Plus, we didn’t want to fill up too much because we were going to have Chinese food for dinner. The “House of Lam” is our favourite place to eat when we are in the big city. We both invariably have the same meal, the Szechuan Platter every time just because it is so good! The cost is low, too. I don’t think that they have raised their prices in years. The bill for Saturday night for the meal, an appetizer, a bottle of wine and the tax was just $54! I couldn’t finish my dinner and ended up taking half of it home for lunch on Monday, mmm.

 This picture doesn’t show just how beautiful these motorcycles were.
This picture doesn’t show just how beautiful these motorcycles were.

 This bike was called the Starship Enterprise and it was bigger than my car!
This bike was called the Starship Enterprise and it was bigger than my car!

After dinner we went back to the hotel to relax for a bit and then it was back out on Main St. to see more of the bikes. We bought ourselves a couple of souvenir T-shirts and just wandered around for a while until the music started. The highlight of the night was a group called “Angry Candy” and they were just fantastic! They played mostly covers of rock songs like “Mustang Sally” and “Welcome To The Jungle” and the female lead singer, Izabelle Ouellet, was just fantastic! She had amazing vocal range and stage presence, lots of energy, too. We were having such a good time that I didn’t get any pictures so I pilfered one or two from Facebook. I got to talk to Izabelle for a minute after the show and she was nice enough to sign a T-shirt for me.

 This is Angry Candy and take my word for it, that woman can sing!
This is Angry Candy and take my word for it, that woman can sing!


 This the Angry Candy logo on a poster for a Canada Day concert.
This the Angry Candy logo on a poster for a Canada Day concert.

Sunday was the last day but, with check-out not until noon, we had lots of time to have breakfast and then take a nice long walk to see the tidal bore park and some more of the city. The sky was clear and it was hot, even at 9am. We had a great little stroll and then it was back to room to pack up.

Checking out went fine until we got the bill and we found that the room service that we had ordered which should have been covered by the food credit that came with the room had not been deleted. When we pointed this out to the clerk she not only reversed the charge but also gave us a 10% reduction because of the “posting error”. The whole stay at the hotel cost us only $433. That’s pretty good for such a high-end place and it made for a great anniversary present!

We had such a good time that we decided that we would take the long way home instead of just pounding back on the highway. We took a secondary road that followed along the shore of the Bay of Fundy and we saw some beautiful scenery. Then we spotted a U-Pick type of farm that was offering high bush blueberries so we decided to stop. I’m glad we did because the berries were just perfect, huge too. They were the size of grapes and very tasty. We easily filled our 3 litre basket in about 10 minutes and some of them actually made it home!

 We found this U-pick farm on the drive home.
We found this U-pick farm on the drive home.

 Even the check-out stand was well done here.
Even the check-out stand was well done here.

 They apparently grow pumpkins here, too, although we didn’t see any. The sign was interesting, though.
They apparently grow pumpkins here, too, although we didn’t see any. The sign was interesting, though.

 The blueberries were huge and there were so many of them that it was very easy to pick a basketful in a very short time.
The blueberries were huge and there were so many of them that it was very easy to pick a basketful in a very short time.

 Now that's a beautiful basket of blueberries!
Now that's a beautiful basket of blueberries!

All in all, it was a great anniversary celebration. I wonder what we’ll do next year.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summertime Picture Post

So, where has the Witch been for the last month? Well, I’ve been a bit of a beach bum. Yes, you read that right. I purchased a new bathing suit, a bikini no less, and we have been going to the shore every chance we get. Even I, who is deathly afraid of the water (there are CRABS in the water, you know!) have been in for a swim. We have just been in the water, on the beach and under our umbrella while the winds were blowing so hard I literally had to hold on to keep it from blowing away! But it has all been fun and I’m loving it, when we get any sunshine that is. I even had a wardrobe malfunction with the new suit (Hubby was surprised) but sorry there are no details I’m going to share.

Here's me trying to keep my beach umbrella from blowing away again.

