Hello fellow travellers! It’s been a long time- my last post was at the start of COVID in March and from then until probably just last month, my creativity and normal adventurous spirit had tanked due to all the changes around me. Does anyone else’s spirit respond in that way when there is so much change in your world? It may be that I’m an introvert and don’t like change at the best of times but COVID certainly threw a wrench in there and caused me to be very down.
With my renewed energy, we have been trying to get out on some trails more and see some sights. We were lucky to get out on a nice day a couple weekends ago with friends to explore a spot in Albert County that I had not really been to since I was a kid picking blueberries with some Steeves side of my family. Can you guess where we went?
If you guessed Elgin, you are right! This was a stylised photo by my talented husband. I like to imagine this is how my grandfather might have seen the Elgin Country Kitchen back in the day.
Remember our trip to St. Martin’s and The Fundy Trail a few weeks ago? Well you have to go through Sussex to get there so of course I had to check out a few places while we were there! These 3 places are on the same block and beside one another on Main St. so you don’t have to go far to check them out. They are all working together in one way or another to support each other’s businesses. Read on!
For some people, cottage season may be winding down as they sense the start of school again but I sincerely love September and October in Waterside- less fog and bugs and a little less busy in the park.So while I feel August is slipping away as I do try to get 2 kids ready for school, I am looking forward to more weekends at the cottage in lovely weather as well this fall. It has been great to see the park and Alma so busy this year. I hear the businesses are doing as well or better even the year after Canada 150. I hope to get out and enjoy the park a little more this fall. We tend to get to the cottage and not want to move very far because it’s just as beautiful here as it is anywhere 🙂
This week I want to introduce you to our wonderful neighbours in Waterside. I know many people know the winery because when people ask us where we are, all I need to do is mention the winery and people can then place where we are in Waterside. Waterside Farms Cottage Winery has been in business since 2006.” Ed and Linda Mantell started the business with the help of New Brunswick’s Department of Agriculture and now make their own Blueberry ( 4 kinds!), Rhubarb, Cranberry and Blackberry wines. Ed has been in the wine making business for a long time. His family were wine producers in Europe before the Second World War. They immigrated to Canada in 1947 and resided in Kitchener, Ontario. Wine making was always a family event. Ed grew up making and learning from his father, the process of turning fruit into a wonderful wine.” Ed and Linda use mostly local fruit for their wine. All of their wines are fermented, filtered and bottled on site. They produce 7000 litres a year for sale in their shop. Also, a couple agency stores in the area sell some of their products. I know at least a couple restaurants that feature their wine also like at the Cape House Restaurant at Cape Enrage. This year they have already sold out of Cranberry, Port and Blackberry. I would say they are doing something right!
Although I don’t drink wine ( but did try a sample of their rhubarb wine), almost everyone who I saw come into their shop this weekend left with at least 1 bottle. Linda tells us there are people who come annually and stock up on their favourites for the year. They also have people ask why their wine isn’t more available commercially. Linda says they want to stay unique and retain their niche and clientele with their specialty wines.
You may have seen the picture I posted on social media this week. We met a very special lady at the winery who is biking from her home in Alberta to Newfoundland. I was very inspired by her attitude and stories. I could have hopped on a bike with her ( except for sleeping in a tent every night and a sore behind! ). She said the secret is in the shorts not just the seat!. Here she is getting ready to head out again to get to the Rocks by evening. She made it there by 7:30 pm. We are cheering you on Susan! I don’t feel bad about having to walk up some hills around here now after she told me she has to walk them too ( she does have 60 extra lbs on that bike but I’m sure I have at least 1/2 of that extra weight on my body that she doesn’t. 🙂 )
Here are some shots of the Winery property that Mark took this weekend while we were visiting:
Linda the owner enjoying a little break . That piece of stained glass came out of a local church their contractor had found.
So whether or not you drink wine, I hope you will support our local winery in Waterside. We hope they will be our neighbours for a long time! Cheers!
Wow where did those 4 days go? It was wonderful to be back in Waterside! I hope you all had a lovely long weekend. I had so many projects to tackle that the 4 days just flew by. I wanted to get them at least started before the season got underway. I hope some of you got to visit some of the businesses in Albert County who had an open house for the Fundy Studio Tour or maybe you got to Fundy or Cape Enrage for some of their grand openings and celebrations.
Here is a little recap of what we did:
This is our dining table and a chair in its current state:
I love the base but don’t like how my original paint job is looking on the top- I wanted a driftwood look but I am not loving it and wanted to try something different.
I sanded the table and seats all down to the original finish. I was going to try a new product by Homestead House called Stain and Finishing Oil but I couldn’t get the look I wanted on my samples.
So I went back to a layered look with just Fusion mineral paint. That way if I still don’t like it down the road I can still paint over it without any trouble. I’m still not sold on this look but it looks much better than my 1st go round. The kids think it looks the same as what I had before. I will keep you updated on what I do next. Any suggestions are appreciated!
The second project I wanted to do was reseal our IKEA counter tops. They are still looking good but I hadn’t sealed them again since we 1st installed them in 2015. When I went to take a soap dispenser off the counter when I got to the cottage Friday there was a slight black ring beside the sink and I knew some water had gotten under the surface. The counter tops just have a thin wood veneer on top and I was scared to sand too much but I heard you can do that to try to get stains, water damage ,etc out of it. I sanded it lightly but not sure I made much of a difference.
These are a couple before shots:
During: putting on the tung oil.
And the after: I don’t know if I see a difference. The counters appear richer and renewed in person but that spot beside the sink is still noticeable. I will need to be more careful with what gets left on the counters!!
We did get out for a short drive on Monday- I wanted to see the new pavilions and Visitor Center at Wolfe Lake and the Chignecto Recreation Area across from Chignecto campground. This new recreation area will have bikes for rent for many new trails that have opened up for bikers.
Here is the new visitor center at Wolfe Lake- it will also have a smaller version of the Fundy Guild’s gift shop here too.
The new outdoor recreation center isn’t completely finished but is in a similar style to the Visitor Center. We had a lovely chat with a staff person and I even tried out a couple bikes! I love bikes! One was a Fat bike and one was a Plus bike. It felt like I could ride anywhere or over anything with one of those! See the smile on my face 🙂 Would be fun to ride on Waterside beach! Even a couple of those kids behind me pretending not to know me tried out the Fat bike.
Outdoor Elements is the company from Sussex who will be in charge of bike rentals. They are also now in charge of boat rentals at Bennett Lake. We will miss “Sinc’s Boats” but look forward to what Outdoor Elements has to offer Fundy for further use and enjoyment of the Park. You can check out the Outdoor Elements website for information on rentals under their “Fundy Adventure Center” tab. (https://www.outdoorelements.ca/rent ) It looks like you will be able to book your bike, boat or camping experiencing online in the future. They are going to have a small retail outlet in Alma to hook you up for your outdoor essentials. They are hoping to have some packages in the future as well, teaming up with some local businesses for an even better experience! They will be offering winter adventures too so those of you who love to get out in winter will have choices in Fundy to stay active as well. They also have a Facebook page ” Outdoor Elements” or “Outdoor Elements-Fundy Adventure Center” so you can follow along with their updates and services as the season progresses. We love what they are doing so far!