Today we visited the most picturesque town, I believe, of the whole trip. We are starting our journey back to the states today so we wanted to take a scenic route to the border. After looking through her travel books Lana suggested that we head for the coast and stop by a little fishing village by the name of St. Andrews. From the description in the guide it sounded lovely. Decision made we headed out on a very beautiful, sunny day.
We arrived in the town of St. Andrews at around ten-thirty. As soon as we got to the edge of town I loved it. The streets were lined with quaint little shops, restaurants and bakeries. We parked our bikes and headed for what appeared to be the main street through the town. Bob had to go into the corner drug store for a minute leaving the rest of us waiting on the corner trying to decide what we wanted to do.
As we were standing there I noticed that the side of the building was a large mural that looked like a giant puzzle piece. Taking a closer look it was a mural of the street I was standing on. Whoever the artist was did a wonderful representation of what he was seeing. I looked across the street and there was another mural of the pier and various boats sitting in the waters of the Passamaquoddy Bay.
While we were waiting a woman exited the drug store and walked up to us and asked, “Are you looking for something? Can I help you?” We explained that we were waiting for a friend. She asked, “Are you visiting?” “Yes we are”, we answered. For the next fifteen minutes this wonderful woman told us the entire history of the town, what sites we should not miss, recommended several establishments we could eat if we were in town for lunch and pointed us to a loop around the town to see some historic buildings and pointed out that their public gardens were among the top ten in all of Canada.
When we explained that we would probably move on to St. Stephen for lunch she immediately recommended what she considered a great restaurant there too. She was a perfect delight and real ambassador for the town she loved. After listening to her I wanted to stay there a day or two to get to know the town myself. Unfortunately, we only had a limited time. As she was walking away I wanted to ask her to tea so I could get to know her a little bit better and talk to her at length about her life here in St. Andrews.
Once we were altogether we headed down to the town’s pier. The tide had already gone out and we wanted to see the sea bottom again. Randy took a walk down to see what it felt like and what he could find. Lana managed to ask a young girl to fetch a shell and piece of green glass from the seabed for her. Lana now had some treasures from the sea, she was very happy. We noticed that all the boats were anchored off shore where water remained after the recession of the tides.
We walked around a bit going from shop to shop enjoying the day. The guys all found chairs outside various shops and people watched. As always Randy made a friend. No matter where he goes if he stays put in one place for a few minutes someone will eventually join him and they will be deep in conversation when next we meet. He loves people and he has an inquisitive mind and always wants to know all he can about where he is. I have always admired this about Randy. He is a very nice man indeed.
On our way out of town we indeed did the loop our new friend suggested and saw the most wonderfully old churches all lined up in a row, beautiful. We continued on our scenic route with the next stop St. Stephen, “Canada’s Chocolate Town” for lunch. The ride was beautiful and relaxing. We saw many signs for “Moose” crossings but alas we did not see any moose or deer for that matter. The sum total of our wildlife sightings was one very small chipmunk; one small field mouse and Lana spotted one small black bear. Oh well.
This town too was lovely but had more of a modern updated look to it. We found the Bistro by the Boulevard restaurant just where our newfound friend told us it would be and miracle upon miracle there were parking spaces on the street for all three bikes. Sometimes this can be a challenge because Barry’s bike has a trailer on it. The address for the bistro is 73 Milltown Boulevard, St. Stephen, NB E3L 1G5.
We went through the Ganong Chocolate store to get into the bistro. We learned that Ganong chocolate is one of the biggest employers in the area. We spotted immediately that they were giving away free samples and made a mental note that the chocolate would be our dessert.
The bistro was new, clean, simple and tastefully decorated. The room was filled with simple wooden tables covered with white linen tablecloths. The restaurant could easily sit thirty patrons. There was also seating outside on the side of the building. It was warm so we all decided to eat inside. Service was immediate with drink orders taken as soon as we sat down.
The menu was not overly extensive which I like; I usually don’t like reading a book when I sit down to order. The menu choices included wonderful salads, panini sandwiches and soups. I felt that all the prices listed were very reasonable. I wish I could link you to their website unfortunately they are so new it isn’t up yet. But I will certainly keep track. The motto of the restaurant is “Sweet, Sophisticated, Relaxed” I agree they definitely lived up to their motto the day we visited.
Some of the group ordered paninis and some ordered salads. I ordered their bleu cheese, pear and pecan salad. It was delicious and light. The vinaigrette was so light that it did not weigh the greens down. The pears were paper-thin and pecans chopped just perfectly. It was delicious, appetizing and refreshing. The paninis looked wonderful and by the way the plates were cleaned and the happy faces at the table were delicious too. I set about to talk to the manager, who turned out to be the owner, and expressed my pleasure at the menu and the choice I made for lunch. I asked him how his restaurant was doing and he said, “Well, the people in the town were very used to their local foods but they are coming around”. I wished him luck
It was only a hop, skip and jump to the border in Calais, Maine and we were back on US soil. YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our next stop was to be a famous bookstore that carried all of Stephen King’s books in Bangor, Maine so off we went. However, when we rolled into Bangor and finally located the street the bookstore was supposed to be located it was closed. We weren’t sure if it was out of business or had just moved to a new location.
Tired we decided to stop for the night at a local motel and get some dinner. It was early so some of the group decided to go to the movies after dinner. The hotel clerk pointed us to a restaurant called Ground Round she said it was very good and within walking distance. Walking was the key to this choice and the movie theatre was just next-door so off we went. Lots of burgers on the menu as well as typical American cuisine and they were having a Tuesday special where you ordered one regular burger which is a half-pounder you would receive a quarter-pounder for free. The only extra cost for the free burger was any toppings added. Everyone in the group ordered the special and they were great. I still like Five Guys burgers best but these were very good.
Tomorrow we head over to New Hampshire through the White Mountain Pass.