 Look at my brave Hubby, out there wading amongst the CRABS!
Look at my brave Hubby, out there wading amongst the CRABS!

So now you know why the Witch has been derelict in her blog posting. I decided the summer is too short to waste inside on the computer so it’s off to the beach we go. Well, okay, we have also been busy with the gardens, and of course the MOTHER!*//%** gazebo. What’s that Hubby? It’s almost finished? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha… what’s that?.. oh… you were serious… sorry!

Anyway, for now, I’m going to leave you with a collection of pictures which I hope you all enjoy. They are just a random collection from the past month or so.

Also, we are trying out a few changes to the design of the Witch’s Island so please be patient as we gear up some new stuff. Let us know how you like them.

Enjoy your day everyone, I’m heading to the beach again and I’m going to try to keep my swim suit on this time!

 These shorebirds were having a field day running back and forth. I don’t know if they were feeding or just playing!
These shorebirds were having a field day running back and forth. I don’t know if they were feeding or just playing!

 Some black headed gulls on the beach at low tide.
Some black headed gulls on the beach at low tide.

 I found this message painted onto a rock while I was hunting for driftwood. They were obviously talented people but who goes to the beach with their paintbox?
I found this message painted onto a rock while I was hunting for driftwood. They were obviously talented people but who goes to the beach with their paintbox?

 The sky has been looking  ominous for most of the summer. This particular system was very intense but not the worst we have had this year.
The sky has been looking ominous for most of the summer. This particular system was very intense but not the worst we have had this year.

 The vegetable garden was doing pretty good back in mid July.
The vegetable garden was doing pretty good back in mid July.

 By early August it was doing even better. The carrots, the beets and beans have been on our dinner menu almost every day for the past week.
By early August it was doing even better. The carrots, the beets and beans have been on our dinner menu almost every day for the past week.

 My gazebo has finally got some stairs so now I don’t need to crawl in. Here are the stairs just minutes after Hubby finished building them (Please don’t tell him that I let it slip that it took him over SIX hours to make them!).
My gazebo has finally got some stairs so now I don’t need to crawl in. Here are the stairs just minutes after Hubby finished building them (Please don’t tell him that I let it slip that it took him over SIX hours to make them!).

 Here are the stairs again the next morning after being treated with the water sealer. We used Thompson’s brand and it did a great job on the cedar.
Here are the stairs again the next morning after being treated with the water sealer. We used Thompson’s brand and it did a great job on the cedar.

 The final bit of construction prior to adding the siding was the window casing and now that is all done, too.
The final bit of construction prior to adding the siding was the window casing and now that is all done, too.

 Okay, Hubby. You did great getting all that finished. Go and get that beer… Hubby? Hubby? All right, now where did he get to?
Okay, Hubby. You did great getting all that finished. Go and get that beer… Hubby? Hubby? All right, now where did he get to?

 The flower gardens are doing pretty good, too. The lilies have all come out in bloom at the same time and they are just a riot of colours.
The flower gardens are doing pretty good, too. The lilies have all come out in bloom at the same time and they are just a riot of colours.

 Here’s a close-up of one of the pink ones. They are huge, about 6 inches across and they smell wonderful, too.
Here’s a close-up of one of the pink ones. They are huge, about 6 inches across and they smell wonderful, too.

 The grapes are doing great this year. It’s going to be our best harvest ever as long as we get to them before the birds do.
The grapes are doing great this year. It’s going to be our best harvest ever as long as we get to them before the birds do.

The farmers have planted a lot of canola this year and when it blooms it turns this intense colour of yellow. So beautiful!
The farmers have planted a lot of canola this year and when it blooms it turns this intense colour of yellow. So beautiful!


 That’s me standing out on the back deck admiring all our hard work.
That’s me standing out on the back deck admiring all our hard work.

 As another summer storm builds in the evening sky I will say see you later.
As another summer storm builds in the evening sky I will say see you later.

 One last picture of me staring down the world’s ugliest Llama. That is all.
One last picture of me staring down the world’s ugliest Llama. That is all.