Watching my nephew become Canadian champion!
The whole point of our trip to Saint John was to watch my 15-year-old nephew Kevin compete at his very first National Karate Championships. I'm so glad I was there to see him fight and win the gold, all throughout the week he really impressed me with his mental strength and poise, his hard work and dedication. The next step for him will be to gain some more experience by participating in the Junior PanAmerican Games in Santiago de Chile, and guess what?? His aunt will be there to cheer him on again!!
The Film, 'Mary, Mary'
For some strange reason, instead of enjoying the sights of Saint John, I remember going to the cinema here and seeing the film 'Mary, Mary' (I thought it was'The Sound of Music' but I've just found my 1965 diary which says otherwise!) And it wasn't even 'The Sound of Music', but 'Mary Poppins', which I saw in Gagetown!! Oh, well, Julie Andrews was in them both wasn't she? Picture is of a chocolate bar wrapper from the cinema!! (Why I kept it, goodness only knows).
A History of Ship-building
Situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and with North America's most heavily forested province or state at it's back, Saint John rose to fame in the 1800s as one of the busiest ports and shipbuilding cities in the world. As I strolled from the Delta hotel toward the NB Museum at Market Square, I came across a small memorial to the most famous ship ever built there - the 'Marco Polo'.
She was launched in 1851, a large ship for the port, with three decks and a length of 184 feet (56-m). In fact, she was so large that she grounded twice in the mud-flats of the harbour (there is a 28-foot tidal range here remember!). Although she was eventually refloated with no apparant damage, it is surmised that her keel may have been twisted by these incidents because, for some reason, she could sail like the wind! Her very first voyage to Liverpool, England with a cargo of lumber took only 15 days. However, she really made her name as 'the fastest ship in the world' when she was converted to a passenger ship in 1852 by the Black Ball Line and sailed from Liverpool for Melbourne, Australia. Her run of 76 days outbound, 21 days in port and 76 days (5 months 21 days total) back to Liverpool was the first time a ship had made this trip to the other side of the world and back in less than 6 months. However, the glory days of the Marco Polo ended 15 years later when she was converted to a freighter in 1867. The end came in 1883, when she was 32 years old, as a result of a leak while sailing through Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence to Quebec. She had to be beached on the shores of Prince Edward Island and was subsequently wrecked by a storm before she could be refloated.
Shipbuilding in Saint John finally came to an end in June, 2003 when the last remaining yard was closed down following the failure to secure any further major contracts after completion of the construction of the Royal Canadian Navy's new 'Halifax-class' frigates.
Hiking - Hammond River Park trails
For a hiking trail with an easy-to-moderate difficulty level, the Hammond River Park offers a number of trails through Acadian Forest, to the Hammond River Marsh. Apparently, the park was initially settled about 300 years ago, as there was an Acadian survey marker dated 1714 found carved into a boulder during the park's development.
The main trails are South, North, Lowland, Central, Ironwood, and Flood Rain Hardwoods, but there are also about nine other shorter, intersecting trails.... about 5 kms in all. Check the website link below for a copy of the trail map. Some of the trails have steep slopes, and there are a number of wet and muddy areas, especially closer to the marsh. I'd suggest proper hiking boots.
Keep your camera handy... I came across a deer about 30 feet from me.
On the down side, I was a bit dismayed to see the amount of litter there was, mostly at the west end of the park. This is unfortunate, as there is a waste bin located at the trail head. Please remember to carry out what you carry in.
Also, a few of the trail directional signs are laying on the ground. Not sure if this is because of vandalism, or if they just weren't secured properly to begin with.
Directions to the Park: From Hwy 1, go north on the Hammond River Road, then go 0.7 km past the intersection of the Model Farm Rd. (the road becomes the Neck Rd.) Turn right (east) onto Reynar Drive. Go 0.3 km, and the entrance to the Park will be on your right.
Authentic Thai Cuisine with Great Desserts!
Lovely old home converted to restaurant has nice ambience with many corners for a romantic dinner. Tables have linen tablecloths and napkins. Staff courteous and friendly. Food superb with many excellent dishes. Desserts are wonderful and worth the splurge! Suwanna chicken, sweet & sour shrimp, all stir fry dishes, chicken satay, Thai salad, lemon chicken, all curry dishes, ... basically everything!