Thursday, July 7, 2005

East Coast Vacation - Day 7

Digby, NS to Saint John, NB.

Very little driving today because we are taking the ferry to Saint John, NS. The day began with another continental breakfast that was acceptable. It was cloudy with a light drizzle. With the ferry scheduled to depart at 1:00 pm, we hung out in the motel room watching TV and playing games until 11:00 am, when we checked out of the motel and drove into Digby to Return of the Toymaker, a toy store with hand-made wooden boats, wharfs and doll houses, Christmas ornaments, and other goodies.

Children can make a miniature sailboat; naturally Corbin was excited. The sailboat is pre-made, but requires the drilling of two holes to hold the masts. The owner, Howard Pyle, placed the boat in the jig and Corbin turned the handle on the drill press to make the two holes. Next, a dowel was placed in a vise grip and Corbin sawed it to make two masts. Mr. Pyle then placed the dowels in a jig and asked Corbin to pull down a handle on a century-old drill press. The dowels were inserted into their holes and Corbin hammered away. Next two pins (one at the front and one at the rear) were hammered in. Mr. Pyle threaded a string through the holes. A sailboat was created. Corbin immediately wanted to paint it and asked where the sails were. Adam said we could work on those things at home. We left the store and headed to the ferry dock.


At the ferry we wandered around the terminal, stopping for a customary "pee break" and getting a few munchies from a vending machine that gave Tina a hard time - as in you paid for something and it got stuck - but all worked out well in the end. We sat patiently in the van. The Princess of Acadia arrived around 12:15 pm or so. Unloading the ship took a long time - at least when compared to the Chi-Cheemaun (Tobermory, Ontario). Eventually, we were directed to enter the belly of the ship. We headed up to the passenger decks and proceeded to the cafeteria to have lunch (which was reasonably priced).

The journey between Digby, NS and Saint John, NB takes 3 hours. There is a big screen TV in the main lounge where a children's movie is shown. They were playing Ice Age, which grabbed Corbin's attention and freed us for about 90 minutes.

After the movie, Corbin messed around with his GameBoy, played some games with us and we kind of wandered around the ship. The weather changed from dreary to sunny about half-way through. Around 4:00 pm, the ship arrived in Saint John, and a few minutes later we arrived at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites.

Adam mentioned that the New Brunswick Museum was open late Thursdays. Since we had not done much this day, we concluded that it would be good to see the museum and grab a bite to eat. A trail, Harbour Passage, leads downtown along the harbour and was only about a 2 minute walk from the hotel. It took about 10 minutes or so to get to the museum, which is located in Market Square, a larger facility with stores, restaurants, a library and a convention centre. Admission was $9.73 for the three of us - the bargain of the trip.

The museum consists of three floors with large exhibits. On the main floor, a guide, Elizabeth, asked us if we had any questions. Corbin had plenty. Corbin and Elizabeth hit it off. She showed Corbin around and took us to the second floor where the whale bones were on display. The museum looks small at first but is jam packed with exhibits. Apparently about 40% of their collection is on display. Elizabeth had to leave us to make an announcement. We headed up to the third floor which contained a large play room where kids could read books, make crafts, play with toys and computers. At the craft counter, Corbin and Elizabeth made a snake.

Unfortunately for Corbin, we were getting hungry, so after about 2 hours at the museum, we went to a restaurant inside the Market Square and had a late supper. The day ended, with us walking back to the hotel - that is Tina and Adam walking, Corbin running - and heading to the pool for a swim and a dip in the hot tub. Even Corbin spent some time in the hot tub.

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