Jardin Botanique Montreal – Indoor Gardens

The botanic garden also has a fantastic conservatory, which just kept going, and going, and going.   There was an orchid room, and a fern room, and a begonia room, and a Spanish hacienda garden, and a bonsai room.     And more.

I really enjoyed our visit there, and absolutely must go back, because I still have so much more I need to see!


Jardin Botanique Montreal – Outdoor Gardens

On Saturday (6/17), we headed out to the botanical garden, which was an easy subway ride from our hotel.    The place is huge – there’s also an insectarium and a biodome you can visit – I don’t know how people do it.     We managed maybe a quarter of the outside gardens, and the conservatory (that’ll be the next entry).    I need to go back – there are still things I want to see that we didn’t get to.

I really loved how much in the outdoor gardens were plants I could grow in my own garden – I was taking (picture) notes left and right when labels were available.

Governor’s Garden at the Chateau Ramezay

This garden was a really cool find – it’s attached to the Chateau Ramezay Museum and Historic site, but had free access.    It’s set up with sections reminiscent of an earlier 18th century garden in New France.    There’s a potager, an orchard and ornamental sections.    I was so excited to see this – it’s along the lines of the kind of garden I’d like to set up if I had my own space to play with.

Old Montreal and Cirque du Soleil

Here’s where the vacation became international – on Friday morning, we headed up to Montreal.    (It’s an easy two hour drive from Burlington.   What ended up not being easy was finding our hotel, since they’re rebuilding the main bridge over the St. Lawrence, and the road closures are epic, and random.)

We stayed at the edge of Chinatown, which is right next to Old Montreal.   It was two blocks away to be able to wander around the old town, which was lovely.    It actually reminded me quite a bit of the Old Port here, but with older buildings, and more of them.

That night, we had Cirque du Soleil tickets, for Volta.     They were set up on one of the quays on the river, right over the hill from our hotel.    The show was fantastic.   It’s just absolutely amazing what the performers are able to achieve.

I don’t speak French, but I can pick up enough to know that the main clown of the show was an American who was basically telling everyone how bad his French was.    That was fairly funny, considering I otherwise pretty much had no idea what he was saying.


The above is an example of one of the projections you could see on the sides of many of the buildings at night.   In some cases, they were part of the 375th anniversary celebration for the city.   In other cases, they were adds.     In all cases, they were pretty cool.   I’m a bit surprised I haven’t seen this done elsewhere.   (Though I can see it running into Maine’s billboard law.)

Actual picture date: 6/16/17.

Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada

East Quoddy Head
Herring Weir near East Quoddy Head
Mulholland Point Light


The Roosevelt House in the International Park


Herring Cove Beach

The biggest part of our long weekend away was a trip to Campobello island, just off the coast of Maine. So, I managed both a trip out of the country and the time zone, in one fell swoop. It was a fantastic day.

It was a two hour drive up from my father’s place in Ellsworth, so we got there at lunch time, and had lunch at the golf course’s clubhouse, one of two restaurants on the island. It’s right next to the Herring Cove Beach, which is a whole mile of lovely, dark brown sand. It must have been because we were there on a Friday, but it was also a nearly empty mild of lovely sand. I had to work very hard to restrain myself from loading my pockets down with the beach rocks. There’s a beach nearby in Maine called Jasper Beach because of the quantity of jasper stones there, and this beach is clearly in the same geological zone. I have never seen so many pretty rocks. I think I only got away because it was high tide. There was a whole mess of rocks a visible at what was probably the low tide mark. If they hadn’t been covered in water, I think I would have been doomed.

We stopped next at the Roosevelt International Park. The Roosevelt house is gorgeous, with lots of interesting period furnishing in all the rooms, but we liked the Hubbard house better. It had a porch to die for, an absolutely amazing period living room, and the dining room had the most enormous oval window overlooking the water that you ever did see. And they actually rent it out for conferences, and you can stay in the bedrooms upstairs. I so need to attend a conference up there.

We next headed over to Mulholland point, which is just next to the Lubec (Maine) side of the island. It was high tide, and we’d been told that the seals are out hunting at high tide. We weren’t disappointed. There were at least half a dozen harbor seals zipping around, diving for fish, right off the point. And, there was a bonus pair of bald eagles hanging out on a nearby pier (though sadly not nearby enough for my zoom lens.)

We finished off the trip at East Quoddy Head, on the opposite side of the island. At low tide, you can actually walk out to the island and see the lighthouse up close, but the tide schedule was against us. However, we saw porpoise fairly close to the shore, and a little further off, just close enough that we could see them, were larger whales of some sort. We could clearly make them out surfacing with puffs of water and air as they exhaled.

I wouldn’t recommend Campobello if you’re looking for an urban hotspot, but if you like some amazing natural beauty, with a bit of history thrown in for good measure, it’s well worth the long drive.