St Andrews By The Sea, New Brunswick Canada.
When you live in Maine, quick frequent trips into Canada happen. Why do Mainers cross the border into Canada? Lots of reasons. The dollar is worth more than the loonie. The Canadian provinces are beautiful and people who populate them friendly, warm, genuine.
And if you check your family lineage, I bet you will find a DNA connection. My Dad’s mom for instance was 100% Canadian. That means your Me In Maine blog post writer has Canadian blood in the hemoglobin mixture of the red stuff.
This blog post is about a quick but fun trip to St Andrews By The Sea, New Brunswick Canada.
Being close to the Canadian border living in on the International boundary line is a real perk.
Houlton ME is a border town with the province of New Brunswick Canada. Just like if you live up in the St John River Valley in the “Crown of Maine”, frequent trips from both sides of the border in Maine and Quebec occur.
I tell people new to the area that living in a Maine border town is like a two nation vacation.
COVID did put a slight damper on the trotting back and forth border crossings trips between Maine and our Canadian cousins.
Had two boys that chased the black circle, played hockey with half their games over on a solid polished sheet of Canadian ice. It was not uncommon for four times a week or more to be crossing over from Maine into Canada with a Jeep full of young hockey players. But this past weekend’s mini vacation from Houlton ME to St Andrews By The Sea was an old travel habit resumed.
Like before COVID and from back in the hockey game at a different Canadian hockey arena days, it was a nice return.
Where parents have as much fun as the skaters. My two boys played winter hockey tournaments in St Andrews and it looked different with less businesses open and some white stuff on the ground.
The border crossing was a super pleasant experience.
The ArriveCAN app to make your appointment to cross the Canadian border syncs up quick and easy with your shot records and passport. If you’ve had your COVID shots, the crossing a border between Canada and Maine is nothing to fear or avoid. Red maple leaf rover, red maple leaf rover, come on over.
And both sides of the border are all for the commerce benefits the crossings provide consumers eh?
So leaving Houlton ME, sliding into the port of entry lane entering New Brunswick Canada on our way to St Andrews.
When leaving Maine, you pass right by the Houlton or whatever border town port of entry.
They will be seeing you on the return back into the states for the questions. The “where have you been, anything for firearms, alcohol, plants? Bringing anything back to declare or picked up on your trip over into Canada?”
Just like TSA, don’t be a comedian, easy on the irritation tone from lack sleep or over spending on your vacation.
For national security, the border crossing customs and immigration people are just going their job. Help them do their routine and everyone behind you can be on their return from Canada way with a little empathy!
When you get on the Trans Canada, switch your cell phone to airplay mode to avoid Canadian cell phone tower roaming charges. Learned that one on ski trips to Crabbe Mountain in Canada. There is lots of commerce happening back and forth across our common Maine Canadian border.
Two hours, sixteen minutes or 113.8 miles heading from Houlton ME to St Andrews By The Sea, New Brunswick Canada.
Easy trip with lots of scenery and everything on road signs in metric numbers and not forgetting those speaking French as a major language. You have left Maine and suddenly everything changes a tad in a good way. So so lucky to live this close to Canada and hope folks on the other side of the border feel the same way about Maine in the International connection.
This last minute dash into Canada on a Labor Day week found the Algonquin Hotel was booked solid at St Andrews By The Sea.
This blog post about another grand yesteryear hotel that my family made trips to during Winter Carnival. We stayed at the Hotel Frontenac in Quebec City Canada.
But back to the St Andrews and making this more of a photo blog post so you can sample the eye candy and flavor of this quaint seacoast harbor town.
The salt air, change of scenery, meeting new people doing the same getaway before school goes back in. The change from summer tourist season waiting for leaf peekers looking for the red and other changing color maple leave of early fall.
Each trip into Canada or Maine is a different experience depending on your season and whatever is happening in your life at the time.
Every been to Canada on a vacation and aren’t you long overdue for a Maine getaway to unplug and recharge?
My Godfather Ralph Black was from Canada and became an American citizen and move to the states. Ralph, a World War 1 veteran who wore a few pieces of shrapnel in his lungs and knew first hand what mustard gas was in the trenches. He loved dulse. Dulse are a different kind of seaweed. Meg and i opted for the seafood. Had a bucket of mussels and then moved on to one of the best seafood chowders I have ever tasted.
We stayed at the Seaside Beach Resort and loved the lodging set up, the ease to walk the street to our meal venue. Neat location and no car to drive again once you arrive. Or well, until we decided to head over to Ministers Island the next day before returning to Houlton Maine.
Ministers Island, doesn’t that sound like a place for clergy to be? Part of this 500 acre island was once owned by an Anglican minister but bought by an American hired to build a new section of Canadian railroad. This railroad executive got the job done before the deadline and under budget. Read more about Sir William Van Horne, a big cog in the Canadian Pacific Railroad.
You have to watch the tides to visit Ministers Island.
Traveling by foot, car, bike, you can cross the ocean floor that when the tide is out, you don’t have the 14 feet of seawater to contend with overhead. You will see one massive barn and a 17 bedroom mansion with 42′ x 30 formal dining room for all the guests.
Meg and I loved touring the big yesteryear smasher sized home with all the furnishings of period.
Be sure to tour the barns, stables and farm outbuildings at Ministers Island.
Very impressive and well kept, over designed and not your average farm operation barns or accessory buildings at the Van Horne, Ministers Island summer estate.
I own and cherish a Maine farm barn and buildings, land around it but nothing on the scale of this St Andrews estate’s set up style and size.
Hope this little travelogue to St Andrews By The Sea gives you inspiration to tour Minister Island, the seacoast harbor surroundings.
Water, whether in Maine, Canada, everywhere fixes everything right? See you next installment of the Me In Maine blog!
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