I’ve loved going to the North Shore of Lake Superior in October since I was a little girl. The sparkling waters of the lake, the crisp, pine scented air, and the beautiful fall colors are such a wonderful highlight in the fall! Imagining that Nova Scotia might be a lot like Lake Superior country, I’ve always wanted to go there during October, and that dream came true this year.
My husband and I left for Quebec City on October 12th to spend a few days sightseeing. Honestly, I’d never given the city a second thought, and never expected to find it such a beautiful, quaint and fascinating jewel! Old world charm, beautiful European architecture, and the feeling of being immersed in the French Canadian culture were such a treat! With the exception of finding…shudder….horse meat listed on menus, that is. I love horses. The thought of even seeing one on a menu turned me into a vegetarian while we were there!
Our fourteen day cruise began in Quebec City, with stops at Saguenay and Baie-Comeau in Quebec; Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island; Sydney and Halifax in Nova Scotia; then Bar Harbor and Boston. Beautiful, every one of them. We got to tour Green Gables, have chowder at the Oyster Bar on Boston, where Daniel Webster was a regular patron, and saw homes where many of the early literary giants stayed at one time or another.
We were supposed to stop at Newport, Rhode Island, but with bad weather brewing up into Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean, the ship’s captain decided we ought to skedaddle for our final port in Fort Lauderdale. But the farther south we skedaddled, the worse the weather got, until the ship was pitching and swaying, and listing to one side at times due to the high winds, and the staff was handing out Dramamine like Halloween candy. The weather got worse, and soon the captain was on the loudspeaker hourly, reporting deteriorating conditions—as we’d certainly noticed! He and the main office in Seattle were now searching for a safe port away from the high seas and wind, but could not find an available port anywhere that they could safely approach. They said that to try to continue south would risk significant damage to the ship and risk injuries to the people inside. With all of the older folks on board that was certainly a possibility as one couldn’t walk anywhere without gripping a handrail.
A port was finally found—up the St John River to a shipping container dock in Jacksonville, Florida. Those calm waters were a wonderful relief! The cruise ship then bussed most of the 2500 passengers down to Ft Lauderdale, but since we’d missed our flight anyway, and the option for a later flight that day were nonexistent, we stayed in Jacksonville and enjoyed St Augustine for a day.
I would love to hear about your favorite vacation places, or where you’d like to go. And if anyone else has had an unexpected vacation adventure, I’d love to hear about it